Sod, compost, and topsoil....

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by JShe8918, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Well since business had dropped off I took on a part time job to fill the hours. It is only Feb. and this year looks to be FAR better than the last. I have recieved 4 clients contact me in the past week and a half with decent sized jobs. This being said I am faced with a problem. Non of my past employees are able to work because they have found other jobs. I have a job located here in town that is going to be a pain. This home is built on a slope and the front yard is beginning to wash where the centipede had gotten thin. The square footage is 5753. It is going to need 2-3" of top soil in many spots, BUT the worst needs around 8-10" of topsoil. Look at my bid and tell me what you think.

    day one & part of day two:

    2 men-operator and helper
    spread soil and level
    8hrs.

    day two & maybe part of day three:

    4 men
    Finish prep. work
    lay sod, staple sod, and roll area
    10hrs

    Materials-$2,929.86
    Labor-$1,960
    Profit-$1,564.76
    Total-6,454.62

    It seems to cheap to me. I would feel more comforatable around the $8,000 mark. I know it is unethical, but i know how a company 30 miles from me bids and he takes his materials cost and multiplies it by 3.5! If he were to bid the job it would be around $10,254.51. He has more over head but i don't see how that amount is feasable....
     
  2. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    If you mean "operator" of a skidloader then I think 4 men could knock this out in a day.
     
  3. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Its a kubota with a bucket. Its one size larger than the smallest tractor they have if I'm not mistaken. Really? I wasbt expecting that by anymeans. We double checked calculations on the amount of soil needed today and it is roughly 20 yards of compost and 60 yards of topsoil that has to be brought in. I would love to be able to install everything in a day!
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  4. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    That's a lot of material. Hopefully your good on a machine and especially back dragging.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    I would double check my measurements... it seems as though from your description that 60 yds of dirt has washed away from a previously established area... 60 yds of material on 6k of lawn is a lot...
    R U filling in the valley?
     
  6. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Pricing I shouldn't have asked. Instead does everyone think the man hours are close to accurate for laying 6000 sq ft.

    I agree! That is what i thought myself. The vast majority of it needs an average of 6-8" of soil needed. I am afraid that it will be to much material. I am going to double check everything again. While i am there I am going to snap a few photo's and upload them. Thanx everyone.
     
  7. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    Just a suggestion is to test the existing soil and lime and fertilize to correct then cover lightly with compost then top with a few inches of topsoil. The idea is that over time the existing soil will become more productive so you won't need 6-8 inches of new soil.
     
  8. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Very good suggestion! I will most certainly be doing something of that nature on my other sod jobs. I would do that on this one but I'm afraid it would create and impermeable hard pan. The native soil is red clay. Would your recommended process work effectively on this type of soil?
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  9. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    I haven't worked on red clay. I assume you can make it productive enough to grow grass.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    There is only one acceptable way of finishing clay soils, and smoothing with heavy equipment isn't one.

    The last step, when you have your final grade, is to till in compost/sandy loam... till it as deeply as possible, because your hard pan will be at bottom of your tilled area...

    Don't do anything with it when it is wet...
     

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