Is this Mulch Installation Job Overpriced?


LawnSite Member
It appears that I am dealing with a case of violated trust and extreme price gouging with a recent lawn job. Before I sever my relationship with the lawn service that handles my mowing and lawn maintenance, I’m hoping some lawn professionals can chime in with an opinion and confirm that I’m not totally off base.

The job essentially entails three items:

  • Installation of 7 yards of mulch in two areas – under a small crop of lilac trees and around the edge of our small ranch property on top of an existing mulch bed. This includes light weeding in the existing mulch and edging. Total square footage of coverage is probably around 500 – 600 sq. ft.

  • Planting three shrubs in the front of the house.

  • Trimming of the lilac bushes and three small pre-existing shrubs.
I have not gotten the final bill, but I expect it to be app.$3,000 – possibly even more.

This seems to be at least double what the market value of this job. Am I wrong on that….?

Thanks for your input!

Andrew H

LawnSite Gold Member
Why do you expect the bill to be 3 grand if you haven’t gotten the bill?

What kind of shrubs?

What’s light weeding?

Total square footage of around probably?

If you’re going to question a bill you haven’t gotten yet, you should sort out your “probably’s” and “arounds””

Did you not get other bids? And if you did why did you approve this contractor?


LawnSite Gold Member
Newport, RI
Here is how I would price it. The mulch would be around $700 installed if it is pretty straightforward. The prep work (pruning, weeding and edging) would be hourly, so it depends on the amount of work. Maybe $150, maybe $1000. The shrubs you can figure 2 or 3 times the retail value of the shrubs. Maybe a dumping fee of $50 or 75 to get rid of the waste.

What did the written proposal say?


Like the other 2 said did you not get any kind of estimate or price range before authorization to complete?

3k doesn't sound out of line for the work you listed.

7 yards of mulch with prep would be $1200-$1700 depending on all factors. Then add the other work you listed 3k can be passed fairly quickly.

If you feel the current professional is not being competitive you should invite another to supply you with a quote for your needs.


LawnSite Fanatic
Willowick, OH
Id be at $1500 to $2000. But if they do a great job, id hardly say their gouging you. But im in OH so the market could be completely different there.


LawnSite Bronze Member
mountain pa
If the square footage is correct, that's about 2x the amount of mulch that we'd generally use.

Is the lawn company supplying the plants? What type of plants?
I was wondering the same. 7 yards of mulch in a 500-600 sq ft area over top of existing mulch?