Is the skill of walling under-rated??

For discussing walling related subjects not included in other headings.

Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Mikeyblue » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:16 pm

Hi All,

I am not a frequent poster on this forum but am a professional waller of 5 years.

Something has been bugging me for a while now. I consider myself as a good waller and take immence pride in what I do. As a trade I feel walling is under paid. For example, I was talking to a painter/decorator on site one day and he bills himself out considerabley more than I do. I know I could not get away with charging near what he does.

Currently I charge the going grant fee for field work, £20. If I'm lucky I will get a few pounds more. On a good day I will take down, build and cope 4m. Said painter and decorator bills £110 a day for labour and makes on any materials he gets in.

This isnt a sob story pleading poverty just an opinion. As skilled tradesmen/women we should be rewarded better for our efforts.

Just wondered if it was just me!?

Regards.
Mikeyblue
New member
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Nigel » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:52 am

Hi, I have been walling now for 5 years as my main source of income.

Price is always an issue. I remember a young woman being interviewed on the BBC's working lunch programme about 6 years ago, she claimed that she was getting your decorators type of money and I thought that would be a going rate.

Pricing is difficult as the stone can make a huge difference to how quickly the wall goes up. It is not easy when 'other wallers' or rather chaps that do a bit will charge next to nothing for a job, just for a bit of 'beer money' it is very frustrating when the guys that advertise in my local parish are advertising as able to do grass cutting and dry stone walling, one guy has two adverts, one as a plumber and one as a waller, what is he an expert at?

I am very lucky to have built up some good reputation and have a handful of customers that will pay me a little extra to take my time and do the job right. I have seen some cheap jobs and repaired a few soon after costing the customer more than it would have done to get the job done right in the first place, it give the skill a bad name, certainly when the customer thinks they want the wall rebuilt this time properly, you know with cement in the middle so it wont fall down again.

I am lucky that my father and his brother were wallers all their life, I get a bit more work from their reputation for doing a good job and don't let them down.

I was at a site the other day and the chippy called be a failed bricklayer, luckily my customer put him right, but we can be viewed pretty low on the skill level, again, this is just because of bad work being done and it is up to us and organisations like the DSWA to keep up the good work.
ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ
User avatar
Nigel
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:56 pm
Location: South Cotswolds

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Mikeyblue » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:42 am

Hi Nigel,

You've touched on some good points there. I agree that some do walling as an extra income, such as gardeners, landscapers etc. These are probably likely to charge less for the wall as they will make on other parts of the job.

Im thinking from now on my rates will be going up. After all, in my area £20 m2 has been the going rate for as long as Ive been walling. Everything else has gone up in price, so why not the price of walling?
Mikeyblue
New member
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby david perry » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:32 pm

I'd also guess that its cheaper and quicker to put up a wire fence. So perhaps it's a case of demand not meeting pricing expectations??
I just like stone!!

Click the globe in the bottom right corner to see my blogg
User avatar
david perry
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:22 pm
Location: Whitby, North Yorkshire

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Mikeyblue » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:04 pm

Hi David,

Of course It is cheaper and quicker to put up a fence, but thats not much help if the farmer wants a wall building!

I think your point about pricing expectations is a very valid one. I suppose its about how much the land owner wants wants his wall building, as to how much of his own money he puts towards works.

P.S Nice blog by the way, very enjoyable read. Especially the part on your dog for Christmas, I can relate to that!

Kind Regards.
Mikeyblue
New member
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Stoneinspired » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:38 pm

The average UK salary is £31000, or £120 a day. I would use this as a starting point for costing out jobs. In order to make £120 a day (a not unreasonable amount for a skilled job - dykers are crafts-people after all), you would need to work out how many sq meters you could build in a day of quality walling, and then charge that price.

If the "going rate" is £20 a sq m, then you either need to build 6sq m a day to make your money, or else the rate is far too low. If the rate is too low, and the client is unwilling to pay, walk away from the job, and encourage other wallers in the area to do the same until the rate is increased to a reasonable level.

I was told once by the factor on a large estate in the borders that a local old waller was prepared to work for £10 a linear meter. I suggested that since I'd need to be building at least 10 meters a day (an impossible amount) to make it worthwhile travelling to the job, they should go get him to do it. Even though they said that he was unreliable, they would prefer to pay a ridiculously small amount for the work. As far as I was concerned, they were welcome to him.

Sometimes you need to encourage clients by sticking to your guns, promoting the quality of your work, and saying that walling is a craft that requires a specialist to do it. If you want a decent job doing, get someone who knows what they are doing. if the client wants it done on the cheap, then give them your number so that they can call you to make the necessary repairs to the cowboy work a non-experienced or qualified waller will no doubt do...

If the farm walling isn't paying, get yourselves into doing landscaping work - retaining walls, steps and terraces in peoples gardens. The rates of pay are much better.
Stoneinspired
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:17 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby Andyman » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:57 am

Its funny I just had this conversation with a recruitment agency in Cumbria.
Im not short on Work But i saw this advert and thought why not rack it up, i have 2 lads working for me now
So i called them, Simmonds recruitment they are called, asked about the job price.
I nearly fell off my chair when she said its 8.27 per hour! or get this u can be LTD and get 8.90!
Anyway when i stopped laughing i Told her strait a waller wont work for that kind of money
she said theirs people queing up for it. I told her id drop her an email with a real price list

price per meter
25 per strait gap
35 for a steep gradient
40 - 50 for any features such as styles, steps, bolts,

I recently billed a farmer 550 quid for a 4 meter gap but that included a culvert where a new stream had brought the wall down
took me 3/4 days for that job so its really not over priced

I learnt my lesson last year If you under price people will take advantage of you, all you can do is go down in price on a job
So start high and let them work you down to around 25 - 30

I pay my lads 80 quid a day each both trained by myself both took on as novices and they can both do 4 - 5 meters per day
garden walls are where its at unfortunatly, you can bill 200 quid a day for a decent garden wall. But id rather be in a field
not having to put up with some bored housewives chatter
Andyman
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Yorkshire Dales

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby jerryg » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:25 am

I used to think walling was under rated when I read this:

Andyman wrote:Well got my first years work! got a farmer who leases all her land out to set me on for the summer, were looking at 50 pounds a day, bearing in mind my level 1 exam isn't till the end of july. Im happy to work for that its better than being a dole waller, its supplemented by a week at the end of august on harris walling their lovely stone. Things are looking up ill worry about charging more next year maybe till then im happy to be paid a pitance for hard graft :)


But things are obviously all right now.
jerryg
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:50 pm
Location: Lake District

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby mcgheeglasgow » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:26 pm

yes, i provided an earlier reply to this question, which seems to have vanished through the cracks!
But i commented that the last job i priced was in around 1978 near Lauder, and i thought that the
quote of £15 a yard was a fair estimate at the time. we were bringing our expertise from Glasgow
and living in rented caravans, to produce a product which would stand for centuries, sheltering the
livestock, while protecting the topsoil from wind assisted erosion, and all this while still producing
a thing of beauty! And compared to the workmanship of present day ceramic tilers in London, who
command at least £25 a square metre, doing something any Tom,Dick or Harry can do reasonably
well, where is the comparison. Putting up nine slices of plaster for a score, or. shifting 2 tons of
stone every time you build a yard of dyke?
mcgheeglasgow
New member
New member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:39 pm
Location: london

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby George Gunn » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:07 pm

A plumber charges £30 an hour and is certified. Get your rates up.
George Gunn
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:55 pm

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby waller 69 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:07 pm

this is the one that really winds me up...a wall done properly will outlive your grandkids, a fence will have your hand back in your pocket in 20 years..when i screw up a quote i get 10 pounds an hour, i call it tuition fees. let the tight gits have there fences its thier money they are wasting not mine...
waller 69 aka Kev Blackwell
waller 69
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:24 pm
Location: cirencester glos

Re: Is the skill of walling under-rated??

Postby waller 69 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:55 pm

seeing as you asked the question mikey, what do you think? look around you, are there loads of people better than you? i dought it personally, you would not be here if you didn,t care, there are a few here who are worried, i could point em out but i wont, they` re not worried about walling, more that the public will start to understand pm me if you want me to explain.
waller 69 aka Kev Blackwell
waller 69
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:24 pm
Location: cirencester glos


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest