How to price sod install?

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

  1. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    your making yourself look a little silly here... when i said don't till the surface I was referring to the old grass and weeds as well. if you look further down in the post I explain remove the top layer with a sod cutter FIRST and THEN till the surface 2-3 inches. Being one of the biggest installers and owing a sod farm in eastern PA I think were on the same page here.
     
  2. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    your making yourself look a little silly here... when i said don't till the surface I was referring to the old grass and weeds as well. if you look further down in the post I explain remove the top layer with a sod cutter FIRST and THEN till the surface 2-3 inches. Being one of the biggest installers and owning a sod farm in eastern PA I think were on the same page here...
     
  3. holmesgts

    holmesgts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    I would say as a landscape professional its your job to go in and hear out what the client wants and then use your professional experience to provide plan for them to best achieve there goals while keeping both quality and cost in mind. I don't divulge much of my time looking for reasons to throw the previous bidder or landscape provider under the bus. Not to say that it doesn't work, but clients that feed in to that sort of energy, in due time, are likely to yank the rug from under your feet on account of the next yahoo that comes down the pike and does the same B.S. to you.
     
  4. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Just as the other guy said read the post. All I said to do is explain to the client the best way to do things. They "may want to cut corners" so do as they wish BUT atleast they are informed so when the next landscaper comes by saying your sod looks like crap. Then they tell your client "You got screwed by "your company name" and takes work from you. If they don't get prefect results they understand when the company comes up because they KNEW they were doing it a cheaper way. Business 101 tell the client what to expect. That was my point, you can make me out to be a jerk or take the advice and learn from it. Because many may try to take the "high horse" on this forum but if you drive by a misdone job and see an opportunity you are stupid for not taking it. First the clients gets what they want like they should and you are more successful.

    Also you said till 2 or 3 inches? 6" should be a minimum as you should know as a sod farmer and biggest installer. When you till you can create a till pan (thicker soil layer that roots have problems going through especially herbacious plants like grass) So most of your roots for grass are 2" - 4" do you want to till and create a till pan right in the middle of that range by only doing 2"-3" or 6"+ where it will not affect?
     
  5. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    When we strip our top layer we typically go down 2-3 inches. After you add your topsoil of 2-3 inches after that and till that with the old soil, 3+3=6. Not sure where your from but our sod has at least an inch of topsoil on the sod as well so all in all any "roots" that are left have no chance in coming up and affecting the surface.
     
  6. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Sorry for the comment about "as you should know as a sod farmer and biggest installer" but you know I could of been a jerk and flashed my top level education and experience, whats the point? Trying to be little others? As you said, made yourself look silly. Don't like my advice? Call somewhere like Virginia Tech with one of the best turf programs in the nation explain both my method and yours, see how they will say well yours is ok but the other is better. I am just tried of hearing from people how they paid 10k for installation and now down the road they look like crap because they were told things were being done right and they weren't done the best way. But they paid for the best way. Or they were not informed of opinions that could give them better results. As a professional landscaper, I believe its our duties not only to know the best ways available but to inform the clients about their decisions. If they choose to go a different route and cut some corners, then atleast they know what to expect. If you don't agree with that statement, I feel sorry for your clients.

    I am done on my rant, I will admit I shouldn't of taken a shot but I don't regret it because hopefully my points will hit home even with "Biggest installer in eastern PA"
     
  7. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Ofcourse adding topsoil would help with the soil pan issue. But that isn't what you told this gentleman to do. You said strip off the old and till 2-3", nothing about adding soil.

    Anyways, I don't care how you say it. There is no way around tilling deeper is better.
     
  8. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Also roots coming up and affecting the surface? Soil pan don't deflect roots up.... It inhibits their grown down. While most roots are in the top 2-4" there are roots that go deeper and do have a drought resistant lawn. You want to encourage deep roots not inhibit them. Sorry I am just blow away that who you say you are and you are recommending cutting corners.
     
  9. sodworksllc

    sodworksllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Thats fine I understand your point of cutting corners, etc and i've dealt with other landscapers who have done the same thing your explaining and I understand. If you want to take some time and check out some pictures on my website of installs i've done months and years after i installed with no herbicide treatments thats fine, ill also take the time to ask Penn State University as well because I must have skipped that chapter. Im not on a high horse like some others are on this forum but im making my point this is not my first rodeo. If I was doing something wrong I would hope i realized it by now. Thanks for the concern.
     
  10. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Ok buddy. Check mine out too and take a look at the short bio on myself. You know what I can look at hand picked pictures on a website and what will that prove? You can cut corners and still have a decent job but my point as I said many times already. Recommend the clients the best way possible, which I don't care if its Penn State or Virginia Tech where I hold my degree from (By the way better school haha). They will tell you having a shallow soil pan will effect grass. Maybe not kill it or what not.

    Best test, you have a sod farm. Prep with only scratching the surface (2-3") and add 2" of top soil then sod
    THEN till 6" add 2" of top soil then sod.

    Which will be healthier, more drought resistent, and etc. I think you will be surprised by how you are talking on here at the difference.
     

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