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How to estimate mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by AMW Landscaping, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 44,458

    I usually charge $X dollars per yard installed with prep included.
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  2. gardiner

    gardiner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    I keep it all seperate , for a few reasons .

    1, some places look like they not been done forever , making the prep time a little bit longer .
    Then you have some people take good care of there flower beds .
    but just cant do the phyical part

    2, I also looked at it, like a car garage , everyone know a car part will cost $75 and the labor to install it is the other $175

    3, I ok with running to the mulch yard for the neighbor/ friends/ family.

    I sure alot of guys did not reply to this tread , because they just know how far a yard will go . and adjusting the thickness as they go . making a note on what it does take to do that property.. i will admit i have never measured a flower bed .

    Then when i do the invoice, i honest with the customer ,they understanding if you tell them, that you went thin in some areas . that you recommend adding another yard next season ,,

    I have 3 clean up / mulching jobs on schedule without even being ask how much it will cost them .
    I want to get started but i not sure about edging/mulching while the ground still frozen ,
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,998

  4. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Mulching the frozen ground is ok, not recommended by some people tho. As long as the top few inches of ground are thawed out, you should be fine to edge.
  5. gardiner

    gardiner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    my concern is roots of shrubbery/tree and bulbs/ hostas barley breaking ground , and not being able to get a nice clean deep edge , if i go out there right now i will need to use a maddox/pick after the 1st inch down .

    The weather shows it will be in lower 30s calling for 60% chance of snow tomarrow ..
    But looking at the 10 day it shows that the 50s will start Thursday ,, By Monday 69 for a high .
  6. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    I just eyeball mine as well. I buy my mulch bulk so I price my jobs as if I was buying it retail. Usually pretty close hut if I'm off I have quite a bit of room to work with considering buying bulk I only pay $9-10 a yard for brown and $18-$19 for dyed mulch
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  7. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    Retail brown goes for about $17-$20 here and dyed is around $30 a yard
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    How much do you buy at a time? Do you buy it directly from the factory? I get hardwood for 30 a yard here
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,613

    I just use bags. I don't like messing with truckloads of mulch. really if they want truckloads then my labor rate is gonna be higher and/or the job is gonna take longer so there really is not much of a price difference between using bags or truckloads of mulch. besides I hate shoveling mulch. using bags is so much easier and quicker than shoveling mulch. so the speed of getting done offsets the higher price of using bagged mulch since the labor charge will be a lot less on the total bill. I mean you can use bags on a job and get done in 1hr or you can shovel mulch and it will take 2-3hrs for the same job.

    if the customer buys the mulch themselves then I will put it down at my normal hourly rate for labor. I just walk around the house and I can kinda count how many bags it will take. always get more than you think you need. if a bag costs $3 a bag I charge $4 or $5 a bag depending on how many bags are needed and then add my labor rate on top of that. I don't put myself into a corner especially on the bigger jobs. I just did an estimate the other day. I gave them a range of $250-$500 depending on what they wanted to do. this gives you breathing room so are aren't tied into one set price. the number I had in mind was $300 just for the mulch alone and I figure an hr or so to put it down so this gives me plenty of breathing room if I need more mulch or it takes a little longer than I thought it would.

    on smaller jobs I can give a more exact number but when it's a huge job it's hard to pinpoint it until you do the job. I do the same thing on mowing. got an estimate for a yard roughly 4 acres in size. I don't walk around measuring everything. I just eyeball it and say i'm guessing it will be in the $175-$200 range but i'll have to do it once first to see how long it takes.

    to be honest mulch jobs aren't really part of my business plan. I may get asked to do it once a year if that much. most people around here do that themselves.

    I am solo as well so I don't take on super large mulch jobs on commercial properties and stuff like that anyways.
  10. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    They were only selling me full loads on walking floor trailer (84 yards). Now that we can't accommodate a tractor trailer they said they would bring it on a tandem dump for same price. So I have to buy 30 yards at a time. Buy I do the mowing mulching hedge trimming snow removal and leaf cleanup for a company that has 20 properties with over 250 units total so I buy a couple loads of black and brown to start season and try to keep a load on hand all season
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