What is ICPI

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES, Feb 16, 2008.


    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    I am about sick to my stomach. I have a friend of mine who is in the same industry as myself but works for a very large organization. he is the kind of guy that you don't run across all the time. A top notch person who believes in doing things right. Of course, his company is the total opposite. I will not mention any company names as to not start any ripples on his end, but we were sitting around looking at some of the work that he has designed. Needless to say he is a very tallented designer. He showed my a picture of a project that had a patio with that was built by their hardscape crew.

    the construction process was to remove the sod from the yard and to skim enought soil off the surface as to obtain the correct pitch for the patio. They then preceded to dump stone dust screenings on that "clay" soil to a depth of around 4" and run a plate compactor. after running the plate compactor they laid the pavers down with edge restraint and swept the joints.

    No, they did not excavate down and compact crusher run in lifts to 6inches. No they did not use a geo tex fabric between the sub base and the crusher. No they did not use a max of 1" of c-33 sand.

    they removed sod and put stone dust screenings on it and was done.

    it made me sick to my stomach to think of how they were basically building a matchstick house of pavers.

    I am out there training myself on the correct procedures, doing it the "right" way and loosing sleep over it if i doubt what i have done and these crack heads are pooring screenings on the ground and dropping pavers.

    they say that you reep what you sow, i hope i have a front row seat when their crops come to market.

    and to boot, they are the "Platinum Prefered Vendor" for this retirement community.

    Oh by the way, they don't charge a cheaper price b/c of these practices. they still charge top dollar. I didn't even have the stomach left to ask what their construction practices were for retaining walls.

    oh well, thanks for listening to my rant.
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Its all to common my friend. It happens everywhere, everyday. Is it right, heck no. But most homeowners dont know the difference, and if you try to educate them they dont listen anyways. Price rules over quality in todays market. as for them charging top dollar then that makes it even worse. If your buddy sees this, than he needs to find a better company. What does all this mean? I dont even know, but we consistantly spend hours upon hours trying to find legit work and educate clients, only to drive by a year later and see a failing job. All because the homeowner saved $549.23. Worst part is that they are usually happy with the results because they saved money, and cant see the difference in quality. Ive said it before and people get mad, but all across the landscape industry the only way to eleviate this problem is to require stricter licenses, permits, and inspections. This would mean more money given to the state, more time wasted sitting on inspectors, and less demand cause of higher prices. It would on the other hand help maintain industry standards, and provide longer lasting products, but I dont see that happening. Maybe you should hire your friend and take the next step for your company? These are just my thoughts right or wrong.
  3. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    The only thing we can do is educate our existing and potential customers on the proper practices and the dangers of spending money on an inferior project. Then we hope they make the correct decision.
  4. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    ARGHHHHHHHHH! SUB GRADE...Not base!!! :hammerhead:

    But... I'm all with you on the rest of the story. :waving:
  5. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    I would say only 30% of the contractors here are installing to the icpi specs. most use stonedust.
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    You do realize we are in Jersey...do you really want to state hand in your pocket any more than it already is?

    Don't get me wrong, I like the ideas and agree with them. But we are still going to run into the problems with the illegal companies all over the place. And yes, if you are running illegal labor then you are ILLEGAL!! If the state doesn't know they exist how can they enforce anything?:confused:
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    As ive said in the past. Ive worked for other guys in other states. Primarily CA. There they require experience and license for anything above lawn mowing. Im sure its expensive, but it actually works cause the guys that are legit dont think twice about ratting out a non licensed project. It could work here, but yes it would cost maybe 1000 a year extra, and licensed guys would need to work together to eliminate the scrubs. Heck my neighbor doesnt even have proper registration, but he installs irrigation, applies pesticide, and all at lesser prices. And nobody except maybe me is even on to this. I agree NJ is always trying to find a new way to open my wallet, most of which is complete BS, but a licensed landscaper program could work, and Im still for it, but for it to work there would need to be a system of checks and balances, and it would require cooperation with companies and the state all working together. And I dont want to here about NJ HIC REGISTRATiON, cause it isnt a license it is just a way of NJ making a few million in revenue each year, by keeping tabs on registered contractors. Does nothing for the industry.
  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    See it all the time. We sell our reputation and our warranty. It's worse when they are doing it for cheaper cause they can, and you have to explain why you are more money. :rolleyes:
  9. Paver Gangster

    Paver Gangster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    No matter how much you complain, or sit around and complain with fellow contractors, one indisputable law of human nature is that in any industry, since the dawn of civilization, and until the end of time, there will always be some jackass cutting someone elses throat on price by offering a lesser product or service.

    And when those people go out of business, there will be a fresh new set of jackasses to take their place. All you can do is educate your customers, educate your competitors, and maintain your intregrity and try to raise the bar as much as possible for your chosen profession.
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    On the pesticide issue, don't even get me started :angry:

    After you factor in all the licensing, recertification classes, risk involved in applying, additional insurance requirement, proper disposal, acceptable transport methods, and the darn storage fees it really starts to add up. I'm going to start snapping photos of those applying without licenses and turning their asses in!

    I love the fact that we make spills and need to report it, document everything out the wazoo, receive audits and inspections, but suzy homeowner can buy a pallet of the stuff from home cheapo, apply it to her yard next to the spruce run resevoir and not have any accountability whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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