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GainesvilleLawnscaping
11-28-2010, 07:10 PM
Hey everyone,

I have a client asking us to quote her for installing 5000sqf of sod and also for preparing her property for the sod installation. It's a wooded lot that has some sparse grass currently growing.

I was just curious what some of you charge per square foot just for the prep work. We've done several sod jobs before, but they were for new construction so there wasn't anything we needed to till or haul away. Any help you could provide would be appreciated! Thanks!

Landscape Poet
11-28-2010, 11:32 PM
Hey everyone,

I have a client asking us to quote her for installing 5000sqf of sod and also for preparing her property for the sod installation. It's a wooded lot that has some sparse grass currently growing.

I was just curious what some of you charge per square foot just for the prep work. We've done several sod jobs before, but they were for new construction so there wasn't anything we needed to till or haul away. Any help you could provide would be appreciated! Thanks!

There are several things you will need to consider.

1. Are you going to be cutting out the old? I would suggest this instead of just doing a layover like some. Keep in mind your cost of sod cutter, the removal of all the soil to the landfill. The time and effort it is going to take you getting that soil to the landfill. Sod cutter will save you time in overall prep vs tilling which is what you sound like you are leaning towards.
2. Man hours to take a landscape rake to the property and fix any small grading issues.
3. Budget in some extra for broken sprinkler line - no matter how careful you are , you always seem to hit one.
4. Distance and space - Just going in the front lawn or is there a back lawn? If there is a back lawn - do you have access to it when the pallets are being delivered? Or will you have to place pallets in the front because of a small gated fence and walk piece by piece to the back lawn.
5. Lots of Cuts? More Cuts = More Sod, More Time and Higher Cost

To properly do the sod and make a profit - depending on turf type and I am assuming you will laying SA....My suggestion is $350 to $400 per pallet if you are doing a basic install. If your cost is roughly $110 or less for pallet. That is your price removed, prepped and installed. More situations that cause you more work - the price will need to be adjusted accordingly.

I would call and see what your landfill is going to charge you for sod waste per ton! How far is the closest landfill that accepts sod removal waste (Not all will take it).

Those are some basic thoughts I hope would help you. If I can answer any more questions let me know.

LoweJ82
11-29-2010, 12:45 AM
There are several things you will need to consider.

1. Are you going to be cutting out the old? I would suggest this instead of just doing a layover like some. Keep in mind your cost of sod cutter, the removal of all the soil to the landfill. The time and effort it is going to take you getting that soil to the landfill. Sod cutter will save you time in overall prep vs tilling which is what you sound like you are leaning towards.
2. Man hours to take a landscape rake to the property and fix any small grading issues.
3. Budget in some extra for broken sprinkler line - no matter how careful you are , you always seem to hit one.
4. Distance and space - Just going in the front lawn or is there a back lawn? If there is a back lawn - do you have access to it when the pallets are being delivered? Or will you have to place pallets in the front because of a small gated fence and walk piece by piece to the back lawn.
5. Lots of Cuts? More Cuts = More Sod, More Time and Higher Cost

To properly do the sod and make a profit - depending on turf type and I am assuming you will laying SA....My suggestion is $350 to $400 per pallet if you are doing a basic install. If your cost is roughly $110 or less for pallet. That is your price removed, prepped and installed. More situations that cause you more work - the price will need to be adjusted accordingly.

I would call and see what your landfill is going to charge you for sod waste per ton! How far is the closest landfill that accepts sod removal waste (Not all will take it).

Those are some basic thoughts I hope would help you. If I can answer any more questions let me know.

Thumbs Up yeap

AzLawnMan
12-02-2010, 06:42 PM
First off, why the heck would you want to do 5k sqft? Why carry the responsiblitly of a guarantee? You didnt grow the grass so why would you warranty anything that size? Anything over 1k sqft I call my distrubutor and have them install. They just completed a 6200 sqft job for me, they charge me .28 cents a sqft for materials, labor and delivery, I charged .62 cents a sqft and the only finger I lifted was to make the call. I carry no warranty responsibilities because they cover that for me for 90 days. I like that type of profit better.

cpel2004
12-03-2010, 01:33 AM
First off, why the heck would you want to do 5k sqft? Why carry the responsiblitly of a guarantee? You didnt grow the grass so why would you warranty anything that size? Anything over 1k sqft I call my distrubutor and have them install. They just completed a 6200 sqft job for me, they charge me .28 cents a sqft for materials, labor and delivery, I charged .62 cents a sqft and the only finger I lifted was to make the call. I carry no warranty responsibilities because they cover that for me for 90 days. I like that type of profit better.

First off God bless the state of AZ for its economy destroying prices. That price is insane and it reflects early 80's pricing, I wouldn't be bragging about that if I was you. It sound like to me the entire state is a bunch of law balling scoundrels. Just my .02!

LoweJ82
12-03-2010, 01:38 AM
really anything over 1k sq ft you sub out? Dont get me wrong if you can turn a dollar these days just by making a phone is dang good,

I love sod would lay it all day long! I have a 28k sq ft job coming up this spring, We will be laying every bit of it, No way will I sub it out, Warranty?? It will be green as can be when I get done, While im there I do all watering, we skip no steps at all (cause we charge for each anyway) if its not a watering issue the sod grower will ask how much is bad a send a crew out, always have.

AzLawnMan
12-03-2010, 12:34 PM
First off God bless the state of AZ for its economy destroying prices. That price is insane and it reflects early 80's pricing, I wouldn't be bragging about that if I was you. It sound like to me the entire state is a bunch of law balling scoundrels. Just my .02!

Bragging about what? The fact that I made more on a job than the company actually doing the work? My prices or AZ prices are below average? I may agree a little with that, but I can care less were the market is at and I can without a doubt care even less about hurting you or your business with what you call low prices. I bought this company from my dad 2 years ago with
$30k out of my pocket and an additional $25k in a loan. I have sinced paid that 3 year loan off in under a year and have banked my original $30k. So like I said, I believe my prices are where they need to be and I am in no way hurting for work. By the way, our sod comes from California, we dont grow the product we all just sell it. Maybe give the sod distrubuters a call and cry to them. I dont care because you pay more for a product that I should charge more because you have too.

4CORNERS
12-04-2010, 10:12 AM
If that's 80's pricing, I'm all for it. The guy made a good chunk of change by making a PHONE CALL!!!! Sounds pretty smart to me. At the end of the day you have to look out for number one. What's wrong with the guy making EASY MONEY!!

4CORNERS
12-04-2010, 10:13 AM
Sorry, Forgot the ?

unkownfl
12-08-2010, 02:00 AM
I charged by the sqft within a slot. Less than x gets a y price. x-z sqft get r price etc.... Obviously the larger the area the lower the sqft price until you peak and it just becomes inefficient to actually do the work but I wouldn't imagine this happens until around 100k sqft of sod or so. Obviously certain criteria adds to the price such as peak season labor rates with OT etc.

Landscape Poet
12-08-2010, 02:22 AM
I charged by the sqft within a slot. Less than x gets a y price. x-z sqft get r price etc.... Obviously the larger the area the lower the sqft price until you peak and it just becomes inefficient to actually do the work but I wouldn't imagine this happens until around 100k sqft of sod or so. Obviously certain criteria adds to the price such as peak season labor rates with OT etc.

Just talked to a "associate" this afternoon - he laid 60 pallets of 500 earlier this week at $350 per pallet. I am not so sure that their is a need to discount anymore than this. $350 here for SA is more than fair assuming a quality install, all day, everyday.
Just a FYI - I was simply floored as this cat did it with a crew of 5 and himself and a bobcat in two days. That means the guys were throwing on average (assuming the owner was throwing) 5 pallets a piece in a 8 hour day.......this guy can not move that fast all day for two days in a row, even with our cooler weather. Not to mention the owner just nailed $21k in revenue in the off season on 1 job...not bad

Landscape Poet
12-08-2010, 02:28 AM
First off, why the heck would you want to do 5k sqft?. You have to understand in our regions - many lawns in the metro areas may only have 5k of turf. If you did not do 5 K then you would most not likely do any sod here. Just a difference in our environments I am guessing.




Why carry the responsiblitly of a guarantee? You didnt grow the grass so why would you warranty anything that size? I couldn't agree more about a guarantee.....to many factors at hand...home owner does not water.....guess whos name they are going to drag through the mud.....cinch bug problem....can not control that unless you are PCO. Hurricane.....ooohhh myyy :dizzy:




Anything over 1k sqft I call my distrubutor and have them install. They just completed a 6200 sqft job for me, they charge me .28 cents a sqft for materials, labor and delivery, I charged .62 cents a sqft and the only finger I lifted was to make the call. I carry no warranty responsibilities because they cover that for me for 90 days. I like that type of profit better.

Wow I take back the above statement - really anything over 1k you sub? Not sure about that for me and mine but if it works for you more power to you.

AzLawnMan
12-08-2010, 09:59 AM
Wow I take back the above statement - really anything over 1k you sub? Not sure about that for me and mine but if it works for you more power to you.

It doesnt make sense to me why this is a problem or that some of you are confused. If by having my crew do a 1k sqft sod job makes me an additional say $150, it not worth it to me. I make as much if not more than the company actually doing the install for me. I dont care if I could have made $1 or $5k dollars on that job, I made money for doing nothing!! If I told you I would do all the work and carry all the liabilty and give as much or more money than I was getting you would pass that up? You gotta alot to learn then. Is what I do different from say a sports team owner? His clients want a product (athlete) he pays the athlete and marks up the product to the customer, he made money for doing nothing. Half of my accounts pay for the complete costs of running my company (payroll, taxes, etc etc) so anything beyond that is more iceing on the cake. Why would I trouble myself when I can trouble others and still make money?

Ric
12-08-2010, 10:57 AM
Hey everyone,

I have a client asking us to quote her for installing 5000sqf of sod and also for preparing her property for the sod installation. It's a wooded lot that has some sparse grass currently growing.

I was just curious what some of you charge per square foot just for the prep work. We've done several sod jobs before, but they were for new construction so there wasn't anything we needed to till or haul away. Any help you could provide would be appreciated! Thanks!

Gainesville

Back in the good time I could get a Dollar a sq ft for standard rip out and resod with St Augustine. But prices have dropped because of the lack of new construction. Don't go below $ 0.65 a sq ft and of course price by the pallet and measure a little wide just to CYA. There are 400 Sq ft on a pallet so 5K is 12 1/2 pallets, Buy 13 and charge for 13. Better to have too much than not enough. BTW 400 X $ 0.65 = $ 260 a pallet X 13 = $3380 Of course get more money if you can but don't go below $ 3300.

Left over Sod can be Saved by spread out on Black Ground Cloth and watered several time daily. You can cut the Sod into plug size with a Machete and use it to patch niches in other yards.

Landscape Poet
12-08-2010, 11:04 PM
It doesnt make sense to me why this is a problem or that some of you are confused. If by having my crew do a 1k sqft sod job makes me an additional say $150, it not worth it to me. I make as much if not more than the company actually doing the install for me. I dont care if I could have made $1 or $5k dollars on that job, I made money for doing nothing!! If I told you I would do all the work and carry all the liabilty and give as much or more money than I was getting you would pass that up? You gotta alot to learn then. Is what I do different from say a sports team owner? His clients want a product (athlete) he pays the athlete and marks up the product to the customer, he made money for doing nothing. Half of my accounts pay for the complete costs of running my company (payroll, taxes, etc etc) so anything beyond that is more iceing on the cake. Why would I trouble myself when I can trouble others and still make money?

Not confused - I understand your point of view - I was confused because I misread your first post - or at least mis understood what you were saying. The way I read and understood it at first was that you would not even bother anything under 5 k .

You are actually pulling a good profit % for doing nothing - I do something similar where I sub contract the removal/tear out....cost me a anywhere from .14 to .20 a sq ft ......then I have a reliable workforce to throw it for $65 for a full day ....My profit per square works out higher than yours - but then I am involved in supervising the install too. I do not put a guarantee of any kind though either - to many variables out of my control. So all in all your set up is not a bad set up.

Landscape Poet
12-08-2010, 11:20 PM
to the op....do not forget if your sq ft is large enough...you can make more buy purchasing 500 sq pallets. Usually sod supplier give a slight discount...but of course you price it out to the customer at 400 sq ft number of pallets.

AAELI
12-12-2010, 02:51 AM
Laid 4800 sq ft of Zoysia for $14000. Prepared area with soil over crushed coral base (our Island native rock) and warrantied install as I cared for it the first 30 days. Of course it helps that rain provides over 100" each year during this period, July - December. Others make more or less but not as 'lone ranger' crews as I usually do. Not going to be in the top brackets but at least I have a few jobs each year to keep it all in perspective. Sod is expensive here as there is limited area to grow it. After all we are an island with a massive number of Marines landing soon...

AzLawnMan
12-12-2010, 12:54 PM
Laid 4800 sq ft of Zoysia for $14000. Prepared area with soil over crushed coral base (our Island native rock) and warrantied install as I cared for it the first 30 days. Of course it helps that rain provides over 100" each year during this period, July - December. Others make more or less but not as 'lone ranger' crews as I usually do. Not going to be in the top brackets but at least I have a few jobs each year to keep it all in perspective. Sod is expensive here as there is limited area to grow it. After all we are an island with a massive number of Marines landing soon...

Carefull I heard you guys may tip over!

domain311
12-12-2010, 02:58 PM
We install for .75-.90 a square foot, depending on the situation...if its straight out, lots of cuts, etc. That's just for laying it. The prep is separate and whatever is needed is estimated time wise how long it will take with any machine or hand labor. We don't guarantee it either. Last year we got a couple of pallets that went bad after installed and the company that provided it to us paid for new stuff, to pick up the old and more free sod on the next delivery.

If we could have a company lay it for us for .28 a foot we would definitely take advantage of that! There is nothing even close to anything like that around here.

lawnpropm
12-18-2010, 02:31 PM
Just talked to a "associate" this afternoon -he laid 60 pallets of 500 earlier this week at $350 per pallet. I am not so sure that their is a need to discount anymore than this. $350 here for SA is more than fair assuming a quality install, all day, everyday. Just a FYI -I was simply floored as this cat did it with a crew of 5 and himself and a bobcat in two days. That means the guys were throwing on average (assuming the owner was throwing) 5 pallets a piece in a 8 hour day.......this guy can not move that fast all day for two days in a row, even with our cooler weather. Not to mention the owner just nailed $21k in revenue in the off season on 1 job...not bad.

60 pallets Christ you guys don't used sod machines. Doing that much sod in a wide open area it would be more productive to do it by the roll......a $21,000 job would have paid for it. I could be wrong tho....
Posted via Mobile Device

JNyz
01-03-2011, 04:38 PM
A buck a sq ft sounds fair.

Barrett Landscaping
01-03-2011, 08:02 PM
michael, are you saying to lay a pallet of sod for $400 including the prep work or is that additional?

rob7233
01-04-2011, 03:27 PM
He's saying $400 per 400sqft pallet for all. Some will charge more for Zoysia and semi-dwarf SA depending on availability and time of year. Volume discount and accessibility do apply.

No Guarantee but full post install instructions and followup. Generally will charge additional premium for summer installs because of pest/disease pressure issues, heat etc. if client insists going foward after being advised otherwise. We are in zone 9b....

GainesvilleLawnscaping
01-06-2011, 01:28 AM
Gainesville

Back in the good time I could get a Dollar a sq ft for standard rip out and resod with St Augustine. But prices have dropped because of the lack of new construction. Don't go below $ 0.65 a sq ft and of course price by the pallet and measure a little wide just to CYA. There are 400 Sq ft on a pallet so 5K is 12 1/2 pallets, Buy 13 and charge for 13. Better to have too much than not enough. BTW 400 X $ 0.65 = $ 260 a pallet X 13 = $3380 Of course get more money if you can but don't go below $ 3300.

Left over Sod can be Saved by spread out on Black Ground Cloth and watered several time daily. You can cut the Sod into plug size with a Machete and use it to patch niches in other yards.

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I quoted her 85c a sqf or 80c if she signs up for a yearly contract. She signed up for the contract on the spot and will get the sod done after the winter. Thanks for all the help! Also, we just released our new website this week, www.GainesvilleLawnscaping.com -> it's not 100% finished yet, but I wanted to get it up to start moving up on Google. Let me know what you think!