How to price sod install?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by recycledsole, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    Hello gentlemen,
    hope everyone had a good rest this winter. i am getting ready for the spring, and i am wondering how to price sod installation (and removal of existing crap turf). Please help me out. Is it $2/sq ft? I think i can get sod for $.19 or $.29/sq ft.
    Also how do you all price aeration and overseeding?
    Thank you!
    good luck in your next season and bless you and your family.
     
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,761

    How many sf? Hows the access? Can you get the skid steer in there? I pay .31 picked up or .38 deliveted
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  3. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    How I have always done it is depending on square feet for sod/installation. Keep in mind if it is a bigger job like 7.3 pallets needed. Charge for 8 pallets because of cutting and such you will have waste. You don't want to have to eat the waste.

    Also any preparation such as removal of old turf, tilling, topsoil addition, and etc is done on time/material I think it will take. DO stress the importance to the client that they are investing in sod that do it right the first time.

    Have you done sod jobs in the past? If not too many, I would visualize the site and look how much cutting. Is it a weird shape? Have alot of tree rings? How is the access for equipment? Anyways consider the cost of the sod at your cost and use your hourly rate X how much time you feel it would take. Compare it to the sqft rate you are thinking.

    I will tell you I use a per sqft rate but will add some to it depending on the site. I did a hill where I couldn't get a skidsteer in and the sod had to be wheel barrowed from the front of the house. That took A LOT more time, if I just went by my normal rate, I would of lost my tail on it.
     
  4. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    thanks guys,
    never done a sod install before. its approx 1,600 square feet. access is good. wont be using any heavy equip like skid steer. just get it delivered and roll it on!
    thanks
     
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,761

    So how are you removing the existin turf
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  6. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    If you can get $2/sq ft for everything that would be good. I would use a walk behind sod cutter to do the removal.. do not till in the old surface it will only cause problems in the near and far future
     
  7. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    thanks sod works. i was thinking to either use my manual sod cutter with 12" blade or rent a gas powered sod stripper. ill probably rent one for this application. if i dont till the surface wont it be compacted? i should call misutility correct?
    thanks alot
     
  8. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    its def worth it to rent a gas powered sod cutter for.. probably $70 a day I havent rented one for awhile. Strip the top layer and haul that away; and then till the surface of 2-3 inches.
     
  9. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    ok cool thats what i had been taught. thank you sir!
     
  10. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Don't Till?!?! haha that is basic soil prepartion for soil. Best prep is to till and at topsoil on the surface. Smooth the surface well and then lay sod. If I was standing there bidding a job against you and you said to the client tilling the soil is a bad idea. (UNLESS a steep hill or something I would agree) I could be $1000 more on the bid and still win because I would talk circles around you about that simple horribly incorrect professional advice.

    Know your field and best ways of doing a project. Some clients will not pay and will want to cut some corners. BUT make sure you suggest the best way and explain it or another landscaper will come in and put out the problem down the road. Make you look like a moron and take work from you. TRUST me I have done this to many landscapers that didn't know what they were doing. I actually go out to job I want to look for issues with current landscapers and people like myself are dam good at that, you really want to limit it. Sorry about the rant, I was blow away by the above comment.
     

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