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View Full Version : Need some quick help with small sod/mulch job...


ALarsh
03-20-2006, 07:31 PM
Well i'm bidding this small sod job - 216 square feet. The lawn died due to improper care and too much traffic on the lawn from children playing. Customer wanted two quotes- one for sod and one for playground chips. Can you take a look at my two proposals and let me know what you think? I have not given the estimate yet, so please tell me what you think. I'm thinking I might be a little high. Pics are below

Here is what I plan on doing for sod and estimated time in minutes:

Clean Up
Roto Till
Shovel, removing dirt (as you can see from the pics, the dirt is raised up)
Dirt Removal
Top Soil
Level and finish prep for sod
Sod
Clean up

Cost of materials: $134
Estimate: $489

EXPENSES (excluding gas, pick up sod, topsoil and starter fert. and labor):
Roto Tiller - $51 / day
Top Soil - 7 40lb bags $6.86
Sod - $44
Starter fertilizer - $32

And for the mulch quote:

Clean Up
Roto Till
Shovel Removing dirt
Dirt Removal
Mulch installation
Level
Clean Up

Possibly adding a border because it comes right up to a sidewalk??

Costs of materials: $139
Estimate: $437

EXPENSES (excluding gas, picking up mulch and labor):
Roto tiller - $51 / day
Playground chips - $88

This is my first sod job so I appreciate the help.

ALarsh
03-20-2006, 07:32 PM
And the other pic.... Thanks

Coffeecraver
03-20-2006, 09:25 PM
stone dust would be better than wood chips

DLS1
03-20-2006, 11:16 PM
Forget the grass. It won't last long in such a small area with several kids running around on it.

ALarsh
03-20-2006, 11:52 PM
Thanks for the responses. What do you think about the prices? What would you quote for this area? I have a feeling that $437 for mulching that area isn't going to sit well with the customer.

Randy Scott
03-20-2006, 11:52 PM
Yeah, sod is out. 1/3 the area is toys anyways, so that sod will be dead. Then the area in front of the sand box will be dead from all the sand the little rats will drag out.
Dig out about 4-5 inches of soil, lay down landscape fabric and do the playground chips like you stated. I'd push a little closer to $600-$700. I'm guessing the area might be like 10 or 12 x 20 or something like that. Taking out 4-5 inches would be a few yards of soil. Add the chips and fabric cost. 8 hrs labor.

These jobs are always tough to bid because they seem so trivial to the customer that $600 or $700 will probably freak them out. Though I don't care anymore because I'm in business to make money. I can stay home and not make profit, not money, but profit.

o-so-n-so
03-21-2006, 12:08 AM
I would propose to install a rubber court system in that small area. I saw this product at my local Lowes in the flooring dept. Its a rubber mat system that fits together like tongue and groove and comes in several colors. The kids are obviously small so this would be a wise investment with practically no maintenance for several years. Grass and mulch would be an ongoing maint costs.

Check out this link for the concept.

http://www.thematking.com/business_industry/industrial/playgroundmatting/index.htm

ALarsh
03-21-2006, 12:29 AM
Thanks for bringing that up o-so-n-so. Great idea but out of price range. Mats for the 216 square foot area would run around $1,980 according to the site.

http://www.thematking.com/business_industry/athletic/playgrounds/dynacushoin/dyna-cush-price-list.htm

Thanks for all the replys. I agree, sod won't work.

LawnsRUsInc.
03-21-2006, 09:58 AM
Iam figuring it is a 15x15' area. So that said it is 225 sqft. So if you dig it down 3" that will be 2 yds of excess dirt u need to truck out and then probably 1 yd of nice dirt to be brought in. I would figure as follows if i was you:

Sod 225 x $.30 = $67.50
Topsoil removal 4 hrs x $40 = $160
new topsoil 1 yd $25
old topsoil disposal $50
machine rental $45
time to lay the sod 3hrs x $40 = $120
site clean up 1.5 hrs x $40 = $60

total $527.50 is what i would charge if i was you in your position. If you need to dispose of any dirt you can call me up and drop it off at my shop/yard, which is right down the road from there on hwy 16 and capitol dr. Also if i have extra sod which i do alot of times i could give it to you at a big disount. Good luck and let me know how it goes. If you have any other ?'s feel free to give me a call.

Jason

ALarsh
03-21-2006, 11:16 PM
I ended up quoting $490 for sod and $440 for mulch. I doubt i'll get it but we'll see how it goes.

Thanks for the offer on the dirt drop off/sod prices. I was driving back to that boat storage place and saw your trucks parked in the yard. Looks great! :waving: I think I also saw you out plowing in the white Ford w/ Blizzard during the last little snowstorm.

I'll let you know if I get the job, didn't sound to promising when I left the quote but you never know.

LawnsRUsInc.
03-22-2006, 02:18 AM
Yea i hear you but i feel that way alot of times but you cant let it make you think that you need to lower your prices!! Today tuesday march 21 st. is my second day back in the office and i sold 2 contracts at 16-17,000 did i think that i would get htem no, especially that quick. But its the people that your dealing with that made it not seem promising. Dont "please dont" lower your prices as it will just lower our prices within our area. If you really want to do some smaller landscape jobs let me know as i can have you bid them and i can sub them to you. Reason being a $1-$1,000 landscape job i cant afford to even dring my landscape guys there.

Well on a local landscape subject: Yea that was me in the white truck out plowing i usually do co. places only but that truck had the easy route that night so i took it. Are you readdy for the new year? Did u see my trucks outside the shop? or at my stock yard? Well hope to talk to you soon PM me and throughout the year i can help you and vise Versa!

drsogr
03-22-2006, 09:40 AM
I can tell you just by looking at the yard it wasn't worth the time to bid it. People who have crap piled in their yard like that, don't care about having their yard look nice. Lower end bids like this suck. Poor people do not have any sense of value. I am to the point now if I don't see a door on the mailbox or if I see lights on the house during the summer, I don't even stop!

drsogr
03-22-2006, 09:42 AM
Yea i hear you but i feel that way alot of times but you cant let it make you think that you need to lower your prices!! Today tuesday march 21 st. is my second day back in the office and i sold 2 contracts at 16-17,000 did i think that i would get htem no, especially that quick. But its the people that your dealing with that made it not seem promising. Dont "please dont" lower your prices as it will just lower our prices within our area. If you really want to do some smaller landscape jobs let me know as i can have you bid them and i can sub them to you. Reason being a $1-$1,000 landscape job i cant afford to even dring my landscape guys there.

Well on a local landscape subject: Yea that was me in the white truck out plowing i usually do co. places only but that truck had the easy route that night so i took it. Are you readdy for the new year? Did u see my trucks outside the shop? or at my stock yard? Well hope to talk to you soon PM me and throughout the year i can help you and vise Versa!

Listen to this guy...he has been there and done that. It is nice to have a local guy that a newbie can look up to and ask questions. I wish I had a bigger landscape company in my area that I could ask questions to. I do have a couple of subs that really help me out quite a bit though.

ALarsh
03-22-2006, 11:49 PM
Yea i hear you but i feel that way alot of times but you cant let it make you think that you need to lower your prices!! Today tuesday march 21 st. is my second day back in the office and i sold 2 contracts at 16-17,000 did i think that i would get htem no, especially that quick. But its the people that your dealing with that made it not seem promising. Dont "please dont" lower your prices as it will just lower our prices within our area. If you really want to do some smaller landscape jobs let me know as i can have you bid them and i can sub them to you. Reason being a $1-$1,000 landscape job i cant afford to even dring my landscape guys there.

Well on a local landscape subject: Yea that was me in the white truck out plowing i usually do co. places only but that truck had the easy route that night so i took it. Are you readdy for the new year? Did u see my trucks outside the shop? or at my stock yard? Well hope to talk to you soon PM me and throughout the year i can help you and vise Versa!

That sounds cool Jason. Let me know if you don't want those under $1,000 jobs. I don't have the man power or equipment to do the larger ones. I would be glad to step in and do some of the small work. Give me a call and we can go take a look at them when they roll around. 262-719-2640 I don't answer during the day but check the messages after 3 pm.

I didn't see your post before I left to drop off the bid (took it with me to school and dropped it off after).

I saw the supply yard, haven't seen the shop.

I'm not reallly ready for this year yet. My trailer is sitting 200 miles north of here because I used it in a pinch to go snowmobiling, I need to order Gopher software, get that setup along with the website updated. But on the upside all customers from last year (except 1, sold the house) signed up for this year. Have about 1,000 more advertisements to go out, put out about 300 already and 1 call which was not what I was looking for (wanted some mulch dropped off). Signed up 2 new customers this season and I'm going up to Sussex to bid a neighborhood common area because I know somebody in the inside. He said he'll let me know how much the work went for last year and I can compare with my estimate. Not much other action, but I will be advertising in the Mequon area this year because I do go out there every week to do some family work. Might as well try to pick up a couple accounts over there while i'm out there.

I'm done rambling on.:headphones: