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New! Please help me price this mulching job!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NewLawns, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. NewLawns

    NewLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I swear the only calls we've gotten so far are frugals that haven't pulled a weed or mulched in 20 years

    Here is the job.
    Large home (5500 sq foot) in a very nice neighborhood.
    Old retired Army guy.
    Weeds haven't been pulled in years and no mulch in even longer. Beds are pretty much empty. It's all nicely landscaped which paver borders but not upkept at all.
    Also, 20 new trees along the perimeter of the yard that have no cut out of bed around them that he wants mulch put down around.

    *5462 square ft. of bed space needing dyed black mulch.
    *200 square ft. he wants Red/brown stone.

    2"deep=33.72 cy of mulch (45 scoops=36 cy for $1260)
    3"deep=50.57 cy of mulch (65 scoops=$1820)
    Delivery Fee=$70

    Rocks=$30+70 delivery=$100

    Trees needing mulched(26): Scrape up grass and weeds and spray with grass and weed killer (no border) and lay down mulch?

    How much grass and weed killer to buy?

    So my estimate would be as such:
    Mulch= 45 scoops ($28/scoop)=$1260 + $70 delivery=$1330
    (meet in the middle of 2&3" due to existing shrubs/trees)
    Weed killer=$75
    Labor(weeding & bed cleanup) 6 hours@$50/hr.=$300
    Labor(digging 25 trees and spraying)6 hours (15 min per tree)=$300
    Labor(Mulching & rock down) 12 hours=$600

    Grand Total=$2705
    And no I do not itemize like this to customer

    Opinions PLEASE!! THANKS!!
  2. Classic cuts

    Classic cuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I usually do $100.00 yard for mulch installed plus delivery. If weeding is a nightmare, up it another 10.00 yard. I would up your labor on digging border around trees, that could take longer then u think. If the yard is that bad so is the amount of labor its gonna take, the customer should be able to understand that. Good luck!!
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I think you're way low. I think you're underestimating the time it's going to take to do this by about 50%.

    Stone is a lot of work to spread. Generally the bigger the stone the harder to spread. You're going to want to put down a heavy duty fabric under the stone.

    Be sure to mark up your materials over cost. 15 to 20% is pretty standard.

    Without doing a detailed calculation I'd ballpark this job at around $5k.

    Don't forget that you're going to have to dispose of all those weeds and sod you dig up.
  4. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Wow. You are way low. Im doing a 15yd mulch install right now. $1850 total(includes labor and materials). You are way under estimating the labor involved. I would be in the $6k range for a job that size.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I think it's going to take a least twice as long as you're estimating.
  6. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    low on labor cost. when i was just starting out I would double material cost then factor in additional labor its not very accurate but it would give you a base. that price is only for installing the materials ti wouldnt cover labor on digging or spraying ect.
  7. NewLawns

    NewLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Thank you everyone! So new to this. Also, we are actually paying 2 men to do this job for us as my husband is having surgery on his arm and will be in a sling for 2 weeks and then endless amounts of physical therapy to follow :( Not good timing for the business. I am getting so discouraged because all our estimates have been (purposely) under standard because we are trying so hard to get started and all the people we are getting are still responding with "wow thats too much" or "are you out of your mind?! (a 20 yard mulch job with extensive weeding and cleanup we priced at $1,100!) I don't know what is up with people in my area! There must be some **** heads running around here doing shotty jobs for dirt cheap.
  8. NewLawns

    NewLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    So how many yards would ya'll say for 5000 sq ft of inhabited beds? Plenty of plants and shrubs. Could I get away with 25 yards for 1 delivery fee or no way?
  9. NewLawns

    NewLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Ok how does this look:

    30 yrds of mulch @ $100/yrd= $3000 (labor included hilly & steep/wall beds)
    Mulch delivery= $90
    Rock 1 yard= $65+$45 delivery = $110
    Weeding & Bed cleanup 6 hrs @ $50/hr= $300
    Tree border dig out & grass killer spraying 12 hrs @ $50= $600
    Grass killer= $75
    1 hr clean up= $50

    Total= $4225.00
    15% off coupon (mulching only) -$450.00
    Grand Total= $3775.00
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    You could always get a tri-axle dump in there with 25 to 30 yards and see if it gets you there but it will probably leave you short. For a job that sized, personally I'd bring a tractor with front-end loader out rather than have to load and haul it all to wheelbarrow by hand. I'm doing that for a 6 yard job to speed it up. The other option is to haul it all 3 yards at a time in a pick-up truck IF you will be able to drive the truck right to some or all of the areas to be mulched. That way you can toss it out of the truck right into the beds. I usually figure a productivity rate of 1.5 cubic yards/per man hour for spreading if that helps.

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