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View Full Version : Charging for Mulching???


Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 08:07 PM
I recently had a commercial customer have me do some work at his house mulching his flowerbeds and doing some leaf cleanup I bought 80 bags of mulch total at a price of $190.12, but was wondering how much I should have charged for labor? how much do you guys go for on hourly? I mean I have heard the $1 a minute thing but In two days total I spent 8hrs that would be like $480 in just labor I dont think this would go over big.. so I need some hlep from you experienced Lawn guys how do you charge on something like that????:confused:

cwlawley
01-26-2006, 08:13 PM
We charge $40.00 per hour (most of the time) plus the cost of mulch. If you bought the mulch I would also add the time it takes you to pick it up.

Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 08:15 PM
I drove 20 miles and did it twice so basically 40 miles total so I added like $10.00 to the price but included it in labor

Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 08:16 PM
this guy would ask for the receipt and the n when he sees the price he says well why did you charge me extra??

GrassBustersLawn
01-26-2006, 08:41 PM
RANDY...RANDY...RANDY


If the CLIENT didn't want to PAY for the SERVICE, he should do it himself! You got probably an HOUR DRIVE TIME minimum (in 40 miles) and you charged $10???

You stated 40 miles driven to pick up product.

HOW MUCH GAS DID YOU USE?
HOW MUCH TIME did 40 miles take?

YOU GOTTA CHARGE FOR THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!

I.R.S. deduction for business use of your vehicle is 36.9 cents per mile x 40 miles is $14.76. You collected $10 means YOU LOST $4.76 + your TIME!!!!

We charge $65 per yard (plus sales tax) for product, delivery & installation. 6 yd minimum. Product costs me $10 per yard.

I do residential work for my business clients too, but I STILL CHARGE my going rate!


Mike

Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 08:59 PM
well his total bill came to $330 how does that sound?? for mulch and labor both the whole ball of wax?? Mike how much do you charge an hour when you do charge?

Charles Odell
01-26-2006, 09:04 PM
but Buying mulch by the bag is very costly compared to
buying bulk, on the customer seeing your receipt, you
should not have to show that to him Dose your mechanic
show you what he pays for parts ? Say you pay 10.00 a yard
for mulch you can charge say 14.50 a yard PLUS Pick up
and labor for install.

MMLawn
01-26-2006, 09:09 PM
well his total bill came to $330 how does that sound?? for mulch and labor both the whole ball of wax?? Mike how much do you charge an hour when you do charge?

For nearly everywhere in the Country except a handful of places like CA, maybe NH, Mass it is VERY high. First why in the world are you buying mulch by the bag? Second, why in the world did it take you 8 hours to spread what amounts to only 3 yards of mulch. Even solo that is a 3-4 hour job max. As to point 1 and the mulch it is much cheaper buying in bulk by the cubic yard. Assuming that you bought 2 cubic foot bags of mulch and going by the price I would say that is what you got. Then you had 3 cubic yards of mulch. Now the going rate for that is around $65.00 per cubic yard installed, which would be a total of $195.00 for that job. Also if you had bought it in bulk that 80 bags as 3 bulk yards would have only cost around $60. Here it would have only cost me $45.00.

Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 09:09 PM
I didnt show him the receipt but I think I need a set price... to say well its going to take roughly 80 bags total I work for so much an hour how that sound?

MMLawn
01-26-2006, 09:16 PM
I didnt show him the receipt but I think I need a set price... to say well its going to take roughly 80 bags total I work for so much an hour how that sound?

To be blountly honest. It sounds like you don't know what you are doing. Is this your first mulch job? Just give him a price that includes the mulch and labor and no need to explain it or break it down.

Of course the real time to discuss the price was BEFORE you did the job not after. That way you both knew where you stood on pricing before the first minute of work was completed. In the future you need to do that.

GrassBustersLawn
01-26-2006, 09:23 PM
well his total bill came to $330 how does that sound?? for mulch and labor both the whole ball of wax?? Mike how much do you charge an hour when you do charge?


Randy

Previously you mentioned you spent $190 on MULCH. You billed him $330.

330 - 190 = $140 for your LABOR/TIME/GAS/TRUCK WEAR, etc.

You mentioned you spent 8 hours on the job.

$140/8 = $17.50 per hour...not including GAS/TRUCK WEAR, INSURANCE, etc.

YOU'LL NEVER STAY IN BUSINESS AT $17.50 an hour!!!!!!!!
You should shoot for AT LEAST TWICE THAT.....$35 per hour....MINIMUM! Also, if you look at the BUSINESS EXPENSES, you probably made $8/hr. Might as well work for someone at that rate and not have the HEADACHES of owning a business...paperwork, employees, taxes, etc.

From previous post you mentioned 80 bags...I'm assuming 2cuft bags...that is 160 cuft / 27 ft.yd = 6 yards. $190/6 = $31.66 per yard for product. Unless that was SUPER SPECIAL MULCH (jumps out of bag & lays itself!) you paid TOP DOLLAR for product. You probably could have had a dealer deliver it to the site (NO MILEAGE for YOU) for $20 delivery + $15 to $20/yd = $140 total. Right there is $50 more IN YOUR POCKET! (I buy in BULK at beginning of season and get $10 yd rate.)

NEVER deal in bagged mulch. Too expensive on a UNIT basis. Figure a BASE RATE (I use $65/yd) for BASE PRODUCT (A mulch). If client wants MORE EXPENSIVE product, THEY PAY MORE!



Mike

Lawns By Randy
01-26-2006, 09:31 PM
well mike my customer paid the price for the mulch, he paid the same price that I paid at the store, so I wasnt out anything other than time and gas this is what I am trying to get, trying to get back money on my time and diesel spent so I know that there is a formula or some kind of price structure? thanks mike for your help!

nobagger
01-26-2006, 09:33 PM
First quite charging "by the bag". It costs way too much vs. bulk mulch, even if you needed it delivered it would have been cheaper. Get a set price for a yard of mulch in your area, then determine how long it takes you to lay it down. Then charge accordingly. There is a place for bagged mulch, but not at the commercial end of it. We charge for double ground hardwood dark mulch $45.00-$50.00 per yard installed plus delivery which usually runs between $25-$35 per trip. And we charge roughly $15.00 more for the red stuff and $25.00 more for black mulch. I saw a guy in Lowes last year buying 65 bags of red mulch, it came to a huge bill, I think it came to over $400.00 just for bagged mulch. I actually helped him load it up (he was parked right by me) and I told him who I was and what we did. He said his boss wanted this for the front of his store. I gave him a couple of business cards and said if your boss needs anymore work done to give us a call. His boss probably paid twice as much for the total job then if he would have if he hired a pro. :confused:

KCLandscape
01-26-2006, 09:52 PM
I charge 75 per yd for double ground hardwood delivered and installedand nobody bats a eye at it.
I pay 13.00 /yd for it
I do have two accounts that are on hills where we have no choice but to use bags. I figure up the price difference between bag vs. bulk and invoice accordingly. I dont like the bagged stuff for the reasons already mentioned but sometimes there is no other way.

WalkerMike98
01-26-2006, 10:41 PM
The Difference Is That Your Customer Did Not Pick The Mulch Up. What Is Your Time Worth. You Say Youre Trying To Get Back The Money And Time. You Should Not View It As Getting Back Time But Rather Making A Decent Profit. The Formula Is: Your Time Is Worth Money At Least Mine Is (all Of It). 17.50 An Hour Is Ridiculous. If Your Lucky You Might Have Cleared Just Above Minimum Wage. It Is Imperative That You Know Your Costs And Obviously You Dont.

BCFLawnLandscape
01-26-2006, 11:06 PM
on the customer seeing your receipt, you
should not have to show that to him Dose your mechanic
show you what he pays for parts?


Actually.. My mechanic does show me what he pays for parts... and its usually SKY HIGH! haha!:drinkup:

cwlawley
01-27-2006, 01:23 AM
To be blountly honest. It sounds like you don't know what you are doing. Is this your first mulch job? Just give him a price that includes the mulch and labor and no need to explain it or break it down.

A little harsh there huh? He wouldn't be asking if he knew what he was doing would he? I bet he can spell "bluntly" right though.

Green Pastures
01-27-2006, 01:34 AM
$65 a yard installed for <10 yards more than 10 yards $55 installed.

ArkansasLawns
01-27-2006, 08:55 AM
If you are happy with what you charged then thats Ok. Using bags might have been the way to go. Not enough information to go on.

What have you learned? Bet your work was something to be proud of.

These replies are all insightfull and should help you make choices in the furture. Ah, I can remember my first mulch job....just smelling the fresh hardwood....

NickN
01-27-2006, 10:01 AM
Guys,buying mulch by the bag is not a bad thing.First,it takes alot less time to lay mulch by the bag.No shoveling.9 bags of 3cu ft bags is 1 yard.9 bags can be laid in no time.
Unless you can back your truck or trailer right next to bed,with bulk mulch you have to unload it into a wheelbarrow,cart,or JD Gator.Then you have to shovel it again into the beds.
Second,less cleanup.No spilled mulch on the drive,lawn,sidewalks,etc.,,
Third,no dump truck or trailer needed.
I've laid mulch both ways and by far the easiest method is by the bag.
We charge $70 per yard installed for under 6 yards and $60 per yard over 6 yards.Price for 1 yard of mulch can be as much as 27.00,but we can lay 4 yards in one hour by the bag with 3 workers(including myself),which comes out to around $55 per hour/per worker.
Most of our mulch jobs include landscape installs,bed cleanups or shrub trimming.We rarely do just a mulch install.