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RE: Retaining wall fees

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Considering the time savings using software like RetainPro, I have never had
to charge more than $350.00 for one wall section - including the drawings.
However, I charge the same fee for each different wall section on the
property as the time to accumulate the information and details - even with
the help of RetainPro takes as much time as the first wall section (about 2+
hours of design and detailing time). This includes interpretation of the
soils report, acceptance of a minimum soil value by code in lieu of a soils
report and does not consider unique walls such as those set on piles or
other exceeding 12-feet in height. 

I suppose I could charge what I want, but if I want to continue to work, I
need to consider what the competition will charge. Whether I use RetainPro
or other software that is ten times more expensive in the design process, I
can't amortize the cost of the software into each project - so I have to
look at the time it takes to complete the project and what my hourly fee is
worth. 

Having RetainPro as a tool simply gave me the tools I need to compete with
engineers who are using other retaining wall software. Doing it manually is
not an option - any more than manual drafting. Charging the client by the
square foot of total walls when you need only design 1-foot wide section
depending on soil changes and retained heights is not an option here.

Dennis


Dennis S. Wish, PE


California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

http://www.structuralist.net

 


-----Original Message-----
From: Jason W. Kilgore [mailto:jkilgore(--nospam--at)leok.com] 
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:59 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Retaining wall fees

> For an eight foot high retaining wall in a residential project we
> generally
> charge a few hundred dollars depending on soils, surcharge, etc.
> These walls are typically twenty to forty feet long with jogs
> and what have you. Now what if this same wall was to be used to surround
> an entire tract, a few miles in length, how do others figure a fee
> for such an expanded exposure?

The cheapest way for you would be to specify a design-build Modular MSE
wall.  It might even be cheaper over all depending on the local conditions
and what type of finish you want (the cheapest forming systems for concrete
walls leave a quite ugly finish).  Also, many people prefer the "look" of
modular MSE walls.

The design fees for MSE walls are usually based on the square footage of the
wall face (including caps and blocks below grade).  I've seen prices varying
from $1.00/s.f. (less than 750 s.f.) to $0.30/s.f. (over 75,000 s.f.).
Typical fees are in the $0.60 to $0.75/s.f. range.

This wall completely surrounds the entire complex?  Are you building a
bathtub or a hill fort?

---
Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri



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