How to charge for planting grass?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Shane Nelson, May 14, 2001.

  1. Shane Nelson

    Shane Nelson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    This is only my second year in biz.I have no idea how to charge this client to seed his front yard.First of all I brought in 10 ton of topsoil.then i spread it with skidster,and raked it smooth,now ill be spreading seed in the morning and putting straw on it. can anyone help me out on how to charge this guy.The yard is aprox. 120ft by 40ft
    thanks for any replys.
  2. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    I have several questions.

    1. did you rent the skidsteer or own it?

    2. did you haul the topsoil and shovel out of truck or use a dump truck.

    Now to your question of how much to charge. A short sweet answer as much as the home owner can stand. No just kidding but there is some truth in this.

    You have to have a mininium or you will be doing small jobs and the big ones will get away.

    You have 4800 sq. ft. I charge 45.00 to 50.00 per 1000 sq. ft. to seed and straw. All leveling or prep work is by the hour. That is $45.00 per hour min. 3 hours. I estimate that you have 4 to 5 hour leveling and preping the site.

    You can take it from there.

    We also have miniums of 500.00
  3. Detra Hagerman

    Detra Hagerman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    We charge $.70 per Sq. Yard to fine grade, seed & straw.
    The cost of topsoil would be additional as well as the labor to spread it. Labor is hourly (ex.$75 per hour for a machine & operator and $35 per hour for laborers.) We also provide an initial watering but then it there baby. We do not warranty seed work.
  4. jkinchla

    jkinchla LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 74

    4800 SF and 10 ton loam:

    Approx. 1 hour to spread, 1.5 hours to grade etc, 3 hours to rake by hand, 2.5 hours to seed and roll, and 3 hours for straw (incl picking it up).
    Bobcat total hours: 2.5 (min charge of 4 hrs to cover trans.) @ $65/hr = $260
    Labor total man hours: 8.5 plus 1 hr for trans = 9.5 hrs @ $40/hour = $380
    If you were me and you had my overhead and marketing area, you ought to at least charge $640 plus materials. And mark those materials up by at least 15%. And for good measure, add a warranty (you will always get calls when seeding) of 10% to the total price. Good luck, and remember that the customer is usually looking at this 4800 SF job as a large area for them to do themselves! Don't let them talk you down and use the best seed you can find. Also, I suggest using a starter fertilizer with Tupersan (or Siduron) for crabgrass control. In the spring, this is absolutely necessary. Good luck

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