View Full Version : Edging price $0.10/ft? Mulching price? Trying to make money for engagement ring

06-21-2001, 07:51 PM
Yes - I am another College student doing some lawncare. I have a few lawn accounts and just stuck primarily to mowing. In the last week I have had some interesting propositions. (1)About 300 yrds of a city corner lot. (2) Some brush hogging - I have a Gravely walkbehind...works as good as a billy goat brush cutter (3) Mulching a flower bed. (4) removing 1 ft. depth of dirt from a 20x48 building. I am looking into renting a skidster here. How much am I looking to pay for a days rental?

(1) Some people say to double the cost of the mulch per yard and that is what you charge to apply it including the cost of mulch.

(2) I have no idea what to chage on this one. $15 an hour? Wear and tear and my time.

(3) Just mulching some flower beds around a house. Some trees also.

(4) This is an interesting job. The home owners want to pour cement in the floor of their pole barn. It needs to be dug down 1 ft. in order to allow for gravel and drainage. This is a big job and I am not using a shovel and wheel borrow.

I can answer questions about mowing and have that down - this odd stuff is a learning experience.

I would consider hiring others to help or do the job.

I would appreciate some sort of code to charge by if at all possible.


Just me, my Scag, and my Gravely's.

06-21-2001, 08:07 PM
Oh - (1)that's about 300 yards of edging counting both sides.

06-21-2001, 08:50 PM
I don't know mucgh about the lawncare side of things, so I won't comment there. As far as the digging goes, just realize that you will be digging out over 35 cubic yards of dirt. As far as equipment goes, just call around and ask rental places what they charge. Around here is is typically less than $200/day.

You may want to consider subbing this out. I was working on a project and someone on lawnsite suggested subbing work out. At first I was skeptical, but it worked out great. Just get the other guys price and tack on 15%.


06-21-2001, 08:56 PM
I appreciate the help - Is there some sort of deposit needed to rent? Also, I have a 2900 lb trailer and a little Ford Ranger - is this asking a lot from my truck and trailer? I would rather get it myself than pay a delivery fee.


06-21-2001, 09:55 PM
Sorry to say, but you would be asking too much of your trailer and ranger. A Bobcat 773 weighs roughly 6000 pounds. Rental places usually charge about 100-150 for pickup and delivery.

Like I said before, look into subbing this out. Sure, the Homeowner could just hire someone, but then they have to deal with the estimates, phone calls, etc. You hire an excavator, and tack on 15% for the paperwork, phone calls, etc that the HO did not have to do.


06-21-2001, 10:03 PM
I would hire it out but - I get more $$$ this way. I've got a Truck and trailer to use now. SO trusty is safe.


06-22-2001, 12:43 AM
Hey John

Just to throw a monkey wrench in the double the mulch price theory, lets use this example.

You have to buy and spread 10 yards of mulch.

You use the el cheapos Shredded pallet mulch that the customer requested that costs 6.00 per yard. Total job cost $ 120.00. Sixty bucks of that is for your labor.

Same job, but they change their mind and want to go with the pure premium licorice root mulch, that costs $ 25.00 per yard. Total job cost $ 500.00. $250. for your labor.

Does it not take the same amount of time to spread the same amount of mulch??? You have to base your prices on labor + materials and estimate how long each will take. The cost of the material has absolutely no bearing on how long it takes to install the tree, shrub or in this case mulch.

Do me a favor? Tell whoever told you that to get the h*ll out of my industry??? Thanks hope I helped.


06-22-2001, 12:49 AM
The assumption made was considered with a $15-25 mulch price per yard. Which sounds kind of reasonable. About how long will it take me to mulch a yard by myself and how long with one person helping? I was going to just use my trailer to haul it and wheel barrow it over to the beds. If you can't give me an estimate of some sort - give me an example of your last few jobs. I figure I am not a pro like you - so obviously I would have a smaller fee.

Thanks for the help,

06-22-2001, 01:34 AM

Industry norm is one man hour per yard depending on how open or extensive the landscapeing is. Bet your next question was going to be how many yards do I need? Well to save a bit of time you need approx. 3 yards per 1000 sq ft for per inch of depth. Id tell you more but now you know to much already, and some "PRO" is going to miss out on this job you're now doing?


06-22-2001, 10:27 AM
First find out what the fine is in PA for operating as a contractor without a license. Some places it's as high as a $10,000 fine and One year in jail. Then decide if you want to risk it for the money you'll be making. Sounds like these people probably priced it out and now they want to take advantage of your ignorance to get the job down for next to nothing.

Also, as for buying engagement ring, please see "Help, I'm falling" in the off topic forum.

06-22-2001, 04:16 PM
Ya'll are vicious!

My rule of thumb for life and business:

If I don't know what I'm doing I stay away from it or find someone that does..........locally.

Although the opportunity sounds great, these things can get way out of hand in no time and you usually wind up losing your shirt.

I would stay away from the dirt removal....mulch away.......get a license so everybody will be happy.

Stick with what ya know and grow, grow, grow!:D

06-22-2001, 05:10 PM
Please - I don't need a stupid license to do some work for some friends. Some of the people in this forum need to chill out. I am about 20 credits from finishing my Chemical Engineering degree above my Chemistry degree. I just happen to like to run machinery. I hired a lot of my offensive lineman in college during the summer for odd jobs to keep them out of trouble - I never thought I would like it this much. Most of the people I do work for are my profs. There is no contract. If you want to start insulting people use AOL. If you want to be helpful and criticize constructively feel free. Off topic? Hmmmm....I don't think so. I didn't say how i was gonna propose - I talked about some jobs that this forum deals with. If you want to compare brain power some day I will be glad to. So sit down parkwest. Thanks everyone else. Cheers, Nate

06-22-2001, 05:45 PM
It's sad to think someone would take it as an insult when they receive invaluable information from an experienced contractor. Sorry if I hurt your self-esteem oneleg, but I didn't write the rules. I understand now that you have been in the world of academia, so sorry if I was so blunt with you. I am just telling you the way it is in the world of contracting. Don't be suprised if someday someone you bid against turns you in to the licensing board and/or IRS for the finders fee because you bid against them.

Do you own a football team?

06-22-2001, 08:37 PM
I will edge for$.10 per foot.

06-22-2001, 09:32 PM
Its not stupid the license!!
The work your doing and asking information on requires that you be licensed and insured, even if you sub it out!!
The mulch work and maintenance is concidered home improvement work, anything you do for a customer you need be lic/ins.
Glad to see your doing well in college, I went to college too
It cost most contractors an arm and a leg for ins etc
good luck

lawrence stone
06-22-2001, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by onelegjohn

If you want to compare brain power some day I will be glad to.

From my perspective you are shooting blanks.

Try reading this book. I am sure it is not required anymore in
"liberal" arts college.


06-23-2001, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by onelegjohn
Please - I don't need a stupid license to do some work for some friends.

If you want to compare brain power some day I will be glad to.

I couldn't figure out why you took my advice so personal until it dawned on me you don't know the definition of ignorance. It has nothing to do with intelligence. By definition it is the lacking of knowledge, training, or information - uninformed. Your first quote proves that point.

At your age you are not expect to know everything but you are expected to learn. Keep up your grades, make it a point to learn something new everyday and maybe someday I'll hire you to work for me.

Vibe Ray
06-23-2001, 01:25 PM
Well, I remember in "Peein' in the Bushes!!!", it was agreed upon that Lawnsite was sort of a bar room or lounge in a way to hang out after work and talk about the day and benefit from each others experiences. I suppose in any bar, even an internet bar, you will have your fights.

06-23-2001, 01:45 PM
Good luck pulling the bobcat with the ranger. What are you using to haul the 35 Yards of fill with?

I'm with the other guys on this one, (even though I'm also close to being a college gradgiate) you should think hard about the dirtwork before you get in over your head.

Not to encourage them, but your chemistry degree means thats what you know. That doesn't mean your smarter than someone who doesn't know about chemistry; I'm sure I know more about Construction and Earthmoving than you do, but I may not be "smarter" than you as you say it. If your the smartest one here, why are you asking the questions?