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View Full Version : Is this priced right? $15k for retaining wall?


ChadTheNomad
07-07-2008, 10:50 AM
Greetings everyone. Obviously, I just found this site, but I was happy to see the level of activity on here as well as the expertise.

I am not a professional. I'm merely an amateur homeowner that has a lot of ideas, but not enough knowledge to do what I want. When it comes to something like a retaining wall, I know I either need to invest a lot of time to really understand what needs to be done or just leave it to the professionals.

And so I left it to the professionals. I kindly request a little feedback as to whether this is the going price for such work.

My yard slopes all around the back. Because of this, it cuts into the usable yard space. The idea was to cut back into some of the slope, put in a ~4' retaining wall and then a 20'x20' patio with a fire pit.

I know this isn't a lot of information, but I do know I don't have the ability to excavate this thing myself. We were wanting to go with a dry stack stone, but we were quoted $15k to do so. Any thoughts?

I could upload some pictures of the plans as well if that'd help.

AWJ Services
07-07-2008, 11:13 AM
I personally would not trust a dry stack wall 4 foot tall unless it was built out off larger stone which is very expensive here in Ga.
Either concrete/veneer or use SRW blocks.
Both are better "Long term" solutions.

ChadTheNomad
07-07-2008, 01:21 PM
Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. Stone was just one of the options that was considered, but I was a little surprised at the cost. I think $4k of it was just labor.

Any additional feedback as to the cost would be appreciated.

cooltype
07-07-2008, 01:36 PM
hey i tried to send you a message but it wouldnt let me?? we would be interested in doing the job if you can tell me how long the wall is going to be and get some pictures. I think we can get you a little better price. i have pictures of previous walls and patios as well. check out this thread, this is the guy i am in business with,

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=235310

AWJ Services
07-07-2008, 01:52 PM
SRW walls cost starts at 15.00 dollars a face foot and up.


So if the wall was 4 foot tall by 50 foot long that would be around 200 face feet.
Multiply that times the cost and you will get overall cost.

I am south of Atlanta if it is not too far I could swing by and give you some suggestions.

poolboy
07-07-2008, 05:06 PM
hey i tried to send you a message but it wouldnt let me?? we would be interested in doing the job if you can tell me how long the wall is going to be and get some pictures. I think we can get you a little better price. i have pictures of previous walls and patios as well. check out this thread, this is the guy i am in business with,

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=235310

I believe he needs at least 10 posts before PM works.

PlatinumLandCon
07-07-2008, 06:16 PM
SRW walls cost starts at 15.00 dollars a face foot and up.

Yeah right, try $35 and up

shovelracer
07-07-2008, 06:25 PM
It would depend how long the wall was but Ill assume its at least 50 feet long. If the quote was for dry stack it is low compared to up here. A project like that would easily run 30K or higher. The price is cheap even for SRW. I know things are less expensive down there to a degree, but we are all paying $4 for gas. I will say that usually you get what you pay for. And cutting corners or choosing a cheaper contractor will almost always cost you more in the long run. My advice is to check up on your contractor, go see his work, talk to the homeowner, and ask to see old work as well as new. Almost anyone can slap up a wall that stays level for a year or two, but if you see a wall at least 5 years old and still level and true than you are on the right track.

AWJ Services
07-07-2008, 06:26 PM
Yeah right, try $35 and up

I wish.

The 15.00 is a bare bone wall with a cheap block.

The nicer blocks can go over 35 dollars here as well depending on the complexity.
Plus there are loads of contractors who will not install it correctly and do it cheap.
10 dollars a square foot on pavers is considered expensive here as well.

cooltype
07-07-2008, 08:38 PM
exactly, people up north really show there stupidity when they dont read where the post is coming from and say you arent charging enough. glad to hear someone from the south come up with the same numbers so i know we are pricing things correctly, i for one am just starting but my partner has been doing it for years.

On average walls are about $16-20 a square foot and patios $11 is kinda how we have been pricing. We can get block as cheap as $2 a block but on average $3-5 thats significantly different from up north.

JimmyStew
07-07-2008, 09:26 PM
We can get block as cheap as $2 a block but on average $3-5 thats significantly different from up north.

Holy crap! The cheap blocks here, keystone, are made about 50 miles from me, and my cost is $6.30!

shovelracer
07-07-2008, 10:15 PM
exactly, people up north really show there stupidity when they dont read where the post is coming from and say you arent charging enough. glad to hear someone from the south come up with the same numbers so i know we are pricing things correctly, i for one am just starting but my partner has been doing it for years.

On average walls are about $16-20 a square foot and patios $11 is kinda how we have been pricing. We can get block as cheap as $2 a block but on average $3-5 thats significantly different from up north.

Are you assuming that I didnt notice this guy was from GA when I made my comment? I was simply giving him an example for comparison. Product may be cheaper, and you may need less to survive, but it wont take any less man hours down there than it will up here.

I will say that the link you posted isnt very flattering. Do yourself a favor and go out on your own. Can you really give a quality product for less than 15K, and commute 2 hours each way every day? The little bit you would stand to make would go right into the gas tank.

AWJ Services
07-08-2008, 12:48 AM
Product may be cheaper, and you may need less to survive, but it wont take any less man hours down there than it will up here.

Amen.
I agree whole heartedly with your post.
I lose 90% of my jobs because I will not work for nothing.
My low price was more of a general price from the area rather than my price.
That price may apply too a certain job but most of my stuff goes 10 dollars a linear foot for base and 15 dollars a face foot for walls.
Hardscape sucks in the south.LOL

ChadTheNomad
07-08-2008, 11:11 AM
Thanks everyone. From what I'm getting, it's either a really good price or a bad one :) I know there isn't enough information to determine full accuracy, so I was just looking for a ballpark.

I don't mind paying the price if the price is right. And by right, I mean I'm getting an artisan that knows what they're doing, cares about what they're doing and will create a product that will stand the test of time. I have spoken with two reputable local landscape companies, and the quotes were in the same area.

I'll keep doing some research for the moment. I have a lot of other work I'm going to commission on the house as well, including a courtyard on one side of the house and a tiered garden on the other.

ChadTheNomad
07-08-2008, 11:20 AM
Double post, sorry.

AWJ Services
07-08-2008, 11:24 AM
Thanks everyone. From what I'm getting, it's either a really good price or a bad one I know there isn't enough information to determine full accuracy, so I was just looking for a ballpark.

I don't mind paying the price if the price is right. And by right, I mean I'm getting an artisan that knows what they're doing, cares about what they're doing and will create a product that will stand the test of time. I have spoken with two reputable local landscape companies, and the quotes were in the same area.

I'll keep doing some research for the moment. I have a lot of other work I'm going to commission on the house as well, including a courtyard on one side of the house and a tiered garden on the other.

I love the look of a stacked wall.
Stone is expensive here in Ga .

Do you know what the dimensions are of the wall?
Just curious.

ChadTheNomad
07-08-2008, 02:19 PM
I love the look of a stacked wall.
Stone is expensive here in Ga .

Do you know what the dimensions are of the wall?
Just curious.

I don't have a plan in front of me, so I don't know for certain. The plan was for a 20'x20' patio and roughly a 4' wall. The patio was to be shaped somewhat like a bean, so that probably puts the width of the patio at somewhere from 30-50' I'd say.

There will be a fair amount of excavation since the land is sloped. The idea was to put a water feature on the slope above the wall, and let there be a waterfall that would go over the wall and into either a small pond or just a pondless setup.

cooltype
07-09-2008, 11:11 AM
Are you assuming that I didnt notice this guy was from GA when I made my comment?

not this thread particuarly, but other ones. you say anything about price and somebody from up north starts complaining without thinking about it. you said you knew prices were cheaper down here when you first posted.

oh yeah, i think dude does pretty good work what complaints do you have about that thread?

AWJ Services
07-09-2008, 11:20 AM
I don't have a plan in front of me, so I don't know for certain. The plan was for a 20'x20' patio and roughly a 4' wall. The patio was to be shaped somewhat like a bean, so that probably puts the width of the patio at somewhere from 30-50' I'd say.

It sounds like this is a complex project with the wall integrated in the complete hardscape project.
It will be hard for anyone too give an accurate price without alot more info.
I excavate for one larger landscape company that does really nice water features.They can be quite expensive and with the integration into the wall It will only make things more expensive.

Not really sure how you are planning the project but my advice is too be careful how you contract this out in relation too the scope of the whole project.There are many contractors around Atlanta and very few that can deliver a lasting product.
Also when you use different companies for different parts of the project it can lead too alot of over charges and finger pointing.

I would like too hear more about it out of curiosity.

Good luck.

cooltype
07-09-2008, 11:56 AM
yeah all the extra stuff you are talking about makes me wonder if 15k isnt too cheap, not sure what all you got included in that price, like i said i am by no means an expert but it sounds like a couple of these guys from your area know and could help you alot with the pricing, you should really probably get more estimates as well. When i originally said MAYBE a cheaper price i was thinking 4' X 50' wall maybe and a basic half moon patio or something.

BillyRgn
07-09-2008, 01:07 PM
if you are looking for something that is cheaper, you could do a rail road tie wall, up here you get at least 20-30 years out of them if there properly installed generally we charge about $45 per timber for labor, material, and excacation but a little more if there is alot of excavation required. also if you do railroad ties, make sure the contractor uses 10 inch timber lock screws, and dead men, and not rebar or spikes, the screws are alot stronger, alot cleaner of a look, and will last longer. rember, a box of timber lock screws cost about 60 or 70 bucks for 10 inch screws. and make sure you have a real good drill, because just a plain normal one will burn out by the end of a job that size, and it has to be pretty powerfull to begin with to sink 10 inch screws, in wood thats that hard.

AWJ Services
07-09-2008, 01:21 PM
Railroad ties usually go about 8 to 10 years here.
The wood just rots away.

lobez
07-09-2008, 01:32 PM
I do a lot of selling of dry wall stone and i know a lot of masons who put in 4' dry
stack walls so it is possible as long as the drainage is done correctly behind the wall and the base is 3' wide. The pallets I sell up here go for about $350 a pallet
and there 3' high 3' wide 'and 4'long. so materials alone are going to be expensive. also it is a lot more labor intensive and takes a lot more skill to do a wall like this. up here in New York it would be a reasonable estimate depending on length of the wall

ChadTheNomad
07-10-2008, 06:46 PM
yeah all the extra stuff you are talking about makes me wonder if 15k isnt too cheap, not sure what all you got included in that price, like i said i am by no means an expert but it sounds like a couple of these guys from your area know and could help you alot with the pricing, you should really probably get more estimates as well. When i originally said MAYBE a cheaper price i was thinking 4' X 50' wall maybe and a basic half moon patio or something.

That's basically what it is. The water feature was just something we're considering, and it's a necessary part of this project at this stage.

The wall should be 4'x50' or so as I said above. The half moon patio is about right as well.

littleo92
07-14-2008, 06:26 PM
I have always used rebar on my timber walls and have had no issues of them pullin out or looks never heard of rebar failing in concrete
rebar is just like a screw with the spirell to them holds just like a screw! and I have never heard of rebar roting out ? I'll put up 5/8 rebar to a screw in day

JohnnyRoyale
07-14-2008, 06:44 PM
200 Face Ft or wall and 400 Sq Ft of Pavers would go for anywhere between $13500-$18000 depending on material choice from a landscape contractor, doing it correctly with geogrid, and stamped. A paving company would do it for way less, and cut every imaginable corner. I would probably be quoting on the higher side, and watch someone else make a mess of it.