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Staying busy in the Winter

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Oasis360, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I need some serious advice and feedback on ideas to get business rolling this winter... I live in the Pacific NorthWest (Portland / Vancouver metropolitan area) and Winter is fast approaching... We don't get snow regularly here so plowing isn't something that I can do, nor am set up to do... Here are my ideas so far:
    Fence & Deck Weatherization (Quick Power Wash & Stain/Sealer Application)
    Power Washing Siding, Roof, Gutters, & Concrete
    Moss Treatments (Moss & Mildew are Washington's State Flowers hahaha)
    Tree Trimming
    Yard Debris Cleanup (Is Winter a good time to cleanup all the debris/leaves?)
    Outside Waterline Insulation
    Compost Container Installation (Either a wooden box type or rotating barrel)

    I'm just starting out and hoping to get up enough money to buy a decent 21" Walk Behind, Stihl Line Trimmer w/ attachments, and a Stihl BR600 Backpack Blower to be ready for the Spring Rush next year...

    Any advice is appreciated, I am 26 years old and this is going to be my full time bread and butter business from here on out
  2. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Good luck. I think power washing would be a good idea where you are. I have wanted to move to your area for some time now.
  3. HPSInc

    HPSInc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    start a handy-man sorta thing. do anything and everything your capable of doing well.

    gutter cleaning and repair, downspout cleaning and repair, replace shutters, caulking, painting weather pending, garbage removal, stone work, drain work, facia (if you get a bending break and can use it), tree trimming, replace shingles, wood work, fencing, install mailboxes, bonfire pits, powerwasing like you mentioned,garage door repair,moving, scrapping, driveway repair, basement cleanouts,garage cleanouts, i mean whatever pays the bills. I think a handyman business is the most under-rated business out there and has a potential to make good money. I work for my dad since my biz has slowwwweed way down now that winter is approaching. was my first year in biz so it happened. but i work for him and he can keep me busy everyday all day doing handyman work on places he manages. its amazing how many different things i have done this year. you do one job and so and so will know somebody who needs this or that done. get a good rep and you could find yourself very busy. talk to property managers see if you can work for them. they like a do it all guy who can get things done lickity split instead of waiting a week for a roofing company to put up a couple missing shingles.
  4. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I like the idea of handyman oriented business - I'm thinking of a new business name, as my current business name is Oasis Landscape Design... I am thinking of something versatile and similar to my current License.

    Oasis Now Yard Restoration

    With that I could provide Landscape Maintenance, Power Washing, HandyMan Services, RotoTilling, and basic Maintenance / Construction. I'm trying to utilize all of my skills and equipment (whereas I have more skills than equipment, for now at least).

    Thank You for the replies =)
  5. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I'm not sure about pressure washing. A decent rig with attachments will cost you at least a grand if not more. I tried it and had about $700 in equipment and it still wasn't really worth a flip so I took it back.

    Have you considered hanging Christmas lights?
  6. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    The one thing with power washing and staining decks is that if you really soak the deck in water is you now need to let the deck dry out to stain it. It would take a while to dry out in the middle of winter.
  7. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Haven't really wanted to get into the Christmas Lights - People are really particular and finicky around here and it would be a job that I'de have to use customer lights and possible have to troubleshoot wiring issues. I worked as an apprentice residential electrician in Alaska for about 600 supervised hours, so the wiring part wouldn't be too big of a deal, just the time involved with "getting it perfect" for the clients...

    With the deck & fence weatherization service, I figured I could pressure wash one day, then set up a large tarp over the decks for a day or 2 to keep them out of the weather. Coming back to stain / seal the deck once they had a chance to dry somewhat. Also I considered using a large blower type fan to direct airflow on the deck (with tarp secured over railings) so that I could pressure wash a fence or concrete while waiting for the deck to dry somewhat. I haven't done this before (although I've pressure washed a lot of concrete) so it may be a hassle...

    I saw pressure washing as a good service to offer because I could use my 91 Honda Civic as my service rig (35MPG) and stay on ground-level for the decks, fences, walks, and concrete... I don't know if Winter is the best time to offer weatherization services on the wood though
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,700

    How about setting up to sell firewood/ I just started selling firewood this year, and am already swamped with orders. Heck, winter isn't even here yet in Texas.
    Might be an idea to consider up there.
  9. Unique Landscape

    Unique Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Vanc WA
    Messages: 14

    We are Vanc area also
    We run maint year around right now we are in full Leaf patrol
    Tons of leaves .
    Also fruit tree trimming moss control both on roofs and hard surface,s
    We do a ton of sprinkler blow out,s right now we do right at 400 per year
    lot to do and little time to get it done.
  10. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Nice to meet you Unique - good to be in touch with another Vancouver based company... What exactly is involved in doing a sprinkler blowout? If you do gutter cleanouts, what's the most effective way to clean them out? I was trying to figure out a trick method to getting them done quickly and without too big of a mess. I don't have a lot of equipment and I am trying to stay busy this winter doing what I can. Any suggestions? What is typical for Winter here in Vancouver / PDX?

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