Bidding questions about wall.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by EagleLandscape, May 26, 2004.

  1. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    Normally all my work is just cost of materials x 2 and that gets my labor cost in there as well for the final price. Is this a typical rate for small retaining walls as well?

    http://www.eaglescoutlawncare.com/images/customers/enslie/P1010002.jpg

    I've attached a picture of where the proposed wall is. Point (B) on the wall is about 2 ft lower in elevation than Point (A) is. This job is such a small scale job that I can just go ahead and dig out the area for the base and then start stacking and backfilling as I go, while checking the horizontal level of the blocks.

    Anyways, is 2x the typical rate thats going around. I've got another customer that wants a small scale wall such as this, and I do alot of work in a part of town where walls like these are NEEDED due to the terrain.

    Any input would be appreciated:)
     
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    How high will the wall be at it's tallest point? What size blocks will you be using? Do NOT exceed manufacturers recommendations for hieght on this one!


    As for pricing, its just like anything else. Figure material and equipment cost, add markup. Figure out how long you think it will take, and apply your hourly rate to that figure.

    Jobs that size I tend to start thinking in terms of either 1/2 days or full days. If it only takes an hour or two in the morning (I know it's bigger than that), you still have drive and set-up time, in addtion to having to switch gears and do something different later in the day.

    I'm guessing here, but digging that out by hand, setting base and remaining courses, no cutting of blocks, and backfilling (depending on wall hieght), two of us would be looking at around 1 to 1 1/2 days at the most. That is without knowing hieght.

    Remember that setting the base takes the longest of any aspect of it, if you do it right.


    Dan
     
  3. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    Oh yah, sorry. It's 3ft high, and its the 3" wall blocks from HD. From what I understand I need to lay 6" of compactable gravel and sand for the base... does that sound right? And just use a contractors level as I go along.
     
  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I've not used the 3" wall blocks, but I'm VERY sure that exceeds manufacturer specs.

    The 4" blocks we occasionally use are not to be installed at a hieght greater than 2'. I've seen them higher, but I'm also sure those walls will fail in time.

    At that hieght, I'd be looking for at least a 6" block, maybe even bump up to a full 8" block.

    Forget about the sand, just lay them on the gravel. If you need to use something as a leveler, use flume, not sand. Anything angular will lock together, the sand will eventually move with water flowing through.

    Compact the soil in the trench before laying any gravel. Bring the gravel in in 3" lifts, compacting in between lifts.

    A good torpedo level or a 1' level will work best for leveling the block. Start at the lowest point and work up from there, stepping up as needed. Use a dead blow hammer to persuade and set the blocks in place. Don't just level the individual block, level it with the last one too.

    And make sure you put in a drain tile behind the wall. At 3' high, no matter what block you use, there will be enough water to push that wall over at some point in time.

    DO NOT USE 3" BLOCKS!!!!


    Dan

    edit: forgot to add that knowing the hieght of the wall, we would probably be looking at around 1 1/2 days for 2 guys. Maybe a little more without seeing the site in person.
     
  5. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    should looks something like this... although the stones i used to render this pic are twice the size as they should be, but you get the general idea. and I'm using a lighter color of stones as well, not this dark stuff.

    likethis.jpg
     
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Now that I see that rendering and understand what you are doing a little better, I have a suggestion. I still stand by my warning about the 3" blocks, but I would suggest turning the downhill side of the wall into the hill a couple of feet. It would look better and would give the wall a little more stability if it was a true interlocking wall.


    Dan
     
  7. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    So your saying to turn in the right side of the wall into the hill by about 2 feet or so? I just did that rendering really fast with photoshop:)
     
  8. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    Ok, the blocks I'm going to be using run roughly $4.00 at Home Depot. I figured out that I will need roughly 195 of these blocks for the wall. Is $10.00 a block installed a good price if I purchase each block $4.00?

    Oh, and by the way, these blocks are 6" high, and 16" wide on the face...
     
  9. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    I'm with d-felix i wouldn't use the 3" blocks. They will not do the job without failing. we are certified anchor wall installers and there 4" are good only up to 2' with out the use of geo-grid. I would go with a 6" or 8". 8" would be your cheapest route and most profitable because generally cover a full sq. ft.
     
  10. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    $20 per square foot of wall gets you labor then add material costs...your labor should never be more then your materials.


    Jeff
     

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