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First Estimate Need Some Pointers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Martin Lawn & Landscape, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Martin Lawn & Landscape

    Martin Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Well my $80 add in the paper finally yielded my first call. A customer would like an estimate on top dressing and sod. There's not any usable dirt on the yard right now it's mostly dirt and alot of sand mixed in, apparently the previous owner had a large sand box there. The area is only 900 sq ft and I was wondering how many inches of top soil would be a good starting point. I was thinking 2-3 inches across the 900 sq ft would be sufficient but I wanted to see if anyone here thought that would be adequate. Also for most of you that lay sod do you just charge a per roll rate for laying it around the $2 mark I was thinking. Thanks
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I get my sod in pallets that cover approximately 450 square feet. I charge $100 per pallet to install it (plus the actual cost of the sod). As far as top soil, put as much as you need to make the sod lay at grade. I did a small yard the other day that was about 900 sq ft. I removed the old (did not dispose, left on site) and installed 2 pallets. I charged $850. But if you do not have anyhting to remove, harge the cost of the sod, charge cost to install per pallet, charge for topsoild and cost to install topsoil.
  3. Martin Lawn & Landscape

    Martin Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Anyone have an idea on what to charge for the topsoil installation? I'm looking at 15 yds roughly with just me and a wheel barrow, the soil will be within 40 feet of the entrance to the gate but I'm having a hard time figuring out how many man hours it will take to get it all moved in. Thanks in advance for any help.
  4. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    I would charge what ever it costs you for the topsoil, and just figure out how long it will take you to spread it and level it, just charge a flat hourly rate fee. something like 45-55 per man hour is a good start.
  5. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I would guess-timate 3 1/2 - 4 hours to move 15 yds of dirt by yourself. You could rent a mini-skid steer and do it a lot faster and easier. Something like the Toro Dingo would be great.Figure about $175 or less to rent the machine and 1 hour to move the dirt, plus time and what not getting the machine......charge about $295. It is about the same price to the customer as you moving it with a wheel barrow, except you won't kill yourself.

    SILVERSTREAK INC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    id charge a little more, ive always charged 75 bucks a yard for soil work, me buying & installing...just me installing would be 55 a yard, 15 yards is a lotta wheelbarrows full, and youll be wishing you charged plenty......ive done it before by hand and its not too much fun,...even with the double wheel wheelbarrows

    with sod yeah i agree totally, 100 per pallet, if you want to get technical its 23 cents a square foot times 480 square feet on a palet to buy it.....i charge 48 cents installed so im making around 120 a pallet....

    its all on the area too

    good luck!

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