View Full Version : Knowing when your in over your head?

12-01-2005, 11:10 PM
I was asked by a new customer to submit a proposal from a design idea I had for her front hill. The hill is very steep, rises 12' over 30' in one spot then softens from about 18' over 70' in another place. You may be able to tell from the pictures what I am talking about. She would like a large boulder (2'-3') wall like my plan below, I have never heard of an engineered dry laid boulder wall, but I am thinking I should contact an engineer prior to estimating. I am not sure if I am being too cautious or not. Have any of you ever laid a 2 tier boulder wall? I am just looking for some input. The bottom wall (neither wall is shown to scale) will be 90' long by 4' high, and the second which will be about 8 ' away from the first if 70' long by 4' high.

Gilla Gorilla
12-01-2005, 11:24 PM
I dont have any experiance or advise for you but I will say that I would never buy a house that has a front and side yard with a hill like that one. No way.

12-01-2005, 11:28 PM
It is about a 7000 Sq.Ft. $1.5 million dollar house with about $200,000 in hardscaping done to it, it is on 4 acres with an inground pool and about everything else you could ever ask for in a home except the front hill!

If I had the money....................I would probably still pick a flat lot.


Gilla Gorilla
12-01-2005, 11:33 PM
Maybe they like the not so flat lot. But one would think that if they can afford to spend 1.5 million then they could afford a flatter lot if they wanted one.

To each his own.

12-01-2005, 11:35 PM
Dan, call an engineer and ask the question. If you need the number of a good engineer, ask.

12-01-2005, 11:37 PM
You should be able to get by without an engineer to inspect it. We've installed tiers of boulder walls similiar to what you are doing. The design looks good. As you, I've never heard of a engineered dry laid boulder wall either, and not sure there would be an engineer who could help as it would be hard to lay a grid down and most boulders by nature get locked into place by their own weight.

12-01-2005, 11:41 PM
When I was speaking about an engineered wall, I was just referring to having an engineer help out with it. I was not thinking of laying grid, I too don't think it would be possible, sorry if the term "engineered wall" was used improperly.


B&G Lawn Service
12-02-2005, 02:08 PM
Where is this house located? I believe I have see this before. The development would not happen to be Turners Pond?

12-02-2005, 03:50 PM
I don't remember the name of the development, it is in Greenville DE off of Owls Nest Road.


12-02-2005, 04:34 PM
Dan - I don't think an engineer can help you very much in this case. There are too many variables that are not "set in stone"(no pun intended) and are uncontrollable from an engineering standpoint. Just overbuild it. Make sure you have your drainage set and a decent batter on the boulders and you should be fine. Also, pay attention to your base. Here is one we did. It's not tiered, but.........


12-02-2005, 04:43 PM
Hey Chris,

My next question then goes into pricing. The boulders cost me around 40/ton, and I figure I need around 120 tons to complete the walls and a decorative 2 footer at the top. Forget about the 2A and backfill I can figure out all of that. My time to pick and place 120 tons of boulders to build this wall is kind of stumping me. I have never used boulders this large for a wall, but figure I will have an excavator with clamps and 1 other person with me. How much time are we talking?


12-02-2005, 07:11 PM
Hey Chris
Have you not heard the new law on here???? We're not aloud to post pics unless we started the thread. Come on now get with the program!!! :D :D :D
Hope all is well with you

Oh and I have heard of an engineered boulder wall. It was quite funny the excavation company built it to their specs and within a week the whole thing fell down in a heavy rain into the main road! After that the excavation company was aloud to build it the way they wanted to and it has stood ever since. Good luck with your project Drafto...if you're good with an ex you should have no problem.

12-02-2005, 09:19 PM
Sorry Marcus, I've been away for a bit. I haven't heard from the new regime yet!:rolleyes: Things are going well. We break ground on our new headquarters next week....:help: So I have been a bit preoccupied.

Dan - As far as time needed to pick out boulders, if you have any experience with boulders, you pretty much can make any of them work you just have to lay them out. Is it possible to charge them T&M for the boulder picking? If not just go with a number that you would charge for a full day of your time for boulder selection & placement, like $750-$1000.


12-02-2005, 09:35 PM
Chris - I was speaking more of time to do the job after there is 120 tons of boulders on-site. Oh, and no, I pretty much on a scale of 1-10 would be considered a 4 as far as boulder experience. (LOL) If it were pavers you could tell me a 2 man crew could lay 1000 sq ft, I was looking for something more along those lines. Do you know how long it took you to place the boulders in your pictures? Which, according to the new laws you shouldn't have done (LOL).



12-03-2005, 02:58 AM
Because time is the killer on these jobs (I'm not sure what size boulders you will be using) but I'd be quoting on 5 days and hoping your team can do it in 3 1/2 days. These jobs have a habit of dragging on when you are finishing off. This is assuming all your prep work is done first.

12-03-2005, 02:49 PM
Dan- I would say about a week for a 3 man crew. The thing that takes the most time is the leveling and gap filling. That wall took me and another guy 1 day. the boulders were pretty flat, so it went fast. I don't understand what law it is that you are talking about.


12-03-2005, 05:54 PM
Come on Chris you were warned once and you already forgot!? The new law he speaks of is the one that says you're not allowed to post pics of your work unless you started the thread. I won't rat on you yet but if you get yelled at by the highest being on LS don't say I didn't warn you!!!! Best of luck to you, you're treading on thin ice buddy. :D :D :D

12-04-2005, 12:30 AM
Man - I must be out of the loop. Is that for real? Seriously! or are you guys messin with me? If that is a "law" then this board is beginning it's decent. How can you help people without showing them examples from time to time?


P.S. Your messin with me........right?!?

12-04-2005, 12:34 AM
I would really love to leave you hanging on this one and I am sure Mbella will be mad for me letting you off the hook. I am just messing with you, no laws that I know of but maybe Marcus knows something we don't. (LOL)

How come you are not out plowing snow?


12-04-2005, 04:59 AM
Quote Marcus..
[Have you not heard the new law on here???? We're not aloud to post pics unless we started the thread. Come on now get with the program!!!]

Now Now Marcus..I appologized for that..remember?
I want you to read my signature OK?:help:
I'm not gonna kiss your petunia either so don't get any ideas like I'm soft on ya just cuz I said I made a mistake.:angel:
At least I am wo-man enough to admit when I screw up and you should respect that if anything.:D

12-04-2005, 11:06 AM
Boy Chris, I never knew you to be so gullable (spelling?). Yeah yeah I know SheShovel you appologized and that was really wo-manly of you to do so. I was just trying to get Chris and it was much easier to do than I thought it would be. He must be getting soft with age. LOL anyhow yes I was messin with you Chris. :p
So what's the new headquarters looking like?

12-04-2005, 11:50 AM
Well, well, well! I never thought my close friends on Lawnsite would turn on me like this.:cry: and worst of all, Mike wasn't even in on it. I guess I'll have to take my ball and go home.......Bully! :p The ONLY reason you got me is because I truly believe that people would complain about that!

As far as my shop goes, we break ground this week. I will post pics as it progresses.