View Full Version : I need help pricing a mulching job any ideas

06-10-2008, 03:13 PM
I have a mulching it is 800 sq. ft . I can get the mulch for 14$ a yard need help pricing the job.

06-10-2008, 07:31 PM
I price my mulch at $65 per yard installed.

06-10-2008, 07:42 PM
I have a mulching it is 800 sq. ft . I can get the mulch for 14$ a yard need help pricing the job.

I would be at $609.50 but i would also be cutting new edges if wanted with a bed edger or $530.00 with no edging!

06-10-2008, 09:27 PM
Holy cow! $14 per yard? where are you stealing that mulch from? Grandmas Back yard.

Rule of estimating on mulching:
1 man can spread bulk mulch with a wheelbarrow and reasonably short distance in 1 hour for every 1 yard.

spread your mulch no thicker than 3".

IF you have existing mulch spread at half that.

1 cubic yard is 27 cubic feet.

an area that was 10 feet wide and 40 feet long (or 400 square feet), three inches thick is 100 cubic feet, so you would need about 4 cubic yards if it was a new bed with no mulch.

Figure $20 per yard (marked up mulch) 4 man hours (say you charge $40 per hour and some delivery/travel) or another $35.00 and you've got $275.00, now divide that $275.00 by the 400 sqaure feet you used to create the "estimate" and you come out to $.69 per square foot.

Use this number in the future and everytime you get a mulch job (as long as fuel, mulch and oher variables don't increase) then all you have to do to is multply the amount of square feet by $.69 and you have your price!

06-11-2008, 01:22 PM
Guidelines for mulch coverage
Depth per 1,000 square feet = Yard
1 Inch 3.5 yards
2 Inches 7 yards
3 Inches 10.5 yards
4 Inches 14 yards
1 yards coverages approximately 300 square feet at 1 inch

this is in one of my suppliers books and is 100 % accurate, i use it all the time to figure out the necessary amount of material, this chart is also in it, i thought i would throw it in here so you have it, write this down it will be a big help in the future.

Crushed Stone and Gravel Coverage
1 TON cover approximately
220 square feet @ 1 inch depth
110 square feet @ 2 inches depth
73 square feet @ 3 inches depth
36 square feet @ 6 inches depth
22 square feet @ 9 inches depth
"Rule of thumb" - 1.5 tons per cubic yard

Wall stone - Boulders - & Flagging
Drywall Stone: 12 - 15 Face foot/ton
(1 ton will build a wall approximately 1' x 1' x 15')

Boulders for retaining: 4.5 face feet/ton

Flagging 1" thick = about 13 lbs/sq ft.
Flagging 1.5" thick = about 20 lbs/sq ft.

Measurement Chart
Circle: Diameter = Circumference x .31831
Circumference = Diameter x 3.1416
Area = 3.14 x r2 (r=radius)
Radius = 1/2 Diameter
Triangle: Area = Base x Height / 2

these charts have helped me countless times, to make sure i estimated enough material, so i have not lost money on jobs because i am guesstimating. write these down in your notebook, you never know when these will help you in the future. as far as how much to charge per yard for mulch, add a little money on top of the cost per yard so you make a little off it, if your getting it for 14 per yard, tell the customer it is 22 per yard or what ever your comfortable with, it takes about a man hour to spread a yard of mulch so if your charging 30 per man hour, your price would be $ 54 per yard, if you charge 60 per man hour than your should charge $82 per yard, example - if you need three yards of mulch. and usually charge 60 per man hour, and the mulch is what i mentioned above, the $82 per yard multiplied by 3 equals $246.00 plus sales tax ( 6% in my area, not sure about yours) 246x.06= $14.76 so you should charge $260.76. hope this helps you, good luck

06-12-2008, 02:12 AM
I've just learned that the local landfill (Resource Recovery Park) offers mulch at $15/yd. for all different types of mulch, compared to 39.99/yd at lawn and garden suppliers.

Turtle Creek Lawn Care
06-12-2008, 12:33 PM
I would be at $609.50 but i would also be cutting new edges if wanted with a bed edger or $530.00 with no edging!

Next year I wanted to start bededging where ever I mulched. Does anyone else bededge every time before they mulch a property. If so how much do you charge/how do you charge to bed edge?


06-12-2008, 12:53 PM
i have never not edged a bed, when i put mulch in it, don't always use a bed edger, but always edge it, as far as how how much to charge, you have to figure out how long it will take you (man hours), and use your hourly rate, if you are using a machine, and taking the debris away, then your going to want to add a little more on to it. example - no edger, 3 man hours required - charging $60 per man hour (my labor rate) so then i would charge $180 to edge i out plus sales tax. if i was using a machine, 3 man hours worth of work @ 60 per hr is $180, then i would charge maybe $30 per hour for the machine so that would be $90 so you add 180 and 90 wich equals $270.00 plus tax, and thats about what i would charge, if i was removing, the material then you would charge acordingly per load, $150 per load is usually about what i get for that kind of material, and in my area, to dump material like that it is only $5 per ton.

06-12-2008, 07:53 PM
I charge $70 per yard period. If customers want an estimate i will estimate the yardage, however i tell them i charge per yard delivered and installed. If they insist on a contract with an exact estimate i will over estimate the contract. Its not always easy to estimate a job with several oddly shaped beds. Also always edge beds and rake smooth if necessary before spreading.

George Mason
07-22-2008, 03:01 AM
I've just learned that the local landfill (Resource Recovery Park) offers mulch at $15/yd. for all different types of mulch, compared to 39.99/yd at lawn and garden suppliers.

Their mulch is no where near the quality that high paying jobs are going to expect, that is if they offer the same mulches as my landfill/transfer station does here in Charlottesville. For stuff around my house, and if you have customers you know want to save money and feel comfortable telling them this, you can use that mulch for 2" and then top it off with 1" of the good stuff. That's really more trouble than it's worth but it does the same thing and offers the exact same benefit with same great looks.

07-22-2008, 09:54 AM
I would NEVER use mulch from a landfill. You KNOW it isn't treated. Plus you KNOW it will have chopped up weeds, poison Ivy and other crap in it. Settle only for the treated good stuff and you can't go wrong.

I've been charging $80 a yard installed for mulch jobs. I pay $22 a yard for the mulch. I add any extra work like edging or weed removal to the top at $55 an hour.

When I first got started I thought it would take a couple hours to spread a yard of mulch. Then after the first job, I realized it would take alot less time then I thought. I can spread a yard of mulch by myself in about 45 minutes. So I'm making close to $60 an hour before expenses. I can live with that.

My last job I estimated only 1 yard of mulch and weed the bed to do the entire job. I charged $160 and spent 1.5 hours at the job, while babysitting my 9 year old kid. Well, not really babysitting, she actually helped pull most of the weeds and made $20. :D

07-23-2008, 08:25 AM
I've been charging (and getting) 100.00 / yd. installed here in the Peoples Republic of NJ (highest taxed state in the union). Like the gentleman before me, I pay 22.00 / yd.

It's tough answering questions like this in such a diverse forum because of the all the different market tolerance levels. We may sound like thieves with rates above what most are posting, but it is what our local market tolerates. You'll need to find out what your local market tolerance level is and go by that.

I sincerely appreciate the guides some of the others posted here. That's great reference material.

Lastly, I echo the comments of using the ghetto mulch from the local landfill. You get what you pay for. If you're looking for garbage, go buy it from the garbage guys. Your customers may not bring you back. Use the good stuff. They deserve it!

Take care! :usflag:

George Mason
07-23-2008, 12:38 PM
And maybe it is worth pointing out that different landfills may have different grades of mulch. Like I stated, mine isn't good by any means but it isn't a shredded up pallet or a bunch of trash from a dumpster either. They have to put a new dump truck load there every day or two because the public does by it. I was only stating that if you have someone who simply can not afford the $80 or whatever, here, where I live, it is an alternate that can save ten or twelve bucks per yard and maybe make the difference for someone. I used it in beds down my driveway and covered it with a higher grade mulch and you can not tell. A trade book gave me this idea and it works fine. The bottom line here, it isn't for everyone, and the landfills may vary in what they provide customers, and the bottom line is to serve a customer. I wouldn't put anything down that made me or my work look bad and wouldn't advise anyone to do the same.

07-23-2008, 04:59 PM
Around here, I would charge $75/yd for 8 yards...so $600. Edging the beds is $1/ft extra. Weeding or Roundup also for a fee.

I pay about $30/yd for mulch.