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Pricing for a french drain.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Green Acres, May 14, 2006.

  1. Green Acres

    Green Acres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    I have a customer that has a wet spot on the side of her house. I think that there might be a spring there. She is in a subdivision and her house and her neighbors side yards drain down into this valley and runs though the back yard. I was thinking of running a french drain with pipe and pea gravel and day-lighting it out into the woods behind her house. The back yard already slopes that way so it should be easy to get some fall. It is about 110 ft long how do you price something like this? I have read some other threads and it looks like around $12 per foot. That seemed a little high to me but maybe not. Thanks.
  2. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Last year was $6.00 a foot was from the main two companies in town installing both in Johnson County.
  3. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    ((12 dollars a foot is good but it would include pipe,stone,and labor))
  4. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I have done a ton of these and i dont understand why to bid by the sq'. I first estimate my backhoe time to excavate, 110' 3 hour dig 24" bucket 2' deep. $195.00. Load dirt and haul away bobcat 2.0 $130.00. 2 truckloads to haul away 21 ton. 4 hour $ 200.00. 110' of pref. pipe $ 50.00 21 ton of 57 agg. for drainage not pea gravel $ 325.00 delivered. Install pipe and stone 1.5 hour $97.00. Filter cloth $50.00. Re grade and rockhound beside of excavation area 1.5 $97.00 1 load of top soil $150.00 Grade and rake top soil 1.5 $97.00. Re seed and mulch damaged areas $ 150.00
    My price with out seeing job: $1,541.00.
    All of these are different i like my blind ditches 2' on average and use a stone that will drain , pea gravel does not drain as well. A mini excav. would do a neater job such as swing around a dump dirt in the bobcat bucket instead of laying dirt on side of ditch and having to clean that area. I think there can be too many variables to price by the foot is why i choose est. by the hour. Keep in mind i from w.md. in the mt. area and we have some tough digs at times and i mainly know the area where im going to hit rock or shale and have to adjust my price for that.
  5. mr. niceguy

    mr. niceguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Make sure to let the customer know that there could be some considerable additional expenses if you hit a big goony rock. At least an additional $300 for a jack hammer plus the extra labor. When I was having my foundation hole dug, the excavator hit two boulders about 8' diameter, it cost me some serious coin to have those things jackhammered out.
  6. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I bet you did , we have some serious rocks here in cumberland too. Or hard shale that the backhoe bucket just skips off of it.
  7. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    just be careful, because a lot of areas including the one i live in require permits to do even simple work like that...i don't know if you factored this in or not.
  8. mr. niceguy

    mr. niceguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I bet you did , we have some serious rocks here in cumberland too. Or hard shale that the backhoe bucket just skips off of it.

    Yep, you know it. Sandstone and shale are some real buggers.
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    There needs to be an understanding with your customer that unforseeable obstacles need to be compensated for after the fact. You can really lose your @$$ if you hit a monster rock or some nice shale and have to hammer it out. Although, 2 feet deep I doubt you'd hit anything, but it's always safe to have a clause in the contract that allows you to pass the cost of obstacles off to the customer. Also, don't take ANY homeowner's word as far as the location of any underground utilities on their property. Get a locate done, it's free and it'll save you tons of aggrevation.

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