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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by siyaltrduc, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. siyaltrduc

    siyaltrduc LawnSite Member
    from Raleigh
    Messages: 39

    I am in need of some help. I have a bid that I need to put in on what it would cost to build a burm that is 150'Lx4'Hx6'W. It is the shape of a hook. I don't know how much dirt I will need. I do know that the customer would like a mix of 30%organic soil and 70%topsoil or clay topsoil. Any suggestions on the best equipment to use to make the burm 4' high X 6' wide. The ground is fairly flat, meaning there aren't many dips or low spots. Also what does the normal truck of soil cost? I feel it would be easier to shape a burm that is wider but it is what the customer wants. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    You, or me, are not going to be able to make a berm 4' high and 6' wide. The soil will not hold that slope.
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    When building a burm without support, to go 4' high you'll find it needs to be more like 10-12' wide. Also to keep costs down the bottom 2' make it out of the stuff that gets screened first from topsoil piles-I forget the name but its cheep like $3-$6 yard, Topsoil will cost about $12-$16 yard, and Mushroom Soil/Compost can be $22-$30 yard. A rough guess is you need around 100 - 120 yards, make sure to pack it as you go. Build it with a large Tracked skidsteer with a 1 yard bucket. A loader will move more soil faster but the tracks allow you to pack it and the smaller size of the skidsteer will allow you to do the bend more easy.
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    what slope degree ? 1 to 1 , 2 to 1 , 3 to 1 , or what ? that will determine how much material .
  5. siyaltrduc

    siyaltrduc LawnSite Member
    from Raleigh
    Messages: 39

    At the dimensions I think it would be a 1 to 1 slope. The customer will be planting on the top of the burm and possibly on the slope. Does anyone know how long a job like this should take with two people? Total estimated cost?
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    That is a 1:1.25 run-rise which is not sustainable. Try it out in your back yard. It won't work and you certainly can not plant shrubs on it. Or stand three feet from a wall and put your hand up to where your ribs come together (solar plexis). Visualize piling dirt from the bottom of the wal to your hand. It looks pretty impossible doesn't it?

    My guess is that an inexperienced designer has called this out on a plan and you are left to bid on it. You would really be pushing it to get this berm 3' high at 6' wide without some supportive structure. I would recommend 2.5' high, or widening to 8 or 10'.
  7. siyaltrduc

    siyaltrduc LawnSite Member
    from Raleigh
    Messages: 39

    How do you know how much soil to use per linear foot or how far does a cubic yard get you.

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 326

    I'm not sure what to add for compaction but a berm that is 4 feet high, 4 feet wide at the top, and 12 feet wide at the base is going to take a minimum of 178 yards of dirt. Most tandem loads are 15 yards.

    If you use screened topsoil, you're going to get alot of aeration in the soil (fluff) from the material yard. It also generally costs more (25%?) but will screen out lots of large rocks and limbs.

    You could use unscreened clay for your base then work in a clay/topsoil mix as you build up. I don't know your soil costs in Raleigh but clay's probably going to cost you $8-12 yard and topsoil around $12-15 yard. Material like mushroom compost or a garden mix are $25-35 per yard in my area.

    I would add at least 25% to the bid for the soil if you use screened material. If you realize you don't need as much and your feeling nice then give the homeowners a break. I doubt you'll feel that way after that. Actually, I doubt they'll want to do it after you give them the price based on what they originally wanted.:laugh:

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