1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Is this estimate too high?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by bzmillerboy, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. bzmillerboy

    bzmillerboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I am just getting into the lawn care business and one of my first jobs I landed (or hope to land) is a huge mulch and spring cleaning at a residence.

    I measured all his mulch beds and came out to 9558 square feet (I know it's a triple lot and huge house). At 2" dept I figured about 59 yards - 9 yards for plants and rocks, so 50 yards to lay. He wanted 708 feet re-edged and I needed to cut down all the dead flowers and shrubs.

    After sending this to him he came back and felt it was too steep? I'm in KY.


    Black Dye Mulch ($35.50 per yard, delivery included) 50 yards $1,775.00

    TOTAL MATERIALS: $1,775.00

    Spring Clean-Up: ($35 per hour) 20 hrs $700.00
    Cut dead landscaping and dispose
    Pickup and dispose of garbage
    Pickup and dispose of debris and tree limbs
    Vacuum lawn and dispose of leaves
    Clean up and rebuild rock beds
    Re-Edge Mulch Beds ($.80 a foot, includes final trimming) 708 feet $566.40
    Edging Volume Discount (-$.30 a foot) -$212.40
    Lay Mulch ($35 per yard) 50 yards $1,750.00
    Lay Mulch Volume Discount (-$5.00 a yard) -$250.00

    TOTAL LABOR: $1,854.00

    TOTAL ESTIMATE $3,629.00
  2. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 681

    I ran my numbers and your in the middle depending on the job and what other work you do for him/her. Not too bad but I am not sure of your area and labor seems a bit low.
  3. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    No I dont think its too steep, 35 per hour wow ill charge 65 and up per hour, think dollar a min, if you are just starting out and have no over head, ask him what he had in mind for a price, it should be around if not more then what your charging him. then re figure your price and see if you can cut some off, take his numbers and tell him youll get back to him within 24
  4. grasschopperofchicago

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    actually you might be a bit high, and I will probably get feedback on this howerver...you have a 50 yard mulch job, you are overpaying for it by nearly $10 a yard it appears and then doubling it from there...with your labor...I get mulch for $19@yard...but average is about $21-25 here and then generally doubled...so for me it is $38x your time and yardage, but average is $23x yardage and doubled for labor..you are at $1500 to lay mulch and $1750 to buy it...where average would be $2300 for both....just my thoughts and I don't know what the scenerio is for property...I think you have to figure time on this at this point versus black and white math!
  5. grasschopperofchicago

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    but he is overpaying for the mulch, I and most generally double mulch cost for the purpose of laying it...don't know but if I get it for $23..I charge $50 roughly for mulch and labor, he is overpaying and then passing that on to customer, If I had a 50 yard job at $19 a yard for the mulch I am at $2k or so with the price where he is at $3250...and I have equipment to move it to location..front/back and so forth...
  6. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    Yeh he is over paying for mulch, but, I get mulch at 18 - 25 per yard, but I charge 75 per to install, A normal buisness man takes his cost price, then sells it for list and then adds on what he or she wants to install. If your not making money on the product and the install. I dont know

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I'd see what sort of price I could get for having the mulch blown in. 50 yards is a lot if you're working solo, which I'm assuming since you say you just started. Get a price for that then mark it up a little. Then you just need to take care of the cleanup part of things. Also if you're solo, 50 yards will start to fatigue you, no telling how long it'll actually take you to do.
  8. btammo

    btammo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    you arent high. It is lower than i would bid.
  9. bzmillerboy

    bzmillerboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Thanks everyone for all your feedback!

    I'm actually getting the mulch for $28 a yard but charging retail price of $32 plus $3.50 per yard to delivery. I just moved the numbers around for the client so my labor cost didn't look so high.

    So it really looks like this per yard:
    Mulch: $28
    Delivery: $3.50
    Labor: $35


    And for this guy I'm even knocking off $5 a yard because the volume is so high, I'll save a lot of time driving from site to site.

    Thanks Hoolie, yeah I knew right off the bat this was too big for me to do myself so I have a few buddies lined up to help out at $15 an hour. I'm hoping one man can do 1.5-2 yards an hour.

    I my look into getting it blown but the customer wants a really fine high quality dyed mulch and from what I understand they only blow bark mulch?
  10. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 995

    Your paying your buddies $15.00 an hour?? Wow my buddies aren't worth $5.00...hahha

Share This Page