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Timber Wall Pricing Help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by wyoming lawn service, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. wyoming lawn service

    wyoming lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Hi everyone. I am going to do a side job for a customer. It will be installing new timber retaining wall that goes down both sides down steps to the customers house. I have not taken exact measurements but quickly guessing there will be roughly 100-120 8' landscape timbers used. How much or how would you figure to charge?

    I have used the search function but all the pricing I found was from several years ago. I want to be able to offer them a very good deal. My time is important but I need to land a few jobs to get capital flowing to start up my new business, so I am more concerned about getting the job.

    Any ideas would be very helpful!

  2. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 359

    i would suggest using a concrete block wall instead. much nicer looking and will last 100 times longer. timber i go with a 5 year time frame to have to be redone. and concrete block walls last anywhere from 25 to unlimited.
  3. wyoming lawn service

    wyoming lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Block is an option but will cost a lot more for them. Typical how much more does a block wall run then timber?
  4. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    Be careful "landing a few jobs to get capital flowing". If you don't charge enough the capital will be flowing away from you!
    I know you don't want to hear this, but only you can set the price for this job. Every company on here has different overhead and expenses, you'll just have to figure yours out. Using somebody else's price suggestion will get you in trouble.
    Just my opinion.
  5. wyoming lawn service

    wyoming lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Thank you for the honest feed back. I do not have much overhead as of right now. I know there will be more to come, but my start up costs have been very minimal as I am using equipment that I already own. I am not worried about figuring material for this job was just more concerned about how many hours it will take 2 people to complete. I understand the scope of work, just not man hours to complete.

    I'm 27 and have 5 years of building material sales experience. I am certified to read and estimate blueprints. How to estimate labor hours was more my question....sorry I was not very specific. I hope that clarifies my question for everyone.
  6. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    Do you have a picture of the site? How is the access to the work area?
  7. wyoming lawn service

    wyoming lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    I do not have pictures yet, I will go over there tomorrow and take some. I will upload them soon.
  8. nylandscapepro

    nylandscapepro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Your m/h's will depend on what type of equipment you have access to a skidsteer with forks is the easiest way to tear the existing apart, then do you have a hoe or mini-ex to dig for the new wall. Plus how much room do you have for working, and staging.
  9. wyoming lawn service

    wyoming lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    There is no access for big machinery. The wall is pretty much fallen over in most spots. The only two areas that are holding a lot of land back are still holding strong. The wall runs down a walk way to the basement.

    Removing the walls isn't that too big a concern. But digging there will be 2 of us with hoe's. Hope this helps. Pictures to come soon.
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    of those timbers, how many are deadmen?
    since you will be digging by hand, it will probablly be easier to do a SRW rather than a timber. There is much more labor involved in timber walls than in concrete walls. I think once you figure out your numbers you will realize the price difference isn't all that much.

    And if a timber wall is done correctly they can last 20+ years. Lots of deadmen, stone, drainage, and routine sealing maintenance and they can last a long time...of course not nearly as long as a properly constructed SRW. In the long run the cost of the SRW will be significantly less than the cost of the timber wall.

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