Landscape & Design

By Sophie Rhéaume • April 12, 2019

Thrive, Not Survive - Planning & Practices to Beat the Labor Shortage


Whether you believe the landscaping industry is suffering from a labor shortage or not, you need to control your labor costs. Planning your project appropriately and applying great practices to save labor will lead to better profits so you can thrive, and not survive.



Systemization means taking each phase of a construction project and tracking it with a timer. No matter the type of watch you choose, you need to know your production rates.

It will help you bid a job as efficiently and as productively as possible.




This word signifies planning in detail. A checklist can help you achieve proper planification.

Checklists can be useful to even the most complicated jobs to make sure everything is covered and done properly.

Write all the steps of a landscaping project on paper. Print a couple of copies and give them to your construction workers. Send them on the jobsite with everything they need to accomplish clearly written on a paper.

You can’t improvise and hope for the best anymore. Start writing checklists and plan better to overcome the construction labor shortage.





Being proactive means anticipating situations that might occur.

Let’s face it. There is a chance you’ll damage the irrigation system during the excavation. Why not bring an irrigation repair kit with you to fix the issue right when it happens?

We know in advance many problematic situations that can appear during a project. Be prepared and equipped for them. Make sure you are ready when they occur.

That’s being proactive.

Systemization, planification and proactivity are actionable change items that are relevant to labor. Getting the equipment or the tools, the materials and the right subcontractors will change your job. Apply them on your next project and the labor crisis won’t even matter to you.


Get a better tool box and carry it with you


Don’t go back to your trailer a hundred times to get what you need. Carry them with you in an efficient and well-organized tool box like this one.



It saves you time searching for the tools you need and prevents losing them on the jobsite. It’s quick to lose them when they keep switching from one pair of hands to the other.

Where’s my tape measure? Tony, did you take my chalkline? Last I checked, you were carrying it around the jobsite.

Sounds familiar?


We don’t want you looking like this every day.

A mechanic or an electrician keeps his tools right next to him all the time. Why not us?

We’re not mechanics, and we are not electricians. We are hardscapers, and that tool box is the closest thing we’ve got to an actionable change item.


We shared the complete list of construction tools every hardscaper should have not too long ago. You can store a lot of them in that tool box.

Put it on a cart and equip one of them per team so they can face anything.

It will make you money in 2019.


Acquiring machines to overcome the labor shortage


It can be difficult to get young people to work for you.

Put them in a micro-excavator. It’s a fun way to motivate them, and they won’t be tired at the end of the day.

Talk to JCB and buy a Dumpster, which is a battery-powered mechanical wheelbarrow. No need for diesel fuel.

Your crew can’t keep walking behind a wheelbarrow eight hours a day. Surprised you can’t find skilled construction workers?

Get mechanical equipment. It saves you labor.

Buy tools from Pave Tool Innovators. Use synthetic base like the Gator Base from Alliance.

Most of all, use Techo-Bloc products to your advantage. Choosing to build a Mini-Creta Architectural wall only with 3-inch blocks rather than 6-inch blocks saves you time and diminishes the amount of cuts to perform.


Hiring subcontractors


Hire people to dig for you or to install the pool copings.

Even if you’re the best at it, it will take you time to do it.

This time can be spent on other aspects of the project.






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