Help On Estimate For Retaining Wall

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by M&M Lawns, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. M&M Lawns

    M&M Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have been asked to build a Wall using 6 inch block. All the material will be provide by the customer. I want to know would you price the job per sq. foot or try to estimate an hourly rate and hope to be close . With out letting the customer know your hourly rate. The wall is aprox. 150 foot x 4 foot tall.. My normal rate if I was bringing in the material would be $18.00 PER SQ FT. what would be a fair going price for just labor?
  2. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    $10,800 - material and mark up should leave you with your labor and profit on your labor .

    Big Hoss
  3. ynvvbr

    ynvvbr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    wow our block alone is about 11.50 to $12.00 a square foot some of it is $15.00 a square foot.

    I have to agree with Big Hoss. $10,000, bottom line your kill yourself building the thing and walk away with $20.00 (not sure if thats true, but make it worth your while)
  4. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    I would charge $20 pr sq ft just for labor.($12,000) $10,800 is your labor at $18 a sq ft. charge $20 and if they hesitate you will have room to breathe in negotiation. if you knock $2 off, you still hit a good number for you, and the customer gets a very fair price. any less and you are being used.
  5. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I hope these arent 6 inch long block from a chain store. A wall 150long by 4 foot high will topple over, even if built right using these inferior retaining wall blocks.

    Production rates using 6" x 6" x 12" block:
    Base - 8 LF/WH (linear feet per worker hour)
    all other courses - 16 LF/WH
    2.5 hours to manually move 1CY crushed rock.

    Of coarse the actual time it will take depends on your skill level. The above production rates are for an average to well experienced individual.

    Material Needed:

    Using the 12" long block you will have 75 SF of base block to lay and 525 SF of all other courses to lay. Each block is .5 SF thus making all the blocks youll need at 300. Add 10% onto that for blocks you will cut, blocks that have defects, or extra you might need --- therefore youll need 330.

    Don't forget you crushed rock for behind the wall. Youll need about 18 CY of rock for behind the wall (10% added on). Since this wall is over 3' tall you SHOULD install drain tile behind the wall also.

    Labor Needed:

    Base course will take about 18.75 hours to install.
    All other courses will take you 65.63 hours to install.
    To move crushed rock - 7.2 hours (by hand)
    Site prep/ clean up - 4 hours
    TOTAL = 95.68 hours

    If excavating is needed, you'll have to add time on top of the 95.68 hours.
    So the sake of this we'll stick to 95.68 rounded up to 96 hours.

    Factor on your travel time, we'll say 3 hours. So now yuor total labor is 99 hours.

    NOW THEN....take your hourly rate, we'll say $20 (what you pay yourself), and multiply 20x99=$1980. Add on a labor burden (kinda like extra labor) of 25% to that $ your cost is $2475.00. BUT we are not done....using a multiple overhead recovery system we add 50% onto the labor. Now your TOTAL LABOR IS $3712.50. STILL THOUGH...we are not done..... Factor in the profit you want to make on the job. We'll use 35%, so here is the formula to factor in this additional cost:

    Total Costs x 0.35
    1.0 - 0.35

    Using the above equation we get 1999.03. So now your FINAL PRICE IS $5711.53 for the labor alone

    Using this method will give you fairly accurate bids. As you can see its not just using your rate times how many hours you will work. Rather it figures in your labor you pay out, your overhead, and the profit you want to walk away with.

    Hopefully this was not too confusing.......

    Where you guys are getting over 10k is beyond me.
  6. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Yeah as I re-read this, the 35% profits is quite high. Normally it is 15%, so now the formula should be:

    total labor x .15
    1 - .15

    So the new profit is about $655 thus making the total to be $4357.65. That all comes out to be $44/hour. (Using 35% profit made it $57.70/ hour...probably too high for most of us)

    IF you use this method, you will need to tailor the profit, labor burden, and overhead recovery rates for your business. This is how many of the largest landscaping companies figure their bids on jobs.
  7. ynvvbr

    ynvvbr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Now when you rpice material, make sure you price, Pins, Geogrid, glue, caps, wallstone, base material, crushed stone ... did i miss anything guys.

    Dont' skip especially on Back fil with clean stone. We have had to redo 2 Lareg jobs this year from other contractors that they only back-filled 3" with stone and 2 years later its leaning.

    With the labor Landscape Soultions figured our materials around here would be around $6,300.00 usuing square foot block.

    So around $10,500-$11,000.00

    Just make sure you figure all materials if ya dont it will hurt your bottomline, and dont forget delivery fees.

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