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How did you learn how to do rock work?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    Wondering how you guys learned how to do all this stuff. Did you work for someone doing it? Did you just read up on projects first and go do it? Is that even possible? I want to learn how to do the extensive rock work like I see pics of here.
  2. shethinksmytractors_sexy

    shethinksmytractors_sexy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    you can read up on it all you want but you just gotta do it. practice makes perfect.
  3. Shane472

    Shane472 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    And customers are expected to pay for the mistakes you'll make along the way?

    Working for an experienced hardscaper and learning first hand is the best way to do it. Going out on your own and learning as you attempt the jobs yourself is a bad idea in my opinion.
  4. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Do like the guy "Science" something who is a member here from Kitchener ON.....

    Bid a job, do what you "think" is correct like: Several different sizes in steps etc...

    Post your work here, have it picked apart and then realize that like anything else.....you get out of it what you put into it.

    Then work for a company to gain experience and go on your own.
  5. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Around here there are a few class you can take or "shops" at trade shows.
  6. scenicexcellence

    scenicexcellence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I would like to add to this comment. The best way to learn is by doing it. yes you should do it under someone else, but if you can be taught before you do it then ok great. This comment is not that great to go off of. The reason being was the job i did was half decent and has no major problems there are some visual defects. but as for the hold up of the job it is fine. Some people make mistakes just try not to make them on others property. do the best you can and follow the guidlines for what you are doing you'll do fine.

    just so you know i am not working for anybody else i am still working for myself and will never go back to working for someone else. If need be i will take a course when i need it.
  7. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    I agree, you should work under someone else to get a good grasp of things first. There are many structural and drainage basics not to mention all the different materials that you should have a good grasp of these first. If you have your own place you could practice with different stones, stacking, laying walks, be creative, there are no set rules when creating things, that's whats so fun about natural stone, or even manufactured stuff. Creating, while making it structurally sound is the key though.
  8. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    I hear you science. See heres the thing. You made some serious mistakes (the stairs especially) but I dont feel the judgements rendered against you were fair (justified yes, but fair, no).

    Having said that, you asked for opinions and those you got. Good or bad, you will learn from it. I started hardscaping late last year and now run 60% hardscape and the rest.........lawn care.

    Next year, I want 80% hardscaping. I hate lawn care now. I make more in a three day period than a month on the grass.

    Not to lose track here....I worked for 2 months FREE 2 days one week and 3 days the next to learn from someone with 20 plus years in the biz. Quite frankly, his work would humble some of the best on this site.

    I did a job (small one) for a customer 2 years ago. I went back last thursday to "fix" what would have become a problem a few years from now.

    Point of this ramble is I cannot stress enough the importance of perfection.

    I do benefit from the backing of the guy I learned from. He gives me the smaller installs and retaining wall jobs that he cannot find the time for. I am blessed with his knowledge, equipment and MOST importantly, his ability to accurately quote a job.

    5 years from now, I believe we will have an incredible company spanning the GTA for landscpaing.

    "fingers crossed" of course.
  9. scenicexcellence

    scenicexcellence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    good luck to you.

    Back to the topic at hand You will do fine if you look up some courses in the area where you are. Also like liquid fast did working under someone like that for free or for a very small fee will help you alot. I worked under my dad for next to nothing 6 bux an hour. he taught me alot but he is a landscaper and not only hardscaping. I learned how to build retaining walls and do landscaping. not lawn maintenance though. I think with working under someone for a bit will give a good head start and as most people will agree the people on here will eat you alive once you post a job, all you have to do is take the good and leave the bad comments out. If someone has good suggestions take them in and remember them and not to forget them.

    One thing i can tell you to do for preping for your installs is that is the most important time consuming part of the job. You must take the time on the prep or the install will not hold up. good luck to you on your ventures and people lets not get off topic and help this guy out.

    I got a extensive explaination of installing interlock professionally done up. i have it here if you want a copy pm me.
  10. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    thanks, actually IDK what interlock is. At this point Im wondering if I should try to find a job working for someone to learn or if I should just try to find someone to let me work for free and teach me something.

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