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just Cuts
03-05-2006, 09:07 AM
I had an estimate yesterday for a mulch job and while I was there the customer wanted me to give him a price for a field stone wall about one foot high around beds in front yard.measured 145' of wall. I figure about 10 pallet of stone.My question is what percentage should I add to cost of stone for labor? 1,2.5...so on.Thanks for any help on this.

cedarcroft
03-05-2006, 09:36 AM
if you are talking about a PA wallstone type of wall, thats labor intensive. If you are doing it that way (labor and materials) I would go 2.5x the price of the stone and subtract out the cost of materials and thats your labor.

cgland
03-05-2006, 09:38 AM
If he's not experienced with dry stack walls you could go 100.5 x materials and he still wouldn't make any money.

Chris

just Cuts
03-05-2006, 09:46 AM
I've done all types of walls over the years working for others.I haven't done any estimates before on this type of thing..Ive worked for others over ten years and I'm quit capable of doing the work.I don't want to charge to much or rip myself off.

just Cuts
03-05-2006, 09:49 AM
:waving: Cedarcroft thanks. That is exactly what I was thinking ,but wanted to make sure.

cgland
03-05-2006, 11:00 AM
I would go 2.5x the price of the stone and subtract out the cost of materials and thats your labor.

This is a poor way to quote a job. Too many underlying factors are involved. Even worse to give someone a number without knowing ANY of the job details such as access, soils, etc. or his business situation!

Chris

kris
03-05-2006, 08:51 PM
question cedarcroft.... do you price pavers by the sq ft? Like no matter what...10$ a sq ft (example)
Do you price walls at a set per sq face ft price?

cedarcroft
03-05-2006, 10:47 PM
I was just giving him a base to go by. I am sure there are better ways to price things and even some great mathematical formulas. But that is just an idea. I don't claim to be a super experienced pro, but that is the basic way I learned to start working up an estimate. without knowing his cost of materials that is a good way to get started. I know guys that build those type of walls for $18 a sq ft for builders and somehow manage to make money. I have yet to find a way to do it right for under $25 a sq ft. I pay about $185 a skid for PA wallstone. So depending on the conditions, height and length is how I would price it. No set pr sq ft price. But I can say it should be in the range of $25-$35 pr sq ft in most cases using that product. Using the mid range of that pricing his job would be about $4350. Using my costs for Pa Wallstone X 2.5 the price for the job would be $4625. Point is, if you are learning that is a decent base to look at for pricing. Is it foolproof? No. but I don't think he would get hurt doing it. Obviously he would have to see what his costs were and figure out if the money makes sense for his time, but now hes on his way.

just Cuts
03-06-2006, 10:51 AM
here is a wall I did a few years ago.

cgland
03-06-2006, 04:05 PM
here is a wall I did a few years ago.

WELL! What did you charge for that????? Geeez

Chris

neversatisfiedj
03-06-2006, 04:33 PM
HAHA easy on him Chris .;)

bigviclbi
03-06-2006, 05:09 PM
If you read his original post it said he has done these walls for years but it was working for another company. Justcuts if you have done alot of thses walls, you should try to figure out how many manhours it will take you then multiply it by $40.00-$60.00. Then when you finish it, make sure to learn what it cost you and then you will have a better idea what to charge a manhour. Do a search on direct costs and overhead, there is alot of great info on here. Pricing by the manhour is a lot more effective than the 2x or 3x materials rule.

cgland
03-06-2006, 10:43 PM
if you have done alot of thses walls, you should try to figure out how many manhours it will take you

Exactly! You SHOULD know your numbers and because you have done this before, you should have a strong idea how long it will take. Do the math. Only you know what you need to make and what your market will bear.

Chris

MarcusLndscp
03-08-2006, 09:09 PM
Square foot pricing doesn't work as well for dry stack walls either because the taller the wall the more stone you use in the back of the wall. For example if you have a wall 1 foot high by 200' long it will be cheaper per facial square foot than a wall that's 4' tall and 50' long even though they both have the same facial square footage. The taller the wall the wider your base is thus the more stone you use and the more labor intensive it is. That's not even bringing up the topics of equipment access or other challenges you may or may not have on site. Good luck to you

cgland
03-08-2006, 11:43 PM
Well said Marcus. You are my new hero.

Chris

CAG
03-09-2006, 03:06 AM
o what the hel* if you get the mulch job just through it in for free!! lol

MarcusLndscp
03-09-2006, 08:59 AM
Well said Marcus. You are my new hero.

Chris


And you're the wind beneath my wings Chris..... you're everything everything I wish I could be:headphones:

paponte
03-11-2006, 08:06 AM
You guys are all shot. Don't you know the laws on stonedust? Guys shouldn't be inhaling soo much ofthat stuff!

Anyway, we have come up with a "per pallet" rule of thumb that we use based on OUR cost and OUR production rates. AGAIN... there are MANY factors that can affect these rules of thumb as many have said. Botom line with any estimtes is TO... KNOW YOUR NUMBERS! :weightlifter:

Squizzy246B
03-11-2006, 09:49 AM
Along these lines: Here is a post I made awhile back;

We build Mass Retaining Walls (MRW) mostly out of 550lb limestone and sandstone blocks. When I first got started everybody was talking per block rate, the installers, the builders, the clients everybody. After I struggled along for awhile I realised the per block rate only worked on large commercial walls of nice straight runs. The per block rate (perhaps like the Sq,ft rate) is a Crock, particularly on the difficult/poor access jobs.

I now use a spreadsheet checklist I fill out in the field and come back and work it over on the computer before producing my quote. It helps me identify areas of risk and understand my rates. When I finish a job I go back to the spreadsheet and put in the actual values alongside the estimates. When i first started doing this I found my material and equipment costs were pretty good but my labour estimates where crap. This really helped grow our business.

Often to check I will back calculate the cost to a per block cost. The going rate for 550lb limestone blocks has been about $28.00 block up to $50 block. On a recent job back calculating worked out to $327.00 per block!!...Glad I didn't go into that one at $50 a block.

You have to ask yourself; are you really serious about growing your business (and thus working out the quote properly) or do you just want to be lazy and chuck in a square foot rate and hope you got it pretty right. You can do it and you can get away with it...for awhile.

Larry Davis
03-11-2006, 09:58 AM
Can't help you on pricing but, the walls in your photos look great in my opinion. Can you remember how long it took you to do these? How many helpers did you have? As a home owner, I would think 10% to 20% above your cost for material and delivery plus $40 to $50 per hour for labor, especially if it's for a good customer that you will continue doing work for.

MarcusLndscp
03-11-2006, 11:17 AM
Larry from a homeowners perspective I can see how you can say 10-20% mark up of materials is adequate but you truly can't make that call. None of us know this guys overhead which is a huge factor in your markup. I have worked for guys who markup all their materials 20% and I have worked for guys who have marked up their materials as much as 70%. The LCO with the 70% markup worked with a high level of overhead thus the higher markup but they were also much more efficient because of the overhead which kept their labor rates down (the jobs would get done much faster). The guys who have the lower markup and less overhead were not as efficient thus creating more man hours per job so really it's a toss up. All too often the general public questions our rates and really they have no idea what kind of operating costs we are involved with.

Larry Davis
03-11-2006, 11:42 AM
I'm sure you are right. Every home owner, like every LCO (which are home owners too!), is different. I personally will pay just about any price for work that involves true craftsmanship. I'm sure in your line of work most of the time the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies.

sheshovel
03-11-2006, 11:49 AM
I'm sure you are right. Every home owner, like every LCO (which are home owners too!), is different. I personally will pay just about any price for work that involves true craftsmanship. I'm sure in your line of work most of the time the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies.
another old addage it you double what the price of materials are and thats your labor price..+ then you also add your markup on materials.and thats your total labor price