How do you guys price mulch jobs?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Manscape, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Manscape

    Manscape LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 47

    Just did a decent sized clean-up/ bed prep for a homeowner (2 guys 14 hrs). Came out real good, everyones happy...Customer wants me to mulch next....Est. 10 yds of mulch....So here's my question....

    How do you guys price when you mulch?

    -Do you estimate how many hrs?
    -Do you go by the yard?

    I usually go by the hour but I was just wondering if you guys had a quicker and easier way of estimating.
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    2 guys 14 hrs for a clean up :dizzy: that must of been one heck of a clean up what did you charge for this and how big was it? Sounds like you are not sure how to price your jobs or est your man hrs.
    Some will price mulch by the yard installed or man hrs its up to you,I personally have a set yard price up to 5 yards and another after 5 and so on plus other cost.
  3. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 780

    I have a labor rate per yard that is based on how long it takes an average guy to spread a yard of mulch. If the mulch needs to go very far or there are a lot of perennials to put it around I increase it a bit. This charge per yard is based on a hourly rate though.

    A lot of guys here will tell they simply double or triple the cost of the mulch. I have no idea how they can do this though, since the cost of different mulches varies so much. :nono: Also, if the cost of mulch goes up $5 per yard this year over last, I don't see how that would justify charging that much more for labor. It does not take longer to spread it just because the cost went up... does it?
  4. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    i am one of the guys who charges by mulch yard. i give each of my customers an annual mulching rate per what the prices change every year. i charge x amount $ per yard extra for every yard of mulch and people seem to be fine with it. (i dont give my discount price either) sometimes i just give a set price for the job if i can personally estimate real well how much mulch is needed. i used to charge 30 on top of each yard they bought, but i soon realized i was able to charge more
  5. letzgoblues

    letzgoblues LawnSite Member
    from StL
    Messages: 244

    $40 delivery $75 hour to spread and edge beds.
  6. ohiogreenworks

    ohiogreenworks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    We charge a per yard price. When I go look at a job, I can pretty much figure out how many yards it will take. We times that by the set price per yard and if needed, add in extras. Pre-emergent, extra edging, cleanup, etc. The price per yard is just for picking up the mulch, bringing it to the house, and laying it. On bigger jobs 20+ yards, we might add in some edging or pre-emergent with our set price. Seems to work well for us, and we can bring 20 yards at one time with the truck and trailer so usually delivery isn't a big deal. (supplier is also approx 1 min 30 sec from house too)
  7. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    same here, our supplier is 5 mins away so its no problem to get it. but the prices here for mulch are outrageous if you dont have the contractors discount. ive heard worse, but they are $32 a yard (for homeowners) for traditional hardwood MA where i used to live it was $23/yard for homeowners for the same crap mulch. i must say we have pretty nice premium mulch ive ever used
  8. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 780

    This year homeowners are paying $36 a yard of dyed mulch, and $37 a yard for natural cedar hardwood mulch... ITS CRAZY!
  9. motorscot

    motorscot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I x2 or x 2.5 the cost of the mulch then add delivery. Ex: 10 yds of red dye (bulk) is $39 including tax and my 10% markup. My price would be $975 + $50 delivery.

    For bags (which I prefer): 135 bags x $4 (tax and markup) x2 for labor = $1080 + $50 delivery

    Something to think about when you charge this way is that if you have 2 men at $12/hr and each can install 1 bag/3 min. This works out to 6.75 man hrs @ $81 total labor cost. Total install time = 3.3 hrs

    With 4 men = $81 and done in 1.7 hrs

    Your profit is about the same regardless of manpower. I charge slightly more for bulk install because you have to handle it more and there is more labor for cleanup.

    If you charge $50/hr to install and estimate 4 hrs. that means 8 man hrs = $400.

    I like to double the material to eliminate second guessing on the actual time it takes to install. You also have to assume that when you leave the shop at 8am, go to HD or Lowes to get the mulch (or to the supplier for bulk) load it, bring it to the job site, install it, clean up, and then head home, it's a lot more than a "4 hour" job. More like 7-8 hrs.

    I feel limited by the hourly rate. I never feel like I have left money on the table when I charge the way that I do.
  10. KstateCutter

    KstateCutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    $80 per yard. Never had a complaint. If more than 20 yards I'll generally drop the price per yard a little bit. Makes it easy because all I have to estimate is how many yards.

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