Before and after landscape retaining wall construction.

Has your lawn care business experimented with designing landscapes on your computer and then using the design as a sales tool? That’s what one of our forum members did and he landed a retaining wall job by doing it. Let’s take a look into his experience. Maybe this will help you with your future landscape designs and sales. If you have questions about it, get on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum here and ask.

“Hey all, I been busting my butt on this for the last day & a half & it came out pretty good so I figured I’d show off!

Before and after landscape retaining wall construction.

Before and after landscape retaining wall construction.

Here are a few before, a bunch of during & some after shots. I found some really cool landscape design software which I am currently running the trial version, It will not allow me to save the altered design photo as a jpeg so I canonly take screen shots of the image. It helped me sell the job & looks a lot like the after shots. I will show you all that.

I’ve done alot of landscaping over the last couple years but this was our first retaining wall project. It was tough work, lots of digging & I am more sore than I have been in a long time…. Plus I grossly under-estimated the amount of fill dirt we’d be left with when the job was over. We ended up spending about 4 hours (x 2 men) shoveling about 3-4 cu yds into & then back out of my truck today… uuhhhggggg.

It’s came out nice though, & customer is very happy

Landscape retaining wall 1

Landscape retaining wall 1

Above is the cropped screen shot. I explained to the customer that the program didn’t give me the option to make the bricks or mulch red & that planned to lay the bricks down differently than the picture shows, but they got the idea & loved it.

This was my 1st retaining wall project as I stated above, I bid it the best I could imagine though I knew it would be a little low. I even admitted to the client it would be the 1st (though they have been lawn maintenance clients of mine for about 2 years now) and I assured them the final product would be perfect as can be. Total product cost was about $850 and we went about 26.5 hours in labor for the project. That included about 2 hours collecting materials (I paid a supplier to deliver most of it but that was included in the product cost above) + 9.25 hours x2 (18.5 HRS) on the 1st build day (almost complete) + about 3 hours x 2 (6 HRS) on site today shoveling the dirt on to the truck (that’s where the under bid bit me in the a s s).

Retaining wall landscape construction

Retaining wall landscape construction

I did have to shovel the dirt off the truck too, but I spread that into my yard so since I benefited from it I won’t charge that against the job cost. I can tell you my hourly rate charge will be higher on the next one of these. That was one of the most physically demanding jobs I have done yet. I mean….. go dig for 3-4 hours then spend the rest of the day carrying three 24 pound blocks at a time or kneeling down setting them in place….. wheeew, my butt was kicked. My wife said I rolled over in bed last night & was snoring 10 seconds later. Believe it. I was exhausted, that was way harder than mowing lawns.”

Finished landscape retaining wall project

Finished landscape retaining wall project

It’s good to be able to review other landscaping projects and review where problems arose. From this experience we can see how such jobs can easily be underbid and where we need to include extra time when bidding.

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