help from you seasoned experts

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Flipper, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Flipper

    Flipper LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Posts: 17

    This is my first season in the biz. My first estimate is a REALLY big one. About three thousand dollars in plants and bushes, and I figure about 30 man hours labor. They want a whole lot of stuff done. I'll be a lucky sucker if I bid this one right. I think I have a good bead on it though from reading so much on here.

    The second estimate is a complete re-seeding of an already established lawn. She wants the whole lawn tilled up, and reseeded. ( I don't know yet why the lawn is bad - but will have to find out so it does not happen again) . The lawn is approx 1/2 acre, she says.

    --Heres what I need help with. This is hard to estimate cause I've never done this before. I figure the best way to till the yard is with a tractor and tiller attachment. ( Anything better?) Then rake out, smooth, spread seed, cover with straw, and water. And of course set the spreader to the recommended setting for the seed. Does this sound about right?

    So, in gereral, can you well seasoned experts give me a guesstimate on the labor to charge for this. I understand I have to include my expences and materials. I just have no idea how long this should take.

    Thanks alot !!!
     
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    First off never take anyones word on measurements, do it your self! Next take soil samples and tissue samples and find out whats wrong with the yard. Then do what is nessary to fix the problems.
     
  3. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Posts: 181

    How long it will take to prep a lawn depends on several things. What type of soil, for starters, can make a big difference in prep time. Where i'm at, on one side of the city it's all clay and rocks( can be pretty rough). On the other side its real sandy( easy prep ). A tiller will work, if that's all you have. They can make for alot of hand raking. A better choice would be a landscape rake of some type( alot of people like the "Harly" rake). I use a Rotadairon. It's like a tiller, but buries rocks, grass, etc. as you go. I also has a "blade" to smooth things out, and a roller to firm things up so it's ready to seed. Not much hand raking at all, thus saving alot of time!
    I, personally charge by the hour for prep work. I also have a minimum charge to get started. I will give the customer an estimate of time though.
     
  4. Flipper

    Flipper LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Posts: 17

    Thanks for the post, but I wasn't about to make an estimate on her word. I only want a reference to go by which is 1/2 acre. If it is in fact a 1/4 acre I can adjust. If it is 3/4 I can adjust.

    I want an estimate on time to till 1/2 acre, thats about it. I will take care of the soil condition, when the time comes, first I have to have my marbles together for the estimate.
     
  5. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Posts: 181

    I would say time to prep 1/2 acre would be about 4 hrs. around here.
     
  6. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    What I get might not be the same as what you need to get, the last job we bid seeding on was a 20 acre park ( http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26882 )
    we bid it at $2950 per acre but that includes water and maintance for 60 day.

    I don't bid prep work (tractor or skid steer) by the hour I give them one price for all of our services that are needed in a lump sum (line item) That way our profit is built in to the whole job, and the customer doesn't get any suprises.
     
  7. DEERETEE

    DEERETEE LawnSite Member
    from CHICAGO
    Posts: 15

    soil test and ammend as suggested. i would try to get customer to allow you to areate lawn heavily. drag lawn to breakup and spread plugs. overseed and keep the water on when you start to see some hairs. if anything is still alive in the conditions you mentioned it must be hardy, why kill it .also will act as a good nurser crop. oh! first cut lawn as low as the mower will go. good luck.
     
  8. DEERETEE

    DEERETEE LawnSite Member
    from CHICAGO
    Posts: 15

    soil test and ammend as suggested. i would try to get customer to allow you to areate lawn heavily. drag lawn to breakup and spread plugs. overseed and keep the water on when you start to see some hairs. if anything is still alive in the conditions you mentioned it must be hardy, why kill it .also will act as a good nurser crop. oh! first cut lawn as low as the mower will go. good luck.
     

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