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First bid on mulching, spring clean-up, and weekly mowing

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by merrimacmill, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Hey, I got my first call yesterday. I would really like to get this job, since this is the first one I've gotten called for and its reasonably large for a first one.

    Heres what the guy wants, spring clean up of the whole yard, and planting beds, everything edged, he wants me to haul away 4 sections of old picket fence, a christmas tree, and all the debris we rake out of the beds and yard.

    First I'll talk about the beds. I drew diagrams of all the beds and measured them, I came up with 800 square feet of planting bed. Now keep in mind that these beds are already mulched, and he doesn't want the old stuff removed. So I fuiger that I will put 2 inches of mulch on top of that. I heard somewhere that 1 yard of material will cover 100 square feet at 3 inches deep. So I tried my best to reduce that to how much I will need at 2 inches deep and I came up with 5.33 yards, but I will just say 5.5 yards. Is this correct?

    He says he doesn't want black mulch, and doesn't want that extreme red stuff, but wants the cheapest. I personally think he would like the look of hemlock the best, but I think the cheapest that looks like that is a spruce mix at $32 a yard. So I thought that with the clean out of the beds, edging, and mulching I would charge $90 a yard. What do you guys think?

    As to the mowing and spring clean up of the actual yard, I don't really know where to start. So I'll post some pictures of the yard. It doesn't cost me anything to dump the stuff since my uncle has a landfill, but should I put a dump fee on there anyways, or just pass my savings along to the customer? I know I'll get a few "fuiger what you need to make and charge it" answers. But I'm looking for more of a how much time do you think the mowing will take and how long do you think the spring clean-up should cost. Keep in mind that the yard is not that bad. I think mowing with the grass gobbler on there should do it just fine with a little raking here and there. He wants a weekly mowing price as well.

    The pictures a bad quality because I took them with my cell phone at the last minute. But any help on this is really appriciated, I'd really like to get this one and I don't want to low ball the industry with the newbie attitude of "i'll bid low so I get the job" which is why I'm asking for your help. Thanks




  2. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Heres an overhead view. The white outlined areas are where we need to mow. Behind the house is all fenced in and I can put my 48 inch mower back there.

  3. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Input anyone?


  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    First, absolutely never give a (firm) est. for clean up's it is better to quote a possible range of what it could cost. Nobody can truely answer this for you we don't know your market and what the area will tolerate as far as labor rates go and your business expenses. But It looks like a possible 8 to 10 hr. job

    Man hrs x labor rate + matterials + dumping fee + hourly rate for machine use + ? = job cost
  5. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I see what your saying. With some more fuigering and thinking the last few hours, I'm starting to think that $585 to clean out, edge, and mulch 800 sq feet of beds. That is $90 a yard to do all that. Then $65 to do the lawn clean-up, which is rather minimal. Just some light raking here and there, then mow it with the grass gobbler on the mower, and haul away an old christmas tree, a couple sections of rotten picket fence. So the total clean-up, edging, mulching, and debris removal would be $650.

    Weekly mowing price would be $43, with trimming and edging as needed.

    Do these prices seem alright to you guys?
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    how long are you figureing it will take?

    Peque nice trailers! I think they are made by the armish in Pa.
  7. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Always round your numbers when mowing, like $45.00 per cut not 43, that sounds to weird.
  8. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Make him sign a bid approval before anything!!! Yard looks small, I'd guess 4 hours total but I might work faster then you. I would give him a total price rather then an estimate, to me just throwing numbers out there of what it could cost shows me you don't know what your doing. Sorry if that offends others but thats how I feel. When I do a spring cleanup I don't add the cost of the bed edging or trimming shrubs, for me its $75 per yard for current customers, and $80 for one timers, then I usually add on $60-80 for edging and more for the trimming shrubs.
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Giving you a estimate tells you I don't know what I am doing?

    Oh MY God :dizzy: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  10. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Mulch price sounds good for me here south of Boston (but Im paying a little less for mulch) he may want the pine bark mulch its the in between dark and dyed red crud for us down here, you should try to find a mulch place that will give you a landscaper price list. The dumping fee may not cost you do actually dump but a disposal fee for us would include a fuel cost. If you dont have to pay to dispose of it you are still paying to get it there. This is deffinatly a good way for you to cut down some cost for customers if everyone else in your area is charging a high debris disposal fee. Looks good, good luck!

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