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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mcfetrid, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. mcfetrid

    mcfetrid LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 6

    Currently I own a small landscaping company in Georgia, and am looking to expand my services. I have a local Belgard dealer and am thinking about expanding more into pavers and walls. They offer several courses that I am signed up for in walls, patios, and estimating. But before I get too far I wanted to check with ya'll about feasibility. Where do ya'll do most of your work, new construction, existing homes, residential, commercial ? What types of advertising do you find most effective? What times of the year do you get the most response? What percentage of each job total bid do you net ( after direct job costs not business or equipment overhead)? And finally, your opinion on if you think I have the right idea or not, as far as getting my start this time of year, and what I should expect as far as the coming winter and sales opportunities? Thank you guys for your help.
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Selling Belgard has worked great for me here. Good product from our plant, some have complained in other areas of the country. You can always sell someone on brick over boring concrete, and profit is pretty good, cant cut you the numbers youre looking for off the top of my head. I say go for it, learn the process first, as you intend, through the classes and start easy and learn your way to the top. Good luck.
  3. mcfetrid

    mcfetrid LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the advice hoskm01. At this point I'm really looking at taking hardscaping and running with it. I have just finished a degree in construction management and am getting restless with maintenance, so I would like to put it to use, and combine it with the landscaping I have worked my whole life.

    I know Georgia is a different climate than AZ, however, what is your opinion about starting off this time of year. I am considering sending 15,000 or 20,000 postcards, just hesitant about the winter coming, are winter months in hardscaping like they are in maintenance and installs? or is direct mail not the best idea for this type of service anyways?
  4. John Zaprala

    John Zaprala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    There's no time like the present. The sooner you get started learning, the sooner you'll be getting paid.
  5. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Take every course you can take. You will not make a ton of money just doing hardscapes. Do not think it will be your golden chicken or anything. You make money when you do the walkway along with the plantings, mulch lighting, irrigaiton, etc.
  6. Kubota130

    Kubota130 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I find that the total opposite of me when I go look at a job my goal is to sell them on concrete work... Being able to add colours, stamp driveways and if I pour a wall with the proper footing it isn't going to move unless you have a jack hammer. However the main focus of my business is concrete work so that plays a big difference.

    Just thought I share a different point of view on the topic
  7. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    As far as starting at certain times of the year, I have always read of people on here timing their advertisements and having a "working season" throughout the course of a year. I suppose I have never stopped to consider it until now but I dont have that problem here in AZ as we have "workable" weather all year round. If anything, I choose to slow down in the summer as we typically go for a month or more with temps over 110 every day; it makes for oven like conditions, sunburns, and general displeasure. Winters are so pleasant, 60's and 70's most of the time, that you are begging to put your time in while you can before the heat cometh. Frost is occasional, a freeze is extremely rare and neither will ever affect your working conditions.

    Repetition and name/brand recognition is what you want to achieve so sending out your mailers now may or may not fetch you a slew of business tomorrow, but in a year, when you send out another, people will remember your name and give you a call.

    And like MRUSK says, being able to complete an entire landscape project, rather than focusing on one aspect (hardscaping in your case) is a big benefit for the customer. Would you want to call a hardscaper, irrigator, softscaper, lighting tech and bbq installer, or would you like to make one call and have them do it all. One person to deal with is a huge draw for the customer. Keep your horizons broad, but remember you dont have to do absolutely everything (make some nice subcontractor friends).

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