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How much to charge for seeding a lawn?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ConnorMike, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. ConnorMike

    ConnorMike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    One of my customers wants me to lay grass seed. I would like to know if there is a formula per sq foot? If you have any suggestions on what sort of grass to lay, half of the bare lawn is shady part of the day. I would like to impress this customer, all suggestions are welcome. Thank you LS!
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,294

    A tall fescue, KBG, rye mix @ 6 Lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. for bare ground. 3 Lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. for overseeding.
  3. ConnorMike

    ConnorMike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Any thoughts on $ per sq ft?
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If you want to do the job right and take the time to make it happen phenomenally start the project 2 weeks ago...

    You guys might have more time, so the first thing that is needed is a good sedbed and coming up with the most effective way of getting it...
    Does it have a good brown mulch base or is dirt showing? Is it a layer of 'real thatch' over the clay? How large is the lawn?

    What I do with overseeding is rough up the surface with a Mantis, weasel or even aerate large open bare spots over and over, if I'm aerating anyways... then put down the seed and cover with compost, raking it all smooth with a metal broom rake...

    If the area is too large slit seed and topdress with compost, just be sure to put shade seed in the shade area and sunny seed in the sun area... compost is going to be your show stopper for seeding...

    But if the lawn is thin becuz of poor cultural practices, the seed may not do as expected, because it will not happily germinate in a hostile environment... So check the soil and see if there are clues as to why the turf is thin to begin with...

    Remember, there is no magic formula to making a lawn perfect, but knowing what it needs and when...
  5. ConnorMike

    ConnorMike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    The whole property has dirt showing reason being, the back yard was covered with trees, but he recently had most of em cut down so he now has much more sunlight. The lawn is 6800 sq ft. What do you charge per sq foot for seed and compost?
  6. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    I'm sorry guys but this just eats me up. Why do people come on here asking, "How much do I charge?" Why can't anyone figure out what their costs are and how much they want to make? Do a little research from your own records. It's not that hard. It's called being a businessman. How do we know what your costs are? I may be able to get the seed cheaper and be able to get $60.00 per hour for labor while someone else, in their area pays more or less for seed because they need warm season grasses and only be able to get $45.00 per hour in their area because that's what their market will bear. Also, we can't see the property so we can't tell what all needs to be done. What do the soil tests show? Does the property need graded? How many obstacles? There's just too many variables. Most of us had to take losses at first because that is the price of learning. Now if you were to ask for the process of doing a job, well, that's legitimate. But to ask, "How much do I charge?", well, I don't think you can get an accurate assessment from any of us. I hope I'm not sounding too hard but LCO's need to learn how to run the financials of their own business or hire a site consultant. That's why there are so many lowballers out there who go out of business after 1 year.

  7. if you charge $.35 per square foot you should be good.
  8. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    What is that $0.35 per square foot based on??? :confused:
    Is he just going to just throw some seed on the ground and hope it grows? Is he going to prep the soil first? That's $2380 before tax. is the customer expecting a full renovation?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  9. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    That's why it's hard to give pricing help. We get numbers out there that are all over the place. We can't just throw numbers out there willy nilly. That doesn't help the op one bit. Now if he could tell us just what the job entails, what the equipment, insurance, materials and cost of doing business such as employees, and what he wants to make profit, after taxes, then we could give him an approximate price. But if he had that information he wouldn't need our advice would he? Before you give pricing advice, think about what we have to do to price our own projects. Instead of just throwing numbers out there, help the guy learn how to do it himself. What JB1 said doesn't help the op at all.

    Posts: 1,343

    Materials cost + labor cost+ operating costs+ profit on materials and labor equals what you want to charge that customer for work performed. You will have varying costs do to your unique total business costs. Good luck.
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