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realhuntin
12-05-2007, 03:14 AM
This is a project we started in late Aug and completed in Sept of 2007.
1) 360 sq ft upper tear patio with 2 16 sq ft planters and 2 sets of steps.

2) 400 sq ft lower tear patio with 1 planter and 2 sets of steps.

3) 300 sq ft Rec & Square Drive

4) 360 sq ft Retaining wall 6' x 60' and 70 tons of top soil to level back yard


http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/IMG_0262.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/IMG_0260.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/IMG_0213.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/IMG_0278.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/IMG_0033.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/Rovno102.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s298/realhuntin/Rovno106.jpg (http://photobucket.com)

Steve
12-05-2007, 03:47 PM
WOW You did an amazing job! How long have you been doing hardscapes?

How did you come up with the design to do this project?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 07:26 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,3:47)]WOW You did an amazing job! How long have you been doing hardscapes?

How did you come up with the design to do this project?
Thank you. We started business April 2007 and I did the design myself, I just visualized it for lack of better words. Pavestone wants to showcase this in their 2008 catalog.

Steve
12-05-2007, 07:40 PM
Tim did you have any prior experience in this industry? I am just blown away!

How did you learn to do all this?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 11:28 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,7:40)]Tim did you have any prior experience in this industry? I am just blown away!

How did you learn to do all this?
No prior experience at all. I was in the FFA in school and grew up on a horse farm here in KY and learned from doing. This was my 1st patio job ever, we built a few retaining walls before we started this job. Believe it or not I was called to this project to tear out an old rotted ground level deck and replace it with a 10x10 patio, and it turned into what it is now. Funny how it works out sometimes.

Steve
12-05-2007, 11:30 PM
That's a great story!

Are you going to be marketing this service more and more now? WOuld you like to do more hardscapes?

realhuntin
12-05-2007, 11:44 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 05 2007,11:30)]That's a great story!

Are you going to be marketing this service more and more now? WOuld you like to do more hardscapes?
Yes we already have. I have won 2 large commerical bids one for 7000 sq ft of Rec & Sq pavers starting in the 1st quater of 08 and the other is a complete landscape hardscape project for a county municiple building there is over 1000 ln ft of retaining wall and about 4000 sq ft of pavers. the plant schedule for this cost over 25k. In both bids there was only about $2500 between us and 4 others. But with the right business experience and sales I was able to close the deals.

Steve
12-06-2007, 03:31 AM
As I am sure others who are looking at your work are wondering how does someone ever go about bidding for such projects, could you share some insight into how a lawn care operator should go about finding and submitting hardscape bids?

realhuntin
12-06-2007, 10:23 AM
I will start new post on Bidding Hardscape Projects (subtitled Patio's and another as Retaining walls).

pmblair
12-06-2007, 11:49 AM
Wow.... Tim, those are some amazing pics!

As a lawn maintenance guy, do you have any recommendations as to how to get into the hardscaping business? I have a pretty creative eye, and I think my partner and I could do this... do you have any tips on what not to do and what to make SURE to do?

realhuntin
12-06-2007, 03:43 PM
Quote[/b] (pmblair @ Dec. 06 2007,11:49)]Wow.... Tim, those are some amazing pics! *

As a lawn maintenance guy, do you have any recommendations as to how to get into the hardscaping business? *I have a pretty creative eye, and I think my partner and I could do this... do you have any tips on what not to do and what to make SURE to do?
Well I have some forms and bidding software I developed from a spredsheet program. This helped me in estimating and crossing the T's and dotting the I's if you get what I mean.

Every job is different so there isn't only one way of bidding.

lets go over some basic's for patio's.
1) you need the design.
2) how much or how little the area (is it level or do you have to make it level with fill dirt).
3) do they want a fire pit?
4) do they want planter box or areas
5) steps are there any
6) small accent walls
7) is accent lighting required
8) are you proving the landscape or is home owner
9) is there any water effect needed
10) Inspection & Permits (local, city/county) are they required? In some states and areas they are required if you are building retaining wall over 3' there are building codes to adhere to. Most patio's will fall under landscaping so if your not moving a lot of dirt you may not need any. Just ask AHJ they are there to help not riender your job.

After all this is in PLACE with your drawings, have a place for approval and have customer sign or initial them, and list it as ATTACHED in your CONTRACT making it apart of. Also add if it isn't already in there "ANY CHANGE ORDERS SHALL BE EXICUTED UPON WRITEN CHANGE ORDERS ONLY AND ARE SUBJECT TO EXTRA COST" and also add "EXTRA WORK SHALL BE EXCUTED ONLY UPON WRITEN ORDERS". This will keep everything in order and complete understand of the "SCOPE OF WORK TO BE COMPLETED".
Basicly COYA (cover you own a$$).

Equipment; not much is need unless your doing alot of leveling.
most of these type projects can be done by hand.
Shovels & Spade
Wheel Barrel
Hand Tamper
Sod cutter (rents for about $25-$50 a day)
Plate Compacter (small one Rents for about $25 - $50 a day)
full size 3/4 ton truck for hauling base and sand (unless you have it delivered by trucking co. like I do)
masons string
rebar stakes
string level
hand sledge #3 - #5
Chisel 4" mason
Couple cans of ground marking paint
surveyors marking flaggs. (lay it out with these and have customer approve the lay out sometimes picturing it on paper doesn't lay out the same as in place so that everything fits accordingly).
On larger jobs I rent tools I don't have on hand per week so I know I have enough money in the bid to cover the rental fees I also add some $$$ to that cost so I can make money on the tools rented most people forget this part and then teh bottom line P&L is off and they can't figure out why.

I know this seem like alot and may be a little overwhelming but it all works out to about $18 - $24 per sq. ft.

I am currently work on Estimating software for Retaining Walls and Patio Pavers.
With what I have now all I need to do is enter the total sq ft and if there is border I enter the Ln ft. chose the paver type and style and it tells me how much is required of pavers, tons of base, tons of leveling sand, tons of joint sand (I use Polymeric Sand). I pluged the numbers into it and it tells me total cost of job and total selling of job. I still have to enter man hours @ my rate. So there is still guess work on how much time it will take to do a job.
For a reference Non-experienced crew would complete about 75 sq ft in 8 hours an experienced crew should be able to do about 100+ per 8 hours.

For example myself and 2 others completed 320 sq ft of driveway rec & square pavers in 12 hours, that included tearing out the old concrete drive and hauling it off, Start to Finish I bid this for 3x8x3 (3 men, 8 hrs, 3 days) we completed in 1.5 days. The customer was VERY happy we finished early, and I'm proud to say WE DID THAT JOB. Pictures are posted of it.

Hope this help some I would be glad to answer any other question you may have and I am starting a new post HARDSCAPES HOW TO.

Good Luck
Tim