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Old 03-06-2012, 02:02 PM
noble1 noble1 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 22
Landscaping Job Pricing?

So I use to run a little part-time 21" mower, postage stamp size yards service in California, and now I have relocated to Colorado and expanded my services.

I was advertising aerations and clean-ups to get my feet wet in the full-time industry here. Well apparantly my advertising worked and I was contacted by a home owner, but not for aerations or clean-ups, but for a possible landscape job coming my way.

Its a backyard roughly 3000sqft. Owner wants to rip out old sod, amend soil, then install smaller plot of sod maybe around 2400sqft, and border the outer edges with mulch beds requiring edging and mulch being put down.

So I figured up roughly $1470 in materials (sod, mulch, organic material to amend with, edging). Then expense of transportation of materials and equipment to and from job site, plus rental equipment (sod cutter and lawn roller), and dump fee totally $490.

Then the labor... I haven't done a ton of these installs, so my best estimate is total 34 man hours. That includes picking up all equipment, running to dump, picking up materials, then cutting sod, removing sod, adding amendment, rototilling amendment, raking/rolling soil, install edging, install mulch, install sod.

My main question in all this is, what should I be charging per hour?

It will be me ($25/hr), plus helper ($12), plus figuring 20% profit margin = $45/hr labor rate, but that's per hour not man hour.

So since I am running a 2-man crew, does my "man hour" rate end up being $22.50? Then resulting in $22.50/hr x 34man hours = $765 labor?

So total my estimate would be $1470 materials + $490 expenses + $765 labor = $2725.

Or am I charging the straight $45/hr labor rate for the 34 hours = $1530 labor, for a grand total of $3490?

Am I on the right track with this?

Does it sound high, reasonable, or lowballer?

I don't want to be the lowballer in town, but at the same time I'm not looking to overbid and not get the job. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Again, excuse my ignorance in the labor rate if I am off. I have primarily operated as a one man mowing service only in the past. Estimating how long it will take me to cut a lawn, by myself is much less complicated. Haha!
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:40 PM
NC Greenscaper NC Greenscaper is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Coastal North Carolina
Posts: 438
Your to low. What kind of equipment will you be using? I'm assuming because of your questions you will be doing much of this by hand (picking up the sod, loading it in a truck and disposing of it). How do you plan to get the cut sod away? You mentioned amending the soil, how are you going to incorporate your amendments or just spread them out and lay your sod down? Your labor price you mentioned would be a fair price for me if the area was already prepped and all I got to do is lay the sod, cut it in and roll it. Picking up the old and disposing will be alot more difficult than laying the new sod. Just saying "plan it out on paper step by step and then estimate how long each step will be. Since you haven't done it before add more time for errors, going to get another tool, etc.,. Also search other post for coming up with a manhour rate that include cost, markup for overhead and profit.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:55 PM
GreenI.A.'s Avatar
GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North East
Posts: 2,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by noble1 View Post
......It will be me ($25/hr), plus helper ($12), plus figuring 20% profit margin = $45/hr labor rate, but that's per hour not man hour.

So since I am running a 2-man crew, does my "man hour" rate end up being $22.50? Then resulting in $22.50/hr x 34man hours = $765 labor?

So total my estimate would be $1470 materials + $490 expenses + $765 labor = $2725......
you seam to have made a mistake on the math above. It looks like that $8/hr you have figured in for your 20% profit margin would need to cover all of your employee's unimployment insurance, workmans comp, payroll taxes. Plus there is still profit margin left to cover overhead such as general liabilty and taxes?
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