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Retaining wall - I need help with it, I recorded video of it

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  • Retaining wall - I need help with it, I recorded video of it

    Check out the video I recorded of the wall. It's not long but it gives a better idea of the dimensions of the wall in order to get an accurate assessment of what I need to get this job done.

    The wall is made of railroad ties and the owner wants it redone with castle stone.

    It's 3'8" where it begins at the house and 3'6" at the corner bend in the middle.

    These dimensions need to change to 4'6" at the house and at the corner bend and then follow the slope of the hill a little better than the currently rotted railroad ties.

    It's currently 19' in length from the house to the end of the bottom railroad tie. The owner wants it extended to 22'.



    <iframe src="http://www.zshare.net/videoplayer/player.php?SID=dl028&FID=62679241&FN=Video000_1_.W MV.flv&iframewidth=530&iframeheight=435&width=480& height=385&H=626792415aa25755" height="435" width="530" border=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no></iframe>

  • #2
    Is "castle stone" a brand or a type? Show me what you consider castle stone (everyone calls everything something different in different areas).

    I usually find out how much the stone is per piece, for example the split and stack Unilock costs somewhere around $2.50 per stone, so I charge $6 per stone installed. The first row takes the longest and you wouldn't make much doing one or two rows like that but the second, third and nth rows go up quick, you just have to make sure you are level and tilted back slightly.
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      bump for feedback

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      • #4
        There are a couple of other posts on here that might help.

        Recent project pics. Retaining wall/landscape job

        Hardscape/Landscape

        Hardscape

        Going Wall Install Rate

        If anyone else has any insight to offer, please do.
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        • #5
          OK, bare with me as we do a lot of these, do you want to know how to do it from start to finish?

          First question is that pavement as I can't tell from the video.

          If they want from the house to the bend longer, do they want to maintain the same angle?

          Do you have any experience or the tools to cut brick?

          You are going to need a back hoe or mini, do you have access to one either own or rent?

          Do you have a trailer that will haul about 2 yards of 3/4" clear stone?

          Do you have a compactor or ability to rent one?
          Andy
          Halifax, Nova Scotia

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          • #6
            OK, bare with me as we do a lot of these, do you want to know how to do it from start to finish?

            First question is that pavement as I can't tell from the video.

            If they want from the house to the bend longer, do they want to maintain the same angle?

            Do you have any experience or the tools to cut brick?

            You are going to need a back hoe or mini, do you have access to one either own or rent?

            Do you have a trailer that will haul about 2 yards of 3/4" clear stone?

            Do you have a compactor or ability to rent one?
            1. Not pavement, concrete driveway.

            2. Don't want from the house to the bend longer, wanna keep the same angle. Wants to extend the wall from the bend to the end longer.

            3. No experience, no tools to cut brick.

            4. I would have to rent one, after you tell me exactly what it is. I think I have an idea, maybe we call it something different here.

            5. Yes, I have a trailer. Tandem axle 16'.... haven't used it all season.

            6. I would have to rent the compactor as well.

            Since we are talking about renting some stuff, what am I looking at for the job, price-wise. Will it be worth taking the job? This customer is adamant about getting this done and he pays well. Yet, he is still a new customer and I don't wanna mess that up by not doing a good job on the wall.

            I got an older guy that's been doing landscaping and lawn service for 30 years, we're gonna ride up to the house tomorrow so he can eyeball it. Hopefully he can help me do the job.

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            • #7
              Castle Stone of all the walls is the most difficult and time consuming and I will be straight up, if it were my first brick wall, I would either pass or sub contract it to a company that builds walls, we turned one down in May that had a few angles as it was beyond our equipment and skill level, in fact some 20 walls later I still would pass on Castle Stone.

              The process is to remove the current wall, dig back 16" and down below grade level 30 inches, lay down 18" of 3/4 clear and compact, put 2" of crusher dust on top and compact, basically 3/4 of your tallest stone should be below grade on the first course. As you build the wall you need to put clear stone behind the wall and compact also, this allows for drainage and will stop the wall from moving.

              The issue is that angle, there are two options however since he has a concrete driveway, you are limited to keeping the angle the same, anyhow a curve is a lot earier to build than a direct angle, you will need to rent a 15" saw capable of cutting the stone at the desired angle, remember for example if that is a 30 dengree angle, the angle cut in the brick on each side will be 15 degrees.

              I have no idea what costs are for rental and supplies however I can give you a very rough idea how long it would take us with the equipment we have to do this.

              Remove old wall - 4 hours, I am assuming it's nailed with 12"+ spikes
              Trucking - Around here no one will take old railway ties due to the chemicals
              Remove earth - 1 hour
              3/4" Clear Stone - 3 yards
              Crusher Dust - 1 Yard
              Build wall itself - 3 Guys - 46 hours
              Industrial landscape fabric - goes between the wall and the crusher dust and the rock behind - 1 roll

              We have three Stone manufacturers here in Halifax, you can go to their locations and play around with a stone you are about to use, see if they allow you to there, on the ground start building a wall lets say three feet long and two feet high. you will see what I mean when it comes to working with this stone, also ask them about cutting the stone, two places here will cut it for me, we can only cut up to 8", Castle stone can be as high as 12"

              Andy
              Last edited by picframer; 07-26-2009, 04:54 AM.
              Andy
              Halifax, Nova Scotia

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              • #8
                How did all this work out?
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                • #9
                  I'm not sure I told you guys the correct name. I said Castle stone because that's what the customer initially called it, he said he wanted castle stone.

                  This is what he chose from the pics that I emailed him.


                  Anchor Windsor Stone
                  color = buff blend

                  I'm typing up the estimate now...

                  What's the ballpark for a job like this? I got around $1,700 so far.

                  That sound about right?

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                  • #10
                    What's the ballpark for a job like this? I got around $1,700 so far.

                    That sound about right?
                    What does the $1,700 include?
                    Andy
                    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                    • #11
                      What does the $1,700 include?
                      $720 for Stone
                      $35 for Concrete (10 bags)
                      $100 Dump fee for rotted railroad ties (the dump here in Atlanta charges by the size of the truck, not the load)
                      $100 for Delivery fee of Stone & other Materials
                      $800 for Labor
                      _________________
                      $1,755 Sound about right?

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                      • #12
                        $720 for Stone
                        $35 for Concrete (10 bags)
                        $100 Dump fee for rotted railroad ties (the dump here in Atlanta charges by the size of the truck, not the load)
                        $100 for Delivery fee of Stone & other Materials
                        $800 for Labor
                        _________________
                        $1,755 Sound about right?
                        I have to keep in mind what you are allowed to dump and what I am is quite different....

                        Did the stone supplier estimate how many stone? I buy direct from the manufacturer as they are located here in the city, even at contractors cost you are about half of my cost.

                        Dump fee here would be $250.00

                        You need two types of rock, crusher dust for the base then 3/4" clear for behind the stone, I would have estimated this to be around $150.

                        $800.00 for labor, personally I would have come in around $1,250, there is about two hours of excavation time in there also, compactor rental, landscape fabric etc.
                        Andy
                        Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                        • #13
                          I have to keep in mind what you are allowed to dump and what I am is quite different....

                          Did the stone supplier estimate how many stone? I buy direct from the manufacturer as they are located here in the city, even at contractors cost you are about half of my cost.

                          Dump fee here would be $250.00

                          You need two types of rock, crusher dust for the base then 3/4" clear for behind the stone, I would have estimated this to be around $150.

                          $800.00 for labor, personally I would have come in around $1,250, there is about two hours of excavation time in there also, compactor rental, landscape fabric etc.
                          Hmmm, so my estimate is too low.

                          This is puzzling because I don't wanna scare my customer away or lead him to believe I'm taking advantage, but at the same time I don't wanna shoot myself in the foot.

                          I do understand that the dig out/excavation is gonna be a bitch and I do wanna get paid for my labor... but I'm afraid to lose this great customer. He's really a great guy and he pays well. He knows that I'll always do a good job.

                          I'm

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                          • #14
                            Would it help at all if you offered two prices on two different walls? One where you simply replaced the railroad ties and another where you used the stone for the wall?

                            That way you could be higher on the stone and offer the customer a lower fee for the railroad tie wall as an option?
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                            • #15
                              Would it help at all if you offered two prices on two different walls? One where you simply replaced the railroad ties and another where you used the stone for the wall?

                              That way you could be higher on the stone and offer the customer a lower fee for the railroad tie wall as an option?
                              He doesn't want railroad ties. He specified stone when he asked about me doing the wall.

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