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View Full Version : Fair price for mulch?


tdifonzo
02-20-2012, 09:14 PM
Hey guys. I'm giving a price for a small mulch job. I have 1existing bed that's 17ft x 8ft which needs to be cleaned up and remulched. I also need to create a bed around a Magnolia tree approx. 6ft round. I figured about 1 1/2 yards of red mulch and about 3 hours labor including picking up the mulch and getting rid of debris. I came up with $280.00. Does this sound like a fair price or am I to low?

unkownfl
02-20-2012, 09:21 PM
I think you're going to be short on mulch. I figured 2.3 yards of mulch @ 3 inches. I guess it depends on how much landscaping though too. I think $280 is way high personally but if you get it good for you.

jequigle
02-20-2012, 09:42 PM
I usually just double the cost of the mulch. Then add whatever else I need to onto the cost.

Florida Gardener
02-20-2012, 09:45 PM
I usually just double the cost of the mulch. Then add whatever else I need to onto the cost.

A yard and a half of red is like $45 bucks or so at our mulch supplier. That is too small a job for me just to double unless these are really good clients. Factor in 50-60 for delivery I think the OP price is good. Thats just me though. May even want to go $300-$325.
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tdifonzo
02-20-2012, 09:51 PM
I figured the mulch at 2 inches deep. The larger bed is not square,its kinda kidney shaped.

jsslawncare
02-20-2012, 09:58 PM
I figured the mulch at 2 inches deep. The larger bed is not square,its kinda kidney shaped.

That's too thin, go at least 3" it would be better at 4".

rob7233
02-20-2012, 10:47 PM
I think you're going to be short on mulch. I figured 2.3 yards of mulch @ 3 inches. I guess it depends on how much landscaping though too. I think $280 is way high personally but if you get it good for you.

Just curious, what do you think would be a good/your price for all the work described and the materials supplied and delivered?

01thump
02-21-2012, 07:43 AM
I always double the mulch price as well cause i am bringing it to the site and i agree 300.00 or 325.00 would be a better price for you i think 100.00 bucks an hour if you are there 3 hours is fair for the materials and work provided in the job you described...my 2cents.
Do not sell yourself short if you give great customer service that is worth something and if that means charging a little more than the other guy would so be it I personaly do not mind paying a little bit more for things if I get what i pay for and the little extra attention..also it is rare that i do a job as agreed to that the customer seems to add a few little things to it when the job is underway and most times i just through it in as freebees they like that and i feel most times i covered it in the bill so everyone is happy..

Florida Gardener
02-21-2012, 08:07 AM
Don't forget ease or difficulty of access meaning is it just dump, spread, and go or is it going in tight areas, up hills, etc. Bring a large wheelbarrow too. My employee and myself can do a pallet in one hour if it is ease of access.
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unkownfl
02-21-2012, 09:53 AM
Just curious, what do you think would be a good/your price for all the work described and the materials supplied and delivered?

1.5 yards of mulch with 3 hours labor $200. He said the labor rate was including picking up the mulch so I wouldn't charge extra for delivery. I'd use bag mulch so its about 14 bags of mulch 7 trips to the truck.

Landscape Poet
02-21-2012, 06:38 PM
I think $280 is way high personally but if you get it good for you.


A realist I see. I agree. The going rate if this is not a regular client would get you about $70 to $75 a yard here assuming it is a smaller job here. Assuming the higher of the two figures given that puts the mulch alone at $112.50. Then assuming the guy has another hour and a half in purchasing the mulch and prepping the bed at $65 a hour you have $210.00 roughly. That is a fair price. Now again if it is a regular customer then maybe go a little higher, call it a convenience charge since they do not have to call someone else and waste it there time.

Any more than that on residential mulch job you are pissing in the wind when there are a million companies here that will do it for $50 a yard. All in all the guy is going to make a little over $50 a hour after the cost of the mulch....which is not bad considering this is not freaking rocket science and most home owners understand that. Especially considering it is not the middle of summer either. The current conditions outside right now must be considered vs doing this crap in the middle of July.

unkownfl
02-21-2012, 06:42 PM
A realist I see. I agree. The going rate if this is not a regular client would get you about $70 to $75 a yard here assuming it is a smaller job here. Assuming the higher of the two figures given that puts the mulch alone at $112.50. Then assuming the guy has another hour and a half in purchasing the mulch and prepping the bed at $65 a hour you have $210.00 roughly. That is a fair price. Now again if it is a regular customer then maybe go a little higher, call it a convenience charge since they do not have to call someone else and waste it there time.

Any more than that on residential mulch job you are pissing in the wind when there are a million companies here that will do it for $50 a yard. All in all the guy is going to make a little over $50 a hour after the cost of the mulch....which is not bad considering this is not freaking rocket science and most home owners understand that. Especially considering it is not the middle of summer either. The current conditions outside right now must be considered vs doing this crap in the middle of July.

You'd pay $112 for 1.5 yards of red mulch? I must be not following here.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2012, 06:43 PM
A realist I see. I agree. The going rate if this is not a regular client would get you about $70 to $75 a yard here assuming it is a smaller job here. Assuming the higher of the two figures given that puts the mulch alone at $112.50. Then assuming the guy has another hour and a half in purchasing the mulch and prepping the bed at $65 a hour you have $210.00 roughly. That is a fair price. Now again if it is a regular customer then maybe go a little higher, call it a convenience charge since they do not have to call someone else and waste it there time.

Any more than that on residential mulch job you are pissing in the wind when there are a million companies here that will do it for $50 a yard. All in all the guy is going to make a little over $50 a hour after the cost of the mulch....which is not bad considering this is not freaking rocket science and most home owners understand that. Especially considering it is not the middle of summer either. The current conditions outside right now must be considered vs doing this crap in the middle of July.

Good point about summer vs. Winter. We can fly through pallets in the winter but come summer, different story.
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Landscape Poet
02-21-2012, 07:22 PM
You'd pay $112 for 1.5 yards of red mulch? I must be not following here.

NO, NO, NO :nono::nono::nono:

They end price for the customer. I am saying if you charged the customer $75 a yard at the 1.5 yards. Not my cost. My cost is generally in the high $20's for a yard.

aaron79mowing
02-21-2012, 07:30 PM
280 would be high in my area. I would say 200.

unkownfl
02-21-2012, 07:37 PM
NO, NO, NO :nono::nono::nono:

They end price for the customer. I am saying if you charged the customer $75 a yard at the 1.5 yards. Not my cost. My cost is generally in the high $20's for a yard.

See I don't break it down. I just invoice the whole thing as 1.5 yards of mulch w/prep and install. I did that when I first stated and then the customer wanted to shop my sod price and have me do the install for the labor I put done. I had to explain the whole thing and it blew up in my face pretty much.

tdifonzo
02-21-2012, 07:55 PM
Well I shot the customer a price this morning. I came down to $260.00 for the job. He went for it so I put him on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon.All is good. Then he calls me back around 3pm and cancels. He says he really dosen't have the money right now and he just rents the house. He was going to see if the landlord would pay for it. Oh well,maybe next time.Thanks for all of your input!

Landscape Poet
02-21-2012, 09:58 PM
Well I shot the customer a price this morning. I came down to $260.00 for the job. He went for it so I put him on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon.All is good. Then he calls me back around 3pm and cancels. He says he really dosen't have the money right now and he just rents the house. He was going to see if the landlord would pay for it. Oh well,maybe next time.Thanks for all of your input!

You will get the next one! payup

Landscape Poet
02-21-2012, 10:03 PM
See I don't break it down. I just invoice the whole thing as 1.5 yards of mulch w/prep and install. I did that when I first stated and then the customer wanted to shop my sod price and have me do the install for the labor I put done. I had to explain the whole thing and it blew up in my face pretty much.

Not sure I would either for something as simple as a mulch job. I was just using those figures for those hear to put in perspective that I felt you suggestion that it might be a little high for our markets current conditions. If you can pull $75 a yard for mulch you are not doing to bad IMHO. Maybe some of you pro-fesh-ional on here can tell me about how that is not enough etc but I agree with you unknown. The price range you gave is reasonable for the work described.

fl-landscapes
02-22-2012, 10:35 AM
Good point about summer vs. Winter. We can fly through pallets in the winter but come summer, different story.
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I have a really good customer we spread 275 yards of mulch every year. I told them we can either spread it now or in the fall. Doing this in the summer sucks, period. Sometimes you have too but I avoid it if I can. And I'm glad I have built a good enough relationship to be able to have input and not be treated like a slave waiting to be replaced by the next cheapest slave. We ended up doing the job last week.:)

Ric
02-22-2012, 11:39 AM
I have a really good customer we spread 275 yards of mulch every year. I told them we can either spread it now or in the fall. Doing this in the summer sucks, period. Sometimes you have too but I avoid it if I can. And I'm glad I have built a good enough relationship to be able to have input and not be treated like a slave waiting to be replaced by the next cheapest slave. We ended up doing the job last week.:)

Fl

IMHO Oct or late Sept after the summer rains have stopped is the best time to spread Mulch in our area. My reason is this gives the greater time frame where rain won't wash it a way. It also makes the property look best for our winner Snow Bird / Tourist season.


As for Weed Control in summer. There are just going to be those places you have to Roundup every two weeks because of our heavy rains. However Round Extend or the less expensive Gly Extend I mix myself works great on those areas



.

fl-landscapes
02-22-2012, 04:25 PM
Ya we usually do it in the fall but it wasn't in the budget last year. Tenants not paying dues or mortgages for that matter put a squeeze on the budget. Went from pine bark nuggets to cypress to save a few bucks. Came out good though and was a big improvement from the worn out nuggets.


Fl

IMHO Oct or late Sept after the summer rains have stopped is the best time to spread Mulch in our area. My reason is this gives the greater time frame where rain won't wash it a way. It also makes the property look best for our winner Snow Bird / Tourist season.


As for Weed Control in summer. There are just going to be those places you have to Roundup every two weeks because of our heavy rains. However Round Extend or the less expensive Gly Extend I mix myself works great on those areas





.

Florida Gardener
02-22-2012, 07:24 PM
Ya we usually do it in the fall but it wasn't in the budget last year. Tenants not paying dues or mortgages for that matter put a squeeze on the budget. Went from pine bark nuggets to cypress to save a few bucks. Came out good though and was a big improvement from the worn out nuggets.
Heck, even with cypress that's a nice job. I would love to get one of those per year. Fl-how much did your verticutter cost you?
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fl-landscapes
02-23-2012, 09:18 AM
Heck, even with cypress that's a nice job. I would love to get one of those per year. Fl-how much did your verticutter cost you?
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Cypress or pine bark I charged the same for labor so I made the same. It is the lawn solutions (toro) biggest model. I don't remember off hand what I paid, think it was about 4800?? Put a call into ls or toro exmark and I am sure you can find a current price. By the way, this is a great add on service both for your bottom line, to separate yourself, and improve your customers lawns by reducing thatch. Do one job get three more on the street.

Florida Gardener
02-23-2012, 09:22 AM
Cypress or pine bark I charged the same for labor so I made the same. It is the lawn solutions (toro) biggest model. I don't remember off hand what I paid, think it was about 4800?? Put a call into ls or toro exmark and I am sure you can find a current price. By the way, this is a great add on service both for your bottom line, to separate yourself, and improve your customers lawns by reducing thatch. Do one job get three more on the street.
I just picked up another zoysia lawn and am bidding on one as well. The more I keep picking up, the more I am considering purchasing one. It's such a hard sell on St Augustine though. Even on my higher end customers I just don't see them biting on it, whereas the zoysia and Bermuda lawns know it is part of the game....I also want to buy a topsresser down the road as well....
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fl-landscapes
02-23-2012, 11:24 AM
I just picked up another zoysia lawn and am bidding on one as well. The more I keep picking up, the more I am considering purchasing one. It's such a hard sell on St Augustine though. Even on my higher end customers I just don't see them biting on it, whereas the zoysia and Bermuda lawns know it is part of the game....I also want to buy a topsresser down the road as well....
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Ninety percent of my thatch jobs are on sa lawns. They are usually overwatered and over fertilized and almost always benefit from verti cutting.

Ric
02-23-2012, 12:17 PM
Ninety percent of my thatch jobs are on sa lawns. They are usually overwatered and over fertilized and almost always benefit from verti cutting.

Fl

I have seen your correct verticutting and know you even had a special Reel made for SA. Most people who verticut butcher the yard by trying to remove too much thatch. I believe Ifas.fla.edu./ has proper verticutting direction.

BUT MY MAIN POINT HERE IS. Proper cultural and chemical practise must be followed if the yard is to stay healthy. 99% of the time I see the same people over watering and the Lawn goes right back to what it was before the Verticut.


.

Florida Gardener
02-23-2012, 12:29 PM
Ninety percent of my thatch jobs are on sa lawns. They are usually overwatered and over fertilized and almost always benefit from verti cutting.

I'm sure, it's just a harder sell here for your average middle of the road customer. FYI- the zoysia lawns I have are cut with a reel at 1.25 inches or less.
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Landscape Poet
02-23-2012, 04:52 PM
Ninety percent of my thatch jobs are on sa lawns. They are usually overwatered and over fertilized and almost always benefit from verti cutting.

Bryan,

As you know we have been discussing this and I am doing my first property tomorrow. Will let you know, but I do not remember if I told you or not the other day, the fert company for the customer we are doing tomorrow said when I called them to let them know the lawn was getting verticut that if I want they have a stack of work for me as no one is offering it around here. I think with your help I may have found a nice little extra bump in income if I continue to get fair prices for this. The one tomorrow is a little less than 6k and is bringing in $400. If it takes no longer than what you have informed me that is a very profitable little gig. As discussed the Zoysia lawns we have around here maintained at 4 inches are great candidates also.
Thanks again for your input and guidance through this first verticut.

fl-landscapes
02-23-2012, 05:17 PM
That's really great......hate to say I told you so....but.....I told you once people know you do it, you will sell a lot of it because no one else is doing it AND it is truly beneficial.


Bryan,

As you know we have been discussing this and I am doing my first property tomorrow. Will let you know, but I do not remember if I told you or not the other day, the fert company for the customer we are doing tomorrow said when I called them to let them know the lawn was getting verticut that if I want they have a stack of work for me as no one is offering it around here. I think with your help I may have found a nice little extra bump in income if I continue to get fair prices for this. The one tomorrow is a little less than 6k and is bringing in $400. If it takes no longer than what you have informed me that is a very profitable little gig. As discussed the Zoysia lawns we have around here maintained at 4 inches are great candidates also.
Thanks again for your input and guidance through this first verticut.

unkownfl
02-23-2012, 05:27 PM
Mike, you will hardly be the only one doing it.:walking: I haven't done well selling it. Seems like fert companies talk them into core aerating and then I end up making the money up on fixing irrigation wires and pipes. I guess you can't win on both sides. I have a dethatcher though but it verticuts I guess this is what you guys are talking about. Hard fixed blades and not the thin wire kind. It use to be used on my grand parents Bermuda after the rye starts to die out.

fl-landscapes
02-23-2012, 05:34 PM
Funny I never see anyone on this Florida forum talking about verti cutting they do. I think it absolutely is a service mostly untapped. So who on here actually owns a vert cutter? From mikes fert guy saying he doesn't know anyone who does it to all the people I do it for who say they can't find anyone to do it. I'm not saying anyone is reinventing the wheel, but this is a service most people don't truly provide and own the equipment to do it. Maybe your town is a unique situation full of companies de thatching?

unkownfl
02-23-2012, 05:42 PM
Funny I never see anyone on this Florida forum talking about verti cutting they do. I think it absolutely is a service mostly untapped. So who on here actually owns a vert cutter? From mikes fert guy saying he doesn't know anyone who does it to all the people I do it for who say they can't find anyone to do it. I'm not saying anyone is reinventing the wheel, but this is a service most people don't truly provide and own the equipment to do it. Maybe your town is a unique situation full of companies de thatching?

Being that I lived in SWFL it is a totally different breed of people here. Down there it seems more people are use to having grass and dumping money into it every year from them being from the north. Here it seems we have more home growns and lawn hacks. They seem to think Crabgrass is St Augustine and that Zoysia is what's on golf courses.

Landscape Poet
02-23-2012, 06:03 PM
Mike, you will hardly be the only one doing it.:walking: I haven't done well selling it. Seems like fert companies talk them into core aerating and then I end up making the money up on fixing irrigation wires and pipes. I guess you can't win on both sides. I have a dethatcher though but it verticuts I guess this is what you guys are talking about. Hard fixed blades and not the thin wire kind. It use to be used on my grand parents Bermuda after the rye starts to die out.

The only reason I am doing this first one is I have a customer that every year ask me if I know of anyone. I do not and I have called several connections here locally asking anyone if they know anyone who does trying to help this guy out. Nobody that I know in the local green industry knows of anyone. So when I called to inform the homeowners L and O company the owner got really excited. He said if I wanted more he would throw lots of work my way as he did not know anyone that did it either. We will see. I have one of the other chemical sales reps informed now to as of a few minutes ago. He said he has a few people in mind that have seville in full sun that he knows would be interested. We will see but it sounds promising.

I can see the market being here because of those from up north are familiar with it on their cool season turfs...so they can understand it and know the benefits ......well if you tell them it is dethatching that is.

unkownfl
02-23-2012, 06:21 PM
The only reason I am doing this first one is I have a customer that every year ask me if I know of anyone. I do not and I have called several connections here locally asking anyone if they know anyone who does trying to help this guy out. Nobody that I know in the local green industry knows of anyone. So when I called to inform the homeowners L and O company the owner got really excited. He said if I wanted more he would throw lots of work my way as he did not know anyone that did it either. We will see. I have one of the other chemical sales reps informed now to as of a few minutes ago. He said he has a few people in mind that have seville in full sun that he knows would be interested. We will see but it sounds promising.

I can see the market being here because of those from up north are familiar with it on their cool season turfs...so they can understand it and know the benefits ......well if you tell them it is dethatching that is.

If he has so many that want it why hasn't he bought one and started doing it. Seems to me 300+ a yard with 3000 in equipment is not a hard decision. Just do yourself a favor and buy a bagger to fit on your walk behind or smallest rear gate mower it helps with clean up big time.

Landscape Poet
02-23-2012, 06:35 PM
If he has so many that want it why hasn't he bought one and started doing it. Seems to me 300+ a yard with 3000 in equipment is not a hard decision. Just do yourself a favor and buy a bagger to fit on your walk behind or smallest rear gate mower it helps with clean up big time.

The offer the aeration but not this as he told me he had quoted this customer for that. I do not know. Maybe because the are happy with the fert and squirt side of the business? Don't know but if he wants to get me more and I think it can remain profitable then so be it. :clapping:

unkownfl
02-23-2012, 06:55 PM
The offer the aeration but not this as he told me he had quoted this customer for that. I do not know. Maybe because the are happy with the fert and squirt side of the business? Don't know but if he wants to get me more and I think it can remain profitable then so be it. :clapping:

Definitely for sure. Have you got any replacements yet?

Landscape Poet
02-24-2012, 12:23 AM
. Have you got any replacements yet?

Whatcha talking about Willis?

unkownfl
02-24-2012, 09:28 AM
Whatcha talking about Willis?

SOD.... to short