View Full Version : how to price removing mulch, replacing landscape fabric, and spreading mulch.

02-21-2011, 01:58 AM
I just started last year and this year is my first FULL year.
I would like to know what everyone suggests I should charge for replacing mulch and landscape fabric.

I know that if you double lay landscape fabric weeds dont grow through so fast and rarly at all, but will that strangle the plants?

They have a few flowers, shrubs, and trees inside the mulch area.

Its about 1500 square feet and I know that requires 10 cubic yards (read a few threads looking for the answer to this) but Im going to go with 11 cubic yards in case I make it to thick in a few places and also to look good.

I have no idea what a good price for this would be.


02-21-2011, 03:40 AM
I wouldn't worry with the fabric nonsense if you're going back with mulch on existing mulch.

11 yards - material cost me $12/yard. I buy in bulk tractor trailer loads. Price to customer is 40/yard delivered. Labor we charge by the hour - gonna need to estimate how long you think it'll take to finish the job. This would have variables such as slope and ease of materials to job site, etc. However alot of guys price the materials and the labor into a $/yard of mulch - meaning they sell the customer the yard, truck it, and put it down for $x/yard.

02-23-2011, 01:57 AM
They want there old mulch removed so new fabric could be laid down.
But a new question is HOW DO YOU GET MULCH SO CHEAP?! Cheapest I've gotten is 30/cubic yard for 22 cubicyards
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02-23-2011, 10:15 AM
talk to you supply yard and as if they have contractor pricing. You might just need to simply get an account with your supply yard. Anyways generally speaking most people mark up product (mulch) 50-75% some people can get away with going higher, but since youre paying so much, you probably cant sell the mulch only for 60$. My crews can generally spread 1yd of mulch per half hour. That number sometimes is a little lower if we have to travel farther, but really its only 3 wheel barrows (we use 10cuft). That doesnt include detail work (weeding edging, etc) That is simply load the mulch, dump the mulch, and spread.

The thing to consider it, how much existing mulch is already on the beds? Is it very minimal or is it 2 inches all around? You probably will need a tractor and a dump truck since your taking that out. What I would do those is try to sell them on the fact that, the weed barrier isnt going to help them at all. Yes it will prevent weeds from coming in slightly from below, but once they start cutting the grass and some weed seeds land in the flower beds, they will just grow on top. Plus, that fabric is harmful to the plants roots. You would be better off simply spreading some snapshot 2 times a year on it, and just hand pulling weeds as they come up.

For the mulching alone with the price you stated for the mulch $30/yd I would be at $45/yd ($495) materials , and then $330 for labor. So $75/yd. Now that doesnt include edging pre-emergent or weeding. Those are additional costs and I dont add them in to the mulch cost.

To do that other stuff, if theres a decent amount of mulch, youre probably looking at easly 1/2-3/4 of a day with two people and a tractor. But we need more information about how you plan to do the job before we can assist you further

02-23-2011, 10:53 AM
Our mulch comes directly from the saw mill. And we buy it by the tractor trailer load - 80 yards at a time. That's why it's cheaper. Retail around here is $30 at the local nursery.

02-23-2011, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the info Luke! I dont have the means to get a tractor so I am going to try and explain the fabric damaging roots to her. This way I can lay down the round-up, or is that snapshot better???

I hate weeding, is there a way this can be done without me weeding?

Ok, while on the subject. Ive edged before and Im wondering if I low balled myself with the amount of work I did ($20 and problematic Ryobi straight Shaft weed whacker for about 100 feet of edging.

Is there a price by foot?

02-23-2011, 02:14 PM
You will be better off just simply using a spade to edge or a razorback. You will have some soil spools, but if you do it right, there shouldnt really be too much. Do it before you lay the mulch and try to break up some of the dirt to limit your waste. I would talk to a retal yard or another contractor in the area, to see if you could sub that part out to them then. Otherwise that will be a lot of work and a lot of added cost.

Edging I do for anywhere from $0.55 per foot for redefining if it isnt bad up to around $.75/ft for new edging. Thats usually done by spade or razorback (pick ax with a large square piece on the front about 3-6" wide. You basically just chop away at the edge.

I got my edging price by just doing time trials and coming up with the cost, and broke it down to a per foot cost. Just timing the guys multiple times when they edged properties

02-24-2011, 12:43 AM
Thank you both for answering my questions!!

So far I know how much to charge for mulching, edging, and how to get cheaper mulch.

02-24-2011, 12:47 AM
Landscape fabric was so 90's

02-24-2011, 01:15 AM
Landscape fabric was so 90's

But effective

02-24-2011, 11:28 AM
Effective? Maybe until the first time you cut the grass or a bird drops its waste in the mulch on top of the fabric...... then you have weeds in the beds!

02-24-2011, 02:15 PM
Landscape fabric makes more weeds than it prevents.