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Hardscape Horror Stories

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by weedavie, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. weedavie

    weedavie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    As a marketing consultant working with several landscape/hardscape contractors, I'm looking for pricing, installation, and service (or lack of) "horror stories" that briefly describe the scams, short-cuts, and tricks of the trade you've seen the less scrupulous among us lay on the unsuspecting/uninformed client -- to "get the deal" -- leaving it to the real professionals to step in to pick up the pieces, trying to repair or uphold the industry reputation.

    A few lines -- with no names, cities, States, etc. mentioned, of course -- describing the "deed," the problems/challenges that resulted, and perhaps (if you happen to know) the costs to "make right," etc., would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for surfacing the sometimes seamy side of the hardscape world.

  2. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    yeah, right;)
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    is this a joke?
  4. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Start ur own co. up and you will have ur own ;(
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Actually it could be a good thread but I question this guys motives. Maybe he is a concrete salesman lol
  6. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    How dare he call my works "SCAMS and SHORTCUTS"...they are totally illegitmate "processes" that took me years to learn!:rolleyes:
  7. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    he is a "marketing" guy for another company. post up some stories so he can make up brochures showing how even professionals on the hardscaping forum on Lawnsite suck ass and his masonary team is the best. they never made a mistake. they are the gold standard of hardscaping. It could be a fun thread to see peoples missteps as they grow, but not as fodder for this guy's brochures.
  8. weedavie

    weedavie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    not sure what I might say to convince you I'm "for real."

    I really am in the marketing & advertising field, working with green trade businesses...and really am looking for those stories no one talks about.

    Of course, my actual clients will tell me a few, but I want to hear it from more than just them...want to hear it from you guys...the ones with your butt on the line when someone cuts your action by under-delivering to the client.

    I really do want to hear about the "cost-cutters" who do things like installing cheap, short-life fabric substitutes, instead of geotextile, or installing low profile edge restraints on top of the sand or filter fabric, instead of the regular profile to manufacturers spec's.

    I really do want to hear from you about others out there who aren't necessarily dishonest, maybe just uninformed...like the guy who built a 8-9 foot high wall, 50 feet long without any back-anchoring or engineer involvement.

    I really do want to know about the owner who has no DOT registrations for the company vehicles and machinery, the one who isn't certified by any supplier or manufacturer, the one who doesn't carry any liability insurance, leaving injury or damage claims on the shoulders of the client.

    I want to know about the ones that close hard, do shoddy work, and then can't be reached by their clients to "make it right."

    Truth is, if you aren't talking and sharing these situations that rob you of a goodly percentage of your potential livelihood, you may never know just how wide-spread the problem is, and how much it's costing you and the clients who choose the incompetant or dishonest "contractor" instead of you -- the reputable green trade guys.

    I'm new to this site...just became a subscriber...so don't know all the ins and outs yet...but would assume there's a way for members to connect off-line, or off thread, anyway. So, if any of you have your doubts about whether I'm "serious," or "for real," well, I am. And I'd be glad to arrange to somehowconnect to further this conversation.

    Let me know through this thread if you're interested. I'm in the Eastern Time Zone.

    In the meantime, if you do believe I am "for real," please share your tales of landscape/hardscapre scams, ripoffs, and horror stories.

    Thanks for listening/reading...

  9. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Oh gee ... I could write a book myself. Pavers haven't been around that long in Canada and even less in the US. I think it was around 1970 for Canada and i remember laying them in 77-78. Didn't know much at all back then and did some jobs that I'm sure never stood up to the test of time. Embarrassing to even think about some of it.

    Bottom line is ..if installed properly there is nothing better than a interlocking paver surface...NOTHING.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    I have a few, and time is limited so let me share this. I get a call from a homeowner 3 years ago who needed a tiered wall system in his backyard. As SAn Diego is hills and slopes, what he was trying to achieve is to remove much of the slope so he could use the backyard he paid for.

    He hired a friend who told him he was experienced with Keystone walls. I get there. There was a 3 tier wall system up, Legacy stone, which is a lipped system designed to go (key words here) NO MORE than 3' tall. Segmental walls are measured in hieght from the top of the leveling pad to the wall heal.
    There were three tiers, 5'-7' high each, and as a genreal rule in order to count
    each of them as separate walls, they must be double the ditance the bottom wall is high, so, if you have a 3' tall wall, the toe of the next wall must be 6' from the heal of the lower wall. Each wall was spaced 4-5' from the next, so in effect they had a 16' tall wall with a block designed to go only 3' tall. There were no permits pulled, let alone engineering and the guy was $30,000 into the work when the owner told him to cease. In the mean time there was a 50,000 budget on the total project. It was going to cost $15,000 to dismantle and regrade the poroject, and another $47,000 for walls in need of being built. On top of it all, the old contratcor bailed compeltely and the owner ended up in court. All he wanted was a wall, he ended up with a mess just trying to save a buck or two.

    Another case, an owner tried to build his own wall. No permits, no soil work done on the back fill, and, a 32' wall hiegt. He used the wrong Strata Grid, he daylighted drains to the uppper level, which caused plasticity to occur in the soil and, after the heavy rains we got last winter, the wall blew out after hydrostatic pressure built up and caused it to fail. The wall came down on a perfectly restored 1942 Dodge Power Wagon and crushed it flat. It could have been kids playing on bycycles.

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