30 yards of Black Dyed Mulch

TomH&H

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Coopersburg, PA
Just wanted to run this by some other people before I bring the estimate to the customer... I have a customer (in his 80s) that I have been mowing for since he had to stop for health reasons at the beginning of last season. The mowing is paid for by the son of the homeowner who runs a business out of an office at the house. The homeowner approached me today while I was mowing today and asked me to get a price on weeding and mulching all of his beds. These haven't been touched since I've worked there, but were in good shape when I started last year, so I assume they were maintained in 2017.

I measured everything today, knowing it was a large job, with beds surrounding the house and inside a large fenced in pool area. Total mulched area is 3083 square feet, which at a 3 inch depth is 28.6 yards of mulch. My cost is $28 per yard picked up. I can only fit 4 yards on my trailer, so I have to call for a delivery price to keep me from running back and forth a bunch of times.

Mulch seems to go for about $100 per yard installed around here, although I do get a good amount of people telling me I'm too expensive (Oh well, it's a business not a charity). I do a bunch of mulch installs in the 8-10 yard range, and I have worked for other guys on installs much larger than this one, so this work isn't new to me, just the pricing.

I was thinking about pricing the job at $2500, or just over $85 a yard installed. There are a fair amount of weeds in a few small areas, but overall it is not too bad. Only about 25' on one bed needs to have a new edge made, the remainder either has boards or a good existing edge that just needs to be cleaned up a bit. I was just curious at what point do some of you start discounting mulch for big jobs. I'd never do a 1 yard install for $85, but with this amount, I can handle the prep in a few hours myself, and I can get plenty of help with this job, pay them, pay myself, and still make a profit.

If this was just a random caller I wouldn't hesitate to price it high and see if they take it. In this case, it's a current customer who is happy with my other work, but is older, has a wife who is in and out of the hospital, and is the grandfather of someone I have been friends with since the 4th grade, so I want to make sure I'm in the ballpark on this one before bidding it.
 
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OP
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TomH&H

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Coopersburg, PA
You still have time to edit that and add spaces/paragraphs.
Most people won't even bother trying to read a wall of text like that.

Hopefully that isn't viewed as being "mean" by the staff. LOL

Haha, don't worry, the OP doesn't view it as "mean". I hate those long rambling posts and here I made one myself...oops.

Probably too much info, but I was trying to answer all questions up front. This is why I don't usually post questions myself. I broke it into paragraphs for you...
 

hort101

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S.E. New England
Haha, don't worry, the OP doesn't view it as "mean". I hate those long rambling posts and here I made one myself...oops.

Probably too much info, but I was trying to answer all questions up front. This is why I don't usually post questions myself. I broke it into paragraphs for you...
Are these open beds ?
Existing black mulch?
 

hort101

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S.E. New England
There are a few shrubs to work around, but most are pretty easily accessible. All beds have a good base of existing (faded) black mulch.
Imo 3 inches is a bit much especially if going over existing
Deep mulch is good for empty beds to
You could probably use less and give your estimate
He might be surprised no matter what the price is if he was doing it before
 
OP
T

TomH&H

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Coopersburg, PA
Imo 3 inches is a bit much especially if going over existing
Deep mulch is good for empty beds to
You could probably use less and give your estimate
He might be surprised no matter what the price is if he was doing it before
I was thinking the same regarding the depth, but I didn't want to underestimate it. Chances are I can get away with less in many of the areas.

I'm ready for the sticker shock part, It doesn't usually bother me, but I wanted to be pretty close for this customer, so I figured I'd see what someone else was thinking. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Mark Oomkes

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Imo 3 inches is a bit much especially if going over existing
Deep mulch is good for empty beds to
You could probably use less and give your estimate
He might be surprised no matter what the price is if he was doing it before

Especially since ground pallets don't degrade as quickly as hardwood.
 

hort101

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S.E. New England
Especially since ground pallets don't degrade as quickly as hardwood.
Ive had issues here with small properties mulch not breaking down
And previously guys put down standard 2 to three on top and it was suffocating the plants:dizzy:

We usually use pine bark here sometimes the dyed might have more wood in it then bark

Horticulturaly less mulch is better imo
 

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