Retaining Wall Costs?

 
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:14 AM   #1
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Retaining Wall Costs?


What do you guys charge to install a retaining wall? I am doing a 19'x9' allan block wall and just wanted to get an idea of what to charge for labour. Thanks
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Since you are just supplying labor, estimates of what your hours are, your average labor cost and what you wanat to mark it up should give you a price.

A 9' high wall should be designed by a professional if you want to protect your wife and kids in the future.

If you have done it before, you should have a good estimate of the time since most jobs of the same size and complexity work out similar in the end.

If you were offering a complete package including design and materials, that would take more effort for the profit.

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Old 06-24-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


There is a lot of work involved in putting up a 9 ft high wall, and having it anchored properly. Costs will depend on how the wall is anchored, geogrid, soil nails, or other anchors. Also a lot of rock will be needed behind the wall if using geogrid.

You will have to figure out how you are getting the rock behind the wall if it is a geodrid wall, and if it is a tight space for equipment, etc. and may be labor intensive.

Has this wall been engineered?

What will be bearing close to the top of the wall if anything?

Or is this wall stepped or terraced so it is two 4.5' sections, this would be the easiest and less costly.


As for costs it would be a lot if it is one 9' tall wall, but hard to estimate without seeing the jobsite conditions and not knowing how it is anchored.


We are doing some Kelley Block http://www.kelleyblocks.com walls right now and these are huge 2'H x 4'L x 2'W blocks, but they are not going to be this high. And if the wall was this high I would still want to see them anchored even though these blocks weigh 2000 lbs each.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


I've only done 3 I'm at $80 per sq. ft. Includes all material ,labor ,excavation drainage, backfill. This is in S. F. My market has $$$$$ . Allen is more $$$ here.
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:08 AM   #5
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Thats a bust your but job building a retaining wall.
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:06 AM   #6
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Retaining walls are heavy work and not a one man job. - They require someone that understands the construction and design of segmental retaining walls, equipment, knowledge of soils and men to set the units. That is why they can be profitable and should not be priced by the sf for wall of different heights.

Segmental retaining walls are quickly replacing the old rigid walls because they can be used there nothing is straight and level, they work better in cold climates and they are far more attactive.

Going by the square foot for pricing is disaster because of the variables. If you price by the square foot, you only get the jobs you are too low on and never get the good jobs that can be profitable at a lower sf price.

You have to know your total cost for the wall since you are doing more than just building sf of wall - you have a total job. For every extra foot of height, you move 2 to 4 times more excavation AND backfill.

If you are only doing the same kind of wall (height and length), then you can get away with the "quick and dirty" sf price.
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:35 PM   #7
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


I have found that the only real way to keep track of your cost is to find out what it took you to do a wall and then keep record of it to compare next time you bid. You can make a pretty good estimate based on what you already know.
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


i built one here in ok for 25 $ a sq face foot and it was 23ft tall by 253 ft long look at my avitar

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Old 11-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #9
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Above 4 ft an Allen Block wall is pretty much window dressing. Proper, stable backfill is the key. Done right, the earth will pretty much hold itself up.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:33 PM   #10
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Around here in New York we need it designed by an engineer over 3' due to its ability to cruch someon if it fails.

I actually think it is 6 or 8', but over 3 feet I want an engineer.

Last edited by LNG24; 11-10-2007 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:59 AM   #11
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pool adams View Post
i built one here in ok for 25 $ a sq face foot and it was 23ft tall by 253 ft long look at my avitar
hard to see (in the avatar) ...


but being as tall as you say it is ... and as close to the pool as it is ...


hopefully an engineer was involved - or else you might run into some problems with that pool
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:52 AM   #12
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


For and SRW over 6' high, you should bring in an engineer.

The engineer will tell you to use geogrid. I promise. The engineer will also tell you where to place this geogrid, for example @ 3' high and the again at 6' high.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: Retaining Wall Costs?


KJCarl -

You are wrong about the block just being facing on walls over 4'. This is especially true for 10' to 40' high walls.

Just some good campaction and any old block does not fly!!! - even with grid (or especially with grid).

The block serve several purposes:

1. Protection from erosion.

2. Provide horizontal continuity.

3. Anchoring the geo grid. If you don not anchor the geo grid firmly along the face, the grid does little and you are left with a pile of wet soil down the hill.

The reputable units are designed to firmly hold the mesh under ALL conditions. This is completely documented and is reflected in the design tables and design recommendations. The knock-off local units are designed to look like the real units, but are designed to NOT look like them, so they cannot perform as well because of the minor gimmicks to get around the patents, research and technical support, which they cannot supply.

The look-alike pins for the pinned systems are another big liability. They look alike, but do not hold as well. The ommission of pins or the failure of a pin causes a "zipper" failure. For failure analysis, this is a no brainer, since you can always count pins and look at the failed pins. Some engineers like these systems because the liability is obvious.

Many well-meaning contractors have been put out of business by failures of off brands and failure to follow the manufacturers suggestions, particularly with regard to inside and outside corners and the inability to install the grid and hold the grid under ALL conditions.

For lipped units, the minor changes(1/8"?) in the lips can result in disasters and failures. The good units will hold the grid and wet soil until the grid snaps. If you lap the grid, the "knock-offs" are even worse.

I don't know where the 10' comes from, but the good units usually have a limit of 3.5' to 6' before engineering is required, although on some conditions, the engineering may shoe no grid is needed, even up to 10'. As you know, the excavation required for the grid embedment on higher walls can be the big cost.

The "dumb walls" (big 3' blocks) are even worse for higher walls.

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Last edited by concretemasonry; 11-11-2007 at 11:31 AM.
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