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Giving an Estimate

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by GrahamLandscaping, May 21, 2011.

  1. GrahamLandscaping

    GrahamLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I just recently started my own landscaping business and today I received my first call to give an estimate. I calculated that it would take roughly 3.5 yards of mulch to complete the job so to be safe I told the customer I would use 4 yards. The beds are in pretty bad shape with weeds, rocks and over grown plants. The customer would also like me to edge around all of the beds before I spread the mulch. My question is how much I should charge to complete this job. I do not want to over charge the customer but I also do not want to under charge so I am not making money for the work I am doing. Please help me out to give him a fair price for this job. Thanks!
  2. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,142

    four seventy five
  3. GrahamLandscaping

    GrahamLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Can I get a price break down for that number if possible?

    Mulch here in Ohio generally runs $32 per yard and there is a $20 delivery fee as well.

    I also will be the only one working on this job.
  4. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    Two hundred fifteen
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,142

    160 for mulch. 315 for labor which includes bed prep, weeding, edging, and spreading the mulch
  6. GrahamLandscaping

    GrahamLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the input both of you. Any other suggestions? Like a formula or something that I can use over and over again to make it simple?
  7. GrahamLandscaping

    GrahamLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I did some of my own calculations and this is what I came up with...

    Material: Mulch $32/yard + 25% mark up + 8% tax = $44/yard. 4 yards x $44 = $176
    Labor: 3 hours x $35/hour = $105
    Delivery/dumping fee = $50
    Total cost = $331.00

    Is this a good estimate for this job?
  8. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,142

    Typically I do a hundred bucks a yard installed. I added 75 because you said there were excessive weeds and rocks so I figured a couple hours more than normal. I think three hours to edge weed and spread mulch by yourself is very optimistic especially if the beds are in rough shape. I would plan on a full day and be happy if you finish sooner.
  9. jwsland

    jwsland LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    What he said.
  10. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,050

    My formula is pretty simple. I use $.50 per linear foot for edging around an existing edged out bed and $.75 if it needs bed prep and edging. I charge $75 per yard of hardwood mulch installed, extra if dyed mulch. Any bush trimming I add $7.50 for small items and $15 for large ones including haul off. I will use these numbers for getting my total price but I don't break it down for the customer, its not really something they need to be picking apart. I have found the best tool for bed prep is a mini tiller. Mine is a Stihl FS56 with the trimmer head removed and tiller head attached, a very profitable tool.

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