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Old 08-09-2009, 08:27 AM   #1
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


I asked a handy man to give me an estimate for laying bricks to form a flower-bed (5' x 10'). He asked for $200 (for labor only).

I wonder why it would cost so much to just lay bricks for a small flower bed. He said he needed to do the following:

1) Dig a shallow trench along the boundary line (20' long);

2) Pour cement (two 80-pounds of cement ) in and let it dry;

3) Lay bricks on top of cement so that bricks will not move in any weather condition.

Could any knowledgable people tell me if this is reasonable labor cost? Thanks!

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Old 08-09-2009, 08:55 AM   #2
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


It depends upon what you want
Are you building a wall?
Or just putting the bricks down as a border?

I just dig out a little dirt & put the bricks/pavers even with the lawn

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Old 08-09-2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


I only need him to put the bricks for form a shallow border. No wall.

I asked a kid to do it for me and the kid only charged me $20 for the labor. But the kid did a poor job because the border looks crooked and gradually the bricks move a little bit.

I want to hire someone who can do a high-quality job to re-do it. I wonder if this is a rip-off, or if it indeed requires a lot of work.

I also wonder if putting in cement is good for my yard, or if it is necessary.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:27 AM   #4
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


I've never put in cement, & I live in a big thaw/freeze area
I have hundreds of feet of borders for my gardens
I don't bother with perfectly straight lines
Many of my gardens have gradual curves

If you want perfection you will pay more for it
If its being redone because its crooked then the person may feel the only way to gaurantee his work - and keep it straight - is to use cement
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


You had someone that gave you a very fair estimate to do it correctly the first time. You decided this was too high and chose to see what a $20 job would get you. You then saw what $20 got you. Are you going to complain again when you get another estimate for $200 to do a "high-quality job?
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Jerryh3,

I wasn't complaining. I just wanted to get opinions for the fair-market value for his labor.

I got over-charged in the past by other handymen. I just want to be careful and smart this time.

BTW, I do believe that he's able to do a better job than the kid. I just wasn't sure about this "cement" thing...
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious123 View Post
Jerryh3,

I wasn't complaining. I just wanted to get opinions for the fair-market value for his labor.

I got over-charged in the past by other handymen. I just want to be careful and smart this time.

BTW, I do believe that he's able to do a better job than the kid. I just wasn't sure about this "cement" thing...
It seems fair. Sounds like a couple hour job and he may have to make two trips depending on the type of cement used. I think instead of cement I would just use some type of paver base under the stones. There's a couple landscaping guys that post on here, so they may be able to give you some better ideas of what materials to use.

Last edited by jerryh3; 08-09-2009 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Where is the discussion about "paver base" in this forum?
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious123 View Post
Where is the discussion about "paver base" in this forum?
Paver base is just crushed stone that can be compacted to provide a solid base for laying pavers or brick. Any home center carries it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


That does not seem unreasonable for what he described, although I question the need for a concrete base. it will work,but is probably not what a professional landscaper would do. Maybe a few inched of gravel or sand as a base if your ground is very soft or if your topsoil is rather deep.

Think about that he liekly charger $50 or so an hour. That would take a few hours to do. Try calling a few landscapers. They will easily charge that much.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:47 AM   #11
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Thanks to all for your input!

His charge is $30/hour. He said it would take him entire day to do it. At the beginning, he asked for $240. I lowered it to $200, and he agreed.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Sounds resonable, my wife and I laid a circle flower bed in our backyard about 8 feet in diameter with 2 layers of brick. It took us all day the 2 of us to dig out the trench, place in paver sand, then lay all the bricks and make sure it stayed level. So far for 3 years its stayed put, no brick movement and still level. So yeah 200$ sounds acceptable, Im just not sure that cement is needed in your case.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:00 PM   #13
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


Creamaster,

Thanks for the comment! I'll ask the handyman to go with paver sand.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #14
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Is the labor cost reasonable?


As this is DIY Chatroom, "is this labor cost reasonable" or "how much would a contractor charge to..." are not in keeping with the DIY nature of the site. Therefore such questions are discouraged. Should you decide to do the work yourself there are a lot of talented and helpful people here that can lend good sound advice.

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