My sod instal quote was double

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DiscoveryLawn, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I quoted a sod installation the other day on a new construction home. It was a back yard only at 5000 sq. ft. the back 12 feet dropped 5 feet to a storm drain and was 80 feet long, there was half burried buckets sticking out of the ground, huge rocks everywhere, the grade was awful.

    Mr. Prospect, got quotes in the range of $1000.00 to $1200.00 from 2 others. He called and said he really wanted to go with me but couldn't justify paying double. I pointed out the condition of his site and explained that my quote included cleaning up the debris and correcting the grade. I told him to call the other companies back to find out how they were going to prepare the site? If they were just going to bury all that construction debris and lay sod over it, they were not someone he should do business with. I explained that I take great pride in doing my job right the first time and my lawn will still be there down the road while these other guys won't.

    Question? Do you guys think my price was out of line? Don't get me wrong, I am not second guessing my quote. I would give the same price again.
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I am new at this so take my opinion with a rain of salt. I price my sod jobs at $215 per pallet (400 sq ft). The raw sod cost is $70 per pallet. I charge $90 for the sod and $125 for the labor and delivery. That is for a flat to mild grade existing lawn that needs removal of existing weeds and laying of new.

    I know that a homeowner who wants to throw their own pays $125 per pallet just to get the sod delivered, locally.

    I think you quote was probably fine and that the others were just going to throw and let the owner deal with the dead spots and such.

    Some people never learn that the sour taste of poor quality last longer than the sweet incentive of low price.
  3. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    For 5000 sq ft I think you were right on with your price. Esp. if you had to clean some of the property up. Yea you would be high for just throwing it down with no prep work but this doesn't sound like the case to me. Let him get the 1000 buck guy to do it and then he'll call you and get you to fix it right. Happens to me all too many times. Heck I might as well start a landscaping RE- construction service!
  4. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    Did you see the other bids, or do you suppose that the guy was lowballing you to try to get you to lower your price?
  5. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,280

    We charge 32 cents per sqft, so 5000 sqft equal $ 1600, and that means the lot is totally clean of stuff or debris. Charging extra on cleaning up lots, and prepping with top soil. You price is fine and on the spot. I have seen many LCO laying sods over debris and lawns suffer consequently months later. You'd better start off with right way of doing business.
  6. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Hosejockey, I did not see the other bids, but I get the impression this guy is on the level. I can usually tell when I am being haggled with. I know one of the companies he got a quote from and they are very cheap and so is their quality of work. I hate having to maintain their sod jobs because there is always some major problem with the lawn for years after and the customer never believes that it is the result of poor soil prep and inproper installation. They always think that it must be something I did because "it looked fine until now".

    I can not tell Mr. Prospect this because I do not want to start bashing other companies.
  7. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 819

    5000 square ft without prep is $2500.00 you guys should be charing no less then $.50 a sq ft

  8. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    My quote was $2125.00 and I felt like I was giving him a great deal.

    Landscapingpoolguy, how much do you pay for sod? I pay .175 per s.f. I charged .425 per s.f. on this and that was being generous considering the conditions. However we usually charge .35 per s.f on an average install and I am usually one of the higher quotes.
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    The quoted price is the price. If the customer wants to spend less, let him go with the other guy. If you drop your price, you're making a mistake.

    My quote for that work would be higher than any of you quoted. Obviously there would be labor for grading and spreading topsoil, whether that was on site or trucked in. That's in addition to the sod and labor.

    Your price is a gift as it is. If they don't like your numbers, let them walk.
  10. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    They will probably just throw the sod down and go.

    When he calls back don't forget to charge extra...a lot extra...for removing the dead sod thrown down by the jokers.


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