help pricing sod and rock removal job

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by connorfaber91, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. connorfaber91

    connorfaber91 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I usually don't get involved with these jobs but one of my customers asked me to lay sod for him in place of what used to be one of those playground things for kids. This was a 550 sq. ft. area with pea gravel spread 3 inches deep. Before I put down the sod I had to remove the pea gravel and brick siding, there was about 5 cubic yards or 7.5 tons of gravel (if 1 cubic yard is equal to 1.4 tons). It took me and one of my guys 5 hours to remove the gravel and the brick siding. To haul this gravel to the dump it took me 3 loads and the dump was 5 miles away. Once the gravel was all out I tilled up all 550 sq. ft. which took me one hour. I then layed down the 550 sq. ft. of sod which took me 2-3 hours. I have never done a job like this before so I dont have much of an idea how to establish my prices.

    My questions are:
    1. What should I charge for removing the pea gravel and brick siding? Should I price this by the hour or cubic yard?

    2. How should I determine my haul fee to the dump?

    3. What should I charge for my 1 hour labor of tilling?

    4. Should I price laying sod by the hour or Sq. Ft. and what should my rate be?


    I have spent a lot of time researching trying to figure out a price but cant find the info I need so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.Thanks
     
  2. Barrett Landscaping

    Barrett Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,600

    in reality you should have discussed price beforehand. sounds like a job that i wouldnt even touch for less than $1300
     
  3. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Here's how I would price it- after the fact, and probably on an estimate (assuming my numbers were dead on, using yours...)

    Group all the labor hours up- it doesn't matter what you are exactly doing...you're still on the customer's job.

    Add dump fees (say, 30.00 each)

    Price out the sod. That sod for me would be billed at about 4.00 per roll (9 sq ft)

    810.00 labor (prob on the low end of actual hours tho...)
    90.00 dump fees
    248.00 sod

    around 1148.00, two man crew
     
  4. connorfaber91

    connorfaber91 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Here's how I would price it- after the fact, and probably on an estimate (assuming my numbers were dead on, using yours...)

    Group all the labor hours up- it doesn't matter what you are exactly doing...you're still on the customer's job.

    Add dump fees (say, 30.00 each)

    Price out the sod. That sod for me would be billed at about 4.00 per roll (9 sq ft)

    810.00 labor (prob on the low end of actual hours tho...)
    90.00 dump fees
    248.00 sod

    around 1148.00, two man crew
    __________________

    Thank you for the input. Does the 90.00 dump fee include hauling it away? If not what is a fair price for a haul to the dump? The dump is 5 miles away. Also, what is your hourly rate for this job.
     
  5. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Posts: 1,267

    Yup I agree with perfect in reality that job will be priced lower than you actually took just becasue things like the sod were laid a little slower than should have been. That sod would have took about 30 minutes for 2 people to lay especially since from the sounds of it there wouldnt be much cutting.

    We strive to get $0.85/sqft of sod installed. Then Just bill a fair hourly rate for the stone removal, and time to dump the stone. I know there are people on here who say its $60-70 per man hour minimum, but i personally believe thats high and many of them dont actually sit down a figure out there true cost of business, some do, and yes have to work at those rates, but many truely dont. I read somewhere that the average small business (which almost everyone on this site is a true small business) is anywhere from $20-30 per hour, based on the size of your operation. A good profit margin is anywhere from 50-75%. My cob is $25.00 per hour, and i try to always strive for anywhere from $37.50 to $40.00 per hour for regular labor rates on a job like that.

    for our dumping fees we markup the cost of the dump fee 20%, we pay $10.95/yard for brush, so we charge $13.00 per yard for it. Then I generally figure since we hand unload our trucks, 5 minutes per yard of debris dumped, so add in another $3-4/yard. Then I have to figure in travel time. its about 15 minutes there and back to dump so I usually add in about another $2.00 per yard to include travel time (we wont go to the dump for just 1 yard either. I havent dumped stone before so I dont know what it would be, but I would imagine more, and your labor to unload will be more too.

    So for me
    Labor (To remove and load stone, and then prepping for sod) 11 hours: $412.50-440
    Disposal of Stone 5 yards (Im guessing $35-40/yd): So $175-200
    Sod: 550sqft @ $0.85/sqft: 467.50

    Total: 1055-1107.50
     

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