I got asked to bid on my first retaining wall job.

There are plenty of upsells you can make when called to do a job as simple as mulch work. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one landscaper who was asked to bid on a retaining wall but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. Another landscaper offered some great insights that you may be able to utilize in your future retaining wall job bids.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I was asked to give an landscaping estimate to put in a retaining wall along a driveway. The only problem is I have never done one before. So my questions start with the most basic, how should one be installed? I am not sure I really want to do this job but I am curious as to what does it entail? There is a retaining wall that already exists. The customer wants to replace this wall and looking for an estimate to do it. The old wall was put together with slate rock.The client does not like the way it looks and wants to change it out for landscape bricking into a wall.

My measures of the wall are about 2 ft high, with a gradual decline and curves around the front. The lawn butts up against the stones there now. I am looking at it being about 50 feet in length.

I was thinking of giving her 2 separate estimates. One for the wall, and one for mulch install with bush trimming. She does not plan to do the wall until probably next spring or summer. So she is looking for a price for only hedge work and mulch for right now.

After getting a closer look at the wall of slate that is there now, and seeing the mound of grass pushing against it, I really doubt I would feel comfortable trying to do this work. I told her that we never did a wall before and honestly I don’t want to use her yard to learn. She seems OK with that, I then said, I could probably sub-contract the work out to someone that does walls, so I will see if she wants me to do that. That way at least maybe I can have my guys there to observe and learn how to do it the right way.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I am going to give you a rough appraisal just by my experience. Let’s say the wall is 50 ft x 3 ft high that’s around 200 pieces of block if u use a L12×8x10 stone. I would buy 350 just in case, at $3.00 for each stone, that would come out to around $1150.00 in stone plus delivery + 5 yards of soil + 5 yards of limestone or whatever you want to call it, dust rock, base material. This a very simple retaining wall. It won’t be holding a lot of pressure. Most would call this a decorative garden wall. So the material I would guess are going to be around $2,255.00

Now comes the fun part. You have to remove around 2 to 3 feet of soil for back filling, then dig down to bury an entire level of block. So let’s say if your block is 8 inches high, you have to dig around 11 to 12 in X 2 ft so you can put base material down to make your bed and level the blocks. Look for the lowest point to bury your first row then that’s the way to go. Retaining walls are easy and they can be big money makers.

For the labor, I can do a 150 ft x 4 ft high by myself in 4 days. I’ve done 100 ft in 2 days before. I charge $2,500.00 to $3,500.00 for 3 days of work and guaranty the wall for 5 years. If you know what you are doing.

So your total would be $5,755.00 just for the retaining wall. There is more you can do. That place is too dark and needs some color which would enhance the beauty and the value of it. Try to upsell some plants with your mulch.

You can easy get to $10,000 or more from that place if you do your presentation right.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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