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View Full Version : How long to lay sod?????


horseman201
12-19-2005, 04:11 PM
I have around 11,000 square feet of sod to lay and wanted to know how long it will take. There is not much to go around besides about 9 large oak trees. The rest is open. I have put down very small areas of sod but not this much. Prep work is already done. I tried to search this topic but could not get the search to go through. Any help would be great.

RedWingsDet
12-19-2005, 04:28 PM
I'd guess around 5 or 6 hours to lay it with 2 people, maybe less. Then use your stick edger to trim the edges.

Lawnworks
12-19-2005, 07:06 PM
That looks like 22 pallets, so I think it would be alot more than 10-12 man hours. My guess would be 25-30 man hours @ whatever you need to make per man hour.

The Cowboy
12-19-2005, 07:13 PM
With a job like this i'd use about 2 helpers, itll probably be aroung 15-18 manhours. A good 6 hours 'll probably do the trick for the crew. I don't know how you bid it, but when I do it I charge about 4-5 bucks per roll installed for that much. It'll make me about 3500 bucks profit, give or take, thats alot better'n doing it per hour.

AGLA
12-19-2005, 08:04 PM
I don't think that it is realistic to expect someone who has not done big sos jobs to lay 11,000 SF of so in one day with two helpers. Plan on at least a day and a half.

RedWingsDet
12-19-2005, 08:27 PM
I dont see how it'd take 8hours or more. With 2 people, and the pallets in the right place, you can eaisly do 2000feet per hour

Lawnworks
12-19-2005, 08:45 PM
With a job like this i'd use about 2 helpers, itll probably be aroung 15-18 manhours. A good 6 hours 'll probably do the trick for the crew. I don't know how you bid it, but when I do it I charge about 4-5 bucks per roll installed for that much. It'll make me about 3500 bucks profit, give or take, thats alot better'n doing it per hour.

$3500 profit w/ no prep work??? I was thinking about $1500 labor at the most

Lawnworks
12-19-2005, 08:50 PM
I dont see how it'd take 8hours or more. With 2 people, and the pallets in the right place, you can eaisly do 2000feet per hour

That would be great, but I would bid for at least 24 man hours.

RedWingsDet
12-19-2005, 08:52 PM
That would be great, but I would bid for at least 24 man hours.

I'd bid it per sq foot. More money that way.

YardPro
12-19-2005, 09:04 PM
i would also estimate qround 20 hours....

we lay big rolls with the dingo... a helper and i can lay 1K yards in less than a day.

UNISCAPER
12-19-2005, 10:08 PM
If all you got is 9 big Oak trees lay big rolls and blow it out in a half day with 3 guys, assuming all the grading has been done before hand.

If you are running small rolls, the best time we ever did was 24 man hours for 1000 yards. you have 1200 yards. That was with a well trained crew that had all their ducks in a row.

If you have never done it before, I would not order more than half of what the whole job is so you won't have rolls geting bacteria rotting on the pallets.

Better yet, grade the lot properly, apply seed direct to the dirt and hydro mulch it. You'll save money and get a better lawn.

The Cowboy
12-19-2005, 10:16 PM
$3500 profit w/ no prep work??? I was thinking about $1500 labor at the most

It really depends on what you can charge. $1500 bucks labor is a little more than a dollar profit per roll, not very much, but still nothing to complain about.

I'll break down my prices here.

11,000 sq ft of sod costs me about 1650 bucks. If I bid the job at $0.45 per sq ft installed, it would come out to $4950. My profit before other expense will be 3300 bucks. My price is very fair for illinois, actually a bit low.
sometimes I bid the prep work as a seperate job other times I raise my price on the sod. I find it easier to bid in 2 stages. the prep work, then the sod and install. I hope this helps, I hate seeing someone work for less than he is worth. Don't set limits to how much you can make in a day. It is ok to strike it rich once in a while. I did a job back in november where I charged 78 cents a square foot for about 1800 square feet. I charge more per foot for smaller places than the bigger ones.

Lawnworks
12-20-2005, 12:44 AM
It really depends on what you can charge. $1500 bucks labor is a little more than a dollar profit per roll, not very much, but still nothing to complain about.

I'll break down my prices here.

11,000 sq ft of sod costs me about 1650 bucks. If I bid the job at $0.45 per sq ft installed, it would come out to $4950. My profit before other expense will be 3300 bucks. My price is very fair for illinois, actually a bit low.
sometimes I bid the prep work as a seperate job other times I raise my price on the sod. I find it easier to bid in 2 stages. the prep work, then the sod and install. I hope this helps, I hate seeing someone work for less than he is worth. Don't set limits to how much you can make in a day. It is ok to strike it rich once in a while. I did a job back in november where I charged 78 cents a square foot for about 1800 square feet. I charge more per foot for smaller places than the bigger ones.

Well down here, that price would not fly and you would not get the bid.

justanotherlawnguy
12-20-2005, 02:19 AM
I would charge $0.65/sq ft installed with little/no prep work.

11000 sq ft= 22 pallets of sod @$150 per pallet =$3300 for the sod and $3850 in our pocket...

$7150 for the whole job

The Cowboy
12-20-2005, 12:55 PM
I would charge $0.65/sq ft installed with little/no prep work.

11000 sq ft= 22 pallets of sod @$150 per pallet =$3300 for the sod and $3850 in our pocket...

$7150 for the whole job

Your sod must be costing you 30 cents a square foot. Is it Bermuda? it costs 15 cents for kentucky bluegrass in my neck of the woods.

horseman201
12-20-2005, 02:14 PM
Paying $92 per pallet. Keep the info coming.

UNISCAPER
12-20-2005, 10:10 PM
Not only do the sod farmers charge .34-.40 per square foot, the morons in our area fold it in half rather than roll it. So, assuming all grading has been done, we charge $2.10 per square foot with a 1500 sq ft minimum.

n2h20
12-20-2005, 10:25 PM
uniscaper? why is that? that they fold it in half around there? I have noticed in folsom now they have rolls rather than the halves.. much easier. who do you get your sod from in SD?

UNISCAPER
12-20-2005, 10:34 PM
We usually get it from pacific, but they all fold it in half, Amsod, Pacific, Southland, etc. the only rhyme or reason i can see is that since the sod fields are out in the dessert because of this way overpriced land we sit on, they can get more on a pallet when they fold it in half.

n2h20
12-20-2005, 10:39 PM
hmm is a full pallet 500 or 1000 sq ft' its been a while since ive ordered/..
That would make sense, more sod pet pallet.

justanotherlawnguy
12-20-2005, 11:00 PM
Your sod must be costing you 30 cents a square foot. Is it Bermuda? it costs 15 cents for kentucky bluegrass in my neck of the woods.

Down here it is all St Augustine or Bahia (which nobody wants and I dont blame them). A pallet of 500 sq ft St Aug anywhere is usually $135-150. So yeah $0.30 sq foot based on the $150/pallet.

horseman201
12-21-2005, 04:05 PM
I should have tole ya'll that it is $92 per pallet of 504 sq. ft. and thats fescue.

UNISCAPER
12-21-2005, 11:11 PM
500 sf per pallet folded. Rolled is 66 sq yards so it's actually more on a rolled pallet....

I am beginning to think all these surfer dudes do what ever can be done to slow the process, and it drvies me nuts.

orionkf
12-21-2005, 11:48 PM
I always figured about 1 manhour (give or take) per pallet (50 rolls, 1 yd per roll) just to lay the sod. Does not include cut-in time and moving the sprinklers.

The Cowboy
12-22-2005, 12:21 AM
Thats about 1.2 minutes per roll, I could double that speed. For me it boils down to how I feel on any given day. I have doubled my speed some days, and been lazy on others. The most important part is how much money I can make without destroying myself, and doing a super job at the same time. Look into the pricing thing better. Sod never pays well doing it per hour;by the square foot is the best way. I don't see how that job would take more than a day. Let us know how it turns out. BTW, the retail price for sod around here is as high as 35 cents per roll. In that light, my customers thinks their gettin a good deal havin me put it down fur 50 cents.

AGLA
12-22-2005, 07:46 AM
I don't think it is realistic to think that anyone is going to sustain a rate of less than a minute a roll over the course of 11,000 SF with only three people. Having done it several times, the crew can not keep that pace up all day. If the pallets are spaced perfectly, which they won't be, you still have to carry them one at a time, unroll them (or unfold them - yikes), pull the seam together, and trim the edges (and in the field, if you don't lead on one edge).
I think that a man hour a pallet for 11,000 SF is about right for an experienced crew. The OP does not have an experienced crew and he is looking to price this job. Does anyone really think he will get it done in one day, or are we all trying to impress each other about how efficient we are?

I hope the OP posts how long it takes him and is honest about it.

Lawnworks
12-22-2005, 09:02 AM
Thats about 1.2 minutes per roll, I could double that speed. For me it boils down to how I feel on any given day. I have doubled my speed some days, and been lazy on others. The most important part is how much money I can make without destroying myself, and doing a super job at the same time. Look into the pricing thing better. Sod never pays well doing it per hour;by the square foot is the best way. I don't see how that job would take more than a day. Let us know how it turns out. BTW, the retail price for sod around here is as high as 35 cents per roll. In that light, my customers thinks their gettin a good deal havin me put it down fur 50 cents.

Well that is great if you can do that, but what about the crew leader that is on the job instead of you.

YardPro
12-22-2005, 09:04 AM
good post agla

i agree 100%...

even with an experienced crew i cannot lay 11000sft in a day with 3 guys.. not with delivery.. unloading.. laying.. trimming and cleanup..

horseman201
12-22-2005, 11:25 AM
I have been thinking about using a Dingo to move the sod from the pallet to the area we will be working in. I could put the pallet that comes with the Dingo on and transfer the sod from the delivered pallet. When the pallet is less than half gone I thought about taking the forks on the Dingo and moving the pallet around.
What do you guys think?????

The Cowboy
12-22-2005, 12:36 PM
I forgot to mention I am getting sod grown on muck soil about 10 miles from here. It weighs about half what the clay sod weighs. I use a handcart to move at least 5 rolls at a time. This enables me to put a lot down in a matter of seconds, I would have one guy doing all the trimming while I lay the rolls down quickly.

Ric
12-22-2005, 01:27 PM
Down here it is all St Augustine or Bahia (which nobody wants and I dont blame them). A pallet of 500 sq ft St Aug anywhere is usually $135-150. So yeah $0.30 sq foot based on the $150/pallet.


Just

I am over 100 miles south of you and have been in the sod business for a while. In the field I currently pay $ 0.16 a Sq ft for St Aug loaded on my truck. Each pallet has 400 sq ft and weights about 3500 lbs each. I can haul 5 pallets legally. Yes I have to drive 70 or better miles round trip with each load. On Large jobs I will hire a 18 wheeler to deliver up to 22 pallets at a time in the winter dry season and only 16 in the rainy season because of water weight. There are many contract trucker who will deliver sod but you must be there to unload them with a fork lift.

Bahia weight 4500 lb for a 400 sq ft pallet because it has to have more dirt on the roots when cut. Bahia is harder to lay and will fall apart if not cut right. Yes I try and stay away from Bahia jobs no one likes them and everyone wants Bahia cheap. Bahia only cost $ 0.05 a sq ft in the field but I charge as much to lay it as St Aug.

I found that the best Money in Sod was replacement work for home owners. To cut out old sod and replace it, I charged between $ 0.80 and $ 1,50 a sq ft depending on the sq ft of replacement. I figure that Rip out is Half the price because it is more than half the work. There is real good Money in Sod, but it is a lot of work and takes heavy equipment to do at a profit.

AGLA
12-22-2005, 01:34 PM
I always found that picking it up once is the way to go. Pick it up with the flap hanging away from you, give it a little push as you drop it so it unrolls, and grab another. Foot prints are easy on a finished grade where a dingo, a push cart, or wheelbarrow might require a little more touch up.

Anyway, the most exhausting thing is picking up the pieces. I, for one, would rather cut that part of the job in half. Once you pick it up, 15 steps or 30 steps is not that big a change in the exhaustion factor compared to picking it off a pallet then picking it up again.

I also find that one guy down pulling the seams together with two guys feeding him works out to a nice rythem with the trot back to the pallet. Then swith the down man every once in a while.

Ric
12-22-2005, 02:09 PM
AGLA

Sounds like you know what you are doing. The drop Kick method looks good the first day but the sod soon shrinks and the seam start to show. The end results can be a wash board lawn that will bounce a mower. Butting the seam correctly takes more time but products a better job. If you are the one to mow this yard, then you want to have good seams and a level lawn.

BTW I am now retired but kept My equipment for that occasional job. At this point I am interested in just helping someone else on their jobs. I can deliver the Sod and place it for easy laying. I can also Haul away larger amounts of tear out or debris. I am too old to lay sod any more and have no desire to contract a sod job.

sheshovel
12-22-2005, 02:32 PM
It will take you longer than one day .
Get the sod as close to the work area as possible,have the delivery driver put the pallets where you can easily get to them from all sides .Moving it or having to handle any material twice
is twice the work.
Two pulling off the pallett and two on the ground pulling the seams and trimming works out good if they can get in and keep a nice even medium pace.Make sure those seams knit tight and fix any low spots or problems you may have missed while prepping... as you go.Good luck and wear your kneepads!

RedWingsDet
12-22-2005, 02:38 PM
I just dont understand how it'd take more than 5 or 6 hours to lay 11k feet.

My pallets come in 700ft. 10ft rolls. It takes two guys 15-20min to lay 1 pallet.

Tell if im wrong, but in this project, all you have to do is get the sod and lay it, correct? theres no preping to do, correct?

If thats the case, it shouldnt take you more than a day to lay the sod, cut the sod, and roll it.

Just get the pallets as close to the area as possible. We carry the 2 or 3 rolls at time in our hands, one guy gets the rolls, another lays em. It goes really fast.

Ric
12-22-2005, 03:04 PM
I just dont understand how it'd take more than 5 or 6 hours to lay 11k feet.

My pallets come in 700ft. 10ft rolls. It takes two guys 15-20min to lay 1 pallet.

Tell if im wrong, but in this project, all you have to do is get the sod and lay it, correct? theres no preping to do, correct?

If thats the case, it shouldnt take you more than a day to lay the sod, cut the sod, and roll it.

Just get the pallets as close to the area as possible. We carry the 2 or 3 rolls at time in our hands, one guy gets the rolls, another lays em. It goes really fast.


Premier

All sod doesn't come in 10 ft rolls. Try laying 24 X 18 inch pieces and stagger the seams. Each type of turf species will have a different Quality of how it must be layed correctly. Don't knock a man unless you have walked in his shoes.

YardPro
12-22-2005, 07:48 PM
10 feet!!!!!!!!!!!!
and carry 3 by hand.... you must be a gorilla...

we get our mini rolls one yard rolls.... 12X36 inches and they get really heavy quick...sod weighs about 50-60 lbs/yard

also i don't doubt that two guys can do a pallet in about 1/2 hour... but we are talking 22 pallets... that's still 10 hours by your numbers...

also the first few pallets will fly by, but your production rate will slow as the day goes on...

if you can lay 11K sqft in 5 or 6 hours with 2 guys come down here and i will keep you working as long as you wish..

AGLA
12-22-2005, 07:51 PM
The first pallet is a lot faster than the 22nd. It is not a sustainable pace. You can't base 22 pallets on what it takes to lay one. I have done 11,000 several times and I can tell you that production rate drops off sharply after the first 5,000 with five or six people. Three people are going to run out of gas a lot sooner.

YardPro
12-23-2005, 08:46 AM
amen brother....

i just cannot see 2 guys laying 11Ksqft in 5-6 hours... no way

Precision
12-24-2005, 11:06 AM
amen brother....

i just cannot see 2 guys laying 11Ksqft in 5-6 hours... no way

by myself I once laid 10 (400 + sq ft) pallets of sod in 10 hours. Bahia in the 24 x 18 inch squares. Damn near killed me.

3 guys with 22 pallets I would guess to be reasonable would be 24 man hours.

I price by the pallet. $275 delivered and installed. 2 pallet minimum or price goes up.
my cost delivered and spotted, St augustine $108-116
my cost delivered and spotted, Bahia about $80 (rarely use it so not fresh in the brain)
11,000 sq feet with my sod company it would be 27 pallets. So 27 pallets at $275 is $7425. I get few jobs over 4000 sq feet. The big guys do crappy work CHEAP. Probably half what i charge, but the lawns look like crap. Very common to see 4-6 inch gaps throughout the yard and lots of sod overlap and clean up, what is that.

paolaken
12-24-2005, 11:42 AM
how does the dingo roll out the big rolls? around here the rolls of blue grass are abut 45-47 yards each. way to heavy for my dingo.

horseman201
12-24-2005, 02:03 PM
Not rolls, just squares that I am going to use. Customer has reduced the sod to 11 pallets. She wants to use seed the rest. We will be strawing and putting in an irigation system as well. Bid due in a week.

Mr. Vern
12-25-2005, 09:41 PM
Here in the Sacramento area we retail sod at $.30-.35/sqft(we pay about $.25). Our suppliers will install it for $.09, I usually get $.61 and just have them do it. They would easily do that job with 3 guys in less than 4 hours. It's amazing to watch these guys work. I have given up on even trying to get my crews to that level of efficiency. I just prep the grade and call my suppliers, then collect my check. If you are going to do the work yourself for the first time; you may as well forget about making top dollar. There are folks out there that can way out perform you at putting it in. I would bid market value and if you can't sub it out just figure on making less than premium dollar on it until you get enough experience and learn the tricks.

I see that a couple of you use Dingos. I just bought one, does anyone have the soil cultivator and if so how do you like it? What other attachments do you use?

bigtime
12-26-2005, 12:23 AM
me and a crew of 2 layed 22 pallets in 12 hrs. Had to cut around house sidewalk driveway and 2 trees.

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-26-2005, 02:46 AM
Well down here, that price would not fly and you would not get the bid.


Why IS labor so cheap in the south? Is the cost of living lower? I had a friend move to Florida, got a job that he thought paid pretty good. He still couldn't afford to live with rent, food, gas etc.

Hijacking is now ended.:waving:

n2h20
12-26-2005, 03:24 AM
hey vern.. where is sac are you?
welcome to lawnsite.

Mr. Vern
12-26-2005, 04:09 AM
Hey n2, actually I'm in Yuba City - drowning in all of this rain!

Lawnworks
12-26-2005, 08:44 AM
Why IS labor so cheap in the south? Is the cost of living lower? I had a friend move to Florida, got a job that he thought paid pretty good. He still couldn't afford to live with rent, food, gas etc.

Hijacking is now ended.:waving:

I live in a city that has the second cheapest cost of living in the country.

UNISCAPER
12-26-2005, 11:28 AM
"Why IS labor so cheap in the south? Is the cost of living lower? I had a friend move to Florida, got a job that he thought paid pretty good. He still couldn't afford to live with rent, food, gas etc."

We have the same thing with illegal aliens down here. The key is t go in like you are the only act in town, give great serivce and have the confidence to tell a client what your labor is worth, and have them pay it.

It works. The minute you show desperation t anyone, they will read it and you will be wrking for dirt until your company flds up and you beg someone for a job to support yourself.

If a plumber, and electrician, a carpenter and a roofer can charge $70-90.00 an hour, so can we. And we do, and so can your friend. Labor is labor.

n2h20
12-26-2005, 02:29 PM
vern email me... click on my link...
please.

YardPro
12-26-2005, 09:40 PM
how does the dingo roll out the big rolls? around here the rolls of blue grass are abut 45-47 yards each. way to heavy for my dingo.

here they are 20-25 yard rolls

either 22" or 30" wide depending on where we buy from.

steve in Pa.
12-27-2005, 05:05 PM
I would like to see 2 guys lay 2000 sq. ft an hour and have the seems all together and looking good. In vander- kooi's estimating book he has 500 sq. ft./per m/hr. listed as a fast install with 250 sq. ft./per hour being the low.

Precision
12-27-2005, 06:05 PM
I would like to see 2 guys lay 2000 sq. ft an hour and have the seems all together and looking good. In vander- kooi's estimating book he has 500 sq. ft./per m/hr. listed as a fast install with 250 sq. ft./per hour being the low.
as I mentioned earlier, my personal best is 400 sq ft per hour over a 10 hour day. AND it damn near killed me.

2 guys would be more efficient, but that is still 20 man hours minimum for the 11K sq ft throwing squares. with rolls you may be able to go faster especially with a dingo or bigger equipment. But manual labor you are kidding yourself.

YardPro
12-27-2005, 06:43 PM
as I mentioned earlier, my personal best is 400 sq ft per hour over a 10 hour day. AND it damn near killed me.

2 guys would be more efficient, but that is still 20 man hours minimum for the 11K sq ft throwing squares. with rolls you may be able to go faster especially with a dingo or bigger equipment. But manual labor you are kidding yourself.


lol i agree

i can lay a pallet an hour also.. but why??????
build in a reasonable price and go at it steadily...

remember the tortse and the hair?

YardPro
12-27-2005, 06:44 PM
as I mentioned earlier, my personal best is 400 sq ft per hour over a 10 hour day. AND it damn near killed me.

2 guys would be more efficient, but that is still 20 man hours minimum for the 11K sq ft throwing squares. with rolls you may be able to go faster especially with a dingo or bigger equipment. But manual labor you are kidding yourself.


lol i agree

i can lay a pallet an hour also.. but why??????
build in a reasonable price and go at it steadily...

remember the tortoise and the hair?