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How to charge for mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Slcareco, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    60 a yard is what I charge unless there are circumstances that I will bid higher. Circumstances would be. Small gate that requires using something other than large wheel barrow, Lots of flowers to mulch around, large back yard or length that I have to haul mulch from trailer to. I can do at least 2 yards of mulch in an hour and mulch only costs 17 a yard. I have a yard min. If I have a big install I will get help and pay 10 an hour.
    For instance I had 26 yards to do. I had one helper and 26 yards of mulch. Helpers pay for the day was 60 and mulch was 442. Total gross for job was 1560 - 502 for mulch and labor. My profit was 1058 for 6 hours of work. For me that was 176 an hour. Take out my everyday operating costs of 19.68 an hour, and that is 156.65 an hour profit.
    Now I know most people are going to say 19.68 an hour opperating costs for moving mulch with a wheel barrow. I arived at an average price per hour from last years total hours divided into my costs to operate machinery, truck ins and payment, fuel, insurance costs, advertising, maintenance and Im sure I left a few things out. Any ways cost of all this divided by hours = operating costs.
  2. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    So how bout if i charge liek this:

    Material : Mulch $(the cost of the mulch i pay)
    Labor: 50/hour

    Sound good?
  3. SSmith

    SSmith Banned
    Messages: 447

    I think its best if you charge a set amount per yard installed. When you charge by the hour customers won't know what they're gonna be paying you until the job is finished. I think most people actually charge per yard installed.
  4. WigginsLandscaping

    WigginsLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I dont know about up north but down here our cost on mulch black/brown is around 9-12/yard. We get about 60/yd installed. I can make money at this rate and still stay competive with the local market.
  5. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    The price is 60 dollars a yard installed. If I need 3 yards I charge 3 x 60.

    Your customer shouldnt have to pay you more money because it was installed at a slower pace.
  6. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Like he said, special circumstances will change the price
  7. mathproshs

    mathproshs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Mulch here goes for $30 per yard....I in no way will take the time out to go pick the mulch up and then charge a customer cost for it. No industry does that. My furnace went down and my HVAC person wanted to charge me $350 plus $150 to drive an hour to go pick it up for a(I kid you not) $60 part which I purchased and installed myself.

    I have a good idea of how long it will take to do a job and I work at a good clip and get my $35/hr putting it down. No one has complained in the 3 years I have been doing this and my customers are glad to have someone who does this for them and makes their property what it is.

    Do not cut yourself short...if your customer wants have them call and make arrangements to have the mulch delivered, arrange for a good time to have it dropped off, placed somewhere convenient and tidy and covered up so it wont sit smack dab in the middle of their driveway....then let them do so, otherwise charge what you feel is fair and just.
  8. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    It sounds like you guys pay a ton for mulch.

    I've shopped around up here, and can get GOOD hardwood mulch, double shredded for $16.25 per yard.....I charge the customers per yard.

    They pay $20 per yard, plus anywhere from $20-35 per yard installation.

    So, total price: $40-55 per yard....usually closer to $40, as long as I don't have a lot of detail work, or long hauls.

    Sometimes will throw on flat rate delivery charge $20-30 for the job.

    If you get a good system down, you can work quickly and profits come out at over $50/hr. At a fast pace, you can spread a lot of mulch and make a good hourly profit.....you'll get more work than you can handle.
  9. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    Don't forget to add in for SALES TAX! We have to charge sales tax here. I assume it is the same in NY. I would check into it and GET LEGIT with it, so you don't get SCREWED later!

    I charge $65 a yard here installed. If they buy 6 or more yards I'll include delivery in that amount. (My dump trailer will handle 6 yds.) Less then 6 yards I'll either try to combine jobs or charge a $25 delivery fee. (Mulch costs me about $12 a yard, from a vendor that I buy in bulk from over the season. Most mulch vendors charge a $40 flat delivery fee for 1 to 10 yards delivered. So I can still look "affordable" to the customer.)

  10. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    You guys in the north are making a killing on mulch. I just placed a bid on a large mulch installation for 60 yards of pine bark. I bid the job at $2400 total and lost the job to a lower bidder. I bid $40 per yard which included the mulch and delivery. Prices here in Florida are ridiculously low for mulch installs.

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