River Stone Walkway pricing Q's

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by saldonna, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. saldonna

    saldonna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    We just installed a river stone walkway(1-3" stone), roughly 280 sq. feet. It is a twisting walkway about 65 ft in length by 4 feet in width after we were finished. Before we took on this project, there were 28 slate slabs already in place used as a walkway surrounded by mulch/dirt.

    quick background info. This is in Chester county, PA. A VERY wealthy area, something like top 20 wealthiest counties in the country. so pricing is generally a little inflated around here.

    We dug out the entire area around the slate about 4-5" down, leveled the slate, and then installed edging. We laid the rock- about 3 yards worth (or buckets, I assume it is slightly less than a yard per bucket). Now my question is, what do you charge for a project like this. it took us 26 total man hours, with a little over $400 in materials. I will post pictures soon.

    Thank you for any help, input, or advice here.
  2. saldonna

    saldonna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Here are a few pictures.

    adam's bday 034.jpg

    adam's bday 035.jpg

    adam's bday 030.jpg

    adam's bday 029.jpg

    adam's bday 028.jpg
  3. saldonna

    saldonna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    And a few more





  4. saldonna

    saldonna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    anyone??? We are new at this and need pricing help.I will tell you that we received $626 for the total job, and that includes our material costs. We feel we were ripped off. Again 27 Man Hours and a little over $400 in materials.

    what would be a fair market price for a job like this? $1200, $1500 ????
  5. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    did you consider your mark up on material, plus delivery, and you hourly rate, lets say your hourly rate is 75.00 per hour, 75x26=$1950.00, Lets say your mark up is 20% on material, material = $480.00, delivery charge = $125.00. Job total = $2555.00 or $2500.00 even. yeah I would have not touched that for under 2000.00, You have to realize any type of gravel is very labor and time intensive. Also did you charge dumping fees for the material you pulled out, plus your doing double the work by taking the slabs up, moving the to the side, the putting them back down again.
  6. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    so you only made 226 from the job, what about taxes, insurance etc.
  7. saldonna

    saldonna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Exactly what we thought...

    on our invoice, we charged $55 per hour and had all the materials listed out. We gave a 10% discount to the customer because it was in the neighborhood of another client that we do a lot of work for- and this is where the problem lies. We do work all summer at this clients home. We charge a flat rate of $15 per hour(for each person) for only this customer. And he, w/o our knowing, told the other client(who we did the walkway for) that we only charge $15/hr.

    our invoice came to $1,500. ?the client crossed out our 55/hr and wrote in 15 because thats what he was told and cut is a check for that.

    pretty ridiculous. and there was no estimate given because the wife told us to "just do it" after we finished the mulch. lessons learned.

    we don't wanna burn any bridges in this community because it is very big and have other clients, so we are just going to bite the bullet and take the loss. gotta think for the future.

    we didnt charge any dumping or misc. fees that would normally be charged.

    the guy says, I would have gotten brick if I wanted to spend $1,500.

    I just chuckled.
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    A written agreement goes a long way.

    This industry never ceases to amaze me.

    Big, Shiney, F-250 with the cool sounding diesel engine. Cool shirts on the guys backs.

    Yet....."paper work, duh, whadda we need dat fur"
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  9. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    man you guys got alot to learn $15 hr! i live in the poconos and wont do anything less then $20. The rich will try to take advantage with you everytime. Chalk it up to a learning lesson and move on. The job looks great! keep your head up and keep movin foward!
  10. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    $15 per man hour in an "up scale" area???? Walkway with river jack in it in an "up scale" area? I'm sure you're proud of your work and did a good job but you need to research more on hardscaping and at the least get into pavers.

    Just my opinion, I don't like it. A problem I would see is the stone getting on the stepping stones and something to roll your ankle on. Additionally, their landscape is horrible. Perhaps you can up sell them? Pending your experience, use a designer.

    Get a contract on everything and you would probably be doing yourself a favor to lose the $15/hr customer you have. After wages, taxes and workers comp you're losing money. Personally, if I were to do that job it would be $2,500+. Heck, I quoted someone yesterday to put a masonry/stone step in front of their stoop. ONE 6' wide step. I explained the process, regardless of job size and billing for two full days of labor. Yeah, they're paying a lot of money for one little step but just because the scope is small doesn't mean I can charge less. Determine your rate and stick to it.

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