Lawn Prep Work

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JRSlawn, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I was wondering how much you guys are getting per sq ft to prep a new lawn before it is installed light grading rock hound and prepare the seed bed.
  2. sidebuz

    sidebuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I don't own a rock hound, so I would charge the rental fee (+) $25 and 1.5-2 cents per sq. ft if the lawn is over 15K lawn. Otherwise, min. charge....$250 plus rental fee for the rock hound. This is assuming that the light grading takes less than hour with a skid loader. Other wise, add $50/hr the skid loader.
  3. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    I've been trying to get .10 a sq ft. for prep work.
  4. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 916

    We have been charging $.9 - .18 for harley raking new lawns
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We don't have a set square foot price as every jobs seems to have its unique problems/situations but generally about 0.5
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I always think it's funny when some of you guys here on lawnsite base everything on these magic little formulas. Prices "per sq. ft.", Irrigation system installs, "per head" or "per zone", Pricing planting jobs at "cost of plants x2", Etc.

    Every job is different. Every company has different equipment available, different overhead costs, and different efficiencies. And every climate and part of the country is different too. Different soil types, different soil amendments, different methods for preparing soil, etc. I don't see how comparing what one contractor charges in Akron, OH has absolutely any comparison in reality to another in Goshen, IN, Central PA or Portland, OR.

    Pricing things based on some trick formula is a lazy way around having to prepare an estimate the right way.
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I agree that you should never base your estimates simple on a "magic formula".

    However it is helpful, especially when you are first starting out, to know what other established companies are charging for services. I always break my estimate down to labor, materials, equipment cost etc and compare it to an average cost formula that similar job came out to. This helps me to see where my estimate is coming in at. Do i need to cut it back a little or can i add a little padding. I agree that are costs of doing business are all different, however there is only a certain price the market will bare and its nice to know that you are as close to that as possible.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I dunno if I agree with that. I've done some sod install jobs that were very simple and came out to be under $1.00 per sq. ft., including all prep. and sod. And I've done other sod jobs that came out to be over $4.00 per sq. ft. because of all of the challenges of the job. I guess many guys would have looked at that $4.00 psf job and bid it at $2.00 per sq. ft., thinking that was on the high end (at least that's the high end around here). But they would have either had to take some serious short cuts or be losing money. Because I bid it just right.

    I just warn the customer at bid time. I tell them, "Look. Normally this kind of job wouldn't be so much. But in your case we have to do XXX and we have YYY to work around, and access is difficult, and we have to worry about ZZZ too. And trust me, these are legitimate concerns. If someone's giving you a cheaper price than me, then they are probably not taking some of these things into account. I just wanted to warn you. This bid may seem a little high, per sq. ft. But it's just because the logistics of doing this job are a lot more difficult than what's typical."

    And I'll still get the job many times. People don't usually mind paying more. They just want to understand why.

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