Help with quotes / claims on hardscaping

Trust but Verify

LawnSite Member
Location
Mason Dixon Line
Getting backyard patio with stamped concrete, basic water feature. Bench retaining wall for seating, and outdoor fireplace.

One Company did not provide design / drawing (used our rough sketch) and offered the below. Seems about twice what contractors on Angie’s list and home advisor are quoting:

“Approx. 700 SF patio space $22,300.00

Walls Approx. 48 LF bench height wall ( cmu wall with stone veneer) $12,460.00 Cap limestone $3,600.00

AB wall for retainage ( needed do to elevations) Approx. 72LF $11,700.00

Fireplace with hearth $13,300.00 ( gas fireplace )

Gas hook up $3,100.00 (includes correct gas line per burner)

You said you have someone for the landscape.

Lighting 11 Fixtures $3,660.00

Water feature $ 3,600.00”

This house was built 2 years ago and this contractor stated not to do concrete Lanscape cubing anywhere due to settling.

All the above asks were basic an much higher when we looked for higher end ranges. Outdoor fireplace $13,000?

we live in one of upper-end, premiere neighborhoods and I think the above is very high. The backyard grade is about 1 foot (decline) per 25 feet.

thanks
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
For starters, Angie's List and Home Advisor "estimates" seem quite low typically. Especially when you look at their numbers for mowing and basic landscape stuff.

Why don't you go with one of their quotes?

Welcome to the site.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Getting backyard patio with stamped concrete, basic water feature. Bench retaining wall for seating, and outdoor fireplace.

One Company did not provide design / drawing (used our rough sketch) and offered the below. Seems about twice what contractors on Angie’s list and home advisor are quoting:

“Approx. 700 SF patio space $22,300.00

Walls Approx. 48 LF bench height wall ( cmu wall with stone veneer) $12,460.00 Cap limestone $3,600.00

AB wall for retainage ( needed do to elevations) Approx. 72LF $11,700.00

Fireplace with hearth $13,300.00 ( gas fireplace )

Gas hook up $3,100.00 (includes correct gas line per burner)

You said you have someone for the landscape.

Lighting 11 Fixtures $3,660.00

Water feature $ 3,600.00”

This house was built 2 years ago and this contractor stated not to do concrete Lanscape cubing anywhere due to settling.

All the above asks were basic an much higher when we looked for higher end ranges. Outdoor fireplace $13,000?

we live in one of upper-end, premiere neighborhoods and I think the above is very high. The backyard grade is about 1 foot (decline) per 25 feet.

thanks
Seems like very high prices to me
 

mightyJay

LawnSite Member
Location
Pa
Its been a while since I've done any hardscape but there are many variables when considering the estimate. Ease of access, things that may get in the way. When you get into needing a lot of fill material the price can add up there. Also a good company is gonna consider damages to the front to gain access to the back. Such as smoothing out machine tracks, reseeding and such things. Angies list goes off of a base of things and is never specific to your actual needs. You should read his reviews on google. Call around for a second and third opinion. But before you do all that, research the base cost of the material and products you wish to use. Get a general idea on what it would cost you at a retail price. Labor is a completely different story, cost of machinery as well. 1 excavator and 1 skid steer needed for your project alone will cost about $800 a day just in a rental fee. But even if the machines are owned by the company in most cases you should expect to still pay close to the same as the rental. Being in a high end neighborhood doesnt help your cause either. Prices for most of everything are gonna be a little more inflated just because, its clear youre better off than most. Anywhere between 30-45k is probably a solid price for the work described. But none of us are there in person to evaluate the scene of the crime. But its not cheap, its definitely going to increase your value. But it will cost you an arm and a leg. Sounds like this one is on the higher side of cost. You want to know that the job will be done right. You dont want to go with the guy whos 10k cheaper but in 5 years your walls sag in the middle and bow over at the tops. Quality also comes with a price and in this case its not fabuloso vs pine sol
 
OP
T

Trust but Verify

LawnSite Member
Location
Mason Dixon Line
Thanks for the response and I get the variables you’d only have by being here.

There is 8’ side access that’s 22’ from street so minimum repair to sod there. We have two other quotes coming. The only other was for similar work but with pavers versus stamped concrete (all else the same) but it was $25,000 less. Quality is the only thing I can think of but what is difference between very good quality and the best quality from similarly reviewed companies?

We googled average to high cost for this work in our area that includes materials and labor then added 10% for unknown and complexity. Still was almost 1/2 of the $60k quote. But we weren’t for sure if that is accurate as well. To your point, we don’t want issues in 10 years but will that extra $25k ensure that?
 

mightyJay

LawnSite Member
Location
Pa
Personally, I would go with pavers over the stamped concrete any day. In my opinion,personal only at this point is pavers are easier and cheaper in a maintenance stand point. If you eventually get a spot that settles it can be easily repaired and restored to be flawless again. Whereas concrete will crack and will need repair which will be noticeable even if done by the best mason out there. Or there would be replacement which in a sense is more costly than pavers. Pavers are are great look. They come in many shapes, sizes and design. You fill in the joints with pave sand and lock them tight and then go over the entire thing with a quality paver sealer and follow the manufacturer recommendation for a recoat and just maintain it like ya would anything else. In due time you will have an issue with either route ya take. Everything has a "shelf life" expect flaws over time with anything. Even inside your house you may see flaws here and there and i would bet your house was built by the same guy that did your neighbors. Try ro obtain quotes from others of the similar products to have a good comparison. Try to find a company who has been around for at least 10 years. So many lawn and landscape companys dont last this long and its not because they are bad at what they do, but because its a tough business to be in.
 
OP
T

Trust but Verify

LawnSite Member
Location
Mason Dixon Line
Thanks, again. The paver guy has been doing it for 25 years and was old school. He’s done a few neighbors and they looked great - of course all houses here are just a few years old. Agreed, we are following through with the other bids. A friend that does commercial concrete out of town stated the guy might be bidding himself out. Not sure why a company would do that unless too busy unless some sucker is willing to over pay. I think I’m leaning towards the pavers too.
 

mightyJay

LawnSite Member
Location
Pa
Thanks, again. The paver guy has been doing it for 25 years and was old school. He’s done a few neighbors and they looked great - of course all houses here are just a few years old. Agreed, we are following through with the other bids. A friend that does commercial concrete out of town stated the guy might be bidding himself out. Not sure why a company would do that unless too busy unless some sucker is willing to over pay. I think I’m leaning towards the pavers too.
25 years is a long time. Id keep him in mind and just be sure you know exactly what youre getting. Make sure you discuss everything that you feel you need and make sure its all noted in detailed scope of work section in the contract. The concrete guy you are probably right about, he has work to keep him busy so he doesn't need it but for the right price he would bump some stuff back for the extra price he quoted you. That does happen. Best of luck with what you decide. Also in addition, the high end good quality landscape lighting is costly. I was certified for installation about 12 years ago. To me being an average person they were expensive. Some jobs the material cost alone for the lights were 2-4k not including transformers and other materials to ensure long lasting quality operation. So you will expect to pay a little more than cost. Just know that good quality landscape fixtures are expensive.
 

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