Woody’s Custom Landscaping gets ready for a busy winter

Sebastian Rubino / [email protected] 

Woody’s Custom Landscaping in Battle Ground is preparing for a steady stream of business this holiday season. The landscape construction company, which has been in business for over 30 years, specializes in pavers, retaining walls, landscape construction, waterfalls, ponds and more. 

The company uses individual paving stones for driveways, when requested, which include a “10-inch gravel base and one-inch bedding layer of sand, with two and a half inches of a paving stone that stands up to vehicular traffic.”

Owner Darren Knippelberg said they are booked through the winter season and are currently reserving jobs for spring of 2022. Knippelberg said his crew typically takes off for two weeks during the holidays and gets back together in January.

He has worked for the company for 17 years and became the owner after James Woodhead retired earlier this year and offered him the position, which he has so far enjoyed. 

“It’s pretty good,” said Knippelberg. “James came to me six or seven years ago and asked me if I wanted the opportunity to own the company after he retired, so he taught me how to do parts of his job like estimates and billing a little bit at a time. So once I did finally take over, there was no added stress or anything like that.”

Knippelberg said the greatest obstacles his company faces are jobs located on a hillside where they can’t get their equipment in. The geographic challenge requires his crew to get a few materials in at a time and work their way up, working on the project one day at a time. 

Woody’s Custom Landscaping jobs range from $500 up to $300,000, “so there’s no job that’s too big or too small,” Knippelberg said. He added the work requires the company to take pride, craftsmanship and quality over speed. They’re also a small local company with under 10 employees.

The jobs that average up to $300,000 entail large water features, driveways, planting, new lawns, irrigation systems, custom woodworking, outdoor lighting and firepits. Jobs of that size typically require a design beforehand. Knippelberg said he’ll meet with a client, go over what they are looking for and then comes up with a bid for the project. 

“When we start construction as a team, we’ll paint out the design on the ground and start tackling each section in order, deciding whether we start at the pond or maybe we need to start at the driveway to gain access to other areas,” he said. “After we do our excavation, then we typically run our irrigation piping, and then we start building our process from there, whether it’s our patio or our soil maintenance or planting and we work our way up.”

One job Knippelberg is proud of is a recent project the company completed in the Heisson Bridge area where they crafted a custom koi pond and a metal gazebo with a gravel passageway.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted the business much. Knippelberg said the company will communicate with customers online who may be sick and wear masks on the job when it’s necessary. 

Over the years, Woody’s has built up a base of satisfied customers. 

One customer, named Julie B., left the company a positive review.

“We recently contracted with Woody’s Custom Landscaping to re-do a retaining wall that had fallen down,” Julie stated. “They did a marvelous job on reconstructing this wall and even put in a set of stairs to the upper yard.  Woody’s crew was great and I would definitely hire him again.”