Help with sod estimate

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

  1. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I'm breaking into landscaping now. Been doing lawns for 3 years and figured sod would be easiest landscaping to start with. Need to know what you would charge for 10 pallets of the following:

    included is labor for installation, sod + markup and delivery...should I rent bobcat with grading attachement or till and rake?? what procedure do you follow when doing sod jobs.
    Just need broad prices and advice on installation.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. AWJ Services

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

    The sod will vary in cost from different farms.

    As a rule of thumb I use these guide lines.

    1 to 6 pallets 150-175 pallet labor plus sod.
    7 to 12 pallets 125 to 150 pallet labor plus sod
    12 and and up it will be around 100 dollars a pallet labor plus sod.

    If it is more tahn 20 pallets it gets a little lower.

    So a 5 pallet job of bremuda would be around 250 a pallet.Bermuda 75 a pallet +175 a pallet labor = 1250.00 dollars total.

    I would advice too sub the grading out if possible.
    If it is a small area (3 pallet) a roto tiller will work but take a long time.
  3. stevelsc1

    stevelsc1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Why work for nothing, does the sod farm discount when you buy more pallets?. I use the per sq ft cost which includes tilling grading etc:)
  4. AWJ Services

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

    You cannot put in 100 sq/ft at the same per sq/ft charge as 10000 sq/ft.
  5. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I could not agree more. At the rate you drop your labor rate per pallet for more pallets, what happens when you get to a 100 pallets?
    Will the labor rate be around 10.00 per pallet?

    Honestly in the 16 years I have been doing this I have seen some of the dumbest people in this business.

    If you go to McDonalds and order 50 burgers do you get a discount for buying more?

    We just did an estimate for 18 pallets. The guy said I was off in left field with my price. I asked how? He said the other guy is doing it for 100 per pallet including sod and labor. I asked who it was, he told me Wans.
    Just another retarted imigrant.
  6. AWJ Services

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

    The Key word is a little lower.

    Since you do not work in Georgia you actually have no idea what is the going rate here.You cannot just decide too charge more than the market will allow if you would like too stay in business.
    A crew of 5 guys here can prep and lay 40+ pallets a day.
    I have done 50+ in day with 6 guys.
    I usually only bring 3 if it is 20 pallets and usually 2 if less than 15 pallets.
    There are many crews here that put sod down at 150 a pallet truck load quantities including the sod(75 a pallet cost).Our lots here are really big.
    Most require 25K sqft of sod.
    Sometimes the jobs bring more money due too other circumstances.

    We are ate up with Illegals here.
    It is a constant thorn in my side.
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Ok...some info has been helpful, but still no one has truely answered my question. I need prices for labor, renting machine to grade or till and rake (i own tiller), and your procedure for sod. someone said to sub out the work...I want to do it all if I can. I have my own crew and can just as well do this.
  8. AWJ Services

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

    I own all my own equipment so not sure what rental will cost.
    I gave prices for Labor.These are pretty competitive in your area.

    You will need a piece of equipment and at least a Harley rake.Most rental yards will not have a Harley rake but I will speculate that you will have at least 300 a day in rental if you can find both.
    By the time you pay the operator and rental you could hire it out easily and have your guys making money instead of watching someone ride a machine around.
    I do alot of prep work for other companies.Most have there own equipment and through trial and error they have found that it is very cost effective too sub the prep work out too me.I have a flat price per day for me and my equipment that is really sweet.
    You also have too realize that you with no experience in grading and prepping will seriously slow the jobs killing your profit margin and without proper grading and prep the job will be negativley effected in the final apperance.

    If you can find a rental yard that rents dingos with harley rakes that would be a perfect tool for the smaller jobs.
    On large yards a Skid Steer and a rock hound or harley rake would be my choice.

    Ultimatley you will have too decide your own labor charges based on your labor times which will be much different than mine because of the experience factor.
  9. AWJ Services

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


    I go in and excavate the yard usually about 6 too 12 inches down.
    I then grade for proper drainage.
    Then Harley Rake the area and remove large rocks.
    It is important too even the soil compaction out too help eliminate soft spots.
    Lay the sod.
    Trim edges.
    Wet area and roll.

    This is bare bones min procedure.
    Top soil is luxury most customers will not pay for.
  10. brandongentry23

    brandongentry23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    till, rake and level. I charge $250/pallet for bermuda $275/pallet for st. augustine that covers grading, sod, and install. some jobs i charge more if there's steep slopes or if topsoil is needed. price stays the same whether it's 3 pallets or 50

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