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  • Retaining wall help!

    This goes out to any one who could help me out on this... I have to do an estimate to build a retaining wall that's 650 feet in total length. height is 2 ft. Using the 70 lb blocks 6'' by 18".

    about half of it is level because it goes around the house and the other half goes with the lay of the land. it slopes downward becaue it follows a long drive way on each side. The guy wants that one even with the driveway.

    How many labor hours do you think this would take and what equipment would you use?

    Thanks

  • #2
    It is hard to say without seeing the project. Also it depends on your ability. Have you ever built a retaining wall before? If not it would probably take you longer to do. Some of the things you will need are landscape fabric, sand, stakes and mason line. Some of the tools are chisel, drilling hammer, line level, spade, hand tamper, maybe a trench digger.

    The key to a successful concrete block retaining wall is to start with a level foundation course of blocks. The foundation course must be below ground level so that the soil will hold it firmly in place. Starting at the lowest point begin digging a trench. The dimensions of the trench will vary depending on the size of your block. Tamp the trench with a hand tamper to compact the underlying soil.

    If the property slopes, you may have to dig your foundation trench in a series of steps equal to the height of the blocks. Then, as you continue with construction, build up the lower sections with block until the stepped areas accept successive courses of blocks in a level wall. Once you have a sound foundation trench, you can begin laying block, checking regularly for level. First pour a one inch layer of sand underneath the foundation course to provide a more solid base. The sand will make leveling easier and improves drainage.

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    • #3
      This goes out to any one who could help me out on this... I have to do an estimate to build a retaining wall that's 650 feet in total length. height is 2 ft. Using the 70 lb blocks 6'' by 18".

      about half of it is level because it goes around the house and the other half goes with the lay of the land. it slopes downward becaue it follows a long drive way on each side. The guy wants that one even with the driveway.

      How many labor hours do you think this would take and what equipment would you use?

      Thanks
      We do quite a few of these as no one seems to be able to touch our prices as 80 percent of the work is with machines and we make a very good profit.

      Aside from the other post we use a mini excavator with a digging bucket, ditching bucket, and a boom mounted hydraulic compactor, the operators can read grades very well and with a narrow ditching bucket get as long a run as possible. In short the mini excavator does about 90 percent of the work.

      You need a compactor and the base should be 3/4" clear stone.

      Using our setup it's a machine operator and a helper, the mini excavator has a thumb and simply places the stone in place.

      Although I would have to see the property it would be about two days work for us, cost to client would be 2,500 to 3,500 for our equipment and staff.
      Andy
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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      • #4
        I have done these before, but haven't had to give an estimate for one this large. All the digging we've done before is just by hand. the longest one we've had to date was 55 feet long and we have one of those for next week. I charged him 960 for the labor and he took it. He also had other bids so I figured mine was the lowest.

        With those figures it came out to $17.45 per foot. If I used this rate I would charge this guy $11,342 for 650 feet of wall. That seems like a lot. I've been figuring things out on how I could make a good profit and still be able to charge much lower than my normal hourly rate. so I came up with $7300 for the price.

        I'll look into renting a mini excavator as I don't own one so I can get this done quicker. I was thinking a crew of 4 doing mostly manual labor but machines do seem like a better idea in this case.

        I'll keep you updated on how this goes. It will be my biggest job to date if he accepts it. ... Oh and my old boss let me know he is also putting a bid. I bet he feels scared I'll beat him on this one. he told me he wasn't sure on how to bid on such a big job.

        Thanks for your help

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        • #5
          If you get the opportunity to take some pictures of the area where you are installing the wall, I'd love to see it.

          Keep us posted on how this goes.
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          • #6
            Just a quick though as I have to get to a jobsite, consider hiring a company that has a mini excavator, it will probably save you a lot of time, it's not rocket science to operate them however an experienced operator will save you a lot of time in the long run, you won't have to pick it up and return it.
            Andy
            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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