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View Full Version : Best way to measure out mulch?


OrangeToys
02-25-2010, 05:55 PM
How do you all get your measurement for how many yards you will need on mulch installs? Do you step it off, use a wheel, what?

Lawn Outfitters
02-25-2010, 06:28 PM
I use a wheel for accuracy. Once a property has been measured, the numbers go on the customer file. Also help to price it more accurately.

OrangeToys
02-25-2010, 11:45 PM
thats what I would like to do but they are so expensive

pitrack
02-26-2010, 02:36 AM
After awhile you can just eye ball it, until you get into the huge jobs.

KrayzKajun
02-26-2010, 02:41 AM
most yards i can eyeball now. now the one im bidding ths week i had to break out the wheel and measure it out.
came out to about 3500sqft or 40yds

pitrack
02-26-2010, 03:00 AM
most yards i can eyeball now. now the one im bidding ths week i had to break out the wheel and measure it out.
came out to about 3500sqft or 40yds


My point exactly, little too tough to get an idea just by looking at that baby.:dizzy:

westwind
02-26-2010, 09:16 AM
Always use a measuring wheel. No reason to risk leaving money on the table. New install of mulch is 1yd.= 80 sq. ft. That is 6-8in. deep, recommended by most nurseries for new plants. top dress, 1yd.=120 sq. ft. at about 4in. deep.
Hope this helps.

WW

corey4671
02-26-2010, 10:10 AM
Always use a measuring wheel. No reason to risk leaving money on the table. New install of mulch is 1yd.= 80 sq. ft. That is 6-8in. deep, recommended by most nurseries for new plants. top dress, 1yd.=120 sq. ft. at about 4in. deep.
Hope this helps.

WW

sorry...but whatever reason, those calculations just threw me for a loop. :confused:

A yard is 27 cu ft is it not? If so, your first calculation at 80 sq ft at 8 in or .75 ft would be 60 cu ft or 2.222222 cu yards. Did I do that correctly? Someone help me out here if I'm wrong.

IN2MOWN
02-26-2010, 12:44 PM
thats what I would like to do but they are so expensive

You can buy a small one at Home Depot for 20 or 30 bucks.

Then use this:


http://www.gardenplace.com/content/calculator/mulch_calc.html

Raymond S.
02-26-2010, 01:13 PM
a yard of mulch will cover 324 sq. ft. at 1" thick.
example:
75' x 10' = 750 sq. ft.
750 x 3" of mulch = 2250
2250 / 324 = 6.95 yds. of mulch. (7 yds)

or you can do
750 / 324 = 2.3
2.3 x #of inches (3) = 6.95

westwind
02-26-2010, 03:53 PM
MULCH IN BULK FORM
1 cubic yard will cover: 162 square feet to a depth of 2 inches
81 square feet to a depth of 4 inches

To determine how many cubic feet of mulch is needed, you need to calculate the surface area and the desired depth coverage. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. One cubic yard will cover a 324-square-foot area with an inch of mulch. Figure out the square footage of your bed, that is the width times the length for square or rectangular shaped beds. The square footage of a circular bed is the distance from the middle of the circle to the outside, multiplied by itself and then multiplied by 3.14 (which is pi).

Multiply your square footage by the depth desired (in inches) and divide by 324 square feet. This will tell you how many cubic yards you will need.

These figures are truly relative. It all depends on what type of mulch, how it is spread, if it is an empty bed, or if all the areas are planted, even down to how the mulch is loaded to determine volume. There are too many variables, in my opinion, to have a true universal calculation on mulch. We always go long because we stock our mulch in bulk and make a retail profit on the material. Also, we always install new mulch at close to 8in. this allows for settling and can earn the customer an extra season on a re-fresh.

Thanks, hope it helps

WW

OrangeToys
02-26-2010, 04:09 PM
^^^^^^i think you missed it a little, we are asking how is the best way you have found to measure out for mulch (wheel, walking it, eye ball, etc...) not bashing you at all,

westwind
02-26-2010, 07:16 PM
^^^^^^i think you missed it a little, we are asking how is the best way you have found to measure out for mulch (wheel, walking it, eye ball, etc...) not bashing you at all, Appreciate it, I answered earlier, always a wheel. Just thought that the two subjects were linked. Happy mulching!! What a great money maker!!payuppayup

OrangeToys
02-26-2010, 07:25 PM
O sorry i didn't even look to see if you posted ealier. But ya I am gonna really try to push the mulch job this year, PM if you have any tips on how I can. not just to my own customers but everyone.

thanks

STIHL GUY
02-26-2010, 11:09 PM
i do mostly small jobs so i just measure the square footage and multiply it by the dept i will be spreading(i change it to a decimal before dividing) and divide by 27 to get how many yards you need

corey4671
02-27-2010, 12:49 AM
i do mostly small jobs so i just measure the square footage and multiply it by the dept i will be spreading(i change it to a decimal before dividing) and divide by 27 to get how many yards you need

EXACTLY the way I do it. 3 inches is .25 4 inches is .33 only you don't divide it by the decimal...you multiply it, but you got the idea :laugh:

OrangeToys
02-27-2010, 12:53 AM
the real qouestion though is how do you find your sq ft?

mike174
02-27-2010, 01:00 AM
thats what I would like to do but they are so expensive

I use a wheel...they are not expensive compared to the amount you can loose under bidding a job. I think I paid $65 for mine.

mike174
02-27-2010, 01:07 AM
the real qouestion though is how do you find your sq ft?

Square Feet = length X width

OrangeToys
02-27-2010, 01:09 AM
Square Feet = length X width

Ya i know length x width, you actually answered it when you said with a wheel. Im trying to find a good but cheap one now.

Eden's Own
02-27-2010, 01:41 AM
Invest in a good wheel. Cheap=Junk. What is that saying....you get what you pay for. Lowes has a Stanley 12" wheel for under $60. If it breaks you take it back. Get at least a 12" wheel though. Trying to push one of those little wheels through a bed or even on turf is a pain.

mike174
02-27-2010, 01:45 AM
Ya i know length x width, you actually answered it when you said with a wheel. Im trying to find a good but cheap one now.

Sorry, no disrespect intended. Wasn't sure about the question. Definitely wheel it if possible. Like I said, $65 bucks or so should get you a basic wheel.

hoskm01
02-27-2010, 01:51 AM
Invest in a good wheel. Cheap=Junk. What is that saying....you get what you pay for. Lowes has a Stanley 12" wheel for under $60. If it breaks you take it back. Get at least a 12" wheel though. Trying to push one of those little wheels through a bed or even on turf is a pain.
Well said.

If you must go cheap, here's 88 options under 40 bucks. (http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=measuring%20wheel&_fln=1&_ssov=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=1&_udhi=40)

lawnartists
02-27-2010, 05:26 AM
I was thinking about trying to charge for the labor and then charge per bag for the mulch. Most of my mulch suppliers usually give me a discount under what they typically retail it for. I'll mark it up 20% for my handling and charge them by the amount of bags used. What do you guys think?

JayD
02-27-2010, 10:15 AM
sorry...but whatever reason, those calculations just threw me for a loop. :confused:

A yard is 27 cu ft is it not? If so, your first calculation at 80 sq ft at 8 in or .75 ft would be 60 cu ft or 2.222222 cu yards. Did I do that correctly? Someone help me out here if I'm wrong.

Where in the world are you coming up with laying 8" of mulch?

Your going to have mold with it that deep....

corey4671
02-27-2010, 10:46 PM
Where in the world are you coming up with laying 8" of mulch?

Your going to have mold with it that deep....

I'M not. I was simply using the example that was given above. I typically only lay 3-4" at the most

JayD
02-28-2010, 12:09 AM
I'M not. I was simply using the example that was given above. I typically only lay 3-4" at the most

Sorry, my bad.....I thought WEW....8"...wow. LOL

Daily Lawn/Landscape
02-28-2010, 12:56 PM
Sorry, my bad.....I thought WEW....8"...wow. LOL

I thought the same thing. 8" is way to much.

On a side note spend the money on a good measuring wheel unless you plan on being out of business in a year.

James

lawnlandscape
03-05-2010, 04:11 PM
LOL, your calculations suck... lol lol

1 Yard Covers 166 sq ft. 2" deep.

I always bid it at 1 yard covering 150 sq. ft @ 2" so I know I bid enough. :)

BIG"J"
03-05-2010, 05:06 PM
use a wheel if you can't eye ball it. it will probaly take about 300 yds of installing the bark before you feel ready to eye ball. take the length x width to get the sq. ft. then go to the top of the lawnsite and look for helpful tools on the left of screen and click on that. then click on mulch & soil cal and put in sq fts and thickness. it will give you four totals bags, tons, yds, etc>

BCFLawnLandscape
03-05-2010, 09:18 PM
Let me help you all out with a formula to bid your mulch jobs.

Take the area x # of inches thick x .0032

This will give you what you need for the job, plus about 10 percent to cover your extra.

dternos
03-06-2010, 10:09 PM
Hey may be a bit of a stupid question but using the measuring wheel.....whats best way to come up with square footage of grass on property.......or do you just keep it simple and include the area of house and driveway etc...... and go with that number for quote?

OrangeToys
03-06-2010, 10:16 PM
I would do the entire property and then just go around the house. Basically making 2 squares if you can. then subtract the sq ft of the house from the entire property (don't worry about the drive or sidewalk).

dternos
03-06-2010, 10:39 PM
ya thats what I figured......although I would like to mow some of these houses down too!!!! Peace:drinkup:

motorscot
03-07-2010, 12:38 AM
google earth also has a nice feature: there is a ruler at the top of the pic in the toolbar. You can estimate square footage of property, beds, house, drive, etc by feet, yards, meters and use a line or path mode

I use it all the time. MSN.com white pages has a feature that when you click on the address/name/number of the customer, a map comes up, go to "aerial" and then "birdseye" and get yardage markers and 360 deg views of the property.

As far as pricing: after adding tax and a 10% markup, I multiply the amount by 2, + delivery = total bid price

108 bags = $3.44 (red dye cypress) = $4.00 after tax/markup
108 x $4 = $432
$432 x 2 = $864 ($432 labor for install)
+ $25-75 for delivery

bulk is $50 delivered and $360 for material (after tax/markup)
$360 x (1 to 1.25) depending on property (hills, distance from road, etc) for labor
= $720 to $810 (total including labor)
+ the delivery charge

Pine straw is similar: 1296 sq ft = 26 bales (50 sq ft each)

Bales are $4.10 + tax/markup = $4.90
$4.90 x 26 = $127.40 x 2 = $254.80 + $50-75 delivery
= $305-330 total

dternos
03-07-2010, 11:31 AM
I checked out that google earth.....I like that alot. In measuring these lawns using google earth what do you charge per square foot??? Rule of thumb?? Mainly I size up how long it will take me and how much I need to make for my time. Could you please educate me a bit more on how to charge by square footage??? Isnt there roughly 43,000 sq feet in an acre???

lawnlandscape
03-07-2010, 11:41 AM
I checked out that google earth.....I like that alot. In measuring these lawns using google earth what do you charge per square foot??? Rule of thumb?? Mainly I size up how long it will take me and how much I need to make for my time. Could you please educate me a bit more on how to charge by square footage??? Isnt there roughly 43,000 sq feet in an acre???

yes, 43,560 sq. ft to be exact :)

climber338
03-07-2010, 12:29 PM
Hey guys i found these two websites awhile back and i have used them a few times.

http://www.gardenplace.com/content/calculator/mulch_calc.html#

The one below is for log weight and i think its pretty accurate but i have not tested it yet.

http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/calculators/calc.pl?calculator=log_weight

Darryl G
03-07-2010, 12:58 PM
I have a wheel but usually just pace it off. It's not like it has to be exact. Make a note of which bed each measurement is for. Add up all the areas and multiply by 0.15 or 0.2 feet for mulch thickness to get the cubic feet, divided by 27 cubic feet per yard and bingo. I usually round up to nearest yard unless I'm using bags.

motorscot
03-07-2010, 09:20 PM
I checked out that google earth.....I like that alot. In measuring these lawns using google earth what do you charge per square foot??? Rule of thumb?? Mainly I size up how long it will take me and how much I need to make for my time. Could you please educate me a bit more on how to charge by square footage??? Isnt there roughly 43,000 sq feet in an acre???

I don't charge per foot. I charge for material + labor. It takes 2-3 min per bag (2 cu ft) to move, open, place, and arrange the material. Same for loading a wheelbarrow from a bulk pile (since you have to shovel it twice). Labor for me is $35/hr, 20-30 bags/hr, which works out to $126 labor charge for 3.6 man hours. I'm paying $15/hr for labor ($54). Gross profit = $432 - $54

Lazer Cut
03-11-2010, 07:21 PM
I just measured a house and came up with 6456 spft.... there is a ton of mulch beds but I'm not sure if that's right... because at 3 inches deep its close to 59 cubic yards of mulch... am I doing something wrong??
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
03-11-2010, 07:47 PM
If you're just refreshing the mulch, you're probably looking at 40 to 45 yards for that area, assuming there are some plants in there. I usually go with a depth of 0.15 to 0.2 feet and that seems to work out well for me. If the beds are bare, then yah you might need close to 60 yards. Just my opinion.

Lazer Cut
03-11-2010, 07:50 PM
Ya there is all kinda of plats, bushes etc. I was thinking 35 I could do probably get away with. I thinking I'm doing something wrong. I measured lenghtxwidth and divided that number by 108sqft which is a cubic yard at 3inches deep
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
03-11-2010, 08:03 PM
Your calculation is right but an average depth of 3 inches (0.25 feet) is a little on the high side if there's already mulch in the beds in my opinion. I've been using 0.18 feet depth for my calculations for most of my jobs for the last couple years and it's worked out well.

Lazer Cut
03-11-2010, 08:33 PM
I apprecita the advice... there is one bed that's 217.5 ft long and 5 ft avg wide.
Posted via Mobile Device

cannondale23
03-11-2010, 09:03 PM
I roughly measure the length and width multiply them to get sq ft
then divide by 12 to get cu feet
then divide by 27 to get cu yards

so 217.5x5=1087.5 sq ft
1088/12=91 cu ft
91/27 = 3.6 cu yds per inch, multiply 3.6x2 for 2in coverage of mulch
I know its a weird convoluted way of converting square feet to cu yards but it's the way I learned it and works for me

motorscot
03-11-2010, 10:11 PM
The "helpful tools" link in the upper left corner of the Lawnsite page shows that 6456 sq ft = 20 yds @ 1", 40 yds @ 2", and 60 yds @ 3"

rusty_keg_3
03-16-2010, 12:06 AM
Go and measure it... With a wheel, or long roll tape...

I find the area...

Ex, 10x10, 4 in of mulch...
100 sq ft
100x0.33333 (4 in is 1/3 of a foot, or .33)
Thats 33 cu ft...
One cubic yard is 3x3x3 or 27 cu ft...
So take the cu ft (33) and divide it by 27 (cu ft in a cu yd)...

1.2 cu ft

Thats how i do it...

And on the BIG ones, i add 10% for error...

So, thats how i do it...

aference1
03-16-2010, 06:23 PM
I have a job that the mulch area is 23871 sq. feet. How much mulch would you use?

Darryl G
03-16-2010, 07:04 PM
That's like a half acre...might wanna contract that out and have it blown in...about 150 yds...that's a lot of freaking mulch!!!

motorscot
03-17-2010, 12:33 AM
I have a job that the mulch area is 23871 sq. feet. How much mulch would you use?

See "helpful tools" link in top left corner of this page:hammerhead:

P.Services
03-17-2010, 12:37 AM
eyeball it

Arbn82
02-14-2011, 08:30 PM
This may be a dumb question, but.........
I know that I need 1.2 yards of dirt for a job. What I do not know is, how much dirt is that? Meaning, can I use bags of dirt or is it a small truck load? Thank you in advance.

Darryl G
02-15-2011, 09:03 AM
This may be a dumb question, but.........
I know that I need 1.2 yards of dirt for a job. What I do not know is, how much dirt is that? Meaning, can I use bags of dirt or is it a small truck load? Thank you in advance.

Soil is usually sold by the yard in bulk and by the pound in bags. That would be a lot of bags of soil at a pretty hefy cost.

I would just go to my local nursery and get a yard of soil, which is a pretty heavy load if you have a half ton pickup. A yard of soil weighs roughly 1.3 tons but depends greatly on moisture content.