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View Full Version : help with Mulch Pricing for a the new guy on the block


Lawnsmith7
12-05-2007, 12:54 PM
I have a job I'm currently getting together an estimatefor. It's 29 cu.yds. of mulch in a large yard (front and back) I have the estimate for the mulch and delivery, I just need the help about setting the labor price and I have 2 guys plus myself that will be doing the work. Can someone help me

michiganlands
12-05-2007, 03:39 PM
charge it time and material. don't do an estimate on this. If you do an estimate, make sure it is only that: an estimate. Know a bit more about what you're doing before you dive in. Buy a yard of mulch and see how long it takes to spread it at your own house.

EJD Lawnpride
12-05-2007, 05:00 PM
Is there any edging to do? If not then we would charge $1,983 delivered and installed.

michiganlands
12-05-2007, 08:17 PM
This is so dumb. Nobody even knows what the mulch is costing the guy. We don't know what he charges per hour. We don't know if he has to wheel it up hill. We can assume it won't be dumped close to the beds (we assume he doesn't own the dump truck). EJD charges X amount, joe blow lawn charges Y amount. Who cares? Charge the appropriate amount, and if you don't know the appropriate amount, flip a burger.

michiganlands
12-05-2007, 08:18 PM
And, take the comma out of your tag line lawnsmith. I hope you don't put that on your truck.

Lawnsmith7
12-05-2007, 09:31 PM
I'm just starting out and was asking for help Michiganlands and i just needed feedback not a knife in the chest... EJD Lawnpride thanks for your assistance... there is no edging to do the areas are flat and terrain is ok.. mulch is $18 per yard...

B_gerrits
12-06-2007, 12:13 AM
Are you going to put down weed cloth? How far is it to the backyard? Unless you know this person well they probaly won't go for time and material. How are you going to get it to the back yard. How close will the area it will be dumped at be to the area it will be installed in front yard.

michiganlands
12-06-2007, 08:54 AM
OK, lawnsmith, I was just trying to make a couple points. Anyway, $2000 is a good price for it. This assumes $50 per man-hr, at an 8 hr day. Do what you will with it.

michiganlands
12-06-2007, 08:54 AM
And you always want to mark up the material at least 1.5 X

EJD Lawnpride
12-06-2007, 03:30 PM
Lawnsmith, i figured that the terrain was easy or you probably would have mentioned it. If you did have to edge or had to haul up hills, etc. the price would have been around 3,625. If you charge around the 2k mark you will be making money. I hope everything goes good for you and good luck with the estimate.

BeautifulBlooms
12-07-2007, 10:19 AM
We install most mulch (with 10 cubic ft wheelbarrows) for $35 per yard, plus the cost of the mulch and delivery marked up 25% so. so you paid $18 per yard thats (18x29= $522 cost of mulch) Marked up 25% to $652.50. Add in $35 per yard installed (typically most mulches can be spread anywhere between 1.5 - 2 yards per hour with our method) = $1015 for installation. It should take you guys $15 total hours or so, but dont do it with the 6 cubic foot wheelbarrows, go spend $100 on the larger 10 cubic ft plastic wheelbarrow, it will be so much easier and more efficient. Add in the cost of delivery of maybe $50-$100??? And thats a grand total of $1667.5 plus whatever the delivery cost you so maybe $1750 is what I would charge. Now if you have an immense amount of perennials to work around or shrubs bumo the price up a bunch as a lot of the spreading will have to be done by hand not rake. If you have 3 guys working, have to people haulign with the large wheelbarrows and one spreading. One person can spread at about the same rate that two can haul. Make sure to get yourself the big aluminiumn scoop shovels also if you dont already have them.

TXNSLighting
12-12-2007, 12:58 PM
man you work cheap. $2,050 for me to do it. with everything perfect like you say. and as long as there arent a whole bunch of plants to spread around.

J&R Landscaping
12-12-2007, 05:35 PM
I'd be a bit higher than $2100. Plus 6% sales tax to uncle Sam.

PerfectEarth
12-12-2007, 05:51 PM
Cheap is right!

My bulk hardwood costs a bit more- at $21/yd.... but I try and get $100-$110 per yard and that is delivered by me and hand installed. So I'd be up around 2900.00

STRINGALATION
12-21-2007, 08:38 AM
hey perfect earth glad to hear that man glad to hear it i charge 110per yard and pay 25 for black or red

SpruceLandscape
12-22-2007, 10:51 PM
WOW!!!! Wish I could get the same mulch prices you guys are getting!! Most of my customers prefer either the dyed double shred, or hardwood triple shred. Runs me about $30/yard my cost on material without any kind of delivery. If I was doing that job with my costs I would be charging around $2030 for triple installed, plus a couple hundred extra for some Snapshot, plus however many manhours are needed for weeding/bed preparation, and then of course the 7.75% sales tax in our area.

shane mapes
12-22-2007, 11:00 PM
Is there any edging to do? If not then we would charge $1,983 delivered and installed.

how is it you now how much to charge and you don't have a clue on the type of mulch or the lay out of the lawn.. your charging $68.00 delivered and installed . tell you what you can come hear and do that and lose big time .black and red mulch runs $65.00 per yard around here so think about it be for you comment... whats his over head and other things that come into the figure..............

supercuts
12-24-2007, 08:22 PM
wow, this is funny! somebody stab me too. anyway, i get $85 a cubic yard purchased delivered and installed. edging/heavy weeding is extra. wholesale purchase was $26 a yard last year. retailed about at $34/yard. i work out of a dump, much much quicker to load/haul/move it around. if it was dumped and you need to haul it around, im too lazy for that at this point. prices seem to be higher in the northeast.

lawns Etc
12-24-2007, 10:43 PM
WOW I pay $14 for dyed and 12-13 for hardwood in South Jersey but we have 2 major MFG plants within 5 miles from me. I usually get $50 yd installed and delivered with a minimum of $150

humble1
01-04-2008, 10:04 AM
I think if you are new to it, do time and materials, that is a big area to do and if its a bid and you are wrong you dont want to skimp and start off w/ a bad name. I HAVE NEVER lost money on time and materials, and it is a fair way to do things, if the customer is uncomfortable tell them its no different than a mechanic that gets a car towed in with an engine that doesnt start, they dont quote it blindly. But if its a bid i use a formula 1 man can EASILY spread .75-1 yard of bark per hour for an open area. If there are perrenials I use 1.5 man hours per yard to spread the mulch. This is factoring in getting started and sweeping up when you are done. Good Luck

JayD
01-05-2008, 11:10 AM
WOW!!!! Wish I could get the same mulch prices you guys are getting!! Most of my customers prefer either the dyed double shred, or hardwood triple shred. Runs me about $30/yard my cost on material without any kind of delivery. If I was doing that job with my costs I would be charging around $2030 for triple installed, plus a couple hundred extra for some Snapshot, plus however many manhours are needed for weeding/bed preparation, and then of course the 7.75% sales tax in our area.

Hey Spruce,
Tell me a little about that Snapshot. I have heard of it but not looked into it yet. Where do you get it, what does it cost, you put it down before or after the mulch, and how much would you need to buy for one yard?
Thanks for the info.
Jay

SpruceLandscape
01-05-2008, 11:24 AM
I buy it at Lesco. I think it only comes in a 50lb. bag. its not cheap (i'll have to find an invoice to get you the last price I paid for a few bags) but it works well and if you charge accordingly can make good money on it. I put it down before we mulch (with a hand held cannister spreader). Its basically a commercial grade "preen" if you familiar with that? Does a great job of keeping weeds out, especially if you have to weed the area first of mature weeds that have probably spilled seeds everywhere when you are taking them out.
you should be able to double your expense when charging for it.

JayD
01-05-2008, 02:05 PM
I buy it at Lesco. I think it only comes in a 50lb. bag. its not cheap (i'll have to find an invoice to get you the last price I paid for a few bags) but it works well and if you charge accordingly can make good money on it. I put it down before we mulch (with a hand held cannister spreader). Its basically a commercial grade "preen" if you familiar with that? Does a great job of keeping weeds out, especially if you have to weed the area first of mature weeds that have probably spilled seeds everywhere when you are taking them out.
you should be able to double your expense when charging for it.

Oh, so it is in a dry formula. Now does it work for the season? Can you add to mulch beds with flowers already there. So it wont hurt flowers I take it?

SpruceLandscape
01-05-2008, 02:58 PM
no, it won't harm flowers or plants that are already there, but at the same time, take care not to get it directly on the plants.