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View Full Version : 6.5' X 30' retaining wall needs rebuilt-help with pricing this


andyslawncare
03-15-2009, 08:53 PM
I've been doing mostly maintenance for some time now. Have a client with an existing wall that was not properly built. It will need to be torn down and rebuilt. The dimensions are 6.5' X30'. Currently there is no drainage behind the wall. How would you guys price removing the wall that is there with a lot of the soil behind the wall and reconstructing the wall properly? I know the correct way to do this, just not familiar with how to price it. Thanks for any help!:confused::confused:

LB1234
03-15-2009, 09:06 PM
what's the question...

you are familiar with it but you don't know how to price it?


Price at least enough to cover your costs.

AllHardscaping
03-15-2009, 10:16 PM
Materials
Labor
Overhead
Profit

You can talk to your landscape supplier to figure how much you'll need for materials. They are an excellent resource that most ocntractors don't use. They want to sell you the products so they are almost always more thna happy to help you figure what you'll need. Just ask them

kootoomootoo
03-15-2009, 11:11 PM
If you knew how to do it you wouldnt be asking what to charge.

Isobel
03-16-2009, 11:28 AM
I'm not understanding how you know how to do it, but not how to price it. There's no one formula, take your materials, figure how much time its taking you, mark your markups, and there's your price.

HenryB
03-16-2009, 11:34 AM
Why can't you know how to do something and not know how to price it? Maybe he doesn't know the going rate in his area. My friend asked me to teach his son guitar. I had no Idea how to charge but I can play. You guys are a rough crowd.

NewHorizon's Land
03-16-2009, 02:15 PM
Not beating you up. Have you ever done a true retaining wall, with grid and engineering? If not maybe this is one you DONT want to tackle. True retaining walls open your self up to a lot of liability if they fail.

Isobel
03-16-2009, 02:55 PM
Why can't you know how to do something and not know how to price it? Maybe he doesn't know the going rate in his area. My friend asked me to teach his son guitar. I had no Idea how to charge but I can play. You guys are a rough crowd.

but that still comes down to a basic question: What is your time worth?

That's a question that can't be answered by anyone else, only you.

HenryB
03-16-2009, 02:59 PM
but that still comes down to a basic question: What is your time worth?

That's a question that can't be answered by anyone else, only you.

True but we always get mad at newbies for lowballing. Finding out the fair market rate isn't bad. When I first started I left a lot of money on the table.

Hardscaping
03-16-2009, 03:21 PM
You guys need to get off your high horse and help people instead of knocking them down.

in this case for this wall. it depends what type of wall is in current place now. does it have a railway tie or a concrete wall or a block wall?

for a basic wall with out haveing to take one out, clean slate a 6.5' x 30' with the cheapest block around would be around. $5250.00. That would be with a block that would cost $2.50 each. They measure 4"x12" using drainage in behind wall, and that would be a straight wall.

but it can change from area to area.

also it could go way up from that price. that is abesolute lowest i would imagine people would charge.

This job would take me and one guy about 5 days to do at most. That would be diggin everything by hand. depending on terrain as well right. sometimes you cannot dig by hand, and need to pay for equipment to be there.

if you need any other help then let me know, i will have no probelm helping without telling you, that you are dumb and cannot do that wall like some of the guys on here.

they make large cash but have nothing better to do then sit on a computer and nit pick everything about others work, and ways of doing things. If i was making as much as they say they do, i would be taking my Girl and daughters out for dinner and doing things like that with them.

kootoomootoo
03-16-2009, 05:41 PM
umm ...you were asking how much sand you needed last fall.
One winter and you are the resident lawnsite expert.....

If the guy knew how to do it he would know that if he makes $50 an hour cutting grass so he should make the same or more....or he is wasting his time.






You guys need to get off your high horse and help people instead of knocking them down.

in this case for this wall. it depends what type of wall is in current place now. does it have a railway tie or a concrete wall or a block wall?

for a basic wall with out haveing to take one out, clean slate a 6.5' x 30' with the cheapest block around would be around. $5250.00. That would be with a block that would cost $2.50 each. They measure 4"x12" using drainage in behind wall, and that would be a straight wall.

but it can change from area to area.

also it could go way up from that price. that is abesolute lowest i would imagine people would charge.

This job would take me and one guy about 5 days to do at most. That would be diggin everything by hand. depending on terrain as well right. sometimes you cannot dig by hand, and need to pay for equipment to be there.

if you need any other help then let me know, i will have no probelm helping without telling you, that you are dumb and cannot do that wall like some of the guys on here.

they make large cash but have nothing better to do then sit on a computer and nit pick everything about others work, and ways of doing things. If i was making as much as they say they do, i would be taking my Girl and daughters out for dinner and doing things like that with them.

PatriotLandscape
03-16-2009, 08:39 PM
You guys need to get off your high horse and help people instead of knocking them down.

in this case for this wall. it depends what type of wall is in current place now. does it have a railway tie or a concrete wall or a block wall?

for a basic wall with out haveing to take one out, clean slate a 6.5' x 30' with the cheapest block around would be around. $5250.00. That would be with a block that would cost $2.50 each. They measure 4"x12" using drainage in behind wall, and that would be a straight wall.

but it can change from area to area.

also it could go way up from that price. that is abesolute lowest i would imagine people would charge.

This job would take me and one guy about 5 days to do at most. That would be diggin everything by hand. depending on terrain as well right. sometimes you cannot dig by hand, and need to pay for equipment to be there.

if you need any other help then let me know, i will have no probelm helping without telling you, that you are dumb and cannot do that wall like some of the guys on here.


so your helping him by telling him to charge 25 a square?

Hardscaping, I think you need to realize that you don't know very much. Your are not helping the industry even putting this out on the internet and should probably have your posting privileges restricted.

How about this. I will not bash the original poster but guide him towards asking a proper question to get an educated answer.

PatriotLandscape
03-16-2009, 08:45 PM
I've been doing mostly maintenance for some time now. Have a client with an existing wall that was not properly built. It will need to be torn down and rebuilt. The dimensions are 6.5' X30'. Currently there is no drainage behind the wall. How would you guys price removing the wall that is there with a lot of the soil behind the wall and reconstructing the wall properly? I know the correct way to do this, just not familiar with how to price it. Thanks for any help!:confused::confused:

Hi, I have a customer that has an issue with a wall and I would like to help him with his situation. I am familiar with the procedures on proper wall construction but not in tallying the production hours. could anyone here help me? I don't own any equipment but have a rental company near by that has excavation equipment. I have low overhead and already have my vendor working on prices for materials. I also know that square foot pricing will just get me in trouble. The wall is 6.5' by 30'. Do you think I need an engineer? Thank you.

shovelracer
03-16-2009, 08:59 PM
I usually like to sit back and enjoy some of the comments on these threads, but I have never seen a township that will allow a 4' let alone a 6.5' wall built without and engineers approval. Also i cant recall ever coming across any 4" blocks that the manufacture recommends for a wall that high. That can be a huge liability if it fails.

Hardscaping
03-16-2009, 10:23 PM
the block are made by hanson hardscapes and can go at least 6 feet. i don't have exact specs here with me but i know it can go 6 feet. they even got a picture of a wall done with it being 6 feet high.

http://www.navastone.com/site/sub/product_literature.php?region=3

and download the retaining wall system booklet.

shovelracer
03-16-2009, 10:52 PM
Look you can build a wall out of telephone books if it i designed properly. It is just that there are products out there that are a little more user friendly and have a larger room for error than others. Besides smaller blocks mean more labor and more material. On larger walls it is usually more expensive to run smaller material. Give me an 8" block any day.

On a side note, I cant believe that a company would put some of those pictures in a product catalog. It reminded me of a local suppliers catalog from a few years back. Running Bonds, mitered corners, dips, etc.

LB1234
03-16-2009, 11:27 PM
You guys need to get off your high horse and help people instead of knocking them down.

in this case for this wall. it depends what type of wall is in current place now. does it have a railway tie or a concrete wall or a block wall?

for a basic wall with out haveing to take one out, clean slate a 6.5' x 30' with the cheapest block around would be around. $5250.00. That would be with a block that would cost $2.50 each. They measure 4"x12" using drainage in behind wall, and that would be a straight wall.

but it can change from area to area.

also it could go way up from that price. that is abesolute lowest i would imagine people would charge.

This job would take me and one guy about 5 days to do at most. That would be diggin everything by hand. depending on terrain as well right. sometimes you cannot dig by hand, and need to pay for equipment to be there.

if you need any other help then let me know, i will have no probelm helping without telling you, that you are dumb and cannot do that wall like some of the guys on here.

they make large cash but have nothing better to do then sit on a computer and nit pick everything about others work, and ways of doing things. If i was making as much as they say they do, i would be taking my Girl and daughters out for dinner and doing things like that with them.


Look, not trying to turn this into a pissing contest...too late...but...

At 27 a face foot (not that we are saying to charge by the ff) I wouldn't place my keys in the ignition of my truck. I realize this is a large wall so yes the total might be lower....but a block for $2.50 a face foot that is an engineered block to be used with grid. Cheapest block I'm aware of (and again I could be way, way off here) is going to be around 8 per face foot, not 3.

As an example, just ran a quote a few weeks back...60 lineal feet in length and I forget exactly but 21" in total height. And I was a little over 8k with three little steps it brought it to just over 9 and change. That's almost triple what you stated. But who's to say who is right or wrong...nobody can we have no idea what each others costs are. Like others have said, with specific questions will come some pretty good responses. The "how do I price this job?" just doesn't cut it.

PatriotLandscape
03-16-2009, 11:27 PM
i dont see where it says you can just stack them up to 6.5 feet without grid and without an engineer.

PatriotLandscape
03-16-2009, 11:30 PM
even alan block is 6 a square. where are you buying wall block for less than pavers?

LB1234
03-16-2009, 11:31 PM
i dont see where it says you can just stack them up to 6.5 feet without grid and without an engineer.


It doesn't say that you can but people do and then they want to know how to "fix" it. LOL, I love those...can you fix it. Pull it out and rebuild it yes, fix it no.

kootoomootoo
03-16-2009, 11:58 PM
As an example, just ran a quote a few weeks back...60 lineal feet in length and I forget exactly but 21" in total height. And I was a little over 8k with three little steps it brought it to just over 9 and change. That's almost triple what you stated. But who's to say who is right or wrong...nobody can we have no idea what each others costs are. Like others have said, with specific questions will come some pretty good responses. The "how do I price this job?" just doesn't cut it.

$66.67 a face foot.

assuming 60ft x2ft.

LB1234
03-17-2009, 12:15 AM
$66.67 a face foot.

assuming 60ft x2ft.

Actually, just pulled it out of the file cabinet...$9,675 for the wall and steps.

kootoomootoo
03-17-2009, 12:46 AM
Actually, just pulled it out of the file cabinet...$9,675 for the wall and steps.

Gold plated block huh.

Ok how many man hrs do you figure for this job.

GreenmanCT
03-17-2009, 01:23 AM
Pricing should be 50-67percent markup on all hard costs. simple as that. 50% is whats needed to survive in the business, and for larger companies its as high as 67%.

GreenmanCT
03-17-2009, 01:36 AM
you also shouldnt price by the square foot, you need to factor how much excavating is necessary and fill materials as well as geotextiles. is it next to the house? these are important things to consider if you want to make money.

Fordsuvparts
03-17-2009, 01:46 AM
We wouldn't look at that wall for less than 7-8k depending on the amount of material ( mud and muck) that would have to be trucked out and the amount of gravel to be trucked in. Most of the time it is easier and better to tear down the wall and replace it with new block that is designed to be over 7' tall. An engineer is a must on this job, most of the time We can get our block supplier to help us with this. Please don't forget the geogrid and drainage.

LB1234
03-17-2009, 09:38 AM
Gold plated block huh.

Ok how many man hrs do you figure for this job.


2 men, 9hr days, 5 days includes travel. Cost me 28/hr just to operate.

yardatwork
03-17-2009, 10:17 AM
We need more info. How much do you have to remove...all of it? What type of wall is it? Will you be building the wall with the same material? Most of all the walls we do are out of 6"x6"x8' treated lumber retaining walls.

Last year we did a wall that was 3'x50' with two 90 degree angles and a small flower planter built in. We had to remove the old railroad tie wall and had to cut a few little hemlocks from behind the wall. With treated lumber walls there is a lot of lumber that is beneficial that you do not see - deadmen...keep the wall from falling forward. The wall took us (me and an employee) 3 days to do. Just estimate how long you think it'll take and charge them a rate that you want to make based on a full days work (8 hours). Remember to add about 10% to your total because you will run into some unexpected issues once you start digging.

riverwalklandscaping
03-18-2009, 12:26 AM
I think it's fair to say when you start out into a new area it's possible that you know how to do something but not how much to charge. I mean a guy running equipment for an excavation company for 20 years might know perfectly well how to put in a mound system but not know what to charge a customer if he started his own company. That said, a little time figuring time, materials, and overhead and you can come up with a number.

Andys.. pics would help :-)

Hardscaping
03-18-2009, 04:45 AM
even alan block is 6 a square. where are you buying wall block for less than pavers?

Well the block i stated actually ends up costing 7.50 cad per face sq ft. so now tell me what i said wrong? I know i for sure said that it was f$2.50 per Block that was 4" high by 12" wide. that would be 3 blocks per sq ft.

Alan block here is around $8.25 a sq cheapest price.

Hardscaping
03-18-2009, 04:56 AM
Actually, just pulled it out of the file cabinet...$9,675 for the wall and steps.

What is your pocket on this job? your profit really interested to know. I know i could do a job like that too with Armour stone for about that much. but i don't see any srw being done for that much for a 60' by 21"

that wall i would be around $3600 for it. i mean 9000 dollars for that wall which would require only 1000 dollar worth of block and about $300 worth of other materials. plus about $200 for caps. how the hell can you get away with charging $9000 or more for it. i don't even understand $8000 unless you got alot and i mean alot of grading to do to the area holy sh it you are going to make alot of money.

LB1234
03-18-2009, 06:15 PM
What is your pocket on this job? your profit really interested to know. I know i could do a job like that too with Armour stone for about that much. but i don't see any srw being done for that much for a 60' by 21"

that wall i would be around $3600 for it. i mean 9000 dollars for that wall which would require only 1000 dollar worth of block and about $300 worth of other materials. plus about $200 for caps. how the hell can you get away with charging $9000 or more for it. i don't even understand $8000 unless you got alot and i mean alot of grading to do to the area holy sh it you are going to make alot of money.

approximate breakdown is as follows:

5k materials
2.5k overhead costs
2k profit

kootoomootoo
03-18-2009, 09:30 PM
approximate breakdown is as follows:

5k materials
2.5k overhead costs
2k profit

Any of us can buy any tumbled block for $12-$15 a face foot.
x 120 ...where do you get 5k materials.
its 21in high. Could build this three times with 2 guys in 5 days.
The insane price and way off install time suggest lack of understanding maybe.

Hardscaping
03-19-2009, 02:56 AM
serious i could build a 60 foot retaining wall 21" high, with me and two guys in a day, depending on terrain condition. but yeah fill us in on what material you are using because to do armourstone, material would cost around. $3000 You must be using some serious flipping blocks there custom made something or other. if i charged 9 grand on a job like you state i would make around $5000 I wouldn't even use a labourer. i would pay for a skidsteer to be on site, i would operate it and do that job in one day easily by myself. You got some serious con artists ripping you off for material. where do you live the artic circle. J\K

But seriously i would be about $8000 for that wall in armourstone. lol. but with regular block that is serious.

LB1234
03-19-2009, 12:54 PM
I'm not here to argue my price. Just to say that what one person charges has no indication of what the next person should/could charge.

Nobody has any clue what the site conditions are and what else is contained in the contract relating to the wall...final grading, number of curves vs. straight runs, sod/seed, repairing of damaged areas as a result of materials transport, liability of dump trucks backing into this area and causing damage, how long the drainage pipe has to be trenched in order to daylight it, etc. I do understand what I'm doing, hence the price. Could I do this same wall much cheaper someplace else, heck ya. If it was straight with easy access then I probablly can do it in two days, three tops.

BTW, I have a 60' long 4' wide walkway with a 10x10 little patio/sitting area that's costing over 7k to install. You may think that is ridiculous or low...whom am I to tell you if your prices are right or wrong.

kootoomootoo
03-19-2009, 01:36 PM
Well Bragosaurus if you tell people you are getting 9k for a wall you are telling them you are getting 9k for a wall.

Hardscaping
03-19-2009, 03:07 PM
I'm not here to argue my price. Just to say that what one person charges has no indication of what the next person should/could charge.

Nobody has any clue what the site conditions are and what else is contained in the contract relating to the wall...final grading, number of curves vs. straight runs, sod/seed, repairing of damaged areas as a result of materials transport, liability of dump trucks backing into this area and causing damage, how long the drainage pipe has to be trenched in order to daylight it, etc. I do understand what I'm doing, hence the price. Could I do this same wall much cheaper someplace else, heck ya. If it was straight with easy access then I probablly can do it in two days, three tops.

BTW, I have a 60' long 4' wide walkway with a 10x10 little patio/sitting area that's costing over 7k to install. You may think that is ridiculous or low...whom am I to tell you if your prices are right or wrong.

I don't think the 7k is low i think you are inline with what you should charge for medium grade quality product.

LB1234
03-19-2009, 04:14 PM
Well Bragosaurus if you tell people you are getting 9k for a wall you are telling them you are getting 9k for a wall.

thats me :laugh: