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onefast750
04-11-2007, 01:06 PM
hi guys,

I'm new to this business and I have been doing some jobs on the side. I have a customer who wants her front yard done. She has flower beds all the way down her front walkway on both sides, a few flower beds, and some big circle beds around a few trees. I figure it would take about 4-5 yards of mulch to accomplish this job. Also I will also be edging this job as well. What kinda rates should i charge for this job... hourly rate as well as mulch mark up??

TXNSLighting
04-11-2007, 01:18 PM
depeneds on what you pay for the mulch. i pay 20-25 a yard and charge 65/yd to install. i charge 55 an hour also. really the best way is to get you material cost and double it. thats a pretty good assumption.

PatriotLandscape
04-11-2007, 02:21 PM
really the best way is doubling your material cost?? No way

What is your overhead? Is it high low? how many hours do you work a week re-capturing your overhead?

I hate unit pricers they tell people poor information.

I have two mulch jobs that we did last week both 19 yards

job one wide open spaces it took 16 production hours 16*45 + 19*26 = 1214

job two flower beds and shrubs 24 production hours 24*45 + 19*26 = 1574

at 65 per yard I win job one and make money you win job two and lose 339

ALWAYS base your bids on how long it will take you to do a job not the GOING rate for anything.

onefast750
04-11-2007, 03:18 PM
so what u guys are saying is that if i get a yard for $25..then i should charge the person around $ 50 per yard plus my hourly rate?

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 03:43 PM
Have you measured the beds to determine the sqaure footage? You need to be as close as possible on your estimate for mulch and the best way to do that is to measure the beds as accurately as possible and then use a mulch calculator in the tools section of this site. Every flower bed/mulched area is different. Some are in really good condition and some bad. When the beds are in good shape, I think using a fixed price per yard is a good idea but when they are in bad shape, I use a different approach. If the beds need a lot of weeding and the edges are real bad and they look like they could use some trenching (which is literally a pain to do manually if you don't have the machine) then I estimate how long the job will take me and charge based on my desired hourly rate plus the cost of materials. I've made out pretty good so far using this method. On my last job I had to edge and trench about 250 linear feet manually with a 6 inch spade cuz I don't have the machine and in some areas I couldn't have used one even if I had one. It was my first job and the homeowners loved it and asked me to come back and do more. I made a very good profit becuase of the way I priced the job. If I had charged a fixed price per yard I would've screwed myself. The homeowners only wanted a thin layer of mulch for curb appeal in preparation for selling their house so it only took 3.5 yards but the job took me about 9 hrs to prep (manual edging and trenching), weeding, and spreading plus another 4 hours for some yard cleanup. If I had charged per yard 65 x 3.5 = 195 + cleanup 35x 4 = 140 Total = 335. Instead I charged 35/hr x 13 hrs = 455 + materials, tax, and I added 16 for gas. My hourly fee was a little low but I didn't have the equipment to do it faster and charge more per hour so I think it balanced out pretty fairly for myself and the customer. Sorry so long. Just my '02

onefast750
04-11-2007, 06:08 PM
well my deal is that there is a fair amount of edging to do..not much weeding but i know its gonna take me a while to spread the mulch ..prolly around 7-8 hours. So im thinking my best bet would be to charge hourly then add in material mark up??

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 06:18 PM
If edging is your biggest concern, you shouldn't have a problem. Invest in a stick or a push edger if you don't have one already. It will save you a ton of time as long as the beds are trenched fairly well and only need edging. IMHO, Edging shoud be included in your price. I add it into my price and don't give my customers the option. If their beds don't need edging, than I'll bring my price down a bit. An un-edged bed looks like crap and I'm not gonna put my reputation on that. With that being said. I would charge per yard. Keep it simple. Maybe somewhere between 65 - 95 per yard installed depending on your situation.

onefast750
04-11-2007, 06:22 PM
thanx alot ECO!!

outcold00
04-11-2007, 09:14 PM
a few stupid questions, whats the difference between trenching and edging? and whats overhead mean? and ive heard the saying pita customer, what does that mean? and also, when you install mulch and get paid by the yard, do you still charge a hourly fee? or just the mulch install fee
thx

TXNSLighting
04-12-2007, 08:45 PM
really the best way is doubling your material cost?? No way

What is your overhead? Is it high low? how many hours do you work a week re-capturing your overhead?

I hate unit pricers they tell people poor information.

I have two mulch jobs that we did last week both 19 yards

job one wide open spaces it took 16 production hours 16*45 + 19*26 = 1214

job two flower beds and shrubs 24 production hours 24*45 + 19*26 = 1574

at 65 per yard I win job one and make money you win job two and lose 339

ALWAYS base your bids on how long it will take you to do a job not the GOING rate for anything.

woops! i meant triple! hence pay-25/yd.....charge 65-70/yd, then everything else is 60 an hour. i sometimes dont pay attention when typing...

TXNSLighting
04-12-2007, 08:49 PM
Have you measured the beds to determine the sqaure footage? You need to be as close as possible on your estimate for mulch and the best way to do that is to measure the beds as accurately as possible and then use a mulch calculator in the tools section of this site. Every flower bed/mulched area is different. Some are in really good condition and some bad. When the beds are in good shape, I think using a fixed price per yard is a good idea but when they are in bad shape, I use a different approach. If the beds need a lot of weeding and the edges are real bad and they look like they could use some trenching (which is literally a pain to do manually if you don't have the machine) then I estimate how long the job will take me and charge based on my desired hourly rate plus the cost of materials. I've made out pretty good so far using this method. On my last job I had to edge and trench about 250 linear feet manually with a 6 inch spade cuz I don't have the machine and in some areas I couldn't have used one even if I had one. It was my first job and the homeowners loved it and asked me to come back and do more. I made a very good profit becuase of the way I priced the job. If I had charged a fixed price per yard I would've screwed myself. The homeowners only wanted a thin layer of mulch for curb appeal in preparation for selling their house so it only took 3.5 yards but the job took me about 9 hrs to prep (manual edging and trenching), weeding, and spreading plus another 4 hours for some yard cleanup. If I had charged per yard 65 x 3.5 = 195 + cleanup 35x 4 = 140 Total = 335. Instead I charged 35/hr x 13 hrs = 455 + materials, tax, and I added 16 for gas. My hourly fee was a little low but I didn't have the equipment to do it faster and charge more per hour so I think it balanced out pretty fairly for myself and the customer. Sorry so long. Just my '02

the 65/yd, is just for mulch install, clean out is extra of course. youll figure out all this eventually. and theres alot of guessing. youll get the hang of it.