Help on current market $ for retaining wallls..

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Niehaus_SLC, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Niehaus_SLC

    Niehaus_SLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    A little help....

    Been out of the market for retaining walls for about 5-6 yrs. I am expanding my company and looking to take these jobs on again due to numerous requests. How is the pricing now a days....$ per sq ft?

    I have a pretty intense grade that will require an area totaling 4'x55' (2 tiers).

    I know you guys can help.
  2. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    If you really want to be cut throat use $8.00/sq. ft. you'll get every job around and be busier than you can imagine.
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,663

    You can help yourself by first judging how long it will take you to do the job, if you don;t know that part, then none of us can help you. Get your pricing on material and delivery costs, figure in all your labour costs and associated running expenses. You will likely need geo-grid, do you have the tools to do the job, do you have the experience, man there are so many factors. Your question is bogus, there is no straight answer for it. Sorry.
  4. Tom B.

    Tom B. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I hope you're being facetious Patriot. It would be nearly impossible to make any money at that price and have a sustainable business. I would work the numbers and figure out what YOU need to be charging instead of worrying about others in your market. So, to help you, we would need to know a lot more about the job. Wall material, site access, amount of excavation, soil conditions, base, backfill, drainage, hauling, etc.
  5. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Are you kidding me ??? You can be my sub anytime.
  6. blind04

    blind04 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    i will tell you what has always worked for me. i take the total cost to do the job in material, ie block, aggregeat, special tools, rental tools of any sort, delivery charges, ect ect, and double it. and that number would be my price. i do several retaining walls a year and every one has been very very profitable and ended up with a very happy customer. every area is different thou. i can tell you also that i repair alot of walls in my area from other companies install that dont last becouse they were cheap and didnt build right.
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    How can you charge that way when one wall is $5/SF and another is $16/SF. You will get two different numbers to install the same amount of work. this is not estimating its guestimating.

    do yourself a favor and figure out ur all of your materials and expenses, then the time it will take to do the job x ur hourly rate(means labor burden, taxes, insurance, etc, etc. plus profit) and add them together. thats ur price.
  8. Total Landscape Solutions

    Total Landscape Solutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    We really need a forum dedicated to people who need to ask elementary questions about pricing and finding ones billable hour.

    I love this forum when the threads are about sharing new products or methods of installation, design ideas or pictures of completed jobs for constructive criticism.

    It's one thing when experienced hardscapers discuss keeping overhead costs down and comparatively debate the way they arrive at a price for an install. But this entire "what should I charge" or "what do you charge" dialog is getting really old.
  9. blind04

    blind04 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    i completely disagree with you here. you bring up a good point about different block being a different price per square foot. i use 4 different types of block, the cheapest is the smallest and lightest block and is much easier to handle and manuver. the most expensive is the heviest, and is much larger and alot more dificult to handle, manuver and set each block. there in is the difference in price per block and labor. i think i explained that right.
  10. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    the heaviest block we install is in the 70-80+ lbs area, that is also the cheapest block too.

    how is this for another example.

    we install walls that come in 3" and 6" heights. we can install them just 3", jsut 6" or a combo of both. the labor to install just a 6" wall is the lowest, then the 3" and the combo requires the most amount of labor to install. however the price per square foot to buy these block are the same. by using ur method i would end up with the same amount of labor for all three jobs. thats just one small example of how the same size job can have different costs.

    i am not trying to argue my point, as i have an entire industry that would back up what i am saying. i am just trying to help you and anyone else that is reading understand why you need to estimate this way. sq/ft prices and 2x or 3x costs is bogus. it might work in the retail game, but not in the contracting game. we sell labor, not pavers. charge them what it costs you to put that piticular job in, not an average of every job you have done thus far.

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