View Full Version : Help with first big landscape job

05-03-2007, 12:55 AM
I've been mowing for close to 10 years (ever since I was 15) and I just now got really big into it b/c I am graduating college and have realized the potential of how much money is to be made. I brought in 225 retaining brick walls and built a flowerbed 2 high with another inside of it 2 high. I brought in 18 yards of rich mix to fill that I used a bobcat (rental=$150 day) to fill in. It took quite a while to move around and level the dirt out though. How much would you guys charge in labor for this? And does anyone know the conversion of cu yards to tons?

05-03-2007, 08:43 AM
You did all this work without a contract???? Uggg stay in school you have a lot to learn.

How many hours do you have into the job? what is your overhead?

05-03-2007, 11:48 AM
it's a regular customer who I am in no worry about being paid. I just don't want to overcharge her but also don't want to undercharge. I have about $730 in overhead in the job. I was just trying to figure out how much to charge for moving and leveling the dirt and building the flowerbed. I've got about 20-22 hours on the job. Really all I was wanting to know is how much is a good price to charge per cubic yard of dirt to be moved. It only cost $20/yard and I had 18 total.

Fairway Land & Lawn
05-03-2007, 12:21 PM
Surfbum, I am not sure if you understand what Patriot was asking you. Overhead is not just the cost in materials you have on that specific job. Other things like, cost of doing business, fuel, insurance, lisence, taxes, equipment you own, vehicles, lawyers, everything that is a expense to your business is all compensated for in your hourly charge. So, you are saying that between the bobcat (2 days?) and the retaining wall block, you have ~$730 in? Ok, if you have been on the job for 20-22 hours, charge for your equipment, material, and time. I agree with Patriot, that I too can't believe you did this without a contract. Good regular customer or not. Also, without an estimate giving them the cost prior to the job, and then a signed contract when you start the job, you have no protection. They may try to negotiate a lower price, or not pay..... you never really know........been there done that.

P.S. Hello everyone. New to the site, not to the biz. Love the site so far, and most seem very knowlegdeable and willing to help..Keep up the good work:drinkup:

05-03-2007, 12:44 PM
does anybody know the conversion ratio of cubic yards to tons?

05-03-2007, 02:11 PM
Look at the top of this webpage. There is a tab that will have a calcualtor for figuring cu. yds.


05-03-2007, 02:41 PM

that might help. they talk about how to convert cu yards to tons.

if that doesn't work just google it, that was one of the first things on my google search.

05-03-2007, 06:16 PM
What does it matter the conversion? You have 20-22 hours in then charge an hourly rate on that. Why would you charge a per yard rate when you don't know what it means? if you don't do jobs like this on a regular basis then it is very simple COST + MATERIALS.

Fairway Land & Lawn
05-03-2007, 07:00 PM
There is np "standardized" conversion from a measure of quantity, to a measure of weight. Just call the people that you bought the dirt from and ask them how much one yard weighs, multiply that by 18 and voila you have tonnage.....

Fairway Land & Lawn
05-03-2007, 07:14 PM
Its almost like asking which weights more, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?.....they weight the same because they are both a ton.....Then you ask what weights more, one yard of feathers or one yard of brick? Obviously the one yard of brick will weight more.