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Hi Gang,

I have done all kinds of contracting in the past but never landscaping. A job has dropped in my lap and I'm clueless how to charge. This involves making a stairway up a slope (overall 48 ft) using the new composite 4x4 landscaping timbers, and using the same to build a raised flower bed next to it for the whole length of stairs.

How do I begin to come up with a price. All labor will be done by hand because there is no way to get eqipment in.

Thanks for any help!
 

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DavidB said:
Hi Gang,

I have done all kinds of contracting in the past but never landscaping. A job has dropped in my lap and I'm clueless how to charge. This involves making a stairway up a slope (overall 48 ft) using the new composite 4x4 landscaping timbers, and using the same to build a raised flower bed next to it for the whole length of stairs.

How do I begin to come up with a price. All labor will be done by hand because there is no way to get eqipment in.

Thanks for any help!
Hope he charged time and materials on that one. That part all done by hand, no equiment can get in, would scare me, the 3 day job that turns into 2 weeks, :eek:
 

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I try to break everything that I can down into unit costs. It makes it easier to envision the whole thing. So, in your case, determine how long it would take to build one step and what all the materials [one 4x4, two or three sections of no. 4 rebar three feet long, gravel] and determine how long it wll take to build one step [ex. a half hour to cut them, drill them, carry it up the hill, carve the step out and backfill it; plus you had to spend an hour buying all sixty steps and arranging to have them delivered so that's another minute each, round it to five minutes each, muliply it by your hourly rate]. There's one step. Add 10% for each confounding factor--a really steep hillside, a customer who micromanages you, it's in a really upscale neighborhood--and you have your unit price. Try doing the same for, say, an 8 foot section of the planter.
Or you could refer it to a landscape contractor who is familiar with these things. And we promise not to build any cabinets.
 
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