Customer wants a new lawn - Help

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Joana Williams, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Joana Williams

    Joana Williams LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    The property is roughly 4k sqft of grass.

    It is extremely patchy and has a lot of crabgrass.

    The client has added sand in areas and thrown seed ontop trying to get grass to grow in July. Ive told them to watch until September/October and just let us do it correctly.

    They currently do not have sprinklers so I am also trying to convince them to get them installed.

    Is there any suggestions to get this done without breaking their wallets? I know they wont pay for a sod install.

    Process:

    Should we just mow it @ 1".
    Dethatch / Aerate.
    Add top soil to level some areas.
    Cut out the areas where they added sand and then add top soil / compost mix
    Overseed
    Then apply a pre emergent in March next season?

    Area: New York / Long Island

    Prices will be helpful too!
     
  2. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    First you need to get rid of the crabgrass, as a former New Yorker,(Norwich) I’m not sure what your allowed to use anymore!

    I would topdress the entire lawn, overseed and use a roller to make sure the seed is secure! I’m assuming your seeding KBG, but it’s been awhile since I’ve lived in ny!

    You and I know it needs to be watered,I’m not sure if the owners will do that on their own!

    It seems from re reading your post, they are price sensitive or are unaware of the cost it takes to do this correctly! I can’t give you a price, have no idea of what your material cost is! You have more labor in this type of job, I’m not sure your clients understand this! Try to educate them on it, but if they are looking for cheap, I’d walk because they will make your life miserable with phone calls! Trust me, been down that road as a much younger landscaper!
     
    Greencuts518 likes this.
  3. hal

    hal LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,846

    Aerate the living "H" out of it, add organic soil, mushroom soil, manure or any good, rich soil. But do what Jeff said get rid of the crabgrass first.
     
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.
  4. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    Thanks@hal, that is some great advice, good nutrients in that mix you gave them!
     
  5. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    A soil test would be your first step... everyone’s just guessing until then.
     
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.
  6. Hayduke

    Hayduke LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 174

    New lawns are easy money, but not quick easy money. Lots of time and labor if you are doing it right. If the existing is more than 30% weeds, it probably needs a whole re-do, renovation will only be a slightly expensive temporary fix. If you are already worried about breaking their wallets and they are not interested in doing a re-sod or re-do of the soil and re-seed the right way, I'd walk away. People just don't understand that good grass isn't cheap.
     
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.
  7. GrassManKzoo

    GrassManKzoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Kalamazoo, MI
    Messages: 4,908

    As for not having irrigation.... these situations we will set up a spigot timer and run hoses and sprinklers (for an additional “rental” fee)
     
    Jeff@diyokc and hort101 like this.
  8. brichter14

    brichter14 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,134

    Its only 4000 sq feet. Mow it to 1” Hit it with roundup.

    Rent a dingo with a harley rake and in two weeks grind it out and level it. Seed/fert/straw. Leave a spigot timer on two tripod sprinklers. This isnt rocket science. Its grass.
     
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.
  9. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    If you say so
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,165

    Joana,
    I think you are on the right track. Correct the cause of the problem--is there a shade problem? Set up a battery-operated sprinkler timer first. Ignore the sand.
    My suggestions:

    And yes, cut very short. Add plenty of starter fertilizer. Apply more fertilizer at week 3 and 6.
    Spread a top-quality perennial rye. Use 10 pounds of seed per thousand sqft--or more --because conditions are not ideal. Water for 20 minutes to wash the seed down to the soil level.
    As you said, now use a dethatcher. Go over it twice to mix the seed and fert into the top half-inch of the soil. Leave the dead grass--it will have to act as mulch or straw. Water heavily.
    Water every day for 30 days.
    Hurry--do this while the soil temps are still warm. Daytime air temp highs of 80 are about right.
    Apply crabgrass control and control the broadleafs in the spring.
    Don't guarantee anything--no free callbacks. Read their water meter--so they cannot exaggerate how much water they used. At least, insist on seeing their water bill for the month.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.

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