How becoming an NCMA Certified Contractor can make you more money by setting you apart

“Anybody can be a contractor.
A dog in a pickup truck.”


Frank Gandora said that. He’s a funny guy. Only he wasn’t entirely joking.

He was making a shrewd point.

Frank has been running his own hardscaping business successfully in Colorado for more than 30 years now. It’s called Creative Hardscape, based out of Englewood.

Frank is an NCMA Certified Segmental Retaining Wall Installer. He’s also a Certified ICPI Paver Installer (and ICPI PICP Certified and RMMI Certified and the list goes on and on).

But why? Why is he NCMA Certified? And what did he mean by the canine behind the wheel?

Let another industry veteran with years under his belt as a contractor, John LaRandeau — now a sales executive for Watkins Concrete Block in Omaha, Nebraska — explain.

[Hint: it all comes down to a contractor’s bottom line]

“When I was a contractor I cared a lot about training and educating my workforce. But a lot of these guys are interested due to one reason: is this going to help me sell work? And it will,” said John.

“Being certified sets them apart from their competition. They can tell their potential customers that ‘my foreman is certified’ or better yet ‘all of my workers are certified.’”

He illustrates that a lot of the suppliers and manufacturers point homeowners directly to certified contractors. In fact, Watkins won’t even refer a contractor if they’re not NCMA Certified.

The overlying reason he says, satisfies both of these aforementioned factors: it’s competitively advantageous to the contractor while providing the concrete product manufacturer (one that makes SRWs, in this case) peace of mind when it comes to having that business relationship where their units are ultimately used in building for the world to see.

Ask any producer and they’ll tell you — they want them to look as good as they possibly can. And not everyone can do it. It takes education.

And certification.

“People are looking for contractors and it’s ever more important that they hire a company that has skilled people because there’s so much work.”

“You can be a laborer for a month at a landscaping company and then start your own business and probably find work with very, very little experience.”


In other words, contractors need a stamp — a validation by an accredited organization that tells the world that they know what they’re doing. That they’re not the dog in the pickup truck.


To get started with becoming NCMA Certified, click here.

The rewards, as Chris Ebbesen, Commercial Sales Manager at Oldcastle APG and seasoned SRW trainer says, are nothing but positive.

And lucrative.

“We can make more money, be a better businessperson, sleep better at night,” he said. “And keep people safe.”

“All of these things are associated with being NCMA Certified.”

Published October 15, 2019
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