Ground Trades Xchange - a landscaping forum

Go Back   Ground Trades Xchange - a landscaping forum > Landscape Services > Starting a Landscaping Business
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:25 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
Where to go to school for hardscaping?

So here's my story, ever since I was a kid I've been interested in landscaping and it's all I've ever wanted to do as a career. I'm 19 now and have worked a year for a landscape contractor doing mostly hardscaping installs. That's where my main interest lies, in installs, not in turf management or horticulture. It's a dream of mine to eventually start a business of my own but I know that's years off. I'd like to go to school first of all but I can't seem to find a good program here in Canada. Most are geared towards horticulture with a small part thrown in covering installs. I do want to gain some knowledge in horticulture so I don't end up having to sub everything out eventually but like I said, hardscaping is what I want to do.

So my questions are mostly geared towards the guys in Canada, how did you get started? Do you know of any good schools I should look into?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2007, 05:18 PM
LandArts's Avatar
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
USDA Zone 7
Posts: 282
LandArts is on a distinguished road
There's a lot of ways to go, but I'd skip Hort if that's not your thing. Subbing out the plantscaping can be a good thing if you find the right business to parter up with. They will send you at least as much business as you give them.

A business degree would be useful but don't overlook the liberal arts-hardscape clients tend to be well-educated and you need to be able to communicate with them on their level.

I think the best way to learn hardscaping is by working in it along with getting manufacturer and trade certified in paving, walls, lighting and water features. I just got back from a great hands-on waterfall seminar and I probably learned as much from the other guys talking as I did from the instructor. The internet forums are a great source of info as well. The fact that you're on here participating at 19 says a lot and I suspect you'll do quite well.

www.land-arts.net
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2007, 07:55 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
Thanks for the info. I have learned a lot on here, mostly lurking, as there are some incredibly knowledgable people on here and I've learned a lot from my time doing installs but in this day and age you have to have a degree a lot of the time or people don't think you can do something well. I do plan on taking some business courses that will help me with contracts, etc. Once again, thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2007, 09:49 PM
dan deutekom's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 1,641
dan deutekom will become famous soon enough
You don't say where you are in Canada but I can make several suggestions. In Ontario Humber college can provide a 2 year landscape course that covers all of the basics of hardscaping and soft. Also Landscape Ontario has a Certified Landscape Technician and Certified Landscape Professional that tests for all of the things you need for landscaping. They provide courses that prepare you for these exams. You can also get an apprenticeship through Landscape Ontario that is administered through the Ontario Government

Check out this web site http://www.horttrades.com/prodev/

I am sure that if you look other provinces have similar programs.
__________________
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - Nacho's in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : Woo Hoo, what a ride!



Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2007, 08:45 AM
Gold Oak Network Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Highland, NY
USDA Zone 4
Posts: 685
AZTLANLC will become famous soon enough
Having an education for any trade is the best investment you can make in you and future company. (this is from a person that dind't finish college)
Maybe hort. is no the thing for you but at your age I would reconsider that if you are looking in getting into this field.
You can check out ICPI.org and take that course to begin with, then http://www.ncma.org/meet/edu.html
Also try to take course for business management, sales and marketing, budgeting and estimating.
Good luck
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2007, 09:12 AM
jwholden's Avatar
GTX Advisor
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Southwest ct
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 1,844
jwholden is on a distinguished road
You definitely should get as much education as you can. You can never have too much education about what we are doing.

As you develop your career remember that what we are doing is a people business. Your customers will be people and your staff will be people as well. People skills are vital to succeed in this business. I often see posts by guys on the site that do great work but find it hard to grow thier company (myself included). It often comes down to a focus on technical and lack of people skills. As you develop your career try to find a balance.
__________________
As a father I was always aware that I was raising my sons to leave home, marry, establish families, and be men who could stand on their own two feet. We must fulfill our own destiny. I really wasn't concerned about what they might 'do' but I wanted them to 'be' good men.
- David Epps
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2007, 04:07 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 19
my big dog is an unknown quantity at this point
Many block / brick manuf. put on classes also pave tech has what seems to be a pretty thorough course
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2007, 06:44 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally posted by dan deutekom
You don't say where you are in Canada but I can make several suggestions. In Ontario Humber college can provide a 2 year landscape course that covers all of the basics of hardscaping and soft. Also Landscape Ontario has a Certified Landscape Technician and Certified Landscape Professional that tests for all of the things you need for landscaping. They provide courses that prepare you for these exams. You can also get an apprenticeship through Landscape Ontario that is administered through the Ontario Government

Check out this web site http://www.horttrades.com/prodev/

I am sure that if you look other provinces have similar programs.
Thanks a ton for the info, Dan. That's a lot of good stuff in there and it's perfect since I'm in Ontario. I'll definetely look into those as I want the best education possible before I start working.

Thanks again for all the help guys.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:04 AM
Whip
 
Join Date: May 2006
USDA Zone 4
Posts: 384
Raj Venugopal is on a distinguished road
Whereabouts in Ontario?

If you're that into hardscaping, you might think bigger and get your Certified Engineering Technician (CET) designation or do an engineering degree or relevant vocational training designation.

Also, work for the best hardscaping company you can find in North America if you can afford to.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2007, 07:08 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
I'm just outside Ottawa. Thanks for the idea, but I don't think I'll go as far as becoming an engineer haha I'm really considering Humber college right now, the program sounds very good.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2007, 08:54 PM
dan deutekom's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 1,641
dan deutekom will become famous soon enough
Another place to check is Algonquin College. I don't know if they still run a course that would work for you but about 20 years ago they had a 2 year course for landscaping and horticulture if my memory serves me correctly. I used to live in Ottawa. I loved it and I still go on occasion for Winterlude.
__________________
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - Nacho's in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : Woo Hoo, what a ride!



Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-16-2007, 09:23 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
Ya, Alqonquin does still offer a course but they're honestly a pretty big joke around here. Their courses aren't very advanced and just about anyone can get in. I'd kinda like to avoid going there, plus I'm originally from Toronto so heading there to Humber isn't so bad.

Algonquin offers a horticultural technician course with 40 hours of landscape construction. I'd like to focus more on that aspect and less on horticulture. Humber seems to have a wider coverage of the hardscaping industry. What do you guys think?

Humber Landscape Technician:

Landscape Technician - 2008.2009 Humber Full-Time Postsecondary Calendar

Algonquin Horticultural Technician:

Algonquin College - Horticulture Technician
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2007, 05:17 PM
mdvaden's Avatar
Sapling
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
USDA
Posts: 210
mdvaden is on a distinguished road
If horticulture is not your interest - and horticulture is virtually 100% the foundation of landscaping - I'd suggest just becoming a hardscape contractor.

Not sure how it works over there, but in here in Oregon, you wouldn't stand a chance of passing the state license exams to be a landscape contractor to install or contract and sub the rest.

Even people with a passion for landscaping here have a track record of only 1 person in 10 passing all the exams the first attempt.

You would be able to get the construction license.

It seems best for you, that you either become a licensed landscape service and sub out everything that involves horticulture, or just become a sub for horticultural landscapers who don't like doing their own hardscape.
__________________
M. D. Vaden > > Portland Tree & Landscape + 204 Pages

And > > Coast Redwoods
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2007, 06:21 PM
dan deutekom's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 1,641
dan deutekom will become famous soon enough
I can't speak for Algonquin but I have worked with 6 or 7 Humber students and graduates and I have to say that they were pretty well equipped to enter the landscape trade. Combine the education with good solid work experience and get the CLP certificate from Ontario Landscape and I think you will be well on your way to being able to run a successful landscape business.
__________________
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - Nacho's in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : Woo Hoo, what a ride!



Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 02-21-2008, 09:34 PM
Acorn
 
Join Date: May 2004
USDA
Posts: 29
shane472 is an unknown quantity at this point
Got accepted to Humber last week so I'll be going this fall
Reply With Quote
Reply





Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Free Landscaping Magazines

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
Copyright 2003-2013 Ground Trades Xchange, LLC