[TowerTalk] Tower Foundation (was Concrete Prices)

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 2 17:18:58 EST 2014

On 1/2/14 11:02 AM, Grant Saviers wrote:
> Some estimates, probably high side for rural LA -
> mini excavator plus operator $130/hr x 4hr dig + 1hr set cage = $650
> concrete line pumper $130/hr x 3 = $390 plus offsite cleanup $200
> laborer $25/hr x 8 x 2= $800 to move the dirt, two wheelbarrows into
> dump trailer (HD guys here are $15/hr)
> trailer and dirt disposal $40/yd x 7 = $210
> concrete $130/yd x 7 = $910
> precut/bent rebar cage = $300 plus your time to wire it up or tack weld
> top forms = 2 x 8's, stakes, $100
> finish concrete 2hrs of laborer $50
> concrete vibrator rental $80
> $3750 if you do a the GC organizing work and tie the cage.   Or add 25%
> to 50% for profit and "conditions" for a GC.  I suspect your quotes are
> based on "I've never done this before and have other easier jobs
> available."
> Tack weld the bolts together with #3 rebar when attached to the base so
> they don't move when set without the base to make concrete work easier.
> You can do it, all equipment can be rented and find a friend with some
> backhoe/excavator experience.
> Have fun!

A significant difference between "homeowner as GC" and "hire contractor" 
is the whole liability insurance aspect, particularly with respect to 
the labor.  Someone in the business of construction has to carry workers 
comp and liability insurance, and for construction trades, workers comp 
is pretty expensive, at least on a percentage of wages basis.

Concrete work is classification 5201, excavation is 6218.  In 
California, the former has rates from 15-23%, the latter about the same. 
  In some states (Washington), workers comp is on a per hour basis, and 
general landscape construction is about $1.50/hr.

and then you've got FICA and unemployment taxes, which add about another 
8% or so.

So a contractor may be paying $15/hr in wages but that costs them maybe 
$25/hr once all the other stuff is factored in.   If you go hire "day 
labor" at the local HD, you might pay $10-15/hr in cash.

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