View Full Version : Never done landscape ties before- price ideas?

06-20-2002, 04:18 AM
ok heres the deal- a regular customer wants about 90, eight foot landscape ties replaced. they range from 1 tie to 4 ties stacked. There wont be too much cutting (a few angles and some cut for staggering.) Old ties must be removed (about one load with the truck and trailer to the dump 20mins away) want to use spikes to hold it all together. may need to level the area the old ties were(ruts where they sank). any ways other than spikes to fasten? will need to pre drill holes for spikes. Wants a far price for this?


06-20-2002, 04:31 AM
im no landscape expert,but i have done this before. i use a big drill & a long wood bit and dill them once thier in place. forget those stupid spikes . use 1/2 inch rebar and pound them in. im not sure what to charge i would charge approx .3,500 but thats just a guess.im sure there are guys that know what to charge. it is ball busting work and you should be paid well.

06-20-2002, 09:45 PM
Figure out a price based on how many hours it will take......... THEN DOUBLE IT!!!!!!!! We just finished a noce sized landscape project and part of it included replaced several 15yr old landscape tie walls. What a PITA!!!! It took me at least twice as I had long as I had figured. I used 1/2 inch rebar through the first 2 layers then used timber lock screws for each layer above. DO NOT SKIMP ON YOUR PRICE!!! Figure on the rebar going in crooked several times and having to throw out several timbers.....

06-21-2002, 07:17 AM
First make sure that the dump will accept old ties and how much they will charge. Put in the contract that the dump charges are extra. Figure a flat fee to load and haul each truck load on top of the dump charge. That will cover your tail and not panic the customer. I really don't think you are going to get 90 RR ties to the dump in one load.
I found that the 10" twisted (I don't remember the term, but they are like a deck nail) spikes go in and hold great without a pilot hole. Remember that the price of nails, screws, or rebar adds up quickly.
I would level out a gravel base for that first course and anchor it with rebar.

06-21-2002, 09:29 AM
Also, how are you going to tie the wall to the earth behind it? Are you going to use deadmen? Here, our code calls for them to be 5 feet long with a 3 foot cross member. That means lots of extra digging. Also, remember to put in drainage behind the wall.

09-07-2002, 09:49 PM
most of the time we install pressure treated 6x6x12's We buy them in bulk for $20. each and we install them for $75. per tie which includes, spikes and rebar.. good luck

09-08-2002, 12:43 AM
I've been charging $50.00 per 8' length so my pricing is probably similar to what MJ posted. I usually stick to the 8 footers because I have found the 10's & 12's end up having many twisted or curved pieces that are a pain to deal with. The Timberlock Screws are great for connecting the upper rows to the first row and themselves. My advice is to not skimp on the tools. Buy the really expensive wood boring bits in the right lengths & sizes you need because they last longer & drill faster. Buy carbide tipped saw blades for the same reason. If you are doing a job with a lot of cuts you may find a "timber" saw at rental places that is large enough to do cuts in one swipe (or buy one if you do a lot of these walls). Offer to do an application of water sealer to increase the sale. A great final touch to the project is to bring a router & put a fancy edge on the walls.

09-08-2002, 02:01 AM
Without seeing the site to know how much digging needed to get your base leveled I say on what you desribe time, materials (ties,rebar to hold your base ties and deadmen in plus spikes.) Demolition and removal of old wall somewhere between 4 & 5 k. Hope that helps.

09-08-2002, 09:17 AM
I was very fortunate in that I was taught "timber work " by a master. I do the beveled edges and "butt ends"( beveled edges all the way around ) . IMO it is what sets it apart from what a regular homeowner would do. Use re-bar on the bottom level and then "spiral spikes" as opposed to "common ". You can drill a couple of inches in if you like especially on the side corners to make hammering easier. Use lots of dead man. There are many tricks to make timber work go allot faster and to look the best. You will only learn by practice. First tip would be to get a small piece of pipe welded to the bottom of the head of your sledge, covering about 4 inches of your handle so when you miss the spike your not chewing up the handle. Unless of course your like me and never miss! LoL.

09-08-2002, 05:15 PM
I usually charge about $70.00 per 12' ties installed too......

09-08-2002, 05:55 PM
We don't do timbers any more, but we still have the tools Makita 16" circluar saw and a electric hammer that really makes it go fast.

Not sure on wholesale price of timbers, but 8 footers we used to buy were $15 if we bought a truck load. Make sure you get those rated for ground use because some only have .25% treatment you need .45% to make them last.

09-08-2002, 07:07 PM

I'm with the others on the fact of watching you demolition fees and time spent with the demo....the charges here are $80 a ton, and old ties are classified as hazardous materials, so no where else to go. Old, water soaked and mud covered ties get heavy quick. That, and they are a hassle to handle when removing.

As for the new wall, going rate here is around $50 to $75 a tie, but considering you are doing such a long run with such a short height, I would consider the higher end of that price range.


09-08-2002, 08:29 PM
Since you already have an answer for you rr tie question, I won't bother, because I'd be repeating the last few posts.

My suggestion though..........Offer a concrete block wall.......

RR ties are a PITA and won't last as long as people expect them to.

09-30-2002, 01:07 AM
I agree with Guido.

If you are working in Columbia ( I live in Howard Co) they can afford it and would appreciate the fact that the stone will hold up much longer than the timbers. I won't even touch them. IMO they don't hold a candle to stone.

09-30-2002, 09:21 PM
I charge $12.00/sq. ft for this type of work . That includes materials and labor. Then you need to add in labor for removing and disposing of the old ties, plus any dump fees.:)

Green Pastures
09-30-2002, 11:28 PM
Rebar for securing the timbers at ground level, but the 6" twisted galvanized timber spikes are fine for the above ground levels. $ 12.50 per linear foot is a good starting price for a 4 timber high wall that's 90 feet long. I'm assuming you're talking about the "garden timbers" and not railroad ties. This price includes tearing out and hauling away the old wall. Stagger the timbers as you build up and put three spikes in each 8' timber to hold it all together. Pre-drill the holes for the rebar and timber spikes to avoid splitting.

I built one on a slope that was 10 timbers high on one end and three high at the other in 1995. Filled it with dirt and planted bulbs and herbs. It still stands and has not sagged or swayed a bit. I saw it just last month. The key is anchoring it to the ground very well and getting good straight and level timbers. I also like to have at least one complete timber under ground as a "foundation". I've found this to help the tipping and swaying as opposed to just starting on ground level. Like someone else here said get the good treated timbers as well. Use your level and plumb ALOT. It's easy and will last if you do it right the first time. Never hurts to ask God for His blessing over your plans and work too!


10-02-2002, 12:44 AM
Amen to that!!