Charging for Mulching???

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Lawns By Randy, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981


    Previously you mentioned you spent $190 on MULCH. You billed him $330.

    330 - 190 = $140 for your LABOR/TIME/GAS/TRUCK WEAR, etc.

    You mentioned you spent 8 hours on the job.

    $140/8 = $17.50 per hour...not including GAS/TRUCK WEAR, INSURANCE, etc.

    YOU'LL NEVER STAY IN BUSINESS AT $17.50 an hour!!!!!!!!
    You should shoot for AT LEAST TWICE THAT.....$35 per hour....MINIMUM! Also, if you look at the BUSINESS EXPENSES, you probably made $8/hr. Might as well work for someone at that rate and not have the HEADACHES of owning a business...paperwork, employees, taxes, etc.

    From previous post you mentioned 80 bags...I'm assuming 2cuft bags...that is 160 cuft / 27 ft.yd = 6 yards. $190/6 = $31.66 per yard for product. Unless that was SUPER SPECIAL MULCH (jumps out of bag & lays itself!) you paid TOP DOLLAR for product. You probably could have had a dealer deliver it to the site (NO MILEAGE for YOU) for $20 delivery + $15 to $20/yd = $140 total. Right there is $50 more IN YOUR POCKET! (I buy in BULK at beginning of season and get $10 yd rate.)

    NEVER deal in bagged mulch. Too expensive on a UNIT basis. Figure a BASE RATE (I use $65/yd) for BASE PRODUCT (A mulch). If client wants MORE EXPENSIVE product, THEY PAY MORE!

  2. Lawns By Randy

    Lawns By Randy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    well mike my customer paid the price for the mulch, he paid the same price that I paid at the store, so I wasnt out anything other than time and gas this is what I am trying to get, trying to get back money on my time and diesel spent so I know that there is a formula or some kind of price structure? thanks mike for your help!
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    First quite charging "by the bag". It costs way too much vs. bulk mulch, even if you needed it delivered it would have been cheaper. Get a set price for a yard of mulch in your area, then determine how long it takes you to lay it down. Then charge accordingly. There is a place for bagged mulch, but not at the commercial end of it. We charge for double ground hardwood dark mulch $45.00-$50.00 per yard installed plus delivery which usually runs between $25-$35 per trip. And we charge roughly $15.00 more for the red stuff and $25.00 more for black mulch. I saw a guy in Lowes last year buying 65 bags of red mulch, it came to a huge bill, I think it came to over $400.00 just for bagged mulch. I actually helped him load it up (he was parked right by me) and I told him who I was and what we did. He said his boss wanted this for the front of his store. I gave him a couple of business cards and said if your boss needs anymore work done to give us a call. His boss probably paid twice as much for the total job then if he would have if he hired a pro. :confused:
  4. KCLandscape

    KCLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    I charge 75 per yd for double ground hardwood delivered and installedand nobody bats a eye at it.
    I pay 13.00 /yd for it
    I do have two accounts that are on hills where we have no choice but to use bags. I figure up the price difference between bag vs. bulk and invoice accordingly. I dont like the bagged stuff for the reasons already mentioned but sometimes there is no other way.
  5. WalkerMike98

    WalkerMike98 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    The Difference Is That Your Customer Did Not Pick The Mulch Up. What Is Your Time Worth. You Say Youre Trying To Get Back The Money And Time. You Should Not View It As Getting Back Time But Rather Making A Decent Profit. The Formula Is: Your Time Is Worth Money At Least Mine Is (all Of It). 17.50 An Hour Is Ridiculous. If Your Lucky You Might Have Cleared Just Above Minimum Wage. It Is Imperative That You Know Your Costs And Obviously You Dont.
  6. BCFLawnLandscape

    BCFLawnLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Actually.. My mechanic does show me what he pays for parts... and its usually SKY HIGH! haha!:drinkup:
  7. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    A little harsh there huh? He wouldn't be asking if he knew what he was doing would he? I bet he can spell "bluntly" right though.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    $65 a yard installed for <10 yards more than 10 yards $55 installed.
  9. ArkansasLawns

    ArkansasLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    If you are happy with what you charged then thats Ok. Using bags might have been the way to go. Not enough information to go on.

    What have you learned? Bet your work was something to be proud of.

    These replies are all insightfull and should help you make choices in the furture. Ah, I can remember my first mulch job....just smelling the fresh hardwood....
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Guys,buying mulch by the bag is not a bad thing.First,it takes alot less time to lay mulch by the bag.No shoveling.9 bags of 3cu ft bags is 1 yard.9 bags can be laid in no time.
    Unless you can back your truck or trailer right next to bed,with bulk mulch you have to unload it into a wheelbarrow,cart,or JD Gator.Then you have to shovel it again into the beds.
    Second,less cleanup.No spilled mulch on the drive,lawn,sidewalks,etc.,,
    Third,no dump truck or trailer needed.
    I've laid mulch both ways and by far the easiest method is by the bag.
    We charge $70 per yard installed for under 6 yards and $60 per yard over 6 yards.Price for 1 yard of mulch can be as much as 27.00,but we can lay 4 yards in one hour by the bag with 3 workers(including myself),which comes out to around $55 per hour/per worker.
    Most of our mulch jobs include landscape installs,bed cleanups or shrub trimming.We rarely do just a mulch install.

Share This Page