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Please help with retaining wall bid

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jayycrew, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. jayycrew

    jayycrew LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    have a customer that wants a retaining wall 58' total in length. About 17' is from 1' to 4' the rest is 4' high. I am going to be using Oklahoma Multicolor builders block. It normaly runs 40 square feet a tone and I get it for about $155 a tone.

    Please help..................
  2. absolutelawnman

    absolutelawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Funny, live in Oklahoma and never heard of Oklahoma Builders Block. To help you with your bid:

    There is no exact formula the basics figure material costs, figure labor, figure a fudge factor, figure a cushion, then sit back and do it all over again.

    The right "long" way to do it is

    measure the exact distance, look at what kind of soil you are working with, what is the ease of getting material there, what kind of base are you going to have, need geo-fabric?, how long will it take you to order the block, get the block, prepare the block, pay for gas, rentals, talk to the customer, pay for help, wear and tear on truck, back etc

    Once you figure all of that out plus many others then you figure out what you time is worth and bid the job.

    Hope this helps a little, I wasnt trying to be a smart a??
  3. nkour

    nkour LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Get an engineer involved!! In order to properly construct a retaining wall, you need to know soil conditions, footings, how your going to divert water away from the wall, geo grid length etc.
    In Maryland, any wall over 3' needs a permit and to get a permit you need to submit a plan stamped by an engineer but even if no such requirement exists in your area, don't incur the liability of building a wall by guessing. Plus an engineer will do a material take-off for you.
    I learned this lesson the hard way.
    Visit www.Ryanandassociates.net and the have a form you can download and fill out and they will do a free preliminary take off (they work in 17 states I believe)
    Hope this helps

  4. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Im in alleg. county and we do not need a permit for a wall. In the city of Cumberland you need a permit unless you are replacing a wall than you dont need one. Then in the city only any thing over 3' you need a fence. I use allen block from nitterhouse and i know they refer Ryan ass. On the average my walls 3-5' done quite a few 6' and my talllest 13'. We have rock and hard shale up here below the clay and on average walls an arct. is not neccessary. My sales rep from Nitterhouse in Chambersburg, Pa. Knows my work and my over kill on grid, and stone told me any thing up to 6' in our area dont worry about it.
  5. nkour

    nkour LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I guess I should have said in Frederick, MD any wall over 3' needs a permit, in Mont. County any wall over 30" needs a permit and any wall over 48" needs an engineers stamped drawing for a permit. Never worked in Alleg. County.

    Of course, there are more issues than just grid; there is surcharge, global stability and drainage just to name a few.

    One note about material distributors, again just speaking from personal experience, they're main goal is to sell product. Once the product leaves their facility, the liability is on the contractor. Having an engineer gives me peace of mind

    Mike, if your comfortable doing it your way, more power to you, just remember it only takes one wall failure to ruin your day.

    My advise to Jayycrew remains the same.


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