Trenching By the Foot

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by nclawn, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. nclawn

    nclawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Does anyone do miscellaneous trenching for contractors (electricians, plumbers or homeowners)? If so what do you charge by the foot, say 1 foot deep on regular terrain. Price should include rough backfill. Thanks
  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Thought provoking question. Trenching out here can be a horrendous job because of solid basalt and lava rock. I wouldn't mind this type of work that you're talking about if it weren't for the geology of this area.

    Since codes require utilities to be buried at certain depths and so I don't think that the one foot depth idea will work. No one wants to run a gas, or electrical service line just a foot beneath the surface. Right? It may work for irrigation, but probably not for utilities.
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,702

    The price is relative to the conditions , distance to job etc. I do quite a bit for other trades , I bid each job according to the work involved .
  4. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 173

    I get a $100 minimum for most jobs which covers an hour. If I already have the machine there it will be an hour minimum of machine time which is between 60 and 70 depending on where and when. More often than not I'm using the wire chute but still do quite a few trenches as well. I usually don't bid these things because it will always be on the high end to cover myself. I explain this to people. For something this small there are too many variables hiding under the surface that I won't uncover until I'm actually doing this job.

    We've been working for several electricians for years now and this year we have begin to chute in phone and cable lines for one builder. We're hoping to expand more into this. We've had a few large wire trenching/chuting jobs in the past few years, but not as many as we'd like. Jobs for homeowners have been limited but rather steady. Usually 10/12-2 wire for outlets or 18-4 :p for a phone line or two. Sometimes a water line for a spigot. Lots of things, really.
  5. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    We don't do this sort of thing too often because all of our machines are tied up pulling Irrigation pipe, 5-6 Days a week.
    However, the few that we have done is a 90$ trip charge plus 90$/Hour for machine and operator
  6. nclawn

    nclawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for all of the generous feedback folks.
  7. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 173

    I just did a pretty big job today that I actually had bid. It's a customer that none of us really know but we've had for about 3 seasons now after the other company kept sending out different techs to fix problems who ended up only making things worse.

    I had intended to do it T&M but he called me a few days ago and asked if I could put a safe price on it instead, after having already talked him out of a bid in the first place. I told him $700. He was happy, so was I. The job began with 3 bores under newer asphalt in clay/rock with 1.25" poly pulled back that I roughly estimated at 4 hours, which only ended up taking a little over 2. We then had to plow in about 500ft of 10-3 (provided) 6 runs (estimated at 2 hours and took less than 1.) My price was to run complete wires from the source to every destination, 3 in total, for lights/plugs to be put on new stone pillars at the entrances and a new large etched stone in an island.

    It was a good job and more profitable than if I had just done it for T&M. We were in and out in just over 4 hours, myself and one helper. It could lead to some installs next year. I took care of several other problems while I was out that way and made a lot of people happy.
  8. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    For drainage

    I3.00 a foot includes stone and drain tile


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