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6"x6"x8' Treated Lumber Wall

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by yardatwork, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Wondering if you guys could look over this estimate. I know how to build these walls (deadman, gravel, drainage, etc) as I've done numerous for friends and family and really don't ever charge what I should be charging. I do more mowing and maint. vs. scaping. However, I've been wanting to do another wall and lucky me...I got a call for one. There is also an existing block wall that has been there for seven years...it's crumbling to dust...no drainage behind it either!

    The wall is 38' long. Starts at 6' high and has a steady tapper down to 3'...will also have twelve steps going straight up (no turns).

    104 - 6"x6"x8' = $2076.88
    250 - rebar = $137.50
    4 - ton 1b = $74.00
    perforated pipe = $55.00
    delivery (it's an hour drive one way) = $150.00
    demo of existing block wall = $500.00
    tax = $140.55
    labor = $3200.00
    total = $6333.93

    there are pics on my Facebook of past walls I've done for the skeptics!

  2. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    The labor cost looks reasonable. All the other costs seem low to me. The delivery and demo in particular. But I do not know how you calculated those items. I understand that you are using dead men, but do you use any hardware to fasten the timbers? (sorry I am not a big wall builder). How about permit fees?

    Nice photos on your FB page (not that I am a skeptic)
  3. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    The rebar anchors them together...a bomb could go off and the wall would be standing. As for the demo...they plan on doing it them selves to save money. The existing wall is only dry stacked block. There was no glue used or a pin system for the block. I could honestly grab the top of the wall and it would pull over. So the demo wouldn't be too hard. But if they can save $500...that'll make them happy to do it themselves. As for the delivery...Lowe's charges $79 for delivery. So I was figuring two trips and wanted to save them a little. As for permit fees. I have always been told that if a structure is NOT hard fastened to an existing frame (the house), then a building permit is not needed. But, if I am wrong and a building inspector would stop...the home owner would have to pay for a permit. As for the materials...those are exact cost figures.

    Thanks for taking the time to give some insight.
  4. twowheelted

    twowheelted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    You haven't done your homework and expect the homeowner to step in when permit fees are assesed? Sorry, that's harsh but we just got slammed by the city for $300 in permits, $300 additional materials costs (to rebuild the wall because of very minor details, $350 for an engineer to draft a letter, 2 extra days of work for me and my partner, and the biggest headache of the year. We absorbed the cost, the customer is happy and wants to invite us to the party when it's finished.

    I wish I had done my homework better. I thought that this job was going to ruin me. Did I mention the wall was 26" high?
  5. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    I realized just after I posted what the rebar was for. How do you assemble?
    I guess you anchor the rebar in concrete beneath the wall and drill holes in the timbers and drop them down?

    I have never built any retaining wall taller than three feet. I bid one that was sixty feet long and two and a half tall last fall, but did not get the job. I do very little hardscape but love the change of pace when I do.
  6. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Thanks for the heads up. I looked up the building code for the county I'll be building this in. They have a four foot height code and only a building permit is needed. No engineer letter required. I've explained all this to the home owner so there won't be any hidden charges. Thanks again and sorry to hear what happened to you guys.
  7. twowheelted

    twowheelted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Thanks, the real kicker was when I looked it up online and the town said that any retaining wall under 5 feet did not need an engineers letter. However, somewhere else (not available online) it says that any retaining wall (retaining anything, driveway, etc.)regardless of height must be engineered. Go figure. I thought that by definition a retaining wall retained something.,

    Good Luck. I think these things go under the radar. We just got unlucky.
  8. powerslawn&landscaping

    powerslawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I think your price is dead on the money !
  9. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Thanks Powers! I mailed the bid...now I sit and wait.
  10. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    I have found that often the best source of knowledge in terms of whether or not a permit or engineer is needed is the supplier in a specific town or area. Not that i do not check with the town, who sometimes don't even know. My supplier knows or has documented in laymans terms most the codes for most of the area towns. They also have an engineer available that knows the codes and design specs of the materials they sell. You would be surprised at how they differ between towns and sometimes even go against installation documentation from the manufacturer.

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