Question on Land Clear & Prep Work

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Madpunter, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Madpunter

    Madpunter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10


    I have about 1/5 (90'x110') acre that I want:
    o cleared (of brush, saplings, and a couple stumps)
    o graded (it is relatively flat, but has some large depressions)
    o topped with 4 inches of loam (base for the grass)
    o base set for a retaining wall (2-3' tall along one 90' length).

    The lot is a rectangular shape and will be used simply for a grass area.

    I have gotten several estimates that are all over the board. I want a quality job done and know cheapest isn't best, but then again neither is overpaying. I need some help.

    Some more details:

    o I probably need about ten 10 wheel trucks of good fill
    o I guess I need about 300 yards of loam (woth some left over).
    o The area slopes maybe 4-5' over the 90' width of the plot.
    o Between the fill and the loam I want to level it out to the hight of the retaining wall which will run the length of one 90' side of the plot.
    o There are three large trees in the area that will need to be welled. (with flat stone)

    There are no large trees left to clear, but there are 3 large stumps to deal with. There is great access to the site and no time crunch for the project.

    I am looking to have the contractor get the site ready to the point where I can seed it. Also to have a level and compacted base on which to build the 90' retaining wall.

    I have never done this type of work before so I am at a loss on juding value. In the past in that type of situation I get several estimates and then compare contractor reputations and then chose a good "value".

    All quotes so far have been very different ranging from $4000 up to $15,000. I have described the project identically to each bidder. How the heck do I choose and what do you folks think this job might be worth? (am in the Boston Suburban area)

    Also do you think I can/should try to build the 3'x90' retaining wall myself or hire it out? I am very handy, just haven't built one before but am familiar with the "book" definition of how to do it.

    Please HELP ! :confused:
  2. odorisio

    odorisio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    you dont want your base for the retaining wall to sit and get rained on before you have the wall built and your drainage in. rain will mess up the compacted base.

    that should be one thing to keep in mind.

    without pictures i would probally quote you $40,000 no telling what kind of problems lurk..
  3. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Whatever you do, get a contract signed by both you and the contractor. One that spells out everything to be done. It will cover your azz as well as theirs....

    $4k sounds WAAAAAYYY too cheap to me. I don't think we can even get 300 yards of soil for that price, let alone move it around.......

  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    You got someone to supply and install all that for 4k? Either the guy wont show up to do it or they made a big mistake.... not much of that stuff you asked for requires warranty(cause the guy for 4k will never be back).... I tell people like you ...go for it.

    Im use to figuring in metric and dont have the time to figure this out for you but.... I know we'd be more than 15 k
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    If you where here the fill would probably cost around $500 bucks because they are giving away dirt and you are only paying the hual bill. The 300 yard of topsoil is a different matter, probably around $6000. equipment cost to spread it all about $1000. Finish grade ready to seed $500. Base for retaining wall, I dont have a clue. A poured concrete footing would cost around $1000. a poured retaining wall 8"x3ft high about $30 per ft last time I checked, or $2700 for 90ft. So I guess around $12,000, more if the fill dirt isnt as ready available as it is here.
  6. Madpunter

    Madpunter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10


    Thanks for all of your advice. I have chosen a contractor who for $11,000 will do the work specified above plus take out and bury for me several large stumps I have on other parts of my property.

    Is it a bad idea to bury the stumps? Should I ask him to take them away. Will they decompose and cause low spots in a couple years?

    Also I am thinking of also putting in a surface well for irrigation. Any suggestions on what to look out for.

  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Where ever you bury the stumps you will need to dig there later , murphys law. Have him haul them out. A surface well , I am guesing you will be using concrete well rings , generally the recovery rate on a surface well is insufficent for irrigaton . A drilled well is much better.

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