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How did most of you start out??????

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Tastroh, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Tastroh

    Tastroh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Currently I am working a night job and doing landscape jobs for people I work with, such as a patio I am working on now. I was wondering how most of you got started in the hardscape industry and any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I am looking to start my own business focusing mainly on patios, but also doing other hardscapes as well....
  2. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Hey fellow Marylander. I started out and still am part-time on the weekends. I do 10 good sized jobs a season and am happy with that right now.
  3. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    I've been doing basic grass cutting in my area for 3 years now. I'm now 16 and wanted to move to more involved jobs that have a much higher payout. I've just been learning and growing my skills over this summer. I haven't done any hardscape jobs yet but hopefully I get one before the snow.
  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I started out working with different General contractors through High School. I was taught the basics of many different trades. I then graduated HS and stayed working with the GC and did side jobs on the weekend. The next spring i went full time on my own. Three years later here i am.
  5. dchauling

    dchauling LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    I started working for another landscaper part time while I was in the army. I bought most of my equipment while I had a secure job. Now retired from the army and lovin both retirement and being the boss for a change.
  6. Tastroh

    Tastroh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Rusk, you seem like one of the most productive and innovative people on this site. I appreciate anything you have to offer.
  7. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Yea, he's a good guy. Has lots of wisdom to offer.
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Your giving me to much credit!

    My best advice to anyone starting out is to go work for someone. I never worked for a landscaper before i started in business and i think that hurts me alittle. I worked with general contractors for 5 years before i started my business. We did do some retaining walls, but not many. I think being taught how to use a tape measure and a level, along with being taught to do things right the first time were what really put me off on the right path.

    This forum has such an unlimited amount of knowledge in its database. Spending time here reading old post is proably the best thing you could do. Alot of people critize me and say "Matt learned everything on the internet and not in the feild" Well, i'd rather spend my time researching the correct way to do things, then to spend 5x the time in the feild redoing my mistakes.
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Started out in my early years in just mowing, then migrated to full service maintenance. Worked with alot of contractor and mason friends on different jobs, alot of times for free just for the experience. Went alot of seminars and took alot of courses in hardscaping, water features, lighting, design, etc.
    As with anyone exploring new fields, you take a couple of bumps and bruises along the way, but the key is to stand behind your work and to create a great reputation. One thing I always preach is that I would much rather explain why I did something, then why I didn't. On the job training is by far the best way to learn IMO. Books will teach you the right specs on a job, but it takes time and practice to truly learn technique.
  10. MRBsx2

    MRBsx2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    hey looks like your in my neck of the woods i do a lot of work around the towson area...any way the best way you can learn to do hardscape is to apprentice with either a landscape company, a masonry company, or a contractor, you can go to all the school you want ,and read all the post on here you want but actually being in the field working with people who know the stuff inside and out is the best way to learn. I went to penn state williamsport for construction management and while i was in college i worked for a high end landscape company back home(around are area) learned a lot there, but where i learned the most was when i got out of college and went to work for my girlfriends dad who owns a big stone and brick masonry company. I learned more there then i could have ever learned in school. Worked with him for 3-1/2 years before i quite i was a foreman runing huge stone jobs and i mean huge thousands of square feet of stone on houses and walls.......Thats how i learned this buisness inside and out.

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