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My Very First Estimate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hotpan, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. hotpan

    hotpan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I am new starting in the business, and just put out my first wave of 1500 flyers yesterday. Today i got 2 calls in. One I got, but the 2nd one specifically asked for "regular mow/trim/blow weekly and she needs mulching and emergency weed control fertilizer". I was just planning on starting out mowing/trimming/edging/blowing but i will not let this customer go b/c of it. I know how to mulch and can figure out the fertilizer but i just dont know how to charge for the mulch and fertilizer. Any help would be great!! Thanks!
  2. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 159

    Congrats on the account, its really exciting to get your first account. Mulch is prettty easy and you are going to get diff answers, basically ranging from $50-$80 per yard depending on how much you can get it for. But as far as the weed control fertilizer, I could be mistaken but I know in most areas you need to be licensed for that so you want to make sure and check with state dept of agriculture about that. Its not something that you want to do w/o being licensed. To me it wouldnt be worth the extra money or even the accout if you have to take the chance of really messing up someones yard. Just remember if you get that account and it doesnt look good or they are not happy with the fert/weed control results b/c maybe you dont know enough about it, that could hurt your business more in the long run. If you do good work they will tell some of their friends but if you do bad work they will tell ALL of their friends. Good Luck

  3. B&D Lawn Care

    B&D Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I usually charge double the materials. That is about the only time I get a helper so it covers them plus me. But I do like that 50-80 bucks a yard.
  4. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    We do mulch $50 yard. As for weed control, just let them know that you are not liscensed for pest control and you would be happy to subcontract out the work. Then call someone who is liscensed and let them know the situation...they should be able to help. I would defintely do the mulch though, very easy.
  5. hotpan

    hotpan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Thank you very much for the tips, i will go with $50 for mulching (plus the mulch) and i will subcontract for the fertilizer. I did look into the dept. of agriculture and they are sending me info. to study for a test to get licensed!!!
    As for the mulch, do you guys keep binders on you to show diff. mulch or do the customers usu. know what kind of mulch they are wanting or do you just know a lot about the mulch already where you dont need a book??? im trying to be prepared as you can see, lol. thanks again!
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    When they say a"a Yard" they don't mean per yard..they mean a yard of mulch by measurement that is 27square feet of mulch.and we charge applying the mulch by the measurement of mulch by the yard as in measurement of $55.00 to apply 1- yard not 55.00 to APPLY MULCH TO AN ENTIRE CUSTOMERS YARD.dO YOU SEE WHAT i AM SAYING TO YOU?
  7. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 159

    Thats a good point, I can honestly say that I have never thought of it in that context of the word. I guess some people could make that mistake. Boy what a costly mistake that would be. I think that sometimes we take mulching for granted that it is soo easy, which it is once you have done it. But just like anything the first time you do it, it could be confusing as h#ll :confused: Anyways, if you need figuring out how many YARDS (see sheshovel for definition of a yard of mulch):) of mulch you need, just ask.

  8. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

  9. get rich

    get rich LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I guess to put it into easy to understand terms You measure the mulch beds for square footage, length x's width gives you square footage of beds. Then you do a search on this website for mulch calculator or look for it a the top of one of the forums... i think the maintenance forum, but i don't remember. Tha will give you info you need as far as how many square feet of coverage one cubic yard of muclh covers at any certain depth. For example one cubic yard of muclh applied at two inches deep will cover162 sq. ft or an area of 41 feet long by 4 fet wide. I would recomend printing that mulch calculator out for future reference. And as far as what to bill her, I would assume your wholesale cost on mulch should be around twenty or twenty five bucks a cubic yard, so i charge of fifty dollars acubic yard installed is a good way to phrase it would cover the high end material cost of twenty five dollars a cubic yard and pay you twenty five dollars a cubic yard to install. And that would make for a pretty good hourly rate, because you should be able to install two cubic yards in an hour? depending on how far the beds are away from the driveway where your truck will be parked.but with the price of gas and your time to go and get it and haul it you might want to get $60 a cubic yard installed, but that should include the cost of the mulch. And i would definetly sub out the fertilizer and weed control, save your self the hassle and worry of doing it correctly. Good luck!
  10. hotpan

    hotpan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    thank you, that helps A LOT!!!

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