View Full Version : Boudler/rock pricing

07-15-2000, 10:42 PM
Hello,<p>Am starting a job in a week and am installing a few boulders in and around a walk/patio and planting beds.<p>Now, the client and I had picked out boudlers from a local stone yard, but they only have a third of what I need. The boulders are coming from maryland, and they will not have any more for maybe a month or two, so I have to come up with more.<p>So, I was at my friends farm today and he has tons and tons of rock there (old farming pasture, all the old walls from when they cleared the fields are still there) and I saw boulders that would be a perfect fit for what I need.<p>Now, my question is how should I charge this out. The stone yard is charging some ridiculous 24 cents a pound for the boulders they picked out, and now I can get them for free.<p>I am thinking about renting a bobcat with forks for a day and loading the rock from my friends farm and trucking them over to the job. <p>Was wondering, besides the trucking and cost of installation, what would be a good charge for the rock. Should I charge them what the stone yard is charging them for the others? I think I can get away with that, but don't know if that would be the right thing to do.<p>I know what landscape/supply yards would charge for 'landscape boulders' and it seems like a lot to charge for something I am getting for free. <p>I have numbers already for their installation, their trucking, and their 'acquisition', just wondering what would be a good price for the actual material.<p>Just seeing how some of you guys approach this situation.<p>steveair<p><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair

07-15-2000, 10:49 PM
Steveair, our wholesale supplyer charges us $90 per ton deliveried, semi loads only. so you could chage them that plus markup for yourself. How many tons do you need? make sure you cover your expenses, rental and trucking time.<p>----------<br>paul<br>

07-15-2000, 11:00 PM
Hello paul,<p>I am only looking at about 5-6 tons worth (about 4 3x3x3',and then some smaller ones)<br>I have figured my costs out as this.<p>equipment rental to load (bobcat, 1 day rental 250, plus time and labor - around 400)<p>trucking - 2 trips at 125 each (job is about 30 miles from farm)<p>installation - have a subcontractor doing all site work already (concret walk removal, walkway/patio excavation,etc) If I get the boulders there before the excavator comes in, he will 'set' them where I need them as part of the total package, so it will only cost around 50 to move them around and set them at the site. <p>So, at most, the boulder will only 'cost' me around 600 to load, deliver, and set at the site. <p>Was thinking of charging around 1000 to 1200 as a final price. <p>am I ok with this<p>steveair

07-15-2000, 11:04 PM
Don't forget the travel time of moving the bobcat back and forth, most rental yards charge $50 per move or $100.<p>----------<br>paul<p><p><font size="1">Edited by: paul

07-16-2000, 02:46 AM
Steve,<br>I understand your feelings & would feel the same about charging a lot for free stuff. However, I would go higher. 1. The customer doesn't have to know that you got the stone for free. 2. The customer has a price in their mind that they saw at the supplier. 3. The customer may have more work down the road, maybe using the same stone, that your farmer buddy gave the rest of to another friend, that you now have to charge a lot more for and maybe upset said customer. 4. That customer may refer you to a neighborfriend for similar stone work saying &quot; it was only $1,200.00&quot; and maybe your farmer friend gave it away etc. &quot;how come you're charging me $2,400 plus installation when you only charged Mr. Smith $1,200.00?&quot; I've been in the same situation a few times and I kept the price at what it should be for those reasons. Chalk it up to a lucky & deserved break and pocket the money.

07-16-2000, 10:30 AM
Steve,<p>Those boulders come out to a cubic yard of solid rock. You will be hard pressed to load them with a Bobcat. My guess would be way over 2 ton each. Better plan on having an excavator at the farm to load them. And if they are very far apart keep in mind that an ex travels slowly from place to place. A TLB (tractor/loader/backhoe)might do it with the loader bucket but that would be chancy, I'm not sure that they are up to 2 ton loads in the bucket. And I'd charge the same rate as the stoneyard does. You're not ripping anyone off because they would be paying the high price otherwise and it's a windfall for you.

07-16-2000, 11:29 AM
hello, <p>thanks for the tip on how I may need to load them. I may have my excavator friend come up now and have him load them.<p>He has a huge tracked bobcat (900 series) with forks and a 4 and 1 bucket that should be able to load any of the rocks that I need. Also, he has a tandem so I could get all the rocks in one load pretty easily and not have to make a few trips in my mason dump.<p>As for weight, was told that a good estimate for rock is to say 150 lbs per cubic foot of boulder. So if a rock is about 3x3x3, or 27 sq ft then, it should weigh around 4000 lbs. I know a case 580 will load them, so the bobcat should be able too also. <p>I think your right brl. I am going to price this one out a bit higher. Its been a lot of work finding/locating these boulders and I am not working for free. This is definitely qualifies as 'custom' work in my book, so a 'custom' price schedule is in order. <p>steveair

07-16-2000, 11:38 AM
Alan, I couldn't tell you about the exact weights, but I even measured a 3' square as Steve said the biggest (and only 4) of the rocks were. I know our bobcat 963 has picked up bigger and badder things than that size of a rock. A full size backhoe loader would definetly have no problem what so ever. I suggest using forks on the bobcat instead of trying to juggle them with a bucket (wich I'm sure Steve knows better, or has another plan).<p><br>Now for my question! Last week We had to do some landsape work at one of the parks on base were we droppped a few boulders in a large picnic area. Now, you guys are going to have to re-focus your thoughts because I'm talking approx. 6' x 6', much larger than our excavator bucket. So to place them we had to use the knuckle and push the rocks in place with the side of the bucket. We then dug a little out from undernesth it with the excavator just to keep it safe. (actually it was to keep my supervisor off my ass!! They were set just fine!!) I guess my question was, we put some good scars and mars on the sides of these boulders from the positioning process. I know it didn't matter here but if I was wondering how to fix that problem if it were a &quot;real&quot; job where it had to look natural. I'd imagine you could wrap the knuckle and side of the bucket with something, but I think thats a little bit extreme. Does anyone use a more careful method when placeing these boulders? Just wondering. I wish I could have milked that job a little longer because that was probobly one of the last good ones for the year because its about time they start flipping out about getting our snow removal equip ready for this coming winter. I guess they're more serious about this base becuase the runway is not supposed to have any down time at all, that means long shifts for a lot of people!! Well until that happens and I migrate to the snow removal forum! I'll be hanging around here. Hope to hear from you guys soon!<p><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/&quot;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti

07-16-2000, 12:23 PM
guido, we just chain them up and lift them into place learned how to do that from a old stone mason, use heavy chain. We did a job like that about 3 or 4 years ago about the same size boulders, dig out under them and place sand for your base about 6&quot; or more and set them into it, use the chain to pull them tight. Should keep marks down to min. <br>We use forks to move them around sometimes have to chain the forks up to keep them in place, also helps in keeping boulder on forks moving it on rough ground. Will send pictures of that park we did as soon as I can find and scan them.<p>----------<br>paul<br>

07-16-2000, 02:10 PM
All I can offer here is - charge what the market will bear. Even if you charge enough to be making a killing - haven't you had those jobs where you made nothing (or even ended up paying for the privelege of installing a project)? Take the gravy when you can.

07-16-2000, 03:29 PM
Guido,<p>The excavator I have coming has a large bobcat mini-excavator (can't remember model #) but it is the biggest one bobcat makes.<p>He has the hydraulic 'thumb' on the bucket to grapple the rocks with. I've seen him move rocks around with it before and it hardly leaves a scractch if done right. <p>If it can't move/grapple the rocks I get, I will have to try that chain trick then. Good idea!<p>And stone, LOL, I hate those &quot;its a privelidge to work here for free jobs&quot;!!!<p>I try to stay away from them!!<p>steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair

07-16-2000, 06:40 PM
If you can find the rocks for free or cheaper that should be your advantage. I wouldn't pass it on unless the customer is very loyal. This could be compared to finding a cheaper supplier for anything. As long as quality is the same customer should not complain. I would not reveal my source.

07-16-2000, 09:31 PM

07-16-2000, 11:31 PM
STEVE: Go ahead and charge the price that the local stone yard does. Take this oppertunity as a blessing because future jobs might not be so easy, I'ts all on the wheel.

01-17-2005, 05:33 PM
I would charge what the quarry would. I don't know about you but I didn't go in this business for my health. Make it why you can. It wouldn't seem unreasonable heck even throw your buddy alittle scratch.

01-17-2005, 07:25 PM
Hey Steveair, whats the name of your company i live pretty close to you.


01-17-2005, 07:32 PM
Steveair - Are u using these boulders as accents in the beds??? I have used boulders as accents many times and it really does make a difference if the boulders are set accordingly. How do u plan to set these??? Groups of 1 or 3? Into a hillside or in a flat area? When u set boulders, what do u do to make them look natuaral??? Thanks

01-17-2005, 08:29 PM
Northern VA

Average cost to set boulders is $400 ton to the client.

I charge $175 ton to my wholesale customers who then price it at $400 installed to their clients.
I charge about 20% less depending on the job if I do the installation of my own material.

01-17-2005, 09:25 PM
treedoc1- THat job looks sick!! Do you have any finished photos?


01-17-2005, 09:29 PM
.24 cents a pound sound rediculous, I pay like $.09- .12 for moss rock and ledgestone.

01-17-2005, 10:42 PM
only 1/2 done
waterfall is almost complete
deck is 3/4 poured
walls need to be finished
client wanted an arched bridge...what do you think. still need to veneer it.

01-18-2005, 08:20 AM
looks hot, whats the veneer gonna be?

01-18-2005, 12:23 PM
Yes keep the pics coming. You will have to show us the final job once it is complete. And could you tell us what something like that would cost.

01-18-2005, 07:20 PM
Simplytrees- You may have realized this by now, but this guy was asking about the stone pricing 4 1/2 years ago, he's probably made his decision by now. :laugh:

01-18-2005, 08:55 PM
.09 a pound is high, generally for any customer to walk in its .03-.10 out the door. For me it's cheaper. Out here that's about all we deal with, rock and boulders for beds.