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Old 05-21-2004, 02:23 PM
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Tharrell Tharrell is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mount Airy, NC aka Mayberry
Posts: 2,967
castle block

I placed 63 12" and 23 8" castle block 2 courses high for a customer today. I charged $1.50 per block for labor. It only took 3 hrs total so that's about $43 per hour. Is this a ballpark figure for you guys?
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Old 05-22-2004, 10:52 AM
blafleur blafleur is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dallas, tx area eastward to Tyler
Posts: 229
Some people post some incredibly high labor rates on this site, but I would think $43/hour, especially on a 3 hour job is low for any landscaper anywhere. There is just too much to consider than time spent on the job. You spend time talking to customers before the work starts, loading up, picking up materials, wear and tear on equipment, book keeping, cleaning up. Plus the fact he called you because he could not, and probably would not be able to do this work. Most of these people expect to pay for your knowledge, equipment, and labor. Those that do not are best walked away from.

Many people who put up walls seem to charge by the square face foot. I break mine down into a price for the base and first row, and a price for what is added to that. As you know, there is an awful lot more time spent on the base and first row than the rest. I also consider the site. I charge more on a slope, areas with a lot of roots, etc.

$43/ hour would be good money if you work for someone else, but if you are the contractor, I think you should do quite a bit better than that.

Good luck,
Bryan
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Bryan Lafleur, misplaced cajun. Design/installation.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:28 PM
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Tharrell Tharrell is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mount Airy, NC aka Mayberry
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I considered a lot before I did this job and maybe didn't post all of the info before. It was a lawn customer of mine and she had a border around some of her beds with common brick stacked up about 4 high. Every time I mowed, a few would fall and I spent time putting them back up, not to mention how tacky it looked. I suggested the castle block and it's only 2 courses so there wasn't a lot of ground prep needed. My cousin is an experienced landscaper and I asked him what to charge, he said double the cost of the block. I thought that was a bit high for a 2 course border job. It took so long because I hadn't done it before. I had to go back for 1 12" and 3 8" blocks so that was 45 minutes that was my fault for sure. I can see charging a lot more if it is a true wall with all the ground prep and such. I appreciate the comments and would like some more since I added more information. This is the kind of job that a lot of guys can make good money on without major ground work and little investment in tools or equipment.
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