View Full Version : lawn install pricing

12-28-2004, 12:42 AM
What does everyone charge for the new lawn install? do you charge by the square yard or square foot? This is something I wanted to get into I have a few leads with builders I just need a resonable price to start with. All advice is needed.

12-28-2004, 12:54 AM
first of all, be very careful dealing with builders.....i have never dealt with any of them, but they i hear they are like churches.....get what they need and hard to get a hold of (hard to get your money). always have a contract signed.

Also, they might already have lots of sub-contractors doing the jobs.

Another thing, do you have people working with you, or are you solo? If you are solo, it's really hard to lay down sod. Dont know what you experience is, but if you law 4K sq. feet alone, you will not be able to walk the next day.

I've charged by the sq. ft. Here it's about $1.25-$1.5 per sq. foot.

Take care.

If you are new to this and eager to get every job you can think of.....steer clear of a job that you have not done before (if it's big). I have suffered when i was "learning" while at the jobsite.

just my two cents.

12-28-2004, 01:42 AM
Sod , seed , hydro seeded , which way? How much prep will they need and what will you be doing it with? Do you need to bring in tpo-soil? Need more info to answer.


12-28-2004, 08:39 AM
as olderthandirt said. to many variables to answer the question.
also i agree with what petrentz said. i have always had very bad luck with builders. I will NOT work for them anymore. they hold YOUR money until they get THIER last dear from the owners. alot of times the money is being held due to thier not completing the punch list. no fualt of yours, but it can take months to get your money.

12-28-2004, 08:52 AM
The reason for them holding out for so long also is the fact that you are a small fish, and they are not afraid of anyone. They are usually backed up by large companies with a lot more weight than you. just be cautious. ;)

12-28-2004, 09:35 AM
Don't let everyone scare you about builders. We work for 3 different builders in our area doing lawn & landscape installs and payment has never been a problem.
Im sure there are builders out there who will drag you along and hold payment...but don't be afraid to give them a shot. We keep very busy between those 3 builders that we work with.

12-28-2004, 02:54 PM
you guys can say they drag their feet and hold their money and teh whole 9. but... how much have they owed your companies? my dad owns a flooring company and strictly does new houses. at one time he told me between all of the builders he was owed $2 mil. (he does 15mil a year in sales, 40 employess some subs tho). when he was just starting his business, 15 yrs ago, his only builder filed for chapter 11 bankruptcyin mid october just before they mailed out all the checks for the month. they told my dad "we'll make it through this, we cant pay you now, but just keep doing the work and we'll figure it out later"......

bottom line..... they'll pay...sooner or later.....if you can wait for the money to come, it will.

12-28-2004, 03:09 PM

i am not saying that all builders are bad...i have never worked with one, but these are the stories i hear over and over again. maybe i just hear the bad ones, who knows, right? just like you never hear praises until you ask....you always hear the bad things.

i am too small to work for a builder. if i ever did, i'd make sure that my contract is in order and i judge his/her character very welll....

the safe way would be to get 1/2 before you start and the rest once you are done. at least until you get to know the builders. WOrking with the same builders over and over helps too.

12-28-2004, 04:53 PM
If you are going to work for a builder, do your homework. Don't be afraid just because you heard "horror stories." 80% of my install work is for a builder. Before I took on the work, I spoke with the other subs that were working for the builder. They all had long working relationships and no problems, with regard to payment. You'll see that some builders burn out subs by constantly beating them down on price and eventually turning them over. However, some want a long term relationship and will treat you accordingly.

As far as pricing, as the others said, way too many variables.

12-28-2004, 08:02 PM
if you find the right one it can be a symbiotic relationship. the question is, if he's good to work with why does he not have a relationship with someone else already??

12-28-2004, 11:51 PM
if you find the right one it can be a symbiotic relationship. the question is, if he's good to work with why does he not have a relationship with someone else already??

You assume the builder doesn't have a relationship with another contractor. Maybe the builder is expanding and his current landscaper can't handle the volume. Maybe the builder is expanding and doesn't like to give any given contractor more than one project at a time. Maybe the current contractor can't manage his business and goes bankrupt or decides to pursue another type of work. Maybe the current contractor isn't servicing the builder as originally promised. I could go on and on.

There are many reasons not to work for certain builders. The fact that a builder is looking for a contractor isn't one of them.