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Can Your Local Landscaper Restore Your Shoreline? Look at These Photos of Landscapers’ Work and See for Yourself

Can Your Local Landscaper Restore Your Shoreline? Look at These Photos of Landscapers’ Work and See for Yourself

You know how the photographers on Discovery Channel-type nature shows need to camp out for months or years to photograph a rare event – like the 1-day mating season of a near-extinct rainforest bird?  Can you imagine the planning and patience that goes into documenting that?

We, Lakeshore Guys®, have pulled off a similar feat of photography: we’ve photographed the blink-of-an-eye lifespan of shorelines built by landscapers, contractors, and other non-specialists.  We captured some of those shorelines’ short and ugly lifespans on camera, just as Mother Nature ate them whole and spat the bones into the water.

But our photos don’t capture the pain of the property owners who paid good money for the shorelines (or boat ramps) we’re about to show you.

They call Lakeshore Guys® because their landscaper-built shorelines are washing away, soon to become government-owned property (that the homeowners still must pay taxes on).  In extreme cases erosion has brought the water’s edge within a few feet of the home’s foundation.

They call us with frustration because they paid someone – almost always a landscaper – to build a shoreline that was supposed to hang together for more than a season.

They call us because they can’t stand to look at their shorelines anymore, and want a beautiful shoreline that lasts.

You may know first-hand what a non-specialist’s shoreline work looks like and how poorly it fares against erosion. But in case not, below is a small but representative sampling of some landscaper-built shorelines we’ve seen.

We wish we could call this photo gallery “Landscapers’ Greatest Hits,” “Scariest Shorelines Ever Built,” or “The Landscaper Shoreline Freak Show” – but there’s nothing extraordinary about these photos or the shorelines in them.  These are ordinary photos of the typical work of your typical landscaper.

The Slip n’ Slide

The grade of this “shoreline” is too steep, and plastic is used where thick filter-fabric should have been used – to name just a couple of problems.


Cement Shoes

We thought this cement-covered victim was a mob hit, off to swim with the fishes. Turns out a landscaper backed a cement mixer onto his already-disastrous shoreline, and sealed the deal with raw cement. 
Pictured above is the Lakeshore Guys® team early in the job – before we burned through 3 jackhammers and hauled off 17 truckloads of cement, en route to transforming this shoreline into one of our trademark beauties.


Baby Don’t Go

“Honey, what happened on your shoreline? The baby won’t stop crying.”


Behind the Iron (Rubber) Curtain

No, that’s not a rubber dinghy washed ashore from a landscaper’s attempt to flee. Rather, it was supposed to be a floating silt curtain, meant to shield the worker’s “work” from sediment.


The good news is the property owners have to live behind the curtain only for one winter.


The Crime Scene

The landscaper who built this thing may have lived long ago. All we know about him is that he bought his materials at a shop that sold only cinder-blocks.




Which Beach House?



The builders of the first Stonehenge knew that large stones need to be supported by something, or they tumble down.


Jacques Cousteau

A shoreline your kids can enjoy – if they like snorkeling.


Norm Abram

Norm says the only problems are the lap length and you went with a butt joint instead of a dovetail or a dado. Other than that, perfect.


Fish Prison

The fish may scale the rocks, but they won’t get over the fence!


Property Line Dispute

Old Man Hatfield built a “shoreline” on McCoy property, causing the McCoys to lay claim to the hog, in turn leading to decades of retaliation and bad blood.


Rodent Control

A last resort: drown the basement mice.


Spaghetti Pots


Wooden Nickel

They used to say “Don’t take any wooden nickels,” but some landscapers accept one as a down payment.


Found a Guy on Craiglist


As Punishment


Return Window


Long Walk on a Short Pier

This landscaper should have taken one.


Mermaid Entrance

Shy merfolk have been sighted because people won’t go near it.


Mad Max

Bet the neighbors can’t ride a dune buggy up to their shorelines!


Stairway to Hell

Not livin’ easy, not livin’ free.


Plan D

When all else fails, you can see if the ice-heaved land gets so beaten that Mother Nature stops picking on it.


Indoor Boat Ramp

Amenities also include a swim-up patio and an indoor pool.


Aquarium Decor

The paint is lead-free, non-toxic, and safe for all freshwater fish.


Mr. Gorbachev…

…No need to tear down this wall.


Crash Diet

The pounds practically melt off.


The Ascetic

Erosion, property, and money are mere worldly concerns.


Water Park Flume

Swimsuit required. No standing. Persons with heart, back, or joint conditions should not ride.


Chia Pet



Au Naturel

“I love how your shoreline has this natural glow,” said nobody ever.[/caption

Half Measures

Even if you do a bad job, at least finish the job.


Kale Smoothie

[caption id="attachment_5230" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Not even strawberries and a banana can make this go down easier.


Insult to Injury

They could have gotten at least a nice boat ramp out of the deal.


Ow, My Foot

No riprap, no shoes, no good.



At least inmates at the Rock had a view.


Like a Rented Mule

Or should we say that the proverbial rented mule has been beaten like a landscaper’s shoreline?


Aqua Alta


Olympic Curling

Which rock will slide closest to the center of the lake? Hey, at least a crumbling shoreline can provide excitement.


Do the Wave

Like drunken fans with painted chests at the big game, these trees may not get back up.


Weed Stash

Your local landscaper can always hook you up.


Lawyer Up

"Sure, you can stand on those rocks. They won't go anywhere."

“Sure, you can stand on those rocks. They won’t go anywhere.”


Captain’s Log

Even Captain Kirk wouldn’t beam a log onto a shoreline.


Neighborhood Pool

Good luck finding a high-school kid (or anyone else) who will spend a summer here.




Silent Chainsaw


Rolling Rock

About the same quality as the beer. The shoreline will become Rolling Rocks once the sand beach goes into the drink.


Hippie Garden

Paying a company money to build a barrier between you and the water is so corporate, man. Just turn off your mind and let your shoreline become one with the pond.


Glass Jaw

A nice row of pearly whites, soon to meet the fist of Nature.


Do You Floss?

When clumps of grass grow between your riprap stones, it’s safe to assume Mother Nature can rip them apart.


The Ghillie Suit

Our reconnaissance suggests the presence of camouflaged riprap stones, sent on a suicide mission.


Grunge Band

If not for the manicured grass, we’d think they were going for the soggy, unkempt look on purpose.


Community Service

Clean this up and you have paid your debt to society.


Toppings on the Bottom

On a pizza, the cheese layer can go under or on top of the toppings. On a shoreline, it matters where you put the fabric layer.


Just Do It

“I want riprap and a sand beach and a fire pit and a place to attach the dock. Can you get it done before dinner?”


The Fossil Dig

Get a load of that brontosaurus femur. You might even find some trilobites once more of the shoreline washes away.

Get a load of that brontosaurus femur. You might even find some trilobites
once more of the shoreline washes away.


The Green, Green Grass of Home ♫

Hire a landscaper if you want erosion and ice damage to touch the green, green grass of home.


If You Squint

Doesn’t look too bad if you squint or fly low and fast in a crop-duster. On closer inspection you might notice the rock salad, sparing quantity used, and rash of weeds, among other problems.



Tetris, played landscaper-style: how many stones can you drop onto a shoreline before they all fall into the water?

Tetris, played landscaper-style: how many stones can you drop onto a shoreline before they all fall into the water?


Sands of Time

Is it a riprap shoreline? No. Is it a sand beach? Won’t be for long.


Woodstock ’99

Lots of big dumb rock, but no magic.


Russian Roulette

Building your riprap shoreline 6 inches from your boathouse can give you a thrill.

Building your riprap shoreline 6 inches from your boathouse can give you a thrill.


The Salmagundi

Big stones, small stones, a sprinkle of pebble, a dusting of sand, lil’ strip of edging, and some forgotten beach gear. It’s missing only a pinwheel and a lawn gnome.


Ghost Town

In its prime it might have been a shoreline, a restaurant terrace, a hotel, or a brick factory.



This hospitable shoreline provides a easy landing for watercraft and ice-heaves alike.


The Coelacanth

Like the ancient species of fish, this shoreline has been around since the dawn of time. It's been ugly as sin ever since.

Like the ancient species of fish, this shoreline has been around since the dawn of time. It’s been ugly as sin ever since.


The Titanic

Like the doomed ship, this shoreline looks nice enough, and its steep gradient might appear able to stave off ice damage. But in reality the slope is too steep, with not enough “give.”


The Eastern Front

Winter is coming. Soon the aesthetics and construction of your landscaper-built shoreline won’t matter anymore.


187 in Progress

Copy that. Suspect using skid-steer, may flee scene on foot, over.


Waste Not

Your home may have had an old waste line, but you got a new shoreline!


Zoom Background

A shoreline view so breathtaking you need to point your swing bench seat AWAY from it.


Vertically Challenged

You can’t stop erosion like that ON an embankment like that. The only thing that can work is properly secured riprap at the water’s edge (and maybe High Performance-Flexible Growth Medium).


Modern Art Masterpiece

The clean lines and Brutalist concrete are a bold, uncompromising statement on the human condition.


Building Inspection

According to code all underwater shoreline staircases must include a handrail 34″ to 38″ above the treads.


Green Jobs

The wood is 100% biodegradable, and the paint is sourced from non-GMO soy ink.


Concrete Jungle

Not even Snake Plissken could escape to safety.


No Life Guard (Read the Sign!)

It’s been a 24-hour party ever since revelers skipped Ibiza for this beach hot spot.


Missed a Spot

In his defense, it’s possible this landscaper had a drop-everything family emergency and plans to come back.


Last Lines of Defense

If the first 4 riprap stones don’t stop the water, then the next 5 riprap stones will, and if those fail then the next 6-foot section of riprap surely will prevail.


Oh No, Canada

We can’t say we weren’t a little disappointed to see that some things north of the border are no different.


Wildlife Preserve

Perhaps the riprap is meant to keep deer from grazing on the native shoreline grasses.


Toddler Toys

Small plastic parts may be a choking hazard for children under 3 years of age. The shoreline? Totally safe.


Washed-up Rocker

Between the farewell tour and reunion tour, sometimes you just need a place to kick off your boots and watch them float away.



The Agency has faced criticism for its response to the shoreline, despite chronic budgetary shortfalls.


Look Ma!

I can build a shoreline with riprap, cinderblocks, fabric, sand, AND a retaining wall!


Inkblot Test

Is it a yard? Is is a riprap shoreline? Is it a retaining wall? Yes.


Podiatrist Job Security

You can’t see it from land, but if you look closely you’ll notice all the riprap is underwater.


Savile Row

This bespoke shoreline uses landscape fabric tailored exactly to fit.


If you’d like your shoreline to look like one of those (if it doesn’t wash away first), go ahead and hire your local landscaper.

Or you can see what a Lakeshore Guys® shoreline looks like (and read why they’re toughest shorelines built) and contact us today.