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New to Sod, help

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TigerPops, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. jequigle

    jequigle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    $200 per pallet no prep work
  2. fatz

    fatz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Definitely walk the property with him and point out everything that needs to be done and what it's going to take to get the ground prepped before you can even lay sod. Don't give him any numbers on the spot. Let him know you need to crunch the numbers and you'll have an estimate for him as quickly as possible.

    Figure out how long it's going to take you to do all the prep work and get the ground ready for sod as well as what equipment rental will cost to do the job and materials. Multiply the estimated hours you came up with times your hourly rate plus equipment rental costs and materials. That will be what you should charge for the prep work. Then build that into the number of sod pallets you'll need to do the job at the going rate per pallet of laid sod for your area and that will be the minimum charge for labor, materials and laying the sod. You'll also want to build in any other estimated expenses such as gas/diesel for equipment/truck etc.
  3. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Don't till it, you will be making a mess. Use Roundup to kill what's there then power rake everything out. Clean up the chaff. Go over it several more times setting the power rake progressively deeper until you are down about 2 inches. Rake out the garbage then bring enough top soil in to add another couple of inches. (Bags?:laugh:) Do the final grading then lay your sod.
  4. esenterprise

    esenterprise LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    We install a lot of sod in my area. We usually get 1 dollar plus per square foot of sod.

    Remember there is a reason that grass is not growing. IMO it does not make sense to throw sod down on ground that does not support good grass. This is what I do in 90% of my sod jobs.

    I till up the entire area. Yes it can be messy, but if you master the technique you can reduce the amount of handraking. You have to call Miss U for them to mark lines, you have to worry about the cable/ phone compaies lines because they are not buried that deep and could be hit by the tines, sprinkler lines also have to be looked out for. After tilling, you hand rake the dirt to rough grade, and remove rocks, grass clods, trash, etc. You then bring in Orgro and lay it between .5 to 1 inch thick and rake it to final grade. Bring in starter fertilizer and spread it, its very hard to over fertilize if the fertilizer is under neath the sod. Bring your sod in and lay it. Then you need to roll it with a sod roller.
    Throw Orgro on any exposed sod root areas (on the perimeter). Water the sod.

    This = a good lasting outcome and good money
  5. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Some good info.

    First figure out why the grass died. If it is do to lack of water and proper maint. Address those concerns with the Homeowner. Explain your happy to provide new sod but it will need to be properly maintained or he will be in the same spot in a year.

    Second water will be the best friend to new sod. if the house does not have irrigation this is the time to think about it. I am not thinking you provide irrigation service but might be a starting point to buiild a relationship with an irrigation service in your area. Can be a good refferal partner.

    Then when it comes to doing the work there are plenty of ways to go about it. If you have the time a fair amount of hand labor is going to be a good start.

    You can roundup and kill the area as others have said. You can cover the area with black plastic and leave it for a week or 2 to kill it off. Or we typically use a sod cutter to cut the existing sod off and then start prep work on the soil to lay the sod. You will have to have a way and place to get rid of the debris.

    Then evaluate the soil and go from there. Soil test is a good option also. But generally good raking, add some soil if needed, a good starter fert and lay the sod.

    Pricing is all over the place. Be careful with numbers you read on the internet. One number was 140-150 per pallet. Here that does not work. Sod comes in 70-90 yard pallets. You would be way under priced.

    Measure your area. L x W find the sqft. Divide by 9 to get your total yards. Call the sod supplier and let them know how many yards you will need. Figure out how you will pick this up or have it delivered. Do not forget this cost also.

    Then it's time to lay the sod. Think of the bricks on a building. You do not want your seams to match up. lay one strip then your second cut a piece in half as your starter and keep going repeating the pattern. Also figure out the slope of the yard it looks like it is sloped to the street. Lay across the slope and not inline. This way excess water will not run between the seams and cause erosion issues or the sod to move.

    That is kind of alot of info and somewhat hard to follow. If you have questions feel free to PM me or others on here have good info as well.

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