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View Full Version : Price Check, If you don't mind please.


White Gardens
05-08-2010, 10:08 PM
I just ran an estimate for a retaining wall that is approx. 15,000 square feet (face).

I was wanting to know what your guy's cost estimate would be approximately for a wall of this size, or at least your cost per square foot.

I know my costs, the customer, etc. I just don't want to leave any money on the table, and to also make sure that I'm not over-charging.

Thanks,

Nick W.

White Gardens
05-08-2010, 11:11 PM
typo. I meant to say 1500 square feet.

DVS Hardscaper
05-08-2010, 11:14 PM
no disrespect intended - but there is no way anyone can answer this question.

1) We'd need to see the engineer's specs. Gotta know how much block is buried below grade. Gotta know if the grid is every course or every 3 courses. Gotta know the length of the grid. Gotta know all kinds of stuff.

2) Walls are only used in less than ideal situations. Gotta know the site conditions - Steep, tight access, etc. Can the wall be backfilled with an excavator or must it be backfilled with hand shovels and wheel-barrs?

3) Type of block. 66# block or 100# block?

,

White Gardens
05-09-2010, 09:38 AM
no disrespect intended - but there is no way anyone can answer this question.

1) We'd need to see the engineer's specs. Gotta know how much block is buried below grade. Gotta know if the grid is every course or every 3 courses. Gotta know the length of the grid. Gotta know all kinds of stuff.

2) Walls are only used in less than ideal situations. Gotta know the site conditions - Steep, tight access, etc. Can the wall be backfilled with an excavator or must it be backfilled with hand shovels and wheel-barrs?

3) Type of block. 66# block or 100# block?

,

No disrespect taken. I understand.

I'm honestly not sure about numbers for the blocks chosen (#66, #100). It's a decision between a Rockwood retaining block, and a paveloc creta stone.

Two blocks below grade,(figured that in square footage). With consideration of different wall heights/location, and specifications for the block intended, one to two rows with geo-grid. Should be no problems to backfill with a mini skid, maybe some random hand work. No original fill will be hauled.

My estimate came out around $26 a square with the paveloc creta stone and I feel comfortable with it. And it is a church.

Here is a pic to put it into perspective.


187629

DVS Hardscaper
05-09-2010, 12:04 PM
Those numbers I used as examples were the weight of the block.

Another thing we use to cost a block job is: linear footage. See, a competent block installer knows how many linear feet of base course and aggregate base they can install in an hour. As well as how many linear feet of stepscan be installed in an hour.

The pic tells me you do not have to bury 2 courses below grade (at least behind the dwelling). This is because the wall will be close to the dwelling and there will be very little pressure bearing down on the wall in that area, also the asphalt will fix the block firm in place.

How much is the block you're thinkin of using gonna cost you? At $26 / sf your purchase price for the block should not be more than $5.55 / SF.


,

White Gardens
05-09-2010, 03:17 PM
Those numbers I used as examples were the weight of the block.

Another thing we use to cost a block job is: linear footage. See, a competent block installer knows how many linear feet of base course and aggregate base they can install in an hour. As well as how many linear feet of stepscan be installed in an hour.

The pic tells me you do not have to bury 2 courses below grade (at least behind the dwelling). This is because the wall will be close to the dwelling and there will be very little pressure bearing down on the wall in that area, also the asphalt will fix the block firm in place.

How much is the block you're thinkin of using gonna cost you? At $26 / sf your purchase price for the block should not be more than $5.55 / SF.


,

So are you saying I'm not competent. :laugh: I haven't done a wall this large before, but have done walls with engineering specs similar to this on a smaller scale.

The pressure issue is exactly what I was thinking. That's why I think only one course of geo-grid will be needed there. What you don't see in the design is a change that might need to be made adding another 40 feet of wall past the steps and above is an asphalt parking lot. I would think that there might be more pressure in that area, so I might end up burying two courses there to be on the safe side and going with at least 2 courses of geo-grid.

The idea for the wall is to help create more parking for the church. The membership keeps growing and they are wanting to gain close to 20, so I might be able to give them 15 pull in spots along the drive next to the building and 4 parallel spots along the main parking lot. I'm leaning towards burying two courses as I don't want any cars kissing the wall and damaging it to badly when Grandma comes to church all groggy on a Sunday morning.:laugh:

The block I would be using will probably be the creta stone and is 60lbs a piece. Otherwise it would be the Rockwood block that weighs closer to 80lbs, but might be over-kill and esthetically won't be what they are looking for.

The Creta block is actually closer to $11.00 a square and the Rockwood block is closer to $5.50. My estimate for $25 a square is based off the cheaper Rockwood block, which I'm going to guess that is the direction they are going to go, but I don't know for sure yet.

Asphalt will be laid in the area created by the wall after it is done. Another question I have is will there need to be an expansion joint needed between the block and the asphalt when it's laid. My only concern is the asphalt might interfere with the wall behaving correctly over-time. Another part of me though thinks that it won't matter as long as my base is built correctly.

As a side note, a foundation guy came in last year and quoted a poured block wall for 16k. :hammerhead:. That number is going to be what kills me on pricing this correctly, as they "think" they already have an idea of what it should cost.

Thanks for your help DVS. Thinking out-loud in this manner is going to ensure that it is built correctly. I also have talked to the church and the original grade was undisturbed, so my base should be OK. Fill was the only thing brought in and moved around.

FLCthes4:11-12
05-09-2010, 06:22 PM
I hope you didn't figure building the steps in a square footage price. I have bad expirence in that and learned a valuable lesson. Double the cost of a poured wall is going to be tough to beat. Might give them the option of going poured and stucco and sub it out. Litte bit of something is better than alot of nothing.

White Gardens
05-09-2010, 07:10 PM
I hope you didn't figure building the steps in a square footage price. I have bad expirence in that and learned a valuable lesson. Double the cost of a poured wall is going to be tough to beat. Might give them the option of going poured and stucco and sub it out. Litte bit of something is better than alot of nothing.

I did figure that into my estimate.:hammerhead:.

I did take a couple of things into consideration though as the wall will be easy to back-fill, location is good next to main road. A rental house is a block away for anything I need and a hardware store is two blocks away with all the drainage supplies. All materials will be delivered, etc..... and no dirt will be hauled away as it will all stay on site.

Another thing that I'm taking into consideration is that it is a church, and a decendent of the original founder is a member of my BNI group and he is really pushing to get this job lined up for me. On top of it, it will be a great wall to do for my portfolio as I lost a retaining wall job this last spring because I didn't have one in my portfolio.

Am I leaving money hanging out there?, maybe, but I think the long term affect of this job will make it worth it. It may be a little naive, but I did all my figures and even inflated the first estimate to get it where it's at.

DVS Hardscaper
05-09-2010, 09:57 PM
Well, in this case you absolutely do not have to bury additional block due to load surcharge.

Buried block is for the most part for wall height. You bury 1-inch of block for ever 12-inches of wall height. So if the wall is 11 feet tall - you'd most likely bury 11-inches of block.

The quantity, placement, and length of grid is what accounts for
a) soil type
b) degree of slope
c) load surcharge

We did a 10' wall on the steepest slope we've ever worked on. Naturally, we had an engineer involved. Ok, but.....we only had to bury 10" of block. How the slope and surcharge was contended with was dealt with via grid placement and length. Normally the rule of thumb is grid length is 80% of the wall height. Well the engineer had us do the grid at 100% of the wall height. Placed every 2 courses.

We did a 7' wall in 2007. That engineer had us install grid on EVERY course.

You do not need to bury 2 courses. If you want the job - take the 2nd course out. Thats more unnecessary digging and unnecessary block - which will lose the awarding of the contract to you.

,

White Gardens
05-09-2010, 10:02 PM
Well, you absolutely do not have to bury additional block due to load surcharge.

Buried block is for the most part for wall height. You bury 1-inch of block for ever 12-inches of wall height. So if the wall is 11 feet tall - you'd most likely bury 11-inches of block.

The quantity, placement, and length of grid is what accounts for
a) soil type
b) degree of slope
c) load surcharge

We did a 10' wall on the steepest slope we've ever worked on. Naturally, we had an engineer involved. Ok, but.....we only had to bury 10" of block. How the slope and surcharge was contended with was dealt with via grid placement and length. Normally the rule of thumb is grid length is 80% of the wall height. Well the engineer had us do the grid at 100% of the wall height. Placed every 2 courses.

We did a 7' wall in 2007. That engineer had us install grid on EVERY course.

You do not need to bury 2 courses. If you want the job - take the 2nd course out. Thats more unnecessary digging and unnecessary block - which will lose the awarding of the contract to you.

,

Good point. I guess I'm just the type that likes to over-build for the sake of redundancy in order to not have the wall fail ever.

DVS, your right though. This situation isn't holding back a large hillside or anything of that nature. Two blocks would definitively be over-kill. On top of it, it amazes me how one course can change an estimate by 10% - 15%.

Meezer
05-09-2010, 11:22 PM
No disrespect taken. I understand.

I'm honestly not sure about numbers for the blocks chosen (#66, #100). It's a decision between a Rockwood retaining block, and a paveloc creta stone.







I would recommend using the Rockwood Classic 6 & Stonehedge XL instead of the Creta.

White Gardens
05-09-2010, 11:31 PM
I would recommend using the Rockwood Classic 6 & Stonehedge XL instead of the Creta.


Any reason why Meezer??? I know the blocks are built completely different but what I'm liking about the Creta block is that they have corner pieces, and stepers to blend in perfectly.

I'm just figuring that the creta system might be a little easier to install rather than cutting/breaking blocks for the corners. The few times I used the Rockwood block, it seemed like it was time consuming on the corners.

I'm also liking the colors of the creta block over the Rockwood blocks.

DVS Hardscaper
05-09-2010, 11:42 PM
A church will only look at price. If you want the job you gotta use the lowest cost material. I'm sure you can make corners with the rockwood. I like Rockwood, just used it for the 1st time this winter.

Meezer
05-10-2010, 12:17 AM
Any reason why Meezer??? I know the blocks are built completely different but what I'm liking about the Creta block is that they have corner pieces, and stepers to blend in perfectly.

I'm just figuring that the creta system might be a little easier to install rather than cutting/breaking blocks for the corners. The few times I used the Rockwood block, it seemed like it was time consuming on the corners.

I'm also liking the colors of the creta block over the Rockwood blocks.



White Gardens,


First of all, I like both companies & I do use their products.

Between the two, I use a lot more of the Rockwood since some of it's made by a local company here.


Going off the info that you posted, Church, money issue, etc., I would go with Rockwood. You'll make more money. As previously posted, Creta costs a lot more than Rockwood.

White Gardens
05-10-2010, 12:21 AM
A church will only look at price. If you want the job you gotta use the lowest cost material. I'm sure you can make corners with the rockwood. I like Rockwood, just used it for the 1st time this winter.

Well, the way I look at it is that you are either spending the money on the labor involved to install the Rockwood wall, or you are spending the money on the the block themselves.

So, would that cancel each other out cost wise?

Regardless, even if I go with the Rockwood wall block I'm going to get a block splitter to make the cutting/breaking go faster. When ever I score them with a chisel and then break them, it seems like I get a very un-even face and randomly the block doesn't break correctly so I lose the block entirely.

White Gardens
05-10-2010, 12:22 AM
White Gardens,


First of all, I like both companies & I do use their products.

Between the two, I use a lot more of the Rockwood since some of it's made by a local company here.


Going off the info that you posted, Church, money issue, etc., I would go with Rockwood. You'll make more money. As previously posted, Creta costs a lot more than Rockwood.

You are completely right, but sometimes I fall into the trap of the aesthetics of a job.

Paveloc is out of the Chicago Area if I'm not mistaken. Where is Rockwood made??

Meezer
05-10-2010, 12:30 AM
You are completely right, but sometimes I fall into the trap of the aesthetics of a job.

Paveloc is out of the Chicago Area if I'm not mistaken. Where is Rockwood made??


Some of Rockwood's products are made in NW Indiana at a plant in Gary.

Meezer
05-10-2010, 12:41 AM
A church will only look at price. If you want the job you gotta use the lowest cost material. I'm sure you can make corners with the rockwood. I like Rockwood, just used it for the 1st time this winter.


I agree, they will only look at the price. As far as making corners:

http://www.rockwoodwalls.com/literature/stonehedge%20XL%20install%20manual.pdf

Bru75
05-10-2010, 12:57 AM
I agree, they will only look at the price.

That's probably true. The descision will likely be made by commitee, and convincing them to agree to spend double the price of a poured wall will be tough.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of them think that a poured wall is just plain better. Convincing people that a SRW wall is just as good or better than poured concrete is one of my biggest obstacles. People (especially old people) are used to concrete and they trust it. It's hard to get them to try something new.

White Gardens
05-10-2010, 07:57 AM
That's probably true. The descision will likely be made by commitee, and convincing them to agree to spend double the price of a poured wall will be tough.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of them think that a poured wall is just plain better. Convincing people that a SRW wall is just as good or better than poured concrete is one of my biggest obstacles. People (especially old people) are used to concrete and they trust it. It's hard to get them to try something new.


The bid for the poured wall came in last year, and honestly I don't think they were sold on the idea. The guy who did the bid didn't put any steps in the design, and there was no drainage aspects considered, or correct backfill in the estimate. This church is actually looking for quality as far as I can tell, and two of the decedents of the original founder are all about the wall.

Basically, it's my job to loose. I might have to finagle a few things to get it to go through, but we will see.

I'll say though, I love my design program. If anything sells that job that will be it. They have already shown the image to multiple people in the congregation and from what I've heard it's a hit so far. Like previously stated though it's just a matter of approval from the committee.

I also want to thank everyone on their input. I'll update you guys this week if I find out anything.

Bru75
05-10-2010, 09:35 AM
Good luck with it, just one more suggestion: make sure that the property committee (or whatever it's called) assigns one person as your contact for the job. This will help to keep comunications clear, and avoid you having multiple "bosses" on this job.
My apologies if you've already thought of this.

White Gardens
05-10-2010, 11:50 AM
Good luck with it, just one more suggestion: make sure that the property committee (or whatever it's called) assigns one person as your contact for the job. This will help to keep comunications clear, and avoid you having multiple "bosses" on this job.
My apologies if you've already thought of this.

Oh, no apologies needed, I appreciate the advice. I've always loved this site as we all seem to look out for each other in some ways.

I have already thought of that, and there is two people (father/son) who I strictly would prefer to work with.

White Gardens
05-10-2010, 10:41 PM
It's official. They have sticker shock.............. Like stated before, it's hard to compete with a 16k poured wall.


O.K., so here is a thought. Would you guys try to give them the job in phases?

My only concern with that would be the wall block not matching down the road. Different runs of blocks seem to have different color, and even natural weathering would probably make them never match?

Any thoughts.

Bru75
05-11-2010, 01:39 AM
I'm not sure how you would build a wall like that in phases.
I would thank them for their time, shake hands, and go on to the next job.

DVS Hardscaper
05-11-2010, 08:03 AM
you cant sit around and worry about block matching "down the road".

The client needs to make long term decisions if they are worried.

,

White Gardens
05-11-2010, 04:52 PM
I'm not sure how you would build a wall like that in phases.
I would thank them for their time, shake hands, and go on to the next job.

You could build it in phases. Shouldn't be that big of a deal. One section leading up to the steps, and then phase two could be the steps and rest of the wall along the parking lot.

I just can't leave a job on the table. If I don't get it, then one of my competitors might. I like challenges anyway and this one fits the bill.

you cant sit around and worry about block matching "down the road".

The client needs to make long term decisions if they are worried.

,

DVS, would you clarify on that long term decision?? I'm not exactly understanding what you are saying.

Bru75
05-12-2010, 01:25 AM
One problem that I see with doing it in phases is that it will increase the total price when they are already sticker shocked.
You will have to move equipment more than once, pay for delivery of block and gravel more than once, pay for any rental equipment more than once, etc. You will have to disassemble part of the first wall to tie them together, and quite possibly the block and other material will cost more in the future.
I don't think you need to worry about competition, except for the poured concrete, because any quality SRW installation is not going to be cheap.
I'm not trying to discourage you, just pointing out a few thing as I see 'em.
Anyway, if you can make it work, go for it.

White Gardens
05-12-2010, 09:27 AM
Ya, we'll see what happens. I'm letting the pot simmer this week while I work on other projects in the mean-time. I'll be talking to someone by Thursday about the plans and where they want to go.

Danscapes
05-12-2010, 12:24 PM
Do you really need to have it engineered? To me it looks under 4ft from the pics and there is no surcharge to speak of, so you could take off about $1000 +/-.

White Gardens
05-16-2010, 03:57 PM
Do you really need to have it engineered? To me it looks under 4ft from the pics and there is no surcharge to speak of, so you could take off about $1000 +/-.

The shorter section to the right is at 5 feet. That's the only thing I don't like about the 3D program is you can't get the exact perspective of it, but it does do a good job of visualizing the final outcome.

So I went to my supplier and they are more than happy to help me out when I need it. We took a look at the design and I gave him the measurements. With the Rockwood block he came up with some numbers for me, and I might have over-estimated wall material by 10%.

So ultimately I might be able to get the price down a little more for them. And as another note, the project isn't a complete no-go right now. The guy in charge actually had a reasonable expectation to what it might cost, so it wasn't total sticker shock.

I'm meeting with him next week to review the numbers and see what design changes we can make in order to accommodate what they are looking for. I have a feeling the last 40feet that I estimated might be taken out of the project, so only the wall against the building and steps will be done.

We'll see.