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Wanting to expand to landscaping

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rstojkov, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. rstojkov

    rstojkov LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Hello all. After a successful year of only lawn care I am wanting to expand my business and dive into landscaping hard-core. I have enough saved up for a used mini skid steer which everyone says will make it much easier to get into with one. My question is how did you learn to do landscape design, hardscaping techniques, etc. Lawn care is easy being that pretty much anyone can cut grass. The only learning part there is how to use a ztr. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

    Rob
     
    Bcoogan23 likes this.
  2. GRANTSKI

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    YouTube. Also good tip I've heard is to start by doing jobs first on friends / family / or your own property so you can learn hands on.
     
    Bcoogan23 likes this.
  3. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,178

    Start small, with the simplest version of something. For example: your first paver patio should probably not have any curves that require a bunch of cutting.

    Check local suppliers to see if they run any training classes. And, if possible, find someone local that you can call on for advice if you run into a sticky situation.
     
    Bcoogan23 and hort101 like this.
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 10,760

    Don’t buy anything you can rent in the beginning
    Jobs will come slowly and they won’t be steady in the beginning
     
    knox gsl, Bcoogan23 and Mdirrigation like this.
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,755

    A skid steer doesnt make you a landscaper , neither does a shovel . You want to dive in head first , the problem is if you arent carefull you will dive in the shallow end . laying pavers isnt something you learn over night . Grading with a skidsteer takes practice . Start slow and develope your skills
     
    Bcoogan23 and RDALawns like this.
  6. rstojkov

    rstojkov LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    How exactly do you start slow and develop? Practicing on your own house? Doing so with no equipment? I feel I have the desire to do so just do not have the knowledge yet. Lawn care is good and all but the money is limited on the number of yards you can cut. Landscaping is where the real money is out hands down. 30 a yard opposed to a couple grand a job.
     
    Bcoogan23 likes this.
  7. RDALawns

    RDALawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Texas
    Messages: 1,367

    All jobs won't be a couple grand each. Some may be. Like others have said you have to learn on your time not your coustmers. If you don't know. Go work for someone willing to teach you. Your plan is leading you to failure!!!!! :wall:
     
  8. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,146

    There is quite a lot you will need to know especially for your clients sake. What do you say when they ask what type of plant will be good here or what type of grass can we grow, how should the lawn be graded for drainage, what type and how often do I fertilize this, when and how much should we be pruning this, etc. I have a few years experience but my wife also has over a decade of experience and a lot of the time questions get passed to her because there is so much I don't know. Clients will expect you to have a lot of these answers.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  9. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,755

    A $2000 job sounds great , until you subtract materials , time , machine rentals and a return to the site because you rushed to finish that day . Or you get there with the machine and make one pass across the lawn and when you turn around there are ruts and you drove over an irrigation valve box and broke it . Bigger $$$ jobs dont always equate to higher profits .

    Just put this in the back of your mind , in the beginning if you got the job you were probably the lowest price .
     
    knox gsl, Bcoogan23 and Ben Bowen like this.
  10. THIESSENS TLC

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 892

    that's good that you want to make more money and get into landscaping. I would say buy some books, ask questions, take notes if you have a bad memory, and learn as much as you possibly can over the winter months so your ready for the spring time. don't buy a skidsteer, rent all equipment for now and charge it to the customer. start small and work on family and friends places as stated above. that way if you screw up, you wont have an angry client. I went into business fulltime august 2016 and took on 2 full days of grass cutting and left the rest of the week open for landscaping jobs. i don't work weekends anymore either. ive been cutting grass since 2008 but it gets boring and old quick! anything is possible and it all depends on how bad you want it. learn as much as you possibly can and don't take on anything you cant handle by yourself. you will screw up, we all have. but make sure you learn from it.
     
    RDALawns likes this.

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