Pricing rock install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TJLC, Jun 24, 2001.

  1. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    I tried searching but really didn't find what I was looking for, so here goes. I have a landscape job comming up installing white rock. I have never done this before. I have done mulch a few times. My question is: how do you generally price installing rock vs mulch? Is it by the yard or by the hour, or what? I know different areas of the country will vary but a general idea would help. I think it will take 14 yds of rock (from what I measured). Rock seems like a LOT more work than mulch, so I would assume the labor would be higher?. Also do you lay fabric first, then plants or visa versa? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I tried talking her into mulch, but she wants white rock. Thanks again.
  2. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Wow white rock huh? Aren't any pink flamingos or painted tires I hope? I'm sorry couldn't help myself. Price it as a job. You know what the price of the rock is now add your markup. Figure how long it will take you or you and a helper or you and a crew... and add your labor to the stone for a total. If they want it broke downdivide the toal by the yardage and tell them its $xx a yard installed. Hopefully your getting a discount on the rock and the markup is none of their business. I'm guessining somewhere around 16 -17 man hours to install. That ought to spark some conversation.:)
  3. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    What Scl said...Just to add a bit more, if you have done a mulch job, then you probably have a feel for how long it will take to do it with mulch. There is your starting point. How much longer and harder it will be do use stone is hard to figure, but at least you have a starting point. Maybe its woth it to you to price the labor portion at 2x the labor of mulch, maybe more, maybe less.

    Depending on the area, I have layed fabric then plants, or the other way around. Personally, I like to lay the fabric first, then the plants if you are using smaller plants at greater density.

  4. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    Put the plants in first. What if you put fabric in first and then plants. upon more study of the lay out you don't like it and decide to change some locations. Seems to me with fabric there it is more trouble. Plus on big installs it would be almost impossible to keep from getting soil all over the fabric.
  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Fabric first then make slits for plant material. This gives your plants the best protection from sharp rock edges against roots.

    I would not advise using stone arround any plant material, I realize that if someone insists then you do as the customer requests. I would also place a slow release fertilizer when planting.

    Stone gets very hot when in direct sunlight, even white stone, so make certain that your new plantings get some early afternoon water.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L
  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Guys, thanks so much for the replys so far. I'll keep checking back to see if there is any more. Good advise so far. Thanks, again.
  7. rdh

    rdh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    i have stone in my beds about 4"deep of 1 1/4"rocks flowers are doing
    good .
    i like it looks good and easy to blow out grass clippings and leaves.
    those wheel barrels of rocks get pretty heavy.i put fabric down first.
    these rocks look very good. in beds i dont see why i dont see a lot of it. i am noticing it more at restaurants like the drive through
    area where people throw cigarettes that would normally catch mulch on fire.and the cig buts are easy to blow out.
    i got my rocks from a blacktop company so i figurd it like blacktop
    length x width x thickness devided by 162 = tons can haul 4 tons in a
    1 ton dump.
  8. Another way to do it.
    Charge a labor charge per plant, for example $5 for 1gl plant
    To do a 200x200 sq ft area(square or rectangel shape) takes me and another guy about 2 hrs, even slitting for plants.
    I charge $90 per sq yard labor plus 30% mark up for rock.

    Just another thought on how to price. If your using smaller size rock, see if you can rent a rock blower. they work great and are such a lobor saving device, however, better have a strong back.
  9. rdh

    rdh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    are you serious a rock blower.that should come in handy for concrete work to shoot p-gravel(sidewalks driveways basemets)

    never mind you got me.
  10. plow kid

    plow kid Banned
    Posts: 516

    This is a situation where a Bobcat or Dingo would help alot, around here you can rent a dingo for $125 a day.

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