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  • timber wall estimate help

    Got a job for a two tier timber wall.Ill be using the 6x6x8timbers. Wall is going to be about 50' and about 4 timbers high times two. This is my first project like this want to make sure Im bidding it correctly I have came up with $3500 installed.I am figuring already about 1700 in materials timbers, nails, rebar,gravel and fill dirt, and misc tools or parts. What do you guys think? My first thought is in my mind seems like 3500 is alot but, I guess landscape upgrades are expensive. I want to do a professional job with drainage and everything. Am I in the right neighborhood price wise?

  • #2
    I would say ya but ive never done timber walls so dont know how long it would take ya to do it.
    Colton
    Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

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    • #3
      What is your estimate on how long it will take you?
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      • #4
        Did you remember the cribbing and rebar/cement for the cribs? We did one late in the season that was 50' 6 X 6's, I used 16' pieces and mitered the ends, I just checked and we charged the client $7,800 but that included 3 hours with the excavator removing what was there and prep work, it was 64 feet long.
        Andy
        Halifax, Nova Scotia

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        • #5
          Andy,

          When do you need to use cribs? Is there a certain minimum height where there are needed?
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          • #6
            time

            Try and figure out your time for installation. The hardest is the first layer just to get it level and placed right. It's been a while since I've done one of those but here's something to help with perspective.

            On retaining walls using 4" thick by 12" wide landscape block. I charge $10 per foot up to 2 feet high when the ground is in descent working condition. so for the installation of a 50' wall I would charge $500 labor.

            If the ground is hilly or has trees and roots and hard to work with I charge up to $15 per foot up to 2 feet high. so from 500-750 for the installation. Plus the time it would take me to haul all the material to the work area.

            I would charge about $1000 for this project for labor taking into consideration the area is not too crappy to work with. But this is just my opinion at about $40 per labor hour.

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            • #7
              Andy,

              When do you need to use cribs? Is there a certain minimum height where there are needed?
              Cribs are critical if there is any moisture issue or any frost to contend with, even the weight of the soil against the wall can move it in time, I see so many that are not built with a crib and we get called in to fix it, we have 6 retaining walls that were all built within the last five years to rebuild, if it's wood there is no way to salvage so it can get expensive.
              Andy
              Halifax, Nova Scotia

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              • #8
                When you are presenting a bid to a customer and you are including the extra work that so many other lawn care companies may not include, surely there will be a price difference.

                How should one deal with this when presenting it to the customer because you may not know what the others are bidding however they could be significantly less, yet the customer may have no clue on the importance of using cribs in the construction.
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                • #9
                  When you are presenting a bid to a customer and you are including the extra work that so many other lawn care companies may not include, surely there will be a price difference.

                  How should one deal with this when presenting it to the customer because you may not know what the others are bidding however they could be significantly less, yet the customer may have no clue on the importance of using cribs in the construction.
                  That is how we win so much business and we all will by knowing our stuff and experience.

                  I ask the homeowner, did the other people you are asking for quotes explain (in this case) the importance of cribbing, drainage, landscape fabric and is it 20 year or the cheap big box store products......you have to get the people thinking and when you present the proper way to do something cost is not so much of an issue. I have a saying that I use when bidding larger jobs, "The only time I want you to call me is for a beer or additional work you want done, NOT because you have a problem" Corney perhaps but man it works.

                  Homeowners want work done that lasts as I would and do also, I will pay the extra in almost every area of my life for the right product, be it tools in the woodworking shop, machinery for landscaping, vehicles etc. If I can't afford what I think I should be buying, I don't accept second best, I wait until I can buy it.

                  I did a landscaping quote yesterday, the lady called me today saying she didn't understand the price difference between my quote and two others, my response was simple, did they quote 6" of top soil? Are they using Premium sod or field sod? Her response was I am not sure, I suggested she check then call me back I went on to explain we run into sites every week where a landscaping contractor cut corners and put down 2" of top soil and field sod, the lawn was fine the first year but now looks terrible and the company is not returning the calls, I like to do things the proven way the first time even if it costs me business. She called back an hour later and asked when we could do the job, that tells me the others were cutting corners.

                  It's a down day today due to very heavy rain, I did up 87 work orders all from bids we did this year so far and it's still March, this company is taking off far beyond my dreams. Although I did a business plan in March of last year, we are already past year 5.
                  Andy
                  Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                  • #10
                    That is all very interesting.

                    I would think there would be some customers that would say, I don't care about the specifics, I want the cheaper service.

                    In such a situation as you described above, do you ever have a customer want you to rebid it with the lower level of quality? If so, should you do that or is that a sign it is going to be bad news in the future and you need to walk away from it?
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                    • #11
                      That is all very interesting.

                      I would think there would be some customers that would say, I don't care about the specifics, I want the cheaper service.

                      In such a situation as you described above, do you ever have a customer want you to rebid it with the lower level of quality? If so, should you do that or is that a sign it is going to be bad news in the future and you need to walk away from it?
                      Not very often and I always walk with an explanation, I don't want to go down the road cutting corners, we are very fortunate to be able to choose what work we do, it would be a totally different matter if we were hungry for business as this gear has to be paid for.

                      My network last year provided enough weekly contracts to provide cash flow to cover everything, then I started adding additional services clients were asking for. We have enough work to keep all the machines going 30 to 50 hours a week, I only need 15 to cover costs so I am good.

                      I always brake a proposal down into parts with each one priced, this way if the client does not have the cash to do everything now, they can select some of the work now and some later on, this works very well, what I do see and I personally don't care for is people taking out a line of credit to have us finish as they get excited or caught up in the process, I generally try to talk them out of it, going head over heals into debt to have landscaping or excavation done is not a good idea, do what you can afford, clients appreciate this and we have around 40 jobs to go back to that we started last year.

                      Landscaping/excavation/wood chipping can be expensive. We did a few jobs last year where we had two excavators, four loaders and 10 staff on site, you are pushing $600 an hour, a lot is getting done quickly but that is serious coin, I think we had three or four like that, and on two of them we are still not finished as the clients added more work for this year.
                      Andy
                      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                      • #12
                        I don't want to go down the road cutting corners, we are very fortunate to be able to choose what work we do, it would be a totally different matter if we were hungry for business as this gear has to be paid for.
                        For those who are in a situation where they are hungry for the work, do you feel they should take on jobs where corners are cut as long as the customer is aware? Or what's the best way to go about it when you NEED the work? I can see how someone could get into trouble really quickly going this route so I am thinking there must be some things they need to be cautious of.
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                        • #13
                          For those who are in a situation where they are hungry for the work, do you feel they should take on jobs where corners are cut as long as the customer is aware? Or what's the best way to go about it when you NEED the work? I can see how someone could get into trouble really quickly going this route so I am thinking there must be some things they need to be cautious of.
                          I am not sure Steve as I have never gone down this road in any business that I have run. At the same time if I was hungry I would find a way, I would have to be put in the situation and really give it some thought, we all have to eat and we all have bills to pay so something has to give.
                          Andy
                          Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                          • #14
                            cribs

                            Can someone explain to what a crib is in a retaining wall. I have to give an estimate on a small timber retaining wall. I was wondering if someone could walk me through the process or if there is a link for step by step?

                            Thank you

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                            • #15
                              Here is an article that explains it in more detail. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...39/page10a.cfm

                              Does this help?
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