PDA

View Full Version : Lawn Installation


TNT Lawn Maintenance
01-28-2010, 06:11 PM
Just got asked to install a lawn for a customer in the spring. Right now im just trying to get a general picture on what to charge. I know that i have to grade the lot then lay seed and hay.

In general, what do you guys charge per square foot do do this. I ran some numbers and i was planning on charging $500 for .330 acres.

Also, where do you guys get your hay from, in the past i have gotten it from a family friend who's father in lawn owned a farm, he is no longer related to them so i need a new hay source. I was looking at buying it by the roll but either way is fine with me

rexxxy
01-29-2010, 03:46 AM
first of all hay is for horses!
straw is for seedz!
aaand if you dont know how to charge for this...you can buy a roll or straw and seed by square footage..so just use that as a high price for materials..cause obviously it will be cheaper to doit the amish way no jj.. but the rolls will be a good marker for ya..now you just charge them for labor any extras

echeandia
01-29-2010, 10:30 AM
$500? Have you priced seed? You are way off on your pricing. My guess is that you will lose between $500 and $1000 on this job. Good luck!

Stevegotcrabgrass
01-29-2010, 10:48 AM
$500? Have you priced seed? You are way off on your pricing. My guess is that you will lose between $500 and $1000 on this job. Good luck!

Agreed.

1/3 acre = approx 14,520 sq ft.

So say 50-60 lbs of seed (depending on other conditions) so if you get good seed you might be in the $120 area depending on the commodities index.

What is the soil like, you mentioned grading? How much grading? Is topsoil needed, are soil ammendments needed????????

Also sping is not the best time for a new lawn.

Lets do this now.....

$500
(120)

$380 left over....gas insurance wear and tear labor profit....

I never liked straw. Holds too much other crap and you have to clean it up. I am more a fan of topdressing. I have had success with peat moss. If not for anything but the ability to aid in water retention.

What would I charge? Who knows...if soil is great and needs nothing probably around $1500-2000...

OUTLANDER
01-29-2010, 11:40 AM
why is spring not a good time for new lawns?..please explain...i do understand not early spring, or in rainy season, but late spring when weather calms a bit gives a long growing season right?................anyways spring is a great time for me to install lawns, and i do use straw as it just rots back in and helps condition the soil and feed the new grass (and whats left gets chopped when its time to cut anyway), and as far as too much junk in it, well you'll have that.....even in grass seed you'll have a certain amount of weed seeds, but as long as you grade right, sow right, water right, and make sure you use the right seed (and good seed, don't skimp here)and starter fertilizer....grass overpowers that junk in no time

TNT Lawn Maintenance
01-29-2010, 11:42 AM
i guess i should have been more clear.

The grading will be done when i arrive as the customer has a family friend in the excavating business that is doing it for cheap. All i will have to do is come in, lay the starter fertilizer, seed and STRAW. It will be myself and one other guy on the job and i can anticipate it taking more than three hours for the both of us (6 total man hours). I priced the seed and the total will be about $130.

So let me get this straight,
$130 for the seed
$40 max. to pay my labor help
$50 for the starter fertilizer
$50 max for the straw
$10 for gas

$280 total, that leaves $220 for my profit

So how am i not making money??

OUTLANDER
01-29-2010, 11:51 AM
i guess i should have been more clear.

The grading will be done when i arrive as the customer has a family friend in the excavating business that is doing it for cheap. All i will have to do is come in, lay the starter fertilizer, seed and STRAW. It will be myself and one other guy on the job and i can anticipate it taking more than three hours for the both of us (6 total man hours). I priced the seed and the total will be about $130.

So let me get this straight,
$130 for the seed
$40 max. to pay my labor help
$50 for the starter fertilizer
$50 max for the straw
$10 for gas

$280 total, that leaves $220 for my profit

So how am i not making money??

you're pretty good on that estimate....make sure they rockhound it ..excavaters tend to lay it out, and leave it to the scapers for the rest........(oh i always do add alittle more for aggressive seed, for awsome resullts....you know after all meaning the whole job, you can't go wrong there

echeandia
01-29-2010, 12:13 PM
We do new lawns from seed like the sod farms do. First we kill all of the weeds and grade the area usually by hand. Next we add a top dressing using ComPro or Orgro. We then spread the seed which we rake in using the back of a leaf rake. Finally, we tell the homeowner how to water. We only do this is the fall.

Straw does not work on residential lawns. It is either put down too thick and the seedling is smothered or to thin and does nothing leaving many bare spots. There are usually too many weed seeds in it as well.

Stevegotcrabgrass
01-29-2010, 12:55 PM
We do new lawns from seed like the sod farms do. First we kill all of the weeds and grade the area usually by hand. Next we add a top dressing using ComPro or Orgro. We then spread the seed which we rake in using the back of a leaf rake. Finally, we tell the homeowner how to water. We only do this is the fall.

Straw does not work on residential lawns. It is either put down too thick and the seedling is smothered or to thin and does nothing leaving many bare spots. There are usually too many weed seeds in it as well.

Agreed again.

If you read my reply I said Spring is not the BEST time. I did not say it was a bad time. During spring however you have a lot of competition from weeds and the new lawn has to battle the possiblity of a hot dry summer, especially if planted LATE spring.

I did not know the seed bed was going to be prepared. I personally would not want to do work on a seed bed I didnt prepare.

You most likely will have a weed problem. And if you are unfortunate, like many of us in the North east were this past spring, you may have down pours which will wash the seed away.

That being said you will profit some money. In your equation you did not take into account taxes, insurance etc.

My advice would be to charge a little bit more.

OUTLANDER
01-30-2010, 12:30 PM
Agreed again.

If you read my reply I said Spring is not the BEST time. I did not say it was a bad time. During spring however you have a lot of competition from weeds and the new lawn has to battle the possiblity of a hot dry summer, especially if planted LATE spring.

I did not know the seed bed was going to be prepared. I personally would not want to do work on a seed bed I didnt prepare.

You most likely will have a weed problem. And if you are unfortunate, like many of us in the North east were this past spring, you may have down pours which will wash the seed away.

That being said you will profit some money. In your equation you did not take into account taxes, insurance etc.

My advice would be to charge a little bit more.

well in some areas it rains as much if not more in the fall,and some places like here can get early frost especially at night in the fall...and if this happens you think you seen bare spots(what seed dont have time to germinate, or mature fully just rots....and then over seeding ends up looking crappy due to unlevel soil settling, but we could go on forever on this topic especially the part of weed competition, being that weeds you see in the spring actually are weeds that were seeded in the previous summer and fall......so overall weeds will be a problem wherever, or whenever untill smothered out....and most important dont skimp on installing a lawn, or the steps to produce one

exmark232
01-31-2010, 01:46 PM
I would avoid using straw because you run into the problem with weeds that are mixed in with the straw, your grass will grow but then the weeds start to grow and you have a big mess to deal with and you will loose money on the job i would recommend using a light coating of mushroom manure

hackitdown
01-31-2010, 03:09 PM
I did a lawn install last spring. The customer wanted new topsoil. I warned the customer (in writing) that he would have problems with crabgrass since it was a spring lawn, and other weeds because of the new dirt. He must have called me 5 times to complain about the weeds. I had to re-send my quote with the weed warnings twice just to shut him up. Customers hear what they want to hear. He will have a nice lawn this year, since he can use weed control.

So a word of advice...make sure (in writing)that the customer knows that he will have a weedy lawn if he does it in Spring, and lots more weeds if he wants straw. Then it is his choice, and his problem.

OUTLANDER
02-01-2010, 11:14 AM
I did a lawn install last spring. The customer wanted new topsoil. I warned the customer (in writing) that he would have problems with crabgrass since it was a spring lawn, and other weeds because of the new dirt. He must have called me 5 times to complain about the weeds. I had to re-send my quote with the weed warnings twice just to shut him up. Customers hear what they want to hear. He will have a nice lawn this year, since he can use weed control.

So a word of advice...make sure (in writing)that the customer knows that he will have a weedy lawn if he does it in Spring, and lots more weeds if he wants straw. Then it is his choice, and his problem.

i never have this problem, i must be doing something different i guess..LOL

highclimber604
02-05-2010, 01:00 PM
Why wouldnt you just have it hydroseeded. It will come in alot better and you dont have to screw around with straw. I install over 600,000 SQ feet of lawn every year and i never use that stuff. HYDROSEED!

highclimber604
02-05-2010, 01:03 PM
I did a lawn install last spring. The customer wanted new topsoil. I warned the customer (in writing) that he would have problems with crabgrass since it was a spring lawn, and other weeds because of the new dirt. He must have called me 5 times to complain about the weeds. I had to re-send my quote with the weed warnings twice just to shut him up. Customers hear what they want to hear. He will have a nice lawn this year, since he can use weed control.

So a word of advice...make sure (in writing)that the customer knows that he will have a weedy lawn if he does it in Spring, and lots more weeds if he wants straw. Then it is his choice, and his problem.

When you installed the lawn, ESPECIALLY in that time of year, why didnt you use a starter fertilizer with Crabgrass preventer in it. And dont say that the new top soil already had crabgrass germinating in it because a good starter with tupersan in it will prevent any kind of crabgrass growing no matter what stage its in.

mike174
02-05-2010, 11:52 PM
Just got asked to install a lawn for a customer in the spring. Right now im just trying to get a general picture on what to charge. I know that i have to grade the lot then lay seed and hay.

In general, what do you guys charge per square foot do do this. I ran some numbers and i was planning on charging $500 for .330 acres.

Also, where do you guys get your hay from, in the past i have gotten it from a family friend who's father in lawn owned a farm, he is no longer related to them so i need a new hay source. I was looking at buying it by the roll but either way is fine with me

Use straw, not hay. Too many clovers w/ hay.

froglawn
02-09-2010, 05:16 PM
seed costs MAJOR $$$$$$$...look at your expenses first

betmr
02-10-2010, 01:08 AM
I just want to comment on the use of straw. I have found a few extra weeds using it, but not enough to worry about. You have to understand, Straw is the stalks of Grain Crops. Farmers don't make much money if their Grain fields are loaded with weeds. Just as they don't make much money, if they are leaving a lot of the Grain (Seeds) on the stalks.

I prefer the oat straw to the wheat straw. The oat straw is the dull one, Wheat straw is shiny. Never found straw mulch to be an issue, myself.

I will say, I predict the excavation work is going to turn up a lot of dormant weed seeds. If it does not need a lot of leveling, the less you disturb the soil the better. If you can just scratch it up good with a vertical mower, and over seed that would be better.

This is just my opinion.