How to price sod?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lightning01svt, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. lightning01svt

    lightning01svt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I am looking at laying around 10-15 pallets of sod. The ground will be ready for me to start the job. Is their anything I need to put down before I lay the sod? What would be a fair price for labor per pallet? Is their anything I need to do special laying it this time of year? Any help would be appreciated. Happy Holidays.
  2. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    I would put down a starter fertilizer along with lime. As far as pricing....its varies greatly. I posted a similar thread not long ago on sod prices and it depends on your area. For a regular job, 2- 4 thousand sq ft, I get 1.40 a sq ft. I job your size, I wouldn't get less then $1 a square ft. But I pay .22 to buy the sod here, other places get it cheaper. Good Luck! Happy Holidays!
  3. lightning01svt

    lightning01svt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Forgive the ignorance, but the fertilizer and lime will go under the sod, correct? If that is the case, besides water, once it is down, should anything be applied to the top of the sod? Centipede is going for about $55 a pallet. It is covering roughly 450sq ft. Thanks for the advice.
  4. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    The fertilizer and lime go down first, but I'll put lime on top also (sometimes), it looks good....especially if the customer is standing nearby. Still check the going rate from guys in your area, might be lower and you won't get or loose this job! Who knows.....maybe you can get more.
  5. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Lightning,

    here is a great post to read more about installing sod.
  6. chris08087

    chris08087 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I charge .25 sf with the lime and fert included, but that is not where I make the $. Most of my profit comes from the grading part of the job, but if all your doing is the sod you have to make it profitable. To price the job you need to figure out your costs, then figure out how much you want to make on the job, add them together and you will have your proposal. First, your direct cost for the job will be the sod and labor, so
    15 pallets x $55 = $825, and I know that if the ground is prepped and the pallets are on the ground I can lay that down in about 4 hours with 6 men= 24 direct labor hours, and my cost per man hour is about $15, so
    24 hours x $15 = $360
    There is also the delivery charge, or the salary of the man you pay to go get the sod, about $50, and the cost of the lime and fert, $30 for lime and the same for fert, so the directs costs are
    add to that your indirect costs, such as insurance for the trucks that you drive to the job, taxes for the property you keep your equipment on, gas, the amount of time that you will be spending on the road(when your paying your men but they are not making you $$) and I would figure that it is costing you AT LEAST $1350 to do the job. now that you know your cost, figure out how much you want to pad it for surprises, and how much of a profit you want to make. I would add $50 in case the job takes longer than expected, and for a job like that I would be happy taking home $300, so that brings your final bid to $1700. if your using 15 pallets at 450sf each, thats about 6750 sf, thats about $3.97 s.f., and thats what I would bid.
  7. How can you apply lime, you are assuming the ph is too low!!!!!

    Any professional would do a soil test to find out ph, then apply which material need to bring ph in line for desired turfgrass, like sulfer, calicitic lime, or doliminic lime.

    As long as soil test was done, why don't you make sure soil chemistry is in line, and make any correction before sodding!
  8. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    i buy my sod at 2.25 a roll....roll is 10 sq ft i charge 5.00 a role installed on pre prepped ground. you can put a light lime application under the sod. The lime will allow any organic materials to decompose faster, giving you a healthier looking lawn. I usually stay away fromfertilizer for the first year of sod. sometimes just a tad too much can burnit
  9. chris08087

    chris08087 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    your right tim, you should do a soil test before you amend the soil. The soil is real acidic here, so we use lime heavily. If your area is different, you will have to use different substances. Also, I have had great results using starter fertilizer on new sod. the regular stuff is ok, but starter fert is better in my oppinion because it promotes more root growth and plant development.
  10. 4evergreenlawns

    4evergreenlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107


    "if your using 15 pallets at 450sf each, thats about 6750 sf, thats about $3.97 s.f., and thats what I would bid."

    I think your numbers might be off alittle. If i read this correct and your bid the job at $3.97 per sqft and the job is 6750 sqft wouldn't that total $26,7975.50?? If those are the correct numbers I am need to move QUICK.

    I think you meant something else. I do that sometimes myself and than catch myself. The job does seem to be 6750 sqft.

    I can but sod by the pallet here, which here a pallet of sod is 60 rolls of 2'X5' for a 600sqft pallet for .15 per sqft, or $1.50 per roll, or $90.00 per pallet. I than try to start at about .50 per sqft. That usually covers all my cost direct and indirect. That is about a 3.3 times cost mark up. If was doing a preprepped job like this I would begin with lets say .37 which is about a 2.5 times cost mark up.

    Therefore is we use his rates for cost of about .12 per sqft time 2.5 is .30 per sqft times 6750 sqft for a total bid price of $2,025.00.

    If your other numbers are correct and even you have $1,500.00 into the job that still leave you about $500.00 in profit. For a job this size I would not expect to make less than 25%.

    Hope that help some.

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