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Lawn Installation

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by TNT Lawn Maintenance, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. TNT Lawn Maintenance

    TNT Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Just got asked to install a lawn for a customer in the spring. Right now im just trying to get a general picture on what to charge. I know that i have to grade the lot then lay seed and hay.

    In general, what do you guys charge per square foot do do this. I ran some numbers and i was planning on charging $500 for .330 acres.

    Also, where do you guys get your hay from, in the past i have gotten it from a family friend who's father in lawn owned a farm, he is no longer related to them so i need a new hay source. I was looking at buying it by the roll but either way is fine with me
  2. rexxxy

    rexxxy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    first of all hay is for horses!
    straw is for seedz!
    aaand if you dont know how to charge for this...you can buy a roll or straw and seed by square footage..so just use that as a high price for materials..cause obviously it will be cheaper to doit the amish way no jj.. but the rolls will be a good marker for ya..now you just charge them for labor any extras
  3. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    $500? Have you priced seed? You are way off on your pricing. My guess is that you will lose between $500 and $1000 on this job. Good luck!
  4. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248


    1/3 acre = approx 14,520 sq ft.

    So say 50-60 lbs of seed (depending on other conditions) so if you get good seed you might be in the $120 area depending on the commodities index.

    What is the soil like, you mentioned grading? How much grading? Is topsoil needed, are soil ammendments needed????????

    Also sping is not the best time for a new lawn.

    Lets do this now.....


    $380 left over....gas insurance wear and tear labor profit....

    I never liked straw. Holds too much other crap and you have to clean it up. I am more a fan of topdressing. I have had success with peat moss. If not for anything but the ability to aid in water retention.

    What would I charge? Who knows...if soil is great and needs nothing probably around $1500-2000...

    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    why is spring not a good time for new lawns?..please explain...i do understand not early spring, or in rainy season, but late spring when weather calms a bit gives a long growing season right?................anyways spring is a great time for me to install lawns, and i do use straw as it just rots back in and helps condition the soil and feed the new grass (and whats left gets chopped when its time to cut anyway), and as far as too much junk in it, well you'll have that.....even in grass seed you'll have a certain amount of weed seeds, but as long as you grade right, sow right, water right, and make sure you use the right seed (and good seed, don't skimp here)and starter fertilizer....grass overpowers that junk in no time
  6. TNT Lawn Maintenance

    TNT Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    i guess i should have been more clear.

    The grading will be done when i arrive as the customer has a family friend in the excavating business that is doing it for cheap. All i will have to do is come in, lay the starter fertilizer, seed and STRAW. It will be myself and one other guy on the job and i can anticipate it taking more than three hours for the both of us (6 total man hours). I priced the seed and the total will be about $130.

    So let me get this straight,
    $130 for the seed
    $40 max. to pay my labor help
    $50 for the starter fertilizer
    $50 max for the straw
    $10 for gas

    $280 total, that leaves $220 for my profit

    So how am i not making money??

    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    you're pretty good on that estimate....make sure they rockhound it ..excavaters tend to lay it out, and leave it to the scapers for the rest........(oh i always do add alittle more for aggressive seed, for awsome resullts....you know after all meaning the whole job, you can't go wrong there
  8. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    We do new lawns from seed like the sod farms do. First we kill all of the weeds and grade the area usually by hand. Next we add a top dressing using ComPro or Orgro. We then spread the seed which we rake in using the back of a leaf rake. Finally, we tell the homeowner how to water. We only do this is the fall.

    Straw does not work on residential lawns. It is either put down too thick and the seedling is smothered or to thin and does nothing leaving many bare spots. There are usually too many weed seeds in it as well.
  9. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    Agreed again.

    If you read my reply I said Spring is not the BEST time. I did not say it was a bad time. During spring however you have a lot of competition from weeds and the new lawn has to battle the possiblity of a hot dry summer, especially if planted LATE spring.

    I did not know the seed bed was going to be prepared. I personally would not want to do work on a seed bed I didnt prepare.

    You most likely will have a weed problem. And if you are unfortunate, like many of us in the North east were this past spring, you may have down pours which will wash the seed away.

    That being said you will profit some money. In your equation you did not take into account taxes, insurance etc.

    My advice would be to charge a little bit more.

    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    well in some areas it rains as much if not more in the fall,and some places like here can get early frost especially at night in the fall...and if this happens you think you seen bare spots(what seed dont have time to germinate, or mature fully just rots....and then over seeding ends up looking crappy due to unlevel soil settling, but we could go on forever on this topic especially the part of weed competition, being that weeds you see in the spring actually are weeds that were seeded in the previous summer and fall......so overall weeds will be a problem wherever, or whenever untill smothered out....and most important dont skimp on installing a lawn, or the steps to produce one

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