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Pricing out Reating Wall with Rocvale 135 block

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by rpaton, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. rpaton

    rpaton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I am pricing out a retaining wall a customer we just re-landscaped there entire property. Total facial (sq. ft.) comes to roughly 515 (including those buried). Caps are roughly 210 linear ft. The wall will be built on either side of a driveway between 2-4 ft. tall with some curves added. My supplier claims that very little cutting will need to be done with the above block. IN addition we are going to have built to circular planters in the front yard one being 50 ft. and the other 35 ft. in circumference roughly 1-2.5 ft. tall. They are within 50 ft. of driveway and accessible with a smaller skid steer. All walls are to be capped with units from Rocvale which are tapered. Driveway is flat and can easlily accomadate a large excavator and all materials. We will back fill with roughly 6-9 inches 3/4 gravel depending on height along with a base 24" wide/ 9" deep / 140 ft. long.

    I am estimating between blocks, Qp, gravel, caps, etc. plus excavation from outside company roughly $1,750 that total cost comes to roughly $22 per facial ft. I have a friend/builder who uses a very skilled company that I would like to sub out the job to. I will supply all materials, tools, machines, etc. with the exception of a demo saw and a truck. Additional materials will be trucked in or picked up by us. They are charging me $6 per facial foot , with the area completely excavated and ready for base install. They have done alot of high quality work in my area and have about 50 men working for them.. Owners are from South America so they can easily communicate with their men. My costs are coming in at roughly $28 per facial ft., I am thinking of charging $34. . This wall stone is quite expensive at roughly $14 per facial ft. , but it is the only stone that will match the cultured stone veneering on the house. OH, in addition their will be two sets of steps to be installed right off the driveway. One is a straight 4 ft. wide step roughly 8 steps long the other a 1/4 circle roughly 7 ft. wide / by 7 steps high. They will be done with the same blocks and cap.

    510 facial ft. X $35 per = $17,850
    steps w/ walls amount to rougly 60 facial ft. X $50 per facial ft. = $3,000

    Total Price = $20,850 with a 5 year guarantee.

    I will earn $7 per facial ft. on the wall and roughly 12 on the steps coming to a total of roughly $4,200.

    What are your thoughts on the pricing of this job. Any help from EXPERIENCED Hard Scape Contractors would be appreciated. IN addition, I have a great repour with my customers and have installed several walls in the rear of house including a patio. I also want to be fair on the pricing\.
  2. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 601

    We are getting 37 a face foot with block costing us $4.60 a piece, which comes to roughly $5.75 a face foot for materials. Make sure you include all of your gravel, fabric, Qp, grid(if needed), engineer if wall is over 4 ft(could easily cost over $2k if a partial topo survey is needed), any local permits, trucking time, glue for cap etc. All of these costs will eat your profit if you don't consider them up front. Is this company you are going to sub to doing the complete job(after Base), backfill, clean up etc??? Who is providing the warranty??? I would never warranty someone elses work, at least not on a wall. Lastly, I assume the job is in Bergen County, we are in Sussex county, it is a very different market. You are looking underpriced to me, down there, I'm guessing you should be somewhere closer to $42 per foot, and more like $60 on the steps, they are more time consuming and more likely to fail if anything isn't 100% right. Even if you decide to go with the numbers you already have figured you might want to add a "contingency" factor to your price, maybe 5%-10% just in case, this way if something comes up you have a cushion to protect your profit, if it's all good you can either refund them some or call it a bonus. And be sure your subs have all of the required insurances and that they give you a firm price in a contract. Also be sure you are aware of what unforeseen problems will cost you, say they excavator hits ledge rock while digging for the base how much will it cost you to get a hammer in there to deal with it??(just an example)

    PS- We just went through an insurance audit from the state, we use lots of subs, mostly for plowing. You are responsible to be sure your subs are insured, if they are not the fines are not nice. We did not get any fines, but I have heard horror stories from others who have!!!!
  3. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    Dumb question, but what is a face ft? Is it the sq ft of the face of the wall?
  4. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Yep, face feet is vertical square footage. How are you proposing to build the steps? Pedestal method will eat up quite a bit of block. I also think you sound low. At the price of that wall block, I would've been up around $45 a FF and $60-$70 on the steps.....but hey...that's what I feel is worth breaking my back for and I don't own a skid steer (yet). Did you consider the buried courses into the facial footage? If you're just collecting a check and can profit off of it, then go for it. Personally, I don't hook people up just because they've given me work in the past and I have a good relationship with them. I'm fair with everyone all the time and charge what I need to support my business and family.

    BTW - you would've been better off to post this in the hardscaping forum

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