Average Labor for Sod Install

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by M & MD Lawn, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Ok, so I had a guy stop me at the barbershop the other day and says he is putting an addition on a home and needs to get the yard back straight. So I ask for the address and I go to take an estimate. I took my measurements and ran the numbers but this would be my first sod install and im not sure what GOOD LABOR RATE WOULD BE?? Now i know you are thinking " he's in indiana, whys he doing a sod job". I am going ahead and putting the estimate together and give him the estimate and let him know we cant do it until spring because its too cold to install, and i will stress the word estimate and let him know that prices are subject to change if material price changes. So Im asking what you guys charge for labor on sod or an average rate, I dont want to price myself out. As I mentioned I'm in indiana, indianapolis to be exact.

    Thanks in advance guys!!!!:clapping:
     
  2. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 748

    Back when I did more sod jobs I would charge right at $100 above my cost for each pallet - so labor was $100 per pallet, 3 pallet min. (approx 450 sqft per pallet). I dont know if that's even in the rage, low or high, of what anyone else charges. I know that I made pretty good money pricing it that way. I came up with this figure based on what it costs some homeowner to go buy sod from a local nursury, and what I can buy it for from the sod farm. Example: A pallet of palisade zoyzia from nursury is around $330, that's what it would cost a HO just to buy the sod, no install. I get it at $210 a pallet from the sod farm, and free delivery on at least 3 pallets, so 3 pallets was my minimum job size. My selling point was I can install sod cheaper than you, MR/MRS HO can go and buy it. I really think I should be pricing my labor higher.
     
  3. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Thanks kemco, i never thought to charge by the pallet
     
  4. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 257

    i usually figure what the square footage of the area is, what my cost + delivery is and then double that price for most of my stuff. generally i end up charging around $3.50 a yard installed. if it is a larger yard i get a little better break on the sod. and i think i have got the sod as low as $1.37/yd
     
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    How many square feet is it? I usually charge by the square foot.. the smaller the footage the higher the price... also depends on accessibility.
     
  6. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    its rounded off 3500 square feet
     
  7. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 748

    Based on that sq Id charge right around $2500 (if it was palisade), includes ground prep, cost of sod, and labor.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I don't think sod installs are something to tackle as a learning experience
    for a customer who is not aware that you've never done this before.
     
  9. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I would be in the neighborhood of $2700 or higher... depending on prep and accessibility. Can the sod be strategically placed (when delivered) in the work area or will it need to be humped in a wheelbarrow from front to back...

    It's not too difficult.. snug up your seams and stagger/step you rows. Leave the customer watering instructions.. in writing ;)

    Good luck...
     
  10. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    this is my first time installing but i have watched others put it in and when our house was built i vigorously watched them, i also have a friend that does it and he gives me advice and might stop in. Its not that difficult, i just needed for the labor. And I think I am going to use bluegrass, thats what alot of LCO's use around here. and for instructions i still have the packet they gave us when we moved into our house, fert. plan and all, not tht i follow it for my yard but it does work
     

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