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First time sod deal

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GravyTrain, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I've got a friend who has asked me to do some work. I told him upfront that I've never done it, and I will use him to experiment. We are on very good terms, so before people start saying, never do work with friends....I can assure you that I'm willing to take a pay cut (literally lose money on the deal) in order to get this done and keep us from hating each other.

    With that said, here is the situation.

    He has two strips of "flower beds" both about 6 feet wide and 41 feet long. Currently, the ground is very hard and simply needs to be tilled up with a little bit of soil mixed in. There are about 14 bushes (3 gallon size) that need to be pulled up (which I will be transplanting, more on that in a second). My question for this part is what would you rate be total cost with the following information. 1 yard of super soil ($35) tilled into the areas (tiller rental ~$50), raked and graded and installation of roughly a pallet of bermuda (~$110).

    Second situation, he has also asked me to do his flower bed. This will include tilling of the ground (tiller already rented for the sod installation) with about a yard of top soil ($18) and a yard of super soil ($35) (the areas are very low and for drainage, they need to be higher). In the beds, I'll be planting two large evergreens (~$100 each), two boxwoods (~$40 each), transplanting 6 of the other plants, and then ground cover (~$50 total). After installation, a covering of about a yard of hardwood mulch ($17).

    Last but not least, there is another area he is considering having sodded. I would have to run a sod cutter over this area ($70 rental), till with super sod (tiller rented, another yard of super soil at $35) and then lay about a half pallet of bermuda (~$55).

    I will be picking up all equipment and materials. If you were doing this job, what would you charge for each of the parts (I'm obviously mainly concerned about labor and time estimates, remember one man job, possibly two) and the last area is completely optional. I've got a nice number in my head, but I always like to get a pro's opinion. Also, what did I leave out?
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I estimate jobs by the amount of days it will take... I have a figure I need to make on gross labor everyday... maybe you do to. Use that... on small jobs you will not be very efficient.... thus a higher price.
  3. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Everything seems pretty accurate. I assume the prices you listed are for just each respective material cost, not install labor cost. I'd add 5-7% to the prices you estimated for a buffer, add $100 profit for yourself and there you go. It'll be done in less than a day, so if you're willing to only make a small amount, something in the $800-850 range seems fair.
  4. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    One other consideration is how compacted the rest of the soil is in the rest of the yard.
    The bed will probally settle pretty bad after the sod is put down if the soil is similar too what we have here in Ga(hard red clay).

    I have a min I charge per day for myself working.
    That would apply too a job like this.

    One guy should do it in a day.
  5. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Remember he's doing it for a friend as a test. Making even just $100 would do to cover a tank of gas or whatever.
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    If you can't make noney off of your friends then who can you make money from?:)

    I would go into reconizing as a loss and ask for expenses as musclecarboy said.

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