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Thoughts on Retaining Wall Project

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by greenterror9, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. greenterror9

    greenterror9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello I am new to the site and would welcome opinions of this particular situation. I have a potential customer who is interested in having a 225' Versa-Lok retaining wall built to replace an existing but rotting railroad tie wall. The height would vary from 3 to 4 feet high. His budget is somewhat tight and he has proposed that he would remove the ties himself and hire me to lay the first 2 courses of Versa-Lok. He would then "finish" the job himself. I would have him sign a waiver absolving me from liability but from a practical standpoint is there anything that I am not thinking of. It is a huge job and even simply starting it for him would bring in a decent amount of $. Fire away with your thoughts. Thanks.
  2. Reconwalls

    Reconwalls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    you might as well finish the project. think about it. the base is what takes the hardest part of the wall. most time consuming. if you want to let him finish it great but i would still charge him roughly the same money.
  3. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,616

    i agree w/ recon, once you get the base and bottom layers done you can fly through the rest (complex cuts aside)
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,155

    I'd stay off the project..sounds like a client from hell.
  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I completely agree. Don't associate yourself with people like that. Can you imagine how many of his friends will be calling you to do half jobs, you do all the bull work and he takes credit for a nice straight wall.
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    I agree...dont bother with it.

    I walked away from some smart azz last year who had obviously given the job to someone who had no idea where to start, and when he realized the guy was digging behind the neighbours property and dumping everything down the ravine...he either fired him or the guy bailed. This was the classic case of I'll pay for the materials, you do the job and he took the lowest price. I knew before I stepped foot on the property someone screwed up royally there cuz the wall block wasn't even on skids, and the wall was approx 250 ft from where the bundles were dropped off. When I told the homeowner i wasnt interested in getting involved in this mess he freaked and couldnt believe I would refuse the work. Steer clear of this nightmare waiting to happen.
  7. greenterror9

    greenterror9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the thoughts. The "client from hell" scenario is what I am afraid of.
  8. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    I know a lot will disagree with this but I have had some mixed results on this type of situation. If you think this guy is okay, and that is something only you can determine, propose that you "help" him at an agreed upon price/hour. In this case you work on it "around YOUR schedule".
    I have found that these "budget" types tend to feel like they are saving a lot of money this way but in the end they end up paying you pretty much the same you would have made. Let him do the digging and move the blocks - you do the specialty work and charge a premium per hour. Not many guys will do this because of the headache of dealing with a customer every moment of the job but it can net you some decent $ and customers tend to be loyal to a contractor that will work with them. Just my $.02 - now everyone blast away!
  9. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    1. Do you need the job?

    2. Will you make money?

    3. Are you sure he is not a PITA?

    Answer yes to all 3 then do the job. otherwise let someone else have the headache.

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