Mulch Bid - Am I Outta My Mind???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by heygrassman, May 2, 2002.

  1. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Here are the measurement of my square beds:

    Bed Depth Length Width Total Area
    1 2 40 4 160
    2 2 40 5 200
    3 2 30 1 30
    4 2 24 9 216
    5 2 13 28 364
    6 2 8 14 112
    7 2 12 12 144
    8 2 10 3 30
    9 2 5 21 105

    Here are my circular beds:

    Bed Depth Radius Pi Total Area
    1 2 7 3.141516 153.93
    2 2 3 3.141516 28.27
    3 2 4 3.141516 50.26

    Total Area : 1600/27*.17 (for 2" depth) = 10.03 +10% for some bed expansions = 11 Cu Ft

    Does this look right?? I am bidding the mulching at $54 per Cu Yd installed ($60 per yrd -10% discount) (Mulch cost is $16.50 per CuYd.). Am I outta my mind? This just does not look right. Remeasured all the beds 2X for accuracy.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    I. Figure out number of man hours associated with the job and cost per man hour.

    II. Figure out your overhead per man hour for the job

    III. Figure out the amount and cost of materials on the job (which you just did)

    IV. Figure out the profit you want to make on job

    V. Add in a 'fudge factor' (you seem to have some uncertainity here, so make it sizable)

    VI. Add all the above up and give quote to customer.

    If customer demands a price per yard, divide the number arrived at in VI above and divide by the number of yards you estimated in III.

    Plain and simple.

    Your math seems right if that is your question (well, I'm assuming you meant cu.yds and not feet and 'I think' I understood your charts) but I don't think that is what your underlying question is here? If it is, then consult your 5th grade math teacher.

    I think what your asking is whether or not you will or will not screw this job up. That I don't know.

    Some quick questions:

    Are there plants in these beds? Are the beds easily accessible? Have you ever done a mulch job before? Have you ever heard the term 'Chalk one up to experience?

    Also, why are you giving a discount? If you are uncertain about how much the job may cost, is it advisable to give a price break before the job even begins? Are you planning for something to happen that we don't know about?

    If you have done mulch before, then think back and 'picture' how that job went. Did you underestimate the amount of material? Did you overestimate the amount of material? How did that job compare to this one?

    I'm sure there's lots of other people to help you with math at home, so really, what is your question here?

    If its whether or not you are out of your mind, then the answer is YES. Your a landscaper, we're all out of our minds!

  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    we sell mulch at $35 per yard ( we pay 7.50 ) and we charge by hour to install. sometimes you go uphill to the backyard, sometimes you fork it off the truck in the front. labor varies. Dav eg
  4. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    area of a circle is pi * radius * radius or (pi * diameter * diameter)/4 Your calulations for your circular areas was:

    Bed Depth Radius Pi Total Area
    1 2 7 3.141516 153.93
    2 2 3 3.141516 28.27
    3 2 4 3.141516 50.26

    Should have been:

    Bed Depth Radius Pi Total Area
    1 2 7 3.141516 38.48
    2 2 3 3.141516 7.07
    3 2 4 3.141516 12.57

    Your original estimate for total area of the three circles was: 232.46 sq. ft. It should total 58.12 sq. ft. This would reduce your total area by 174.43 sq.ft. (1600 sq. ft. should be 1525 sq. ft.) nad your mulch estimate would drop to 9.6 cu. yd. Not a big error, but this will bite you in the a$$ when you have more or larger circular areas in the future. Good luck.

  5. Cooper Landscaping

    Cooper Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    if im not mistaken, area of a circle is pi*radius squared- in that case if i did my math right, then the original calcuations were correct
  6. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    my humble apologies. Your area formula is right. For some reason I assumed that you listed diameters, but I now see that you listed radiuses. I am ashamed I missed that.


Share This Page