a job from heck

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnboy82, Jun 14, 2001.

  1. hey there to my lawnsite friends. a few weeks ago i was asked to do a variety of things for a customer of a customer. this guy has millions of dollars and lives on a nice estate. however like a lot of rich people he is kind of cheap. this guy has 3 rocks at his home behind his house. for those of you with topkick size trucks / 750's, or kodiak etc. think of how big the hood is on your truck. not the wheels too, but the engine and all that stuff. one of these rocks is about that size. the other 2 are about 2/3 that size or so. they are granite. the lines on the rocks, fissures i believe they are called go like ---- that. as opposed to |||| or ///. so the rocks have to be busted up to make way for an addition to the patio. the patio is on 2 sides of the rocks. the other 2 sides are where it becomes fun. the other 2 sides are the house. now that wouldnt be a problem if this house was just siding or whatever. but no!!! they had to make it fun and put those really expensive double pane windows in there. the ones that are all sectioned out. now the windows are about, well, look at your computer screen, i am looking at mine and if you look across your computer screen the distance from the big rock, to the windows is not even as big as this screen. now here is where it becomes even more fun, the rocks have to be busted up into managable sizes where they can be used in gardens for a small wall type deal. but like i said earlier they want to extend the patio, so the rocks are gonna have to go down below ground level. now these rocks are, from the patio about | | that far if i am lucky. to get a big compressor type jack hammer there i would have to park the compressor in the driveway and haul about 150 feet of line out there easily. anybody got any ideas? a couple of people have suggested to me drilling holes and blasting.
  2. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Matt - I would seriously suggest passing on this job unless you have experience with this type of thing. To start with, it's their problem, not yours unless you make it yours. The window being that close to the work means you're likely to pay for broken glass, at least . Blasting would ensure broken windows. You'd be using a jackhammer sideways. I would wonder about the mechanics of running an airhose that far. When I built my house we ran into a rock in what is the driveway. Didn't look too big so we used a backhoe to dig it out. The more we dug, the bigger it got until we needed the bulldozer to dig around it. Got to be about ten feet in diameter, so he started trying to loosen it with the dozer. For half an hour the best it did was sit and spin the tracks. Finally filled it back in and we built up the driveway to match the rock.

    Somebody else might have a better suggestion.
  3. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Granite can be broken easy, you don't need C-4 or big jack hammers, a good hammer drill with a 1/2" bit and some pins and wedges can break it up but you are going to have to spend some time doing it. Now I don't mean your little B&D hammer drill, you need a good Boch hammer drill that takes SDS bits. drill holes along the fractures and drive the pins and wedges in they will break the stone easy:)
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073


    I think the answer to this problem is in your first couple of lines where you said 'like most rich people he is kind of cheap'

    This sounds like a doable job (hard to tell without seeing it though) but a very expensive job at that. Right away, I will say walk away as 'cheap customers who want a million dollar job for a dollar' will lead to many headaches. Also, the fact that he wants you to 'recycle the rock and use it on the property' sends out blinding lights to run away. There are much more economic ways to get granite boulders to his property than this. I know of a few places offhand where you can go get 'shot rock' for free that will look like that boulder will after you hammer away at it. The pieces will not be very good looking stone.

    As for doing the job, I would go with a larger excavator if it is accesable. Maybe a large enough one to move the rocks or maybe a smaller one with a hydraulic hammer to break up the rock. Also, a lot of plywood to cover the house with.

    If the rock is a boulder, and not ledge rock, I would think a large enough machine could move it. You may have to dig up half of the yard/remove the existing patio/create a access road to get to it, but I would think it is possible, but very expensive.

    Ask him if his money is as plentiful as his crazy ideas when you go talk to him. The way I see it, anything is possible, just not affordable.

  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    You might want to rent a large hammerdrill for a job like this. Home Depot rents $1100.00 hammer drills for about 34 bucks a day! Why smoke your own equiptment on the job or go through the expense for a one timer. You definatly don't want a light weight drill to go through granite.

    Jim L
  6. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    See if you can find a good crane operator. Seriously, they charge by the hour and can give you a pretty good idea of cost. Just an idea.:cool:
  7. Bluegrass Group

    Bluegrass Group LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Whenever we get something that we can't handle we find someone who can and subcontract it out. Let the experts who know what they are doing handle it. Get a sub to price it to you then figure your time for parerwork and any additional labor or expense and price it where you will make money. If it is too high for the "cheapo" homeowner then let him deal with it. He is the idiot that built his house around it anyway, he should pay for his mistakes.Sometimes you have to "price yourself out of some jobs." One other thing, if you use a sub make sure he is capable of the work and very well insured! Good luck!
  8. jjfehr

    jjfehr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    why not keep the boulder where it is, and create a patio around the existing stone with a one foot edge around the stone for some plantings, suggest this to the cheap a$$ and you could have just soved your problem along with the clients. Make the stone look like it belongs in the patio!
  9. gonna do the job tomorow. guy is renting a compressor and god only knows what else? gotta split the rocks. he is paying for all the tools, and will pay me for my laborers. so hopefully everything will work out. thanx guys.
  10. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I don't like the idea that he is renting the compressor. Who knows, everything may be ok, but my philosophy is that if I supply labor, I also supply equipment and material. This way, if something bad happens its my fault/problem and I can go about fixing the problem. With someone else supplying stuff, if someting goes wrong who is at fault??? You? Him? Too many grey areas. I've been burned once too many times by suppling labor with someone else supplying materials or tools.


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