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How much to install versa lock

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JRSlawn, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    How much should I charge to install a versa lock wall for my girlfriends parents. The block are going to run me 5.09 ea and will need 432 of them
    Also how much for the caps allot of them will need to be cut amd there is going to be 48 caps.

    Please help

    Jeff Smith
    JRS Lawn & Landscape
  2. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    $20 a sqft. Unless your married to her i wouldn't give them much of a deal. If anything 10% off the job but why short yourself ya know. There isn't two prices for the wall n caps, jus charge $20 sqft and that will cover the entire wall job. If the job is difficult you'll want to price higher.

  3. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    You are cutting the caps because? Is it a curved wall?
  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    We just started the process of installing a Versa-lok Weathered Mosaic wall. We are a couple of weeks from actually starting to lay the block though, we have to first tear down a couple of other walls...

    What we are doing is marking up all materials and equipment by 10% of our cost, and charging an hourly rate that will cover all labor and overhead expense's, plus profit.

    If it's your girlfriends parents, just do it on a T&M basis....

    Cutting caps is somewhat necessary on a Versa-lok wall because there are two styles. I supose you could just use the kind with the narrow back and not cut any, but it'll look better if it's a solid cap on the entire length. The only way you wouldn't have to cut caps is if the wall was perfectly straight.


  5. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621


    Some insight into pricing based on almost 10-years of SRW and paver installs.

    Never, never, never price pavers by the SF or SRW by the SFF(square face foot)

    Let me give you an example on a wall.

    Say you have 2 walls that are 150 sff.

    1. the first wall is 150 feet long by 1 foot high

    2. the next wall is 50 feet long by 3 feet high

    then throw in straight or curved and the walls are the same sff, but will take different times to build.

    Most of your time building a SRW goes into excavation and laying the first course. Wall #2 will take allot less time to construct.

    We price our walls like this:

    We have a price per linear for the base course
    We have a price per sff for the body of the wall
    We have a price for the caps

    These prices vary depending on materials, location, shape, height and other factors, which vary job-to-job.

    On your current job, do not forget sales tax, delivery, rental fees, adhesive for the caps, clear stone for backfill, pins.

    Just like I tell people over the phone

    "I can not give you an accurate estimate over the phone without seeing the site"

    Best of luck.


  6. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I am working on a decent sized job that I've been doing for 5 weekends now. I am doing the bethany ledge colored versalok weathered mosaic. I'm interested in seeing your pics once you get going dfelix. These are some good looking blocks. I am getting about $30/ft. on this job, but I really priced it more like rex suggested for most of the same reasons. I however do not have even one year of experience in this, so I won't be the best source. I have just been figuring pretty much like what he said, and for the most part I come out around $25/ft. a little higher in this instance. I'm ready to be done with these blocks for a while. I'll have around 45,000#'s of versa-lok blocks on this one project, and I'm doing it mostly alone.
    I'd agree with not giving the g/f's family much of a break, you're call but being that a lot of us have probably been there, I'd advise against selling yourself short. These versa-loks should come with pins, so that shouldn't be an issue. As far as I've seen there is only one cap. It is finished on both sides, and you can use either the narrow end out for concave walls, or longer end for convex, or alternate them on straight runs. I could be wrong on that, but all mine are all the same...
    Oh yeah, check utilities before plaaning how you will dig as I'm having to a lot of digging the slow way to avoid utilities.
    Also, get a couple versa-lifters. They are worth it.
  7. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    her dad is kind of looking for a price so t&m wont be an option. I really respect you guys out there who can get t&m you guys must really be the best in the industry. do you think 1500.00 to install willl be enough
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    $1,500 for your labor?

    432 block x 5.09 = $2,198.88, plus caps, plus stone, fabric, equip. rental.....

    Usually labor is the more expensive aspect of the job. I'm not familar with Versa-lok, but let's assume they are close to 1 sf coverage each (my favorite, Allan Block is .91 sf coverage) That's over a 400sf face wall -- not including the caps. Figure that at what I consider a low price of $20/sf installed, you are looking at an $8000 wall!!!

    I believe you are drastically selling this WAAAAYYYYY short. You're gonna be working awfully hard for $1,500.

    Of course, this is coming from someone who is working for free right now for his in-laws :laugh:
  9. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Ok, since you didn't tell us, I had to grab the calculator to figure it out myself.... I couldn't remember for sure what the dimensions were for the Versa-lok, so I doubled checked what I remembered: http://www.versalok.com/contractor/cProductdescript.htm

    By the info you gave, 48 caps equals a wall that is 56 feet long.... (Caps are 14" across the face)

    432 blocks (I'm assuming Standards), at 56 feet long, gets you a wall that is basically 5' tall... 432 blocks x 2/3 sf face / 56 long = 5.1'
    A wall that size will require geo-grid. That's an additional material cost you probably haven't considered. I don't have the installation manual here, but you can download it from the Versa-lok site. Since I don't have the manual, I'm not sure if you need one layer or two, I'm thinking possibly two layers though.

    So, figure two layers, I'm assuming you have clay soils (who doesn't?), you will need the geo-grid to extend back at least 4', lets just say 5' for the sake of argument....

    56 feet long / 5' (width of Versa-grid 3.0) = 11 and some change
    11 pieces per layer x 2 layers = 22 pieces total
    22 pieces x 5 feet each piece = 110 feet of geo-grid

    IIRC, Versa-grid 3.0 (here, at least) comes in 5'x300' rolls, at ~$400/roll. So that's about $1.34/foot, if you don't buy a full roll it'll cost more per foot most likely. So, let's say you pay $1.50/foot, 110 feet x $1.50/foot = $165 for grid

    So, your materials are:
    Blocks: 432 @ $5.09 each = $2200
    Caps: 48 @ ~$3 each = $144
    Grid= $165
    Other materials (drain pipe, gravel backfill, gravel base, geo-textile) = ~$1000
    Total materials = $3509

    You will also NEED an excavator or backhoe (mini-ex would be best), a plate compactor and a tractor with loader or skidsteer. So figure another $1200 in equipment.

    You are probably looking at taking at least a week to do this solo. Just your materials and equipment will run around $4700, WITHOUT any markup....

    Are you sure you can handle a job this size? If you're gonna do it, do it right the first time!


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    We price walls just like anything else, all items needed to compete the job.

    Permit and professional fees

    Permits vary in every municipality we work, as do the specifics for obtaining one. Our time for any permit is fatcored at 3 times the cost of the permit, and this pretty much covers back and fourth to the government buildings, and any telephone calls that need to be made for inspections, soild hardness tests and so on. The average permit, and our fees runs $1,500.00.

    Professional fees. This includes soils engineering, all documantation and requires to install what ever wall at the specified hieghts. All after the fact soils tests are ala cart. The average soils report runs $3,000.00. And, the construction inspections and soils hardness testing runs between $325.00 and up to $570.00 per visit, and every 16" of elevation, they want to run more hardness tests to report to county.

    If we have 200 yards of materials to remove, weather it be off site and dump, or compact to 95% behind the wall over lengths of grid, that factors in. If we have 2 days with our excavator and MTL on site, those machines bill out $175.00 and $125.00 per hour. So, those fees times the time on site, plus transport to and from the site.

    After excavation, we install the base course. We use a device that we set on 3/16" rails with a 24" wide trolley we pull over the base which levels it off as it moves. We shoot the rails for, drop in the base, compact it in lifts. The base course is usually checked for hardness BEFORE the foundation wall course is laid. In some cases, the engineers specify an 18"x12" thick concrete footing, with #5 rebar set in a cradle 8" apart from one another. We use a jig to set the pins for the bottom course.
    We then have a clamp where we can place 5 Keystone standard units, up to 9 Country Manor units, and various widths of wall depending on brand. We lift the wall with a TH300 Cat, and set 6-7 feet of product at a time, and we also lay stone individually, depending on access. This machine bills out $100.00 per hour, and hand labor bills at the rate per man per hour. We have pretty accurate production rates once all logistics are worked out. (Access, machine vs hand, etc.) We also have forumlas we use for programmed radiuses on curves to cut labor.

    If it is a Geo-grid wall, we also factor machine times, and labor per square foot of compaction with the Wacker. We charge $175.00 per day for running our Wacker, $250.00 per day ror running our sheeps foot roller.

    Cutting....With most structural geo grid walls, there is not too much cutting. With Country Manor, there can be alot. Go to www.naturescapelandscape.com and see for ourselves.

    With all these variables, it is pretty easy to see how bad you can screw yourself if you use an SF price for bidding. By the way, I have taken for average estimation purpose (W.A.G.'s) the average SF price for walls, excavation, drains, gravel fabric, yada yada. It sits at $48.32 per SF at present.

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