Difficult Seed Job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by osc, Mar 20, 2000.

  1. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    I do mostly turf maintenance but I have the following situation: A customer asked me to give an estimate for reseedeing a botched sod job. 4500 sq. ft. dead sod that never took root. There is nothing but subsoil and rock underneath. If they were trying to build a parking lot, they have a good start. You can lift the sod up like carpet. <br>Now the customer does not want to pay for top soil. I offered what I thought was a good deal, to till, add 2&quot; of premium pulverized top soil, seed, straw, fert and a watering program for $1,500.00 . The customer thought it was too pricey even after all of my explanations. Is it better to skip the till and add soil right on top of the dead sod or till with no top soil and seed after raking down? They won't spend over $950.00 .<p>OSC
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Whatever else you do about this client, don't warranty the work or you'll be seeding there forever. If the client won't let you put down topsoil, the turf's chances in rocky subsoil are slim, you'll hear complaints for a year and it can hurt your reputation. If I get a chance I'll work the numbers for costing the job, but the work deadlines are piling up here.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    You gave your estimate, why not let them get others. Pretty square deal for all the work. If they let someone else do the 950 job, then this fall maybe they'll be ready for you to do it right for $1800 - 2200. :)<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana
  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    First off I know that with water sod can live on concrete, have some parks that are like that no topsoil. If sod can just be picked up look to see if watering was done right or drainage is wrong. Would be leary of working for this person<p>----------<br>paul<br>
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Paul is right with the sod, I've seen it live on top of black plastic for 3 years, as long as it is irrigated. The big question here is whether or not they have watering system. If they have no irrigation, that could be why all the sod died, especially with the drought last year. And with 4500 sq ft, It sounds highly unlikely that these people would water themselves. I'd ask if they plan on watering, if not, then just estimate a quick job. I would just pull the dead sod up, run a powerbox over it quick, then seed and hay it, then leave and tell them thats it, no guarantee. <p>For instance, if they were really worried about their lawn, why didn't they get someone there last year when it was dying. If I had sod put in, and it died, I would of of made some observation of it then, not a year later. They obviously are not on the ball, at least it sounds that way, and I would say they plan on doing zero maintenance and are just trying to get the work done for free.
  6. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    First off, I would walk away from the job if possible, for the above mentioned reasons, especially in relation to lack of watering. Secondly, I figure the job like this:<p>1. Harley rake/Skidsteer to rake and remove dead stuff, fluff up whatever is underneath. Cost - about $250.00<br>2. Remove debris and dump off site - 4500 sq. feet of sod is the equivalent of 10 pallets - probably about 2 single axle dump truck loads or 1 big one. 2 hours truck time, dump charge - about $120.00<br>3. Deliver topsoil for 2&quot; coverage (which is light). This is about 30 cubic yards (22.00/yd. picked up for premium quality plus delivery) Cost - about $750.00<br>4. Spread Soil with Skidsteer and Hand Rake - about - 2 hours - Cost $175.00<br>5. Seed, Straw, Fert - about $100.00 worth of materials. Plus one more hour for wrap up and cleanup - Cost - $200.00<p>Total So Far: $1495.00<br>6. Watering ??????<br>7. PIA charge (either Preparation in Advance charge or Pain in the ASS charge) to be added in case you have already committed to the job.<br>8. Last Week - an insurance co. adjuster quoted us (at our shop) $.50/square foot to fill,rake and seed a lawn, for repairs after a tractor trailer drove on our lawn. This comes out to $2250.<br>.........<br>In light of all of the above, maybe tell them $2000 with no guarantees (this is where Jim was) - spell it out and tell them that $950 isn't even close because you won't be able to get much past the necessary materials. <p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider
  7. OP

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Thanks for the input. Since posting this question, they gave in to my first bid.

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