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Got me a landscaping job!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Scag48, Jun 3, 2001.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Hey guys. I thought I'd report on a job I just landed. One of my customers, as well as a good friend of my dad's, had quite a bit of dirt and debris removed from behind his house in the last week. I went to mow last night and noticed this change. He told me he had a guy with a backhoe come in and haul out some dirt to clean it up a bit. He said he was gonna lay sod eventually then I could mow it. I looked it over, was a pretty good sized area (don't know sq. footage) but big enough for a backhoe to get in there. Anyway, today while I was mowing, (usually thinking time for me ;) ) I thought about prepping the area for sod becuase it was just roughly cut, still had mounds of dirt and needed some more dirt moved. I was thinking to myself "Landscape opportunity here" and I called him up to ask if there would be as possibility of me getting the soil ready to go for planting. He was suprised that I called and thought about him, since he was gonna hand rake it all. That would have taken forever. I told him I could bring out my tractor to level and roto-till the ground to get it ready for sod, since it's pretty hard and not ready for sod. I figure I could easily make $50, depending on how long it takes. I guess we'll see how long it takes, then figure out what it's going to be, unless he wants a bid upfront. Well, thought I'd report in!
  2. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I hope you meant 500 dollars! 50 dollars is not worth more than a hour of work.
  3. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    Congrats....movin up to the bigtime.
    Lesson 1: Dirt is what you find under your refrigerator. Soil is what you will be preparing for planting.

    You are into sounding and acting professional I know (from other posts). You aint "cuttin the grass" you are now manicuring the landscape ! LOL



    my apologies: you called it soil as well----Go scag go.
  4. 4_wheeler

    4_wheeler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I too hope you meant $500 unless this is just a little store operation. The way that is see this is oppertuinity and also fun!!

    Good Luck
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Evan-It shouldn't take too long. I'm starting to think higher now. LOL. It's not very big, maybe an hour or so of tractor work, then a little hand labor for the finishing touches. I'm gonna see how long it takes, then go from there. One quick question, should I level with my blade first or roto-till? I'm asking this because after you roto-till, the soil is very soft, often about 4 or so inches. I guess I could lift the tiller up and just skim the top. Or should I till first, then level with the blade? It might be easier. I guess I'll figure it out when I get there. Didn't look at it a long time but I might be back out there before I start. I'll get some pics of the job when I go do it.
    Jeffyr-Yeah, landscaping is where I want to go this year. Now all I need is a new truck, big trailer and a 773 Bobcat skid steer! :D I WISH!
  6. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    I think the 50 dollar estimate is low. Fifty dollars just to get the machine to the job, and thats about it. Don't forget that even though you own the machine, and it won't be much operating costs you still need to get in the habit of billing for your time to operate the machine and time for the machine itself.

    This is a great way to get into landscaping. Around here, the larger companies are so busy they won't even look at small jobs. You get your name out there, get a little exposure, and your in.

  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Eskals-Yeah, I'm thinking about raising the price. The guy is kinda cheap so I hope he doesn't haggle me. I know he wants it done but if he won't pay what I charge, I don't know what I'll do. I want the job, but if he doesn't go for a higher price, I think I'll have to settle for less. He's a friend anyway, but I'm not gonna let that influence my price. I wish I had a loader on my tractor, though. makes moving dirt so much easier so that blading doesn't take forever. To go rent a Kubota B21 for a day is $210 here, what a rip!
  8. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Scag48, We charge $50 p/h for travel and $50 p/h for working with a minimum of one hour charge for each. Rotary hoeing (tilling) is real
    hard on a tractors powertrain and pto,make sure you give the ground
    your working in a soak before you start hoeing. This will soften up
    heavy soils and make it easier to cut up.
  9. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Scag, I think that you are too low also. If you are going to get the prep work, try talking him into letting you do the sod also. This could open up a good door for you.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Hey guys. Sorry for making you guys wait for a reply. I was on a school trip for 3 days. I'm gonna try to get him to let me do the sod as well. I'm thinking more around $100 or higher for the job now. I can't wait to get started doing the job, though. Should be fun! :D

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