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just cuts lawn care
03-17-2011, 06:29 PM
Hey guys I am looking for advice I have been in business for about 3 years and have a few customers that want there yards sodded but I mainly do lawn care with some landscaping so I am asking for advice on What to charge and what tools do I need to take up old grass and install new I have tried doing my research but some say to put special chemicals done some say soil has to be tested Etc. any help would be great thanks guys. Jay Miller

Ric
03-17-2011, 07:00 PM
Hey guys I am looking for advice I have been in business for about 3 years and have a few customers that want there yards sodded but I mainly do lawn care with some landscaping so I am asking for advice on What to charge and what tools do I need to take up old grass and install new I have tried doing my research but some say to put special chemicals done some say soil has to be tested Etc. any help would be great thanks guys. Jay Miller

Jmiller

I am going to give the best advise but not what you are expecting. Stay as far away from sod laying as possible. From the very question you ask you have a HUGE LEARN CURVE and the need of some very Heavy duty equipment.

unkownfl
03-17-2011, 07:31 PM
Sod cutter, dump trailer, Milorganite, lay sod, Milorganite, water. I'd say the going rate is around .75 a square ft or less. One pallet is about 3-4 man hours to remove and re-lay from my experience.

Landscape Poet
03-17-2011, 08:02 PM
Ric has it correct in that you have a huge learning curve, but that does not mean you can not do it. Just be prepared to work your tail off and not make a killing on the first couple of jobs.

I am not sure what your sod it going to cost you - but lets just say you can get a 500 square foot pallet of good sod for $145.
You are going to have sod cutter expense of $100.00 for the days rental and insurance on it.
Now you also have to get the sod to the place - which means either you are getting it delivered, which can range a wide range in prices- or you are putting it on your trailer considering it can handle the weight of a pallet or two. If you are getting also remember that you will be walking to and from your trailer to get the pieces instead of having the sod company spot them thus costing you more in time, but the point is to figure out what it is going to cost you either way.

You are going to need a landscape rake, which is going to run your roughly $55.

And if you do not own a wheel barrel - you better get one of those to.

You also will have dump fees for all the removal - unless you have a place of your own to dump - these fees will add up quickly. Call you local landfill and they will give you the rate per ton. Factor in time and gas to get to and from, and time to unload.

unknown is correct - a good install here can fetch roughly 85 to 90 cent a square - we do have folks that are doing for .65 a square , which is $260 a pallet - which I can tell you is not worth the money, but is most likely were you should be for your first couple installs until you get the hang of things.

Hope things work out for you - but most likely you will find it rough the first couple of jobs you do....but chalk it up as a price of a education.

Tri-City Outdoors
03-18-2011, 12:54 AM
When you look at ,dollar 4 dollar, Pound 4 Pound, sod is not at the top of the list. With that being said. keep your jobs small and sub out the big ones. At the end out the day it about the same $.
Sm. spray and lay-A PCO,Hand tools(rakes,flat head shovel,pitch fork,machete, etc),blower, Wheelbarrow, Some hefty bags & marker flags, small trailer & truck, Milorganite, a good back.
Larger jobs-everything as above times 2 or 3. Plus sod cutter, dump trailer, bobcat (depending) labor cost, workman's comp ins.

just cuts lawn care
03-18-2011, 07:30 AM
Thanks guys for all the advice I was thinking maye just try to seed lawn but im afraid it wont take then the customer would be pissed it looks like from most of the advice here that milorganite should be used i have a lot of hand tools jjust have rent big equipment I am prepared to not make much on the first few jobs figured most of the money will go into suplies and tools but then I will have everything to keeo going after that again thanks for all the advice guys

Keith
03-18-2011, 12:58 PM
I think you have been getting good advice here. Stick with sod, and stick with jobs 2 pallets or less for a while. If you screw up, you are not going to lose out that bad. I have been doing sod work off and on for 20 years. Right now, I only do them if they are 1500 ft or less, and sub out everything else. You might find you can make more money to sub it out anyway.

zzach001
03-18-2011, 11:35 PM
does anyone know of any sod truck drivers in south fl? I am looking to get a couple truck loads thanks

fobaum
03-19-2011, 12:48 AM
I just spray round-up where i'm gonna put sod, when the existing grass/weeds dyes just burn it down w/ weedeater rake up all debris down to dirt and level w/ flat shovels and hard rakes, This method is for small sod jobs of course 2-5 pallets. Same results despite what some might say,milorginite good starter fert.

rob7233
03-19-2011, 07:16 AM
I just spray round-up where i'm gonna put sod, when the existing grass/weeds dyes just burn it down w/ weedeater rake up all debris down to dirt and level w/ flat shovels and hard rakes, This method is for small sod jobs of course 2-5 pallets. Same results despite what some might say,milorginite good starter fert.

What do you mean - Same results despite what some might say?

Ric
03-19-2011, 10:24 AM
does anyone know of any sod truck drivers in south fl? I am looking to get a couple truck loads thanks

Zach

FYI Tampa is in Central Florida not South Florida. The Line Between Central and South Florida is the Charlotte/Sarasota County line. That is right Sarasota county is in Central Florida to most peoples surprise.

Hopefully someone will Know a Sod Trucker in your area. The way I hooked up to a number of Sod Truckers was to wait in line at the sod farm for one pallet. Back in good times a 4 hour wait to get loaded was SOP, so it was networking time.

jada86
03-23-2011, 07:13 AM
DEFINITELY my vote is sub it out! Put your time into bidding the job right and making some easy profit. A couple of pallets here and there maybe, but even then it's usually cheaper and much more profitable to just sub it out.

Tri-City Outdoors
03-24-2011, 10:37 AM
Been doing a lot of sod this year, Got jobs lined up when the sod is available. I think next year. I am only doing sod for costumers and referrals. Got told yesterday. That the "other" guy was doing removal,install & sod for $0.40 / sq ft or $199 / pallet.

StBalor
03-24-2011, 11:55 AM
I dont do sod installs nor have i ever. So I know this is probably a dumb question but when you guys say .65 cents per sq. ft. Does that include prep work, all materials and labor? if so, it just does not seem worth it

unkownfl
03-24-2011, 12:56 PM
I dont do sod installs nor have i ever. So I know this is probably a dumb question but when you guys say .65 cents per sq. ft. Does that include prep work, all materials and labor? if so, it just does not seem worth it

Yes removed and installed. If you get .65 you're doing good. What price are you getting sod your way?

Ric
03-24-2011, 01:18 PM
I dont do sod installs nor have i ever. So I know this is probably a dumb question but when you guys say .65 cents per sq. ft. Does that include prep work, all materials and labor? if so, it just does not seem worth it

Balor

Yep cheap price per foot, But if you have the right equipment to do volume work it does pay. Small job or patch work you have to get a $ 1.00 sq ft. but larger jobs cam make money at $ 0.65. I priced sod just yesterday for a buddy. 400 Sq ft Pallet he can pick up in the field for $ 60.00 each pallet. He will be getting only two pallet and $ 800.00 for a patch job on one of my new customers lawns. Fact is he has not even seen the job yet because I measured and sold the job.

Landscape Poet
03-24-2011, 06:30 PM
I am not sure why everyone on her is saying 0.65 a square, I know Rob and myself have not had any problem getting 0.81 cents a square and up this spring already. I know he has a 3000 k + install going on right now at roughly that price and I have a 3900 install going on at that price. The one I did last week was at .74 a square and I thought that was a low ball price I was giving as a favor to the client because of the amount of work that they give me each year (thousands).
I am getting away from actually doing anything during the installs other that checking the quality of work too. I have a couple different folks that will do it cheaper that I would - I sub it out to them - charge my prices - follow up on removal and install - and simply collect a check.
The next sod install is 22 pallets of classic - sold at $315 a pallet - I walk away with $160 for each pallet and all I do is make two phone calls - one to my sod supplier down south and one to one of the companies that does removal and install, check on tear out day on quality, follow up on install day on day on quality. Visit with the homeowner for a few minutes and I am out.
Learn to sell yourself guys - the only reason you are getting those prices is because you are settling for them. This work is to hard to make chump change doing it.
Take a few extra minutes to explain to the customer why you are better qualified than the next guys - have before and after photos on your phone or in a portfolio with you of jobs that you really feel like turned out nice.

If they have taken the time to call you for a estimate - something has already given them the belief that you can do the job correctly - the only one that will change their mind is you. If you do not sell yourself - you will get lower prices - if you sell yourself - there is not any reason anyone reading this should walk away with less than 0.75 a square on a large install.

Like I think Ric said - patch jobs - that is more cutting in and blending - that equals more money - there is a economy in volume and if the customer does not have the volume - why give the the discount. Think about it a 200 square foot patch job here and there on the property is a pain in the ass. You are going to pay more per square unless you a splitting a pallet on another job, you are going to do more cutting in, and for what?

The problem I think sometimes is that everyone is so worried about the other guy - that they end up screwing themselves in order to get the job. I know I did the same thing when I started out doing sod too. Sell yourself - sell yourself -sell yourself - and you will make more.

Again - do what you want - but I can tell you , each of you can get more per square than that if you would just sell yourself. My outlook is simple - why the hell would I work harder than I do mowing to perform a install - to make less per hour? It simple does not make sense to do so, you would be better served spending that time getting another account.

Selll yourselves fellas - when you talk to the customer - you need to make yourself sound like the greatest sod installer ever. Let there be not one sound of hesitation in your voice.

just cuts lawn care
03-26-2011, 05:37 PM
Thank you guys for all the advice I have all the hand tools and truck trailers spreaders stuff like that only thing I dont have is sod cutter, bobcat and tiller but can rent if needed if any other equipment needed let me know thanks again


A lawn guy isn't a lawn professional unless he has the expertise and experiance to do the job right with the right equipment.

unkownfl
03-26-2011, 05:40 PM
I don't use a skid and tiller. If you have that you don't really need a sod cutter maybe just a hoe to get in the tight areas. I'd rent a skid and soil cultivator if I were to do a large area.