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Advice on minimum pirce for sod and topdressing

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by landscaper22, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,831

    Hey, I am sure it has been talked about before, but just looking for quick advice. I have laid plenty of sod in my career, but have not done much in the way of top dressing. I can price a sod job, but most jobs I have done have been between 10-20 pallets. Looking to see your minimum for very small jobs. I am trying to be fair to myself and to the customer. But of course showing up and planning are a big part of the job, just as with mowing, we set minimums.

    FIrst question. How much would you charge for 1 pallet with prep, labor and price of sod and delivery of the sod. I am going to till 500 st. ft, then rake it out and then have a pallet delivered and install it? I could save by getting the sod in my truck, but I really don't like doing that with the weight and wear on my truck. I will be puting out St. Augistine. I think they quoted me $170 for the sod and $75 deilvery if they deliver.

    Second Question: What is fair on aprx 1/2 ton of top dressing if I pick it up and wheel barrow it around a yard to fill in bad spots etc? I should have about $20 invested in the dirt. I have myself and one employee. I am thinking $200, but I don't feel I will make much at that price, considering we will probably still kill half a day and I have a helper.

    I am in the southeast. I don't generally ask for price advice, but figured I would make sure I am making something and not too high for the customer. Thanks in advance.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,575

    No actual experience--however--tilling up sod is a lot of work and getting rid of all the clumps of broken sod is a huge job--if that was your plan.
    Is there a way to rent a sod-cutter to remove the old sod? (After cutting short and killing it with Roundup?)
    And try to avoid the topdressing unless the customer insists. Heavy work--very labor intensive--for not much benefit.
    Use a bag of topsoil to fill in any cracks and crevices in the new St Auggie.
  3. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,710

    What's the hang up? Charge your hourly labor rate by how ever long you think you'll be there. Add in any material, mark up, delivery, and dump fees.

    It's a basic labor job don't over think it.
  4. OP

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,831

    Yeah I get it, my main thought was it's about like a minimum on a yard. You have to start somewhere and showing up, planning etc is half the job. Something that small won't take long, but still, like delivery for instance...I would rather not put that much weight in my truck. So, it would really cost the same to deliver a truck load as it is for one pallet. I'm not trying to overthink so much as I know it would sound very expensive for one pallet. We worked it out. I will come out okay.
  5. OP

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,831

    Yeah I am used to doing sod jobs, just not this small. I am doing a soil sample. I really don't have anything to cut out so no need in getting a sod cutter. The grass died because of a fungus. I am going to till it up and rake out what little grass/weed clumps is left, but honestly there probably won't be much to rake out. I was mainly asking as I feel showing up, planning etc are a big part of the job. I still have to do soil sample, still have to drag the tiller out, still have to deal with getting the sod, and on and on. It is just easier to absorb the cost of the planning and running around when you have a larger job. Now my biggest concern is if the sod company will be shut down before we can get the job done. I turned the soil sample in a couple of days ago.
  6. Keith4216

    Keith4216 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    7-800 for me to do what you describe.

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,032

    Well when you include tilling then bringing in soil - I’d just cover the whole thing w new soil to be safe ... that’s the high end of pricing imo which is $3 per sq ft to keep it simple. I had to rip up 500sq ft of zoysia and ended up w a few tons of material to haul away. So in that case the tilling and soil/grass removal alone was worth $500.
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.

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