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First mulching job!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Just got a call today to go and give an estimate tomorrow for (what she said) was a small tropical like garden behind her house. she wanted it cleaned out and add new mulch.
    I have never done any garden work like this but figured if Im going to be in the biz, I need to start somewhere....
    Anyways, What all do you need to do? Should I take out the old mulch or just lay it down on top? if its just dirt, should I prep the dirt somehow or just lay the mulch down?
    Also, how do you usually charge for jobs like this?
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    also, how thick should I lay it down?
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    from what it sounds like its a straight forward mulch job. our price to prep the area (weed and edge it), deliver, and install new mulch anywhere from $90 to $100 a cubic yard. since youve never done one before measure the beds out lenght by width and put them in at http://www.atstecks.com/mulch.htm

    if she wants plants we charge the plant and 55% of retail for the planting
    to remove mulch its $50 a yard to get rid of it but we dont do that too much but its easy

    i think thats it
  4. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    over the phone she said add some mulch..so I should just lay the new mulch on top of the old?
    What do you charge for weeding and trimming bushes?
  5. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    also, she said she wanted the flowerbed done and depending on the price, she needs her yard cut weekly. I dont want to overcharge for the flowerbed because I could use more weekly yards....
  6. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Well if these are mulch beds already, then you'll want to just topdress, minimum of 3" depth. If the customer insists you remove the old mulch, you're going to want to charge a lot more. But if you explain to her that the old mulch can stay as it decomposes over time, she'll probably understand and most likely won't want to pay the extra to have you remove the old stuff...

    For hand weeding beds, I charge 40ish per hour, sometimes it comes to a tad less than that. You should estimate how long it will take you to weed the beds and just give her a total price.

    Get the total square footage of the beds, if there are many plants you can get away with subtracting 10-20% of the total area. Plug the numbers into the calculator DBL just posted, and this will give you the cubic yards you'll need.

    Just give a price for the mulch installed including delivery, material and installation. Prices seem to vary widely, DBL gets 90-100 per yard, around here prices range wildly from 45-80 bucks per yard installed. I charge 65-75/yard and this depends on various things such as how far are the beds from the mulch pile, and if there are a lot of plants to go around.
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    What do you mean by she wants the flower bed done? New flowers planted? Be careful - I visited a greenhouse looking for some info on this and though the man who helped me knew his stuff, he was blunt, and made me realize that I should not be planting flowers for customers unless I know what I'm doing. There is a lot more to it than just sticking them in the ground.
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    she said she needed her flower bed cleaned out/weed pulling bushes trimmed, and add more mulch. A basic cleaning job I suppose.

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