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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

timber wall estimate help


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 10:42 AM
knsahara knsahara is offline
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Default 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?
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2010, 03:53 PM
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I would say ya but ive never done timber walls so dont know how long it would take ya to do it.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:48 PM
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What is your estimate on how long it will take you?
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:04 PM
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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.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:18 PM
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Andy,

When do you need to use cribs? Is there a certain minimum height where there are needed?
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:54 PM
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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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Old 03-23-2010, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:15 PM
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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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Old 03-23-2010, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:24 PM
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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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