5.4K sq feet equals __ yards of mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by ATVracer, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. ATVracer

    ATVracer LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 346

    First off just wanted to say I hate doing landscape jobs, I prefer mowing and lawn treatments. Anyway I am preparing a bid for a nursing home. I measured 5400 square feet of mulched area(there's about 20 different seperate areas). I have to remove all the old mulch and put new down. Just wondering approximately how many yards I would need for this job. I am guessing between 50-54 yards. I plan on charging around $65 installed price in addition to the labor required to remove and haul off the old. I haven't even checked on mulch prices but will do that tomorrow. Last I knew it was around $25/yard. Thanks for any input.
  2. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Posts: 295

    5400 sq ft at 3" deep = 50 yards
    5400 sq ft at 4" deep = 67 yards

    Good Luck
  3. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    It's much easier to mow grass than to do landscape jobs. Mulching is probably the easiest "landscaping" job.
  4. ATVracer

    ATVracer LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 346

    Cool, I guess the 50 yards was pretty close since I was thinking 3" deep. I really don't want this job due to time constraints but man that's good money.
  5. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    yup, 50 yards at 3" deep.

    Chances are you really don't need to remove the old, I'd try to talk them out of it.
  6. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    For future reference:

    To convert sq. feet to cu. yds., divide square footage by 27 (there are 27 cu. ft. in a cu. yd.).

    To calculate depth (for soil, mulch, gravel, etc.) multiply the number by the fraction of feet that you want (i.e. 4" is a third of a foot, so multiply by .33).

    Hope this helps.
  7. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    I would do it at 54 yards and spread it 3", and DO NOT remove the old mulch, that is a waste of time and the customers money...you want it to break down and become beneficial organic matter anyway. I would charge more per yard...we get $80 all day here...maybe give a small discount for volume, but your price seems low.
  8. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    5400 sq. ft. of total bed space???? How much of that area has plant material covering it, hosta, perennials, shrubs etc????? You have to account for plant material taking up space or you will highly overorder mulch and it may cost you the job too because you would be too high.

    Why would you ever remove old mulch???

    Can you just apply 1" this year instead of removing and let the mulch decompose thats there? If you change styles or colors of mulch it may poke through however!

    1" = 16.66 yards.

    I do it like this.

    I calculate total bed space. Then I come up with a percentage of coverage needed. For instance if there were hundred of perennials or shrubs int he beds what area actually needs mulch? Usually it is somewhere between 25-75%. new Beds are closer to 100% because plants are immature, old old beds with mature plants are usually somewhere inthe middle but it all depends onthe individual site.

    Then you take the sq. ft. of beds multiply it by the coverage %. That is your effective coverage needed. Then divide that by 12 to give you cu. ft. Then multiply by how many inches you want int he bed 1, 2, or 3". Then divide by 27 to give you cu. yds.
  9. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    If there is 3" or less of the old mulch don't remove it. Just topdress with new to bring it to a depth of 3-4". If the customer wants the old mulch removed inform them of the price savings from leaving the old stuff in place. I would only remove old mulch if it was so deep that it was inhibiting water movement into the soil. Sometimes old mulch can become hydrophobic and prevent water from penetrating.
  10. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    You can also hit the old mulch with a roto-tiller attachment for a line trimmer. It will make it look like you took it all away and you can get paid on it. Also three inches is thick.

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