Rough Budget

Categories: Guidelines

We talked about the need to present a rough budget with your design proposal at the last site visit-and I promised some figures that you could use to come up with one. Don’t forget to read about the baseline improvements we’ve already planned to make to the site-and these don’t need to be figured into your budget.

Sidewalks-$10 per square foot. Don’t plan on anything less than a 6′ width. The master plan has some great things to say about walkways at Middlebury, see page 65 under the Built Systems chapter.

Patio/Plaza-On the last couple of projects we’ve been using a stamped dyed concrete to construct hard patio surfaces. Colored a dark grey, similar to local Panton Stone, this is also stamped to give a look similar to a real stone patio, with square lines and a stone like rough surface. Look at the patio at Proctor, or the one on the Old Chapel road side of McCullough for good examples. We feel this surface treatment is a good compromise between the look of a real stone patio, and the realistic maintenance and wear-and-tear issues in this well-traveled and used environment. Plan on about $20 per square foot installed. Installation on these are similar to a sidewalk, with a well compacted stone base.

Light Pole-About $3,000 each. This includes a sonotube concrete base, and wiring (assuming not too much of a run) Interesting side note here-the 30 year cost of a light pole and the 30 year cost of a tree are about the same, in the $10-12,000 range.

Gate-This is a tricky one. Nobody likes the gates we have in use now, the wire strung between two posts with a lock on each side. I was daydreaming at a Bollard manufacturer site for inspiration. Something truly nice would probably be about $10,000. The bottom of that sidewalk by Atwater A gets quite a bit of service vehicle use, so anything retractable/ removable would have to be pretty bomb-proof.

Benches-This can run the gamut, but here in Facilities we’ve been pleased with the granite stone benches we’ve been using lately. Look for some on and near the McCullough plaza. With a footing installed, they’re about $1500 each.

Tree Planting-Trees are sold by the caliper inch, which is the measurement of the trunk 6″ above the ground. Height is not as good an indicator of maturity as trunk measurement, as some trees (such as crabapples) may be as old, but never as tall. A common size sold in the landscape trade is 2-2 1/2″. This would normally come balled and burlaped, meaning it was grown in the ground at the nursery for several years, then dug up and shipped. Planted, staked, and mulched, this is going to cost about $500 each. I prefer planting a 3-3 1/2″ tree, and that is going to run about $750. Another popular size would be a 15 gallon, meaning it was grown in a 15 gallon container, and is generally about 1-1 1/2″ in diameter. This is good for mass planting, or in areas not as well traveled. We generally don’t plant trees this small on campus, at least not as individuals. Plan on $225 each for those.

Shrub and Flower Beds-Shrubs are tricky to get established when planted by themselves, unless they are quite large. Generally grown in smaller pots, or dug with smaller root balls, they tend to dry out quickly in the establishment phase unless planted in a large mulched bed. (They look better planted en masse on a campus this large anyway) This holds true for perennials as well. I did some calculating, and came up with about $7.50 per square foot on either a shrub or flower bed-the spacing of the plants equalizes the cost here. And fair warning-part of a sustainable landscape means it is sustainable economically, and we just don’t have the laborĀ availableĀ to weed acres of flower beds, as much as I would like them. Shrub beds are not as difficult to weed, but still need some thought.

As always, feel free to contact me with questions. I’m sure I only skimmed the surface here. Luther Tenny is another great resource on pricing- he helped me come up with some of these, and any errors are mine.

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