SRW help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by benjamin, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. benjamin

    benjamin LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 7

    I have a retaining wall that I'm second guessing my price structure with.

    It's a larger wall than what we are used to doing and the project is just the retaining wall. For some reason I'm not sure about my numbers.

    The wall is 170 long. With a total of 555 face feet including the base.

    I figure my total materials as $6578 (4.45 block, 3.75 per cap).
    953 Block
    163 Block
    Anchor 6" block. Grey color.

    45 Tons of stone.

    45 cubic yards of soil / fill.

    I come up with man hours of 168.
    Cost of labor at $2520.
    Overhead recovery $3024.
    Total price I come up with is $17426.

    Here's my dilema:

    Seems like a lot work for a little profit.
    For some reason I'm thinking man hours are off.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    My first thought is labor. With 168 man hours in the project, it averages to $15.00 per hour. Since I don't know how many guys on site, or what they are paid, I can't break that number apart any more, but in all honesty, that number seems low. Add comp, FICA and all the associated Nazi fees we are required to collect for the worker, then supplement to the government and I'm betting it costs you more like $20.00 give or take.

    The next thing is I don't see anything in there for time the machines run. Assuming the acess is good, and the staging area is close with no obstructions you will have at least 20 machine hours on the job. I spearate machine hours from overhead recovery so I can see more effectively, what machines are making me money and are most efficient, also, so I can recover the overhead for the time each of them runs and all associated high wear parts that will need to be replaced, such as tires, tracks, oil changes, etc. I also consider fuel for those machines as direct job costs, simply because fuel used for one job will vary significantly from one job to the next.

    Next, when you say the project is "just" a retaining wall, it makes me assume that all back cuts have been done, preferably stepped in 2' benches so you will minimalize differential separation as the wall settles.

    As I see you wall costs itemized, I only see gravel dirt quantities not the associated costs for trucking and product costs. Said that, I see you are importing soils as fill and I assume you are filling a slope to make it flat. Have you taken into account the spoils you are removing from the leveling pad and can you use those as back fill? And, have you calculated the machinery and time associated with back fill compaction in the total time you have for the wall?

    168 hours assuming all I mentioned is not out of the box. It's about one working week project if all is close to the toe of the wall. Industry standards cost wise, you are at $31.00 per SF, and most walls with easy access, one week of labor in and out, should be selling between $40.00 and $50.00 per SF.

    I've used the SF unit of measure to WAG the job for you, but there seems to be something out of the box with the price.
  3. benjamin

    benjamin LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 7

    Bill -

    Thanks for the response. The labor rate is accurate and assumes the nasty's of FICA, FUTA, SUTA. We're in a middle sized midwestern town. Crew leader is $13.50. Laborers are $9.50 to $9.00.

    Costs include all materials and associated delivery fees.

    The fill does include a portion of what's excavated being put back in.

    Out here I am seeing actual estimates of $16 to $25 a face foot for this type of work. I can't figure out how they are doing it.

    Yet even with my numbers it still seems like a lot of work for little $.

    Any additional input is greatly appreciated.

  4. amvega

    amvega LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I really think you need to look at your numbers again. I figured for 555 sq. ft of block you'll need 800 blocks with a 10% waste figured in. Also you'll only need 35 tons of stone. The fill dirt looks right. Also it should only take about 120hrs to do it. What is the wall height? I figure it has to be in the 3 to 4 ft area. Is there any geogrid? I would say you sound a little high. I would say closer to 12000 and you should still make good money. Your guys a slacking if it takes them a 168 hrs.
  5. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    If its a commercial project then you can expect to see the competitions prices in the $18-$25/face foot range. The Commercial wall building sector is filled with whores. My residential pricing is more in line with the $40-$50, depending on site conditions, access, grid requirements, and infill materials.

  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Exactly right for this area. $18 is common.
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Ben-Honestly i think your hours are off. I did a 450 face foot wall solo in 85 hours and that included riping down a old rail road tie wall, wheel barreling all the block and base material in. I skid sterred in 30ish yards of 3/4 stone and 20 yards of top soil. Of course i worked my arse off for 8 straight days.

  8. benjamin

    benjamin LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 7

    One block covers .67 SF = 828. Figure with 15% waste a total of 953. Sorry I failed to mention the size of block.

    1.3 - 1.4 Tons per Cubic Yard. 35 cubic yards = approximately 45 tons.

    $12,000 ? You already have the material costs, labor costs, and overhead burden costs spelled out. The cost of the job is at $12,122?? You would be losing money!

    Anyone doing these things for $18 per face foot is simply loosing money.

    86 hours???? I find that hard to believe.

    Let's get back on track here.

    I sense that the man hours might be low at 168?? Anyone have hard verifiable proof otherwise. Bill seemed to allude that it's about right on.

    If the man hours (the variable I'm uncertain with) and costs (please just assume this dollar figure of $6578 is correct) are relatively accurate it translates into roughly a net of 29%. That is assuming man hours are relatively accurate.
  9. KCLandscape

    KCLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    105 hours,
    22 per face foot
    In the land of the jayhawk
  10. orionkf

    orionkf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    I'm guessing it's going to take you about a week to complete (4 guys for 40 odd hours) and your expected profit would be around 5k in a week, is that right? That sounds like decent money to me (5k x 32 weeks=$160k profit for the biz, minus taxes). If you're used to making more than that per week, then you might need to reevaluate, otherwise I think you're fine.

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