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View Full Version : ***HELP on MULCH***


chuckhopkins76
05-20-2010, 04:26 PM
I know how to figure out how much mulch that I need for each job, but I do not know how to give a labor price. Do ya'll charge by the square foot, by the yard or by the hour? I have been mowing residential properties for 2 years full time and 100% legit (tax i.d., insurance & business license), but now I am getting into some commercial accounts and they want bids so I am lost on what to charge for mulching. On residentials I just shot out a price, but I need a real system. Thanks

fl-landscapes
05-20-2010, 04:35 PM
you need to come up with your hourly man hour rate. It's like a shop labor rate. Everyone has different rates based on their particular overhead, size of business, equipment being used, profit margins, geographic area, ect. ect. So figure what you need to make per man hour worked to cover your overhead, then figure what profit margin you need to stay in business and cover expenses, expected and unexpected costs, future equipment purcheses ect. That will give you an hourly rate per employee even if it is just you, add the materials to the hours it will take to get the job done and bingo you got your answer. Maybe mark up your materials.....its a shell game with things like that you either get the price built in to your labor rate or you have a labor rate plus material mark ups.

Lbilawncare
05-20-2010, 06:54 PM
Take into consideration how far you will have to wheelbarrow it too.

stephen424
05-20-2010, 08:23 PM
charge your man hour x the number of yards (at least that's what i do)

simple mulch job .... $30/yard
complex mulch job ... $45/yard

plus materials of course

i just done 32 yards of brown dyed last week.

brown dyed here is $32/yard ... $1024 plus tax
i charged $35/yard for labor....so $1120

I paid 3 guys $12/hour to install the mulch
took them 6 hours...but i gave them $100 each

I made $820 not doing a damn thing

chuckhopkins76
05-20-2010, 08:54 PM
Very simple that is what I was looking for, thanks

Lawnfella
05-20-2010, 09:28 PM
Around here in TN I charge $65.00 per cu. yard installed for hardwood brown mulch and $75.00 per cu. yard for midnight black mulch. Easy formula that works for me. It all depends on how much you are buying it for. I can buy brown for $16.00 per yd and black for $25.00. On small jobs you can usually tell how much mulch it will take after you get a few jobs under your belt, but on the large jobs it is almost impossible to figure how much you are gonna use. I just charge per cu. yard and it works out fine. Pine bark mulch in bags is a different story as well as pine straw. You'll have to figure it differently.

Hoy landscaping
05-20-2010, 10:02 PM
by the yard. eventually you will be able to walk a property and say how much mulch it will need

Josh32RVP
05-20-2010, 10:12 PM
So when you get into the bagged mulch, what would you recommend in figuring what you're gonna need?? I just did a mulch job with bagged mulch and kinda screwed myself but that's how you learn!

Hoy landscaping
05-20-2010, 10:18 PM
i dont do bagged mulch. its annoying. cutting every bag open, then disposing the bags. its easier to get mulch delivered

rmslawns
05-20-2010, 11:29 PM
Whatever the price is per cu yard of mulch after I mark it up a few dollars, I double it. If I pay 20.00 per yard as a picked up price and they charge 23.00 to deliver it, I charge the customer 23.00 per yard and double it for labor. Basically 46.00 per cu yard installed. If a customer does not want to pay that price for hard work, I do not mind losing the bid. It is business..not a hobby.

Josh32RVP
05-21-2010, 12:48 AM
I just figured out my own question, wish I would have done my homework a few days ago and I would have made more money on this job. Oh well, again, you live and learn!!!

unkownfl
05-21-2010, 12:53 AM
Bagged is the way to go on small jobs 1-3 yards anything over that its a different story and needs to be assessed individually.

Josh32RVP
05-21-2010, 02:32 AM
If you don't mind me asking, why is bagged the way to go up to 3 yards? I'd figure you could get it cheaper in bulk than you would in the bags. I'm still learning so please teach, thanks!!

unkownfl
05-21-2010, 09:47 AM
If you don't mind me asking, why is bagged the way to go up to 3 yards? I'd figure you could get it cheaper in bulk than you would in the bags. I'm still learning so please teach, thanks!!

You can get three yards of bagged mulch to the job site without making more than one trip and all of it would get there in a PU. If you get 3 buckets its going to overflow your bed. Now you have to wheel barrow it and your going to make a mess in the drive way doing so.... Bags get everything to the site where the mulch needs to go the price difference isn't but maybe a dollar or two if you have a John deere Landscape. I'd pay 24 for pine bark loose at the nursery or 25 bagged in 3 cubic ft bags from JD. The more you go to JD the cheaper you pay they have like a volume system.

RakenShovel
05-28-2010, 04:18 PM
charge your man hour x the number of yards (at least that's what i do)

simple mulch job .... $30/yard
complex mulch job ... $45/yard

plus materials of course

i just done 32 yards of brown dyed last week.

brown dyed here is $32/yard ... $1024 plus tax
i charged $35/yard for labor....so $1120

I paid 3 guys $12/hour to install the mulch
took them 6 hours...but i gave them $100 each

I made $820 not doing a damn thing

something might not be clicking in my head, but didn't you end up LOSING money? That is, if the 1024 dollars is the price you paid to get the mulch. You paid out 300 dollars to your helpers. Total expenses $1324. You say you made 1120 on the installation, so that looks like a net loss of $204 to me.

jblatti13
05-30-2010, 11:09 PM
no he paid 1024 for the mulch....
estimated 1120 for labor for a total of 2144.
minus materials cost of 1024 thats 1120..
then subtract labor costs of 300

total profit of $820. not too shabby for just doing the estimate and setting up your guys.

Josh32RVP
05-30-2010, 11:36 PM
$32 a yard is pretty expensive, I can get it for $19 a month around these parts!

Kustom Kutz
05-31-2010, 12:12 AM
What I do is figure all expenses for the job weather it is mulch or any kind of landscaping. Do the math to figure exactly how much the job is going to cost you to perform.

~Lets say you have 10 yards to install~
10 yards @ $22.00 per yard is $235.40
3 men @ $12.00/hr for 3 hours is $108.00
delivery fee $50.00

Take the figures you come up with for your cost which in this case is $390.40
and multiply it by 2.5%. In this case of 10 yards (no pruninig.. just slinging mulch) I came up with 982.50. I came up with a profit of $539. I charge on all my landscaping jobs like this. Some people I charge a little mor or less on percentage. You are still making money at 2.3% and great money at 2.7.

As for spreading mulch by the bag... If I have a customer that doesn't mind spending $4.50 a bag (or whatever it cost.. I use bulk) I am going to install bulk materials and I'll charge bag prices. The only time i by mulch by the yard is when I am planting annuals and I use black mulch.

While Stephen has installed 32 yards for a total of $2100. I came up with $982.50 turnkey for 10. I don't know if any of this will be helpful to anyone or not. If you are looking at these prices and saying nobody will pay that... I beg to differ. The main thing about landscaping is that it can be a form of art in a sense. By this I mean a person can charge what there reputation will allow. I've been doing this a long time and the one thing I have learned is that if somebody wants phenominal landscaping there is a price. My reputation allows me to charge whatever I want within reason and if I don't get the job... Oh well! There is 100's more waiting to be gotten.

Kustom Kutz
05-31-2010, 12:19 AM
I'd also like to see the 3 guys that are bad enough to spread 32 yards of mulch in 6 hours. That's a little bit over 1.75 yards a hour per person. If the job actually took 6 hours you may have made a little money, but I don't think it can be done in my opinion. You'd be doing good for 3 people to spread 32 yards in a long day. Unless everything is wide open and you can dump and rake.

RakenShovel
05-31-2010, 10:08 AM
no he paid 1024 for the mulch....
estimated 1120 for labor for a total of 2144.
minus materials cost of 1024 thats 1120..
then subtract labor costs of 300

total profit of $820. not too shabby for just doing the estimate and setting up your guys.

yeah, after I looked at it for a while, it finally clicked to me...I guess the wording threw me off.

nepatsfan
05-31-2010, 10:21 AM
Whatever the price is per cu yard of mulch after I mark it up a few dollars, I double it. If I pay 20.00 per yard as a picked up price and they charge 23.00 to deliver it, I charge the customer 23.00 per yard and double it for labor. Basically 46.00 per cu yard installed. If a customer does not want to pay that price for hard work, I do not mind losing the bid. It is business..not a hobby.

That is dirt cheap to install mulch and worth much more. Doubling materials is the most uneducated, simple, and ridiculous way to price a job. This is not the first time I have heard this though. Why should hemlock cost more than pine to install. You need to figure out a price per yard to install mulch and then add the price of the mulch in plus a mark up on the materials. Charging $23 dollars a yard to install mulch sounds to me like a hobby. You should also figure how long its going to take you to edge and weed before you go and charge them accordingly. I generally charge around $60 per yard to install the mulch plus the cost of the materials. $.50 per foot for edging. I estimate how long for weeding and charge $45 per hour for weeding. I dont tell my customers my formulas i just add them up and give them a price.

AMG Management Solutions
05-31-2010, 01:32 PM
So when you get into the bagged mulch, what would you recommend in figuring what you're gonna need?? I just did a mulch job with bagged mulch and kinda screwed myself but that's how you learn!



Never never use the bags....lol! delivering it or having 2 yds dumped in your truck is the easiest for me... We have two long bed ram 2500s and they carry two yds without any wood panels add the panels and you could get 4 yds...

AMG Management Solutions
05-31-2010, 01:37 PM
That is dirt cheap to install mulch and worth much more. Doubling materials is the most uneducated, simple, and ridiculous way to price a job. This is not the first time I have heard this though. Why should hemlock cost more than pine to install. You need to figure out a price per yard to install mulch and then add the price of the mulch in plus a mark up on the materials. Charging $23 dollars a yard to install mulch sounds to me like a hobby. You should also figure how long its going to take you to edge and weed before you go and charge them accordingly. I generally charge around $60 per yard to install the mulch plus the cost of the materials. $.50 per foot for edging. I estimate how long for weeding and charge $45 per hour for weeding. I dont tell my customers my formulas i just add them up and give them a price.

I usually get mulch for 19 a yd then I charge the customer 35 per yard then 40 dollars an hr for labor, I usually est an extra 2-3 hrs of labor when there is weeding and that needs to be done. if just edging is needed I add that on to the labor.

andyslawncare
07-30-2010, 12:36 AM
Don't ever charge by the hour, it is unprofessional!

My mulch install prices:
Pine Bark Mulch - $50 per yard
Pine Bark Mini Nuggets - $54 per yard
Red Carpet Mulch - $54 per yard
Fine Red Oak Mulch - $54 per yard
Cypress Mulch - $60 per yard

Prices vary depending on distance to haul from dump site and quantity. Give discount on order over 10 yards. Charge the customer for delivery...I pay $35-$45.

OrganicsMaine
08-01-2010, 09:10 PM
Whatever the price is per cu yard of mulch after I mark it up a few dollars, I double it. If I pay 20.00 per yard as a picked up price and they charge 23.00 to deliver it, I charge the customer 23.00 per yard and double it for labor. Basically 46.00 per cu yard installed. If a customer does not want to pay that price for hard work, I do not mind losing the bid. It is business..not a hobby.

I hope those are ficticious numbers! $46/yard here would be crazy! Most guys here are in the $75-$80/yard installed....doesn't include any prep work i.e. weeding/edging etc.

ChevHayes
08-05-2010, 04:17 AM
mulch price x3= total for everything weed beds,spray if nec., deliver and spread) usually works 95% out by me. If a bigger job 10+ yds maybe cut a deal if you feel inclided and your expenses allow.

93Chevy
08-05-2010, 07:18 AM
I've been charging $100/yard installed this year. Haven't lost a job yet. Anything over 10 yards, I take 10% off per yard.

andyslawncare
08-05-2010, 08:47 PM
I've been charging $100/yard installed this year. Haven't lost a job yet. Anything over 10 yards, I take 10% off per yard.

I can barley sell at $50-65 per yard here! 100 is a bit too high for the amount of work. 2 guys can do 20 yards in less than 5 hours...

wellington123
08-09-2010, 04:56 PM
all are paying to much for the mulch go to your local logging mill i got a 16 foot trailer full of mulch for $50.

MLAWCARE
10-27-2010, 08:44 PM
Don't ever charge by the hour, it is unprofessional!

My mulch install prices:
Pine Bark Mulch - $50 per yard
Pine Bark Mini Nuggets - $54 per yard
Red Carpet Mulch - $54 per yard
Fine Red Oak Mulch - $54 per yard
Cypress Mulch - $60 per yard

Prices vary depending on distance to haul from dump site and quantity. Give discount on order over 10 yards. Charge the customer for delivery...I pay $35-$45.


What kind of discount do you normally do because im at 14 yards on a job and it will prob be closer to 18-20 when im done. Thanks paying 22 a yard and gonna charge them 26 a yard plus labor