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Potential business

17 years ago

I am fairly new to this but am just facinated and have done a lot of research....thanks to all of you. I have a little experience in hardscaping and I have just completed my first far it looks good. I would love to do this as a business. Can anybody give me any info about what I could sell these boulders for or do custom water features for? I understand it will depend on my skill but that won't be a problem with the passion I have for it so far.



Comments (8)

  • amaretto
    17 years ago


    I've done a tad of research myself. I am currently making my own waterfall and what prompted me was the huge expense of buying the boulders (and of course the fact that when I want something I am obsessed until I get it LOL).

    Here is what I've found:

    - The price of boulders, natural or fabricated, will vary depending on your area. This is because some areas, particularly mountain areas, have an abundance of natural boulders and this drives down demand.
    - Locally, the price of a 3x2x1 boulder is about $300. The ones I saw were painted over fiberglass and looked just like that.

    Here are some links that can give you an idea:
    List 1

    List 2

    If I were the one going into business, I'd give it more of a landscaping approach with waterfalls as an option rather than just waterfalls.

    Also, make one for yourself first. It'll give you the experience you need, and will spark a lot of interest. I have had people approach me and ask me to let them know when I was finished to see if we discuss business later.

    Hope this helps :-)

  • tufftufa
    17 years ago

    If you are serious about making a business, make sure it's worth it. In my picture framing business we used "full-cost" pricing that works like this:

    waste or scrap (there is more than you expect -- in picture framing we could not get it below 20-30%!)
    time (yours, others)
    space (if you 'loose' your garage to your business, you need to get paid for the use of the space or you are giving that use away, not selling it)
    transportation (materials, products)
    sales (booth rental, advertising, promotion)
    It isn't profit unless all costs are covered and this is beyond those costs. If you're breaking even (more or less), it's a hobby that pays for itself -- it's not a business. (Nothing wrong with that, but don't decieve yourself -- it's all I aspire to with hypertufa.)

    Know that there is someone out there who will sell something for less than you just to make the sale, let them. They won't be out there long. Sell the best product you can at the best price you can and still make a profit or don't make the sale.

    Think of this: If I sell something for less than it cost me (materials, time, sales, etc.) I am actually paying someone to buy it!

    Good luck and keep us posted.


  • amaretto
    17 years ago

    Awesome advice, David

    I'd also like to add this, and again, it's from personal experience.

    Here are my calculations as far as costs are concerned:

    For 3 3x2x1 boulders, my personal costs were as follows:

    $90 - 2 94 lbs bag of White Portland Cement, 6 bags of sand and 1 large bag of peat
    $30 - Sufficient concrete dye (including cost of delivery)
    $100 - A 720 Gallon Per Hour pump

    Time spent to build boulders, approximately 16 hours. This includes time required to make the inner molds, made out of cardboard boxes(free), garbage bags (neglible cost), and chicken wire (negligable cost).

    Now you only have boulders, and you still need the pond (I haven't gotten to that part yet, so I don't know how long it will take, but I estimate another 16 hours of work)

    Personally, I would consider that a cost of $1400 (that's how much I consider my time is worth). Now, that does not include marketting, negotiations, etc. If it takes you 10 days of searching to find a client for a similar waterfall, you have to factor that in your costs.

    If you plan on having a backyard based business, where this isn't your primary line of business, then you can build your own waterfall at home, and from experience I can tell you there WILL be curiosity. If you manage to get a few customers, and they in turn spark curiosity and forward your information, you are now well on your way. This is a phased in approach I would recommend.

    Going back to the diversification aspect, I would suspect that cheaper items, such as planters and other artwork will be easier to sell, as most pockets can accomodate such expenses. I have seen planters go for anywhere between 50 and $100 for 5 gallon planters. There are also sculptures and lanterns (all part of landscaping).

    So, in a nutshell, enjoy the hobby, and if it will ever translate into a business, let it do so naturally. Expose your art to family and friends, and see what happens :-)

  • obes99
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. You hit the nail on the head. I work 12h shifts and have a lot of time off. I also have an ideal workshop in my backyard for starters. I plan to start with my own yard and friends and family and see where it takes me. I'm also thinking of placing a few boulders at local nurseries and see how that goes. I would eventually like to build extravagant poolscapes and waterfalls....but that'll be in the future.
    Thanks again and welcome anymore input.
    ps-I started with info from steve's ebook that he published here for free. Does anyone have a link to see his work?

  • obes99
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    anyone else have advice?

  • Brad Edwards
    12 years ago

    Other things to consider building, Stepping stones, hanging pots, bird baths, garden art, pillars, etc. Thats the beauty of hypertufa, I was thinking of building post caps that have circles on the end for hanging lanterns just now vs having exposed steel etc.

  • Bobby Werhowski
    3 years ago

    Can someone tell me where I can draw up documents for my business?

  • PRO
    2 years ago

    Thanks for an interesting thread