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.
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.
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.
A shoreline your kids can enjoy – if they like snorkeling.
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.
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.
A last resort: drown the basement mice.
They used to say “Don’t take any wooden nickels,” but some landscapers accept one as a down payment.
Found a Guy on Craiglist
Long Walk on a Short Pier
This landscaper should have taken one.
Shy merfolk have been sighted because people won’t go near it.
Bet the neighbors can’t ride a dune buggy up to their shorelines!
Stairway to Hell
Not livin’ easy, not livin’ free.
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.
The paint is lead-free, non-toxic, and safe for all freshwater fish.
…No need to tear down this wall.
The pounds practically melt off.
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.
“I love how your shoreline has this natural glow,” said nobody ever.[/caption
Even if you do a bad job, at least finish the job.
[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?
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.
Your local landscaper can always hook you up.
“Sure, you can stand on those rocks. They won’t go anywhere.”
Even Captain Kirk wouldn’t beam a log onto a shoreline.
Good luck finding a high-school kid (or anyone else) who will spend a summer here.
About the same quality as the beer. The shoreline will become Rolling Rocks once the sand beach goes into the drink.
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.
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.
If not for the manicured grass, we’d think they were going for the soggy, unkempt look on purpose.
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.
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?
Sands of Time
Is it a riprap shoreline? No. Is it a sand beach? Won’t be for long.
Lots of big dumb rock, but no magic.
Building your riprap shoreline 6 inches from your boathouse can give you a thrill.
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.
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.
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 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.
Your home may have had an old waste line, but you got a new shoreline!
A shoreline view so breathtaking you need to point your swing bench seat AWAY from it.
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.
According to code all underwater shoreline staircases must include a handrail 34″ to 38″ above the treads.
The wood is 100% biodegradable, and the paint is sourced from non-GMO soy ink.
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.
Perhaps the riprap is meant to keep deer from grazing on the native shoreline grasses.
Small plastic parts may be a choking hazard for children under 3 years of age. The shoreline? Totally safe.
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.
I can build a shoreline with riprap, cinderblocks, fabric, sand, AND a retaining wall!
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.
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.