Large new lawn ; appreciate advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by johnw3, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. johnw3

    johnw3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I am a homeowner in Mequon WI who is putting in a 46,000 sq ft lawn. My goal is to have a beautiful lawn that wears well for my dogs.The area was built up with a large amount of fill. The fill is clean but has many small rocks, large rocks, some metal piping and busted up concrete. It basically has to be cleaned of surface debris. After this I was going to top it with 3" of topsoil then seed etc... My first question is what I should rent to clean the fill of rocks and prep it. I was told to till in some of the topsoil into the fill which aids in draining-- then more topsoil and seed. Is it worth it for me to take this extra step or should I just prep the fill and spread the topsoil over the fill? The fill does not seem to have any organic matter at all, meaning don't count on the fill to help grow the grass. I figured 460 cu yrds topsoil. If I do incorporate some of the topsoil what equipment should I use. I figured a skid and/or a Harly or Rockhound. Thanks for the advice! :confused:
  2. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    skidsteer is what i use to move soil and hand rake but make sure you watch the grade not to get low spots
  3. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    In all honesty I think you should let someone else handle this job,
    an acre of lawn establishment is quite the project for a homeowner without the proper equipment.
    Just my opinion............
  4. johnw3

    johnw3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I built my house and have rented many large pieces of equipment. It does not take a rocket scientist to seed a lawn. One estimate I got was 25k with 2" of topsoil only. I figure I could do it for 1ok to 12k. Now isn't that worth the effort. If anyone knows a landscaper in my area that will do it for that they got the job!
  5. dkraft

    dkraft LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23


    I have a similar size lot in West Bend that has the same characteristics as yours. I only needed 250 yards of topsoil as not all of the lot was disturbed by the construction of the house. I have hired a company to rough grade the lot, drop the topsoil, spread it, harley rake it and take the rocks for a very good price. How do your estimated costs add up?
  6. johnw3

    johnw3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    The yard is 46,000 sq ft. I'm not sure how many square feet a acre is but I figured 460 yards for 3" topsoil. I was considering 2" to save money but I might spend the extra because I want it primo. 460 from Lieseners soil is 16.50 a yard so $7590. I called them first but I figure I can get my topsoil down to 5k or less after I bid it out. Skidsteer, harley rake, rockhound, tiller for the weekend around 1k. I was going to drag the rockhound and bury the rocks or put them somewhere on my property-then use the Harley- pick up the debris with skidloader and by hand- drop topsoil and spread with skidloader- till to 6" with tiller-mix in some starter fertilizert too before previous step- re- Harley rake it for a smooth serface then seed. I think its important to till your amendments to facilitate drainage. I was going to buy seed from DeLong company in Waukesha. I was going to seed it with a seed called Amazing, its a pure rye that will were good. The seed is $68 for 50lb. I figured 460 lbs or roughly $700 for seed. Any advice you can give is great. Thanks
  7. dkraft

    dkraft LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I am not a pro just a homeowner like you but I can tell you some of the things I have learned. You should be able to get your topsoil for between $10 and 12 a yd unscreened. You don't need screened if you are going over it with a harley rake. I bought my seed at Jackson mill for $58.00 per 50lb bag. It is a quick grow mix with equal parts bluegrass, fescue, perenial rye and annual rye. It may require overseeding next year with a bluegrass/fescue blend but it will germinate very quickly. You should be able to get someone to prep your lot for under $2,000.00. The topsoil will cost approx. $5,200.00. I had the same questions as you, after I did the math I figured it was cheaper to have it done. If you want the name of the company that is doing mine send me a note.
  8. johnw3

    johnw3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes please if you have a company to do it for that you are the man. I was quoted 18k and 25k. Please let me know!
  9. dkraft

    dkraft LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Write me at I don't want to put the name of the company out on the web.
  10. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Years ago I got to the point where I only get screened topsoil. When we do installations, we save so much time in labor (raking rocks and sticks, removing them, going to the dump, etc) that it more than makes up for the extra cost (for me).

    Something to think about.

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