Did I make out okay with this mulch job?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by the undergraduate, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. the undergraduate

    the undergraduate LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Okay, I just finished putting down 60 yards of mulch on a 1.15 acre property with beds surrounding the perimeter of the lot, three buildings, a driveway, and other various beds around the property. The mulch was dumped (four loads) at a somewhat central location. About half of the beds were a PITA, about half were fairly open. The customer provided the mulch. I charged hourly and the bill worked out to $900.00 exactly. I used 6 and 12cuft wheelbarrows, various forks, and rakes, and did a professional job. Approximately 32 hours over two weeks (I'm solo).

    I started in November (yeah, leaves!) and this was actually my first customer. Do you think I made out okay? Could I have charged more?
  2. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    NO :nono: , really thats bad, really bad.....Only $15 per yard.....

    First of all, you should never let the customer purchase the material.....You lost out on any profit by allowing them to do that.....Sorry if I sound harsh, but you really didnt make any money, especially if you had to pay your help....good luck next time!!!!
  3. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    You made $28.12 per hour. Question is are you happy with it? You could have gotten a lot more if you bought the material. Mark up the material and add your labor rate per yard next time and you will make more. Did you leave money on the table? Yes, but you could have done worse. We always charge atleast $30 per yard on top of our markup on material and a delivery charge.
    Even if it cost you say $75 to get it delevered by the mulch company then you mark it up cuz you took your time to make the phone call. Every move you make you should be making money and charging for it. Hell, If I'm charging by the hour on a trimming job and the homeowner comes out and talks to me over a water or beer I'm charging them to BS with me while I drink their beer.
  4. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    well thats only $28.13 per hour since you had little to no overhead it wasn't bad but I would suggest a higher rate if you want to see future growth. when you start paying fuel, insurance, equipment fees, labor, rent, advertisement, etc... you need to find out what you are paying out per hour add that what you need to make per hour and thats what you charge
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We charge the customer a flat fee per yard of mulch. We will not do a job if they supply the mulch. So you generated approximately 28 per hour less multiple trips over two weeks. You are lucky if you see 20/hr.

    We always figure one man hour per yard of mulch and figure about 30-40 per hour. When in fact it probably takes us less than 15 minutes to distribute one yard of mulch. For a 60 yard job (no materials) I'd say between 1800 & 2400.

    Actually, with material that job should be around 3600 bucks. With material costing around 800 bucks.
  6. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    I pay $25 per yard for Mulch, and charge $65....that only includes the mulch, clean-out is $125, $1.25 per foot for trenching, delivery $75 depend on distance, and extra for weed block if they choose.....Now one thing I do include is trimming all Trees and Shrubs....need my work to look good.....

    60 yards = $25per yard = $1500 - my cost
    60 yards = $65per yard = $3900 - Install Cost
    Clean out =$125
    Trenching = 4000 sq ft give or take = Flat Rate - $300 depending on how much would be trenched
    Delivery = $75 - Would have it delivered for free, anything over 15 yards I have delivered on site......

    Total cost $5900 Would have been my total cost.....minus the $1500 it cost for the mulch....Profit would be $4400.....so you only lost out on $4000 bucks....;)

    I never charge by the hour.....just have flat rates.....easier and less of a headache trying to explain hourly charges billed...
  7. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    What else do you charge at a flat rate?
  8. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    I have set prices for just about everything....Pinestraw - $6.50 per bale....Lava Rocks $230 per ton, pea gravel and Egg Rock $150 per ton....Flowers, $30 per flat....
  9. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Oh I meant like aeration, overseeding, mowing, edging, weeding, pruning
  10. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    What you guys are forgetting about is the price you charge is not only for your labor, but your professional infrastructure. I would have charged about $3000 for 60 yds of mulch installed(I get a good deal on hardwood)...But I would have completed the job in about a half a day. This guy took two weeks to finish the job. And being that he had it trucked in, he probably made a huge,inconvienent mess along the way. He was asking if he did alright in making 28 per hour. I'd have to say yes.

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