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I got a call from a lady who said her front yard needs repaired. Apparently the builder sodded the yard and then didnt water it. Now the yard is %95 dead. We need to reseed or resod - the builder is going to reimburse her supposedly. The dead sod is a hard half inch layer that appears difficult to pull up. How would you handle this situation? Should we just kill the little green that is left and sod over the layer? Or cut the sod off the yard? Cutting the sod off would be a significant job and certainly make the project much more expensive. The front yard is flat and around 3300 square feet. How would you handle it and while your at it, how much would you charge?
 

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you're gonna have to get that old stuff off there--you need good soil contact. If you re-seed you'd prob. be OK to aerate REALLY WELL and seed over the old stuff-if you re-sod you're gonna have to take the old stuff off (cut off or scrape with Bobcat). If I were the homeowner I'd want the lawn resodded-that is what she paid for, after all. As far as charging, it's not gonna be cheap-I'd say 5,000+ would be fair. Could be more/less since i haven't seen the job. What kind of grass is it?? I would push to re-sod, though--not to line your pockets more, it's just what the homeowner paid for, that's all. And-I would either work for the homeowner WITH a contract (and deposit) or the contractor obviously with a heftier deposit and a contract as well. Since this is a different kind of job (you're repairing someone elses screw up that the person who screwed up is sapposedly paying you) I would not work without a very specific contract as far as what the job is to entail and how you expect to be paid. I would rather work for the homeowner than the builder, personnally.
 

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I'd rip off all the old/dead sod using a tractor with a with a loader/landscape rake. Then loosen the top 2"-3" of soil and re-seed or sod.

I second the part about dealing with the homeowner. I'd also want atleast a 50% deposit, becasue I can see if the builder doesn't reimburse the homeowner that could hold you up getting paid.
 

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I agree with ripping out old and raking the soil down level. I would also not touch without a contract and explain to the homeowner why they contract is the way it is, due to waiting on the builder to pay and have a clause in the contract about a fee added for every 20 days that pass after completion of the job, I would probably add 10% - 15% kind of a finance charge. Definitely get half up front!
 

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Starting from scratch only way to go especially if you guarentee the work. If 95% is dead, overseeding is a big risk and I would tell her you will give it a shot but can't guarentee anything. Stay out of the middle of this tell the homeowner you are sorry to hear what happened but for you to do the work the agreement will be between you and her and what happens between her and the contractor does not involve you including if she does not get paid.
 
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