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Can I expect to make a living building ponds, waterfalls, and water gardens??

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by grassredneck, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. grassredneck

    grassredneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    I have the patience & time because I have a full time job that isn't too demanding, a good truck, and have been to 2 Build-a-pond days as well as having helped with a few ponds. I just need to know about a few "rags to decent income" stories I guess. Thanks ahead of time
  2. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I don't want to discourage you but attending 2 build a pond days doesn't make you an expert at building ponds. It gives you a good idea how to build a rocked in pond using Aquascape materials and as a rule the customer service from Aquascapes is very good.

    What can you offer that's different than what the thousands of others who have attended build a pond days can offer? Can you source out supplies from multiple places enabling you to come in at a lower price? Have you researched and tried your hand at building other types of ponds? There are multiple types of watergardens/ponds, if you can cater to your customer's needs you'll have the upper hand.

    As it is, I've built quite a few ponds by referral only. Then again I can build whatever the customer wants, at a lower cost and greater profit than an "Aquascapes" landscaper can.

    I know here locally there's an outfit building 50 plus a year and I've only ever seen one newspaper ad. I think if you spend what you make the first year building ponds on marketing you can go at it full-time next year.
  3. grassredneck

    grassredneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Thanks for the reply. I in no way intended to imply I'm an expert. I've also done enough research to realize that Aquascapes is for the guy starting out and not the career pond builder. Their prices are too steep. I've also realized that prices for rock varies much more than I'd previously thought. Already have a builder whose agreed to have me build in an 8x10 with two 24 to 36" waterfalls. The jobs I've been getting lately have been hardscapes so incorporating ponds into it shouldn't be too hard but again I'm not sure. Thanks for the reply-I realized I needed to get some objective opinions after I went to a local pond supply store (no Aquascapes products) that had appr 6 ponds covered up with algae and the lady was explaining how Aquascapes have problems with algae?!?! Again, thanks for your time and input
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Also pond and waterfall building is more than just stacking rocks and digging holes.
    You need to have a good eye for design,you have to be able to envision a completed job before you start,\
    you have to be able to look at a space and know if it is a good place for a pond or not,

    you have to be able to listen too and incorporate your clients wants and needs within a design.
    And you have to be able to work from somebody elses design too.
    You need a knowlage of all the different kinds of rock and stone and pick what will look best in each job individually and what will look as natural as possible with the area your working in. Just my two cents :)
  5. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    I think you'd want an education in landscape architecture/design. (Education and me were never good friends lol). I think if you get good at it, and make sure your name is out there, you will make a lot of money. I think it would just be hard getting to that point.
  6. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    i like your user name
  7. grassredneck

    grassredneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Have been working with a pond builder who has NO related formal education and used to own a huge l'scaping business. Did 400K in business in '03. I'm excited to learn more and will ck back here to let you guy's know anything useful I find
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    i make a living off ponds and water gardens only. Mostly maintenance, repairs, equipment upgrades. I only build about 3 ponds a year. IF i built more Id have to hire some full time help.if you are going to do it. I would suggest some maint, too. Its gauranteed income and you can try new equipment and be able to " see how it does"
  9. Fishwhiz

    Fishwhiz LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 112

    It helps to go far beyond the knowledge of the usual kit pond supplier or installer. These suppliers who spew out instant "pond experts" from a one day seminar threaten the long-term health of this industry. There are plenty of times where clients will question us all because of their last bad experience. We see it too often. There is never room for poor contractors and always plenty of room for good contractors.
  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I would imagine it would help to know how to landscape. I don't know many people who want a pond...and no landscape around it.

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