Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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32 LC DBM Sosnowitz is a designer and builder who now concentrates more on design. He used to have a landscape company that counted 33 employees but the economy and other circumstances convinced him to change his business model. "The overhead was killing me," he admits. "Between the insurance and the equipment and who shows up for work and who doesn't show up, it was a big nut. I said to myself, 'everyone else has men and equipment and they need work. I have the projects, I have the design ideas, and I have the money so why do I need to run all the overhead.'" So Sosnowitz subbed out all of the trades on this job but he supervised all of the installation work. By his calculations, he hired three people for surveying, two for excavating, six for landscaping, two for electrical work, two for plumbing, three for irrigation work, three for tree planting, six for masonry, two for carpentry, four for roofing, four for painting, and two to install the security system. When all was said and done, the final results encompassed a new front landing and steps, a driveway reno- vation with cobblestone pads, a custom-built gate and pillars with custom-built lanterns, a pool renovation with new fieldstone decking, a six-foot-high fieldstone wall, a series of steps and planters in the backyard, a nightscape, sprinkler systems, new plantings, and even copper gutters and roof repairs. u m m e r s i n a r e a s a s p l e a s a n t a s F a i r f i e l d C o u n t y i n C o n n e c t i c u t a r e n o t t y p i c a l l y t h e t i m e o f y e a r t h a t l a n d s c a p e p r o f e s s i o n a l s f i n d t h e m s e l v e s w o r k i n g a t l u x u r i o u s r e s i d e n c e s w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o w o r k a r o u n d t h e r e s i d e n t s . B u t s u c h w a s t h e c a s e f o r M a r k S o s n o w i t z o f M i l l b r o o k , N . Y . A n d i t w a s n ' t o n e s u m m e r b u t t h r e e . A n d i t w a s n ' t a c o i n c i d e n c e , i t w a s m a n d a t e d b y t h e o w n e r w h o o n l y a l l o w e d w o r k t o o c c u r b e t w e e n M e m o r i a l D a y a n d L a b o r D a y w h e n s h e a n d h e r h u s b a n d w e r e s t a y i n g i n o n e o f t h e i r o t h e r h o u s e s . Above: Over three summers, Mark Sosnowitz, the owner of Mark Eliot Design, LLC in Millbrook, N.Y., designed and supervised a hardscape upgrade at this residence in Fairfield County, Conn., that included granite steps, planters made of New England blend fieldstone, two pads of quarried cobblestone, and a driveway of three-eighths- inch, maroon-colored crushed gravel. The planters are lined with copper to prevent water from damaging the stones. In the planters are Japanese maples supplied by Shemin's Nursery in Greenwich, Conn. Inset: Sosnowitz incorporated curves in the front cobblestone pad to soften the straight lines of the house. The millstone is a manufactured product that was then ground down to the size needed. Construction Summers' By Mike Dahl, LC/DBM Editor 032-033.indd 32 2/27/14 4:17 PM

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