Boulder Walls

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Wiedmann, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Wiedmann

    Wiedmann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    Looking to see a range of what everyone is charging per foot on boulder walls. Have to bid one and am curious to see what the prices are with lawn site members. I know everyone can say they charge .... per sq foot of a retaining wall but it seems boulder walls haven't been as discussed on here. Interesting to see how the responses on prices.

    The wall I'm looking to gain insight on to help bid is a 4 feet tall wall for 60 feet and then the remained of the wall is 2 feet high for 50 feet. Have to tear out an existing boulder wall that was done with too small of rock. Won't be able to use much of the existing rock as its to small. Plan to hire the hauling of the rock in to location to save on time and wear on my stuff.
     
  2. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    A lot depends on site conditions and access. Will you need to bring in soil or will you be hauling your cut out? You will need to bring in about 60 ton of boulders. I have been anywhere from $20-45 a SF. I will always figure materials and labor on a per job basis.
     
  3. Wiedmann

    Wiedmann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    I will have to bring in some soil to fill with. Biggest thing to me is time it will take to do this and the hassle it will be to stack these compared to block walls. I keep sitting here trying to think of how to price something so big. If I was to price this as a smaller wall I could get a better handle on it. I suppose I could break the wall down into pieces and try to get a overall "estimate" on time to do something this big. thanks for the help!

    Variables to me seem to be-

    Time to stack
    Charge for boulders and hauling cost. Will be around 40 miles from supplier
     
  4. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Are you going to be using a skid steer with forks? If so, it will be more difficult. I would say you should do 100 SF per day. Also it depends on how you plan on stacking the boulders. You could set them in rows(like a snowman) or more of an Ashler pattern. The snowman will go quicker if your boulders are relatively all the same size. Cost of boulders varies in different areas but is usually around $50-60 per ton. That includes delivery.
     
  5. Wiedmann

    Wiedmann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    I plan on using a skid loader and doing a snowball like Design. Last time I checked boulders were going for $90 a ton here.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    A boulder wall should ONLY be done on a time a material basis.

    It's a slow process. Moving and setting ONE boulder at a time. Been there done that :)
     
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,830

    Well said....1 rock can be 5 min or 45.... Or more
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,630

    We try to stay away from boulders for retaining walls, why not work with stone that has a flat bottom. Armourstone goes up quickly and when ordered by load can all be within one inch of each other. Boulders really don't do a great job of retaining imo.
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    this topic comes up multiple times a year.

    if this were my forum, I would have a section titled: Topics asked over & over


    and if you're importing boulders - I would NEVER commit to a quantity. I would tell the customer that it's $xxx.xx per truck load, theres xxx tons per truck, and the job may need xxx - xxxx tons. (notice my wording, I wrote "may", and that's INTENTIONAL)


    .
     
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    The use of boulders should be based on the setting of the property. Boulders would look out of place used in a planned unit development where all the houses look the same and all the house have brick fronts and siding on the sides and back.


    All the veteran regulars have seen this pic a hundred times on this site. This setting is perfect for boulders. And the wall is still standing - nearly 10 yrs later. This job took us 26 days to complete with 3 guys (maybe it was 4) working on it. And no - a skid steer won't really work too well to set boulders like the ones in the picture, you need an excavator. This job was a time and materials job, and the boulders are native to the site and were already there.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

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