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New mulch bed preparation and installation??????

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Ecoscape01, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I measured the bed out to be 88 linear feet with widths varying from 2 -6 feet. The shrubs in this bed are large and provide shade for the windows. I estimated the total cubic feet needed to be covered by mulch to be around 200 cubic feet (That figure is minus the space taken up by the large shrubbery. It comes out to be about 2.5 yards so buying in bulk I round up to 3. My plan, and please make any additions/subtractions/suggestions necessary: 1. Trim all bushes/hedges and then cleanup 2. Edge the bed about 5 inches down along the perimeter at a 45degree angle. 3. Remove excess topsoil and edge around sidewalk. 4. Weed and cleanup the bed. 4. Apply preen. 5. Lay the mulch - a lot will have to be handspread because of the size of the bushes.

    I'm working on a price right now and that seems to be the hardest part. The bed prep is where I'm in the dark. A friend of mine was at the property to give them an estimate for a fence and he eyeballed the size of the bed to 88 linear feet. When I checked his estimate against the wheel he was dead on. He's done this a lot in the past but he doesn't anymore. He estimated 8 man hours for the bed prep and mulch installation. If it takes about an 1 hour per yard to spread, that leaves 5 hours for prep. So far I've figured 5 hours for prep @ 45 per hour = 225 + 3 yards@ $24 per yard + 35 delivery fee = 107(my cost) My fee = 65 per yard + 35 delivery = 235. Bed prep = 225 + mulch installed and delivered = 235. Gross total = 460. That seems low to me though. I've attached Pics. You guys can tell me what you think. The pictures kinda do it some justice. In person it looks like the labor is gonna be a PITA.

  2. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    That figure just seems too low to me. I don't wanna bid this low, get the job and then screw myself. Also, there is some english ivy on the righthand side of the bed if you're looking at the picture that needs to be removed as well. I think that the labor for bed prep is gonna take more than 5 hours
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    $460 sounds about right to me. If it were me in my area it would be 5 hrs at 50 = $250...add $195 for the mulch, and you would be at $445. I'd probably only bring 2 yds of mulch. Sometimes I charge $1 per foot for cutting a garden edge instead. You should clear $400 or so after mulch costs.

    You need to add for the Preen. And Preen goes on top of the mulch.
  4. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I've read so much about lowballing on this site, and even my mulch supplier busted my chops about it today, that it's easy for someone with no hands-on experience to second guess my first estimate. Thanks for the help. I don't have the price of the preen yet but I will include that into my materials cost and mark it up 10% for my time in picking it up.
  5. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    prep delivery edge and installation $95/yard thats my price

    dont take off space for plants it doesnt add up to much for prep just clean them out of leaves weeds and other stuff...get a small measuring wheel at lowes and make the beds square and measure them off then right them all down and put them in at http://www.atstecks.com/mulch.htm to give you how much you need
    back to my price i get my mulch depending on what kind for about 21 to 28 a yard then for delivery prep and install we go with 95 a yard but you can go less or whatever you want................todays estimates totaled about 85 yards today
  6. BW Landscaping

    BW Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    i have been looking for a calculator like that for ever!!!! thank you soooo much

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    You need to up that install price a bit...more inline with DBL...for bed cleanup and edging AND install (including your cost for mulch) you should be up near $100 per yard. When you're working solo, mulch jobs are a killer...after 5 hours of bed prep you'll be ready to hit the showers. Hard to put in a long day doing mulch solo.
  8. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    Id charge $550-$600 to do all that work....
  9. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Well I'm gonna call the lady tomorrow cuz it has been a little over a week since I gave her my estimate and she hasn't called me. Looks like I'm gonna have to really sell myself and possible nock off a little just to get the job. I know if I do that she will try and lowball with me in the future but I need the account. I know that is pretty much a gaurantee that she will be a PITA customer from now on but I'm not exactly in the position to turn away work over 20 or 30 bucks. This business in general, and my area in particular, is extremely hard to get into. It is flooded with landscaping companies so I need at least one account to get my foot in the door.
  10. stlawncare

    stlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    i am sorry guys but i am new to the business. what is preen. is it and abreviation for something, and responses would be greatle app.

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