Planting whole backyard w/ ground cover?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by 24ON48OFF, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. 24ON48OFF

    24ON48OFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Have a job where customer wants something low maintenace in backyard. They just had a pool installed that takes up approx. 1000 sq ft of 3500 total. At first they asked me to cover the whole yard with rock. I thought this would be a nightmare to keep weeds out, plus it would cost more. I made the suggestion to plant jasmine and do a 3' border of rock around the deck. They liked the idea but I think it will cost too much. does anyone have any other ideas on low maintenace lawns around this pool. Thanks for any input.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    My input is don't worry about if it will cost too much..your not paying for it ..they are..Good landscaping costs money so figure out what it's going to cost then submit the estimate to them..ya can't make a suggestion like that without backing it up with a price,you will look stupid to them.They like the idea sell it!
    Ya don't say "I think this would be the answer to your
    problem"or"Think this would be a better way to do something"then say "Oh I think that may cost to much so forget it"You are selling them your idea..and that's how you make money in this biz.
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Astroturf:drinkup: Just got my Golfscapes mailer today.
  4. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    I've got an upcoming estimate for something like this. Lady owns half of a duplex, wants about 5k sod removed and replaced with "chips" (by which I assume she means mulch) and a bunch of ground cover, in addition to some blue spruce and a couple of other trees. I think her goal is low maintenance, but I think this would look stupid among all the other lawns in the development. I'm thinking of either showing her it would be cheaper to hire me to maintain it for 5 years than to do all of the ripping and mulching, or showing her a really nice looking, low maintenance installation including some rock, some mulch, some ornamental grasses, some perennials, as well as the trees she wants.

    But, as my dad always said, "If the man wants a green suit, sell him a green suit."
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    I would be slightly concerned by the fact that someone else owns the other half. Your absolutely right about the cost,

    50 flats of 100 Pachysandra spaced every 12sq" is $800
    5K of mulch at 3" is 47 yards or $600

    Cost to remove sod and labor to install $2600

    Grand total 4K ---Thats equivalent to 5-6 years of a mowing contract.
  6. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    It's not like most duplexes -- the driveways are in the middle, so the lawns are on the far outside of the building. It's not like there would be grass butted up against a huge lawn o' mulch.

    The best price I can find on mulch is about $29/yard, and I install it at $65, so that's over $3000 her cost.

    Frankly, I think she has no idea how much we're looking at. My vote is for my doing the maintenance. Drop in the bucket in comparison.
  7. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    That does not sound like enough room for a Blue Spruce.
    The spaceing of trees should be considered before planting.

    Removal of the existing sod will not cure the problem,it will delete the benifits that the yard now has and
    it will be taken over by weeds in a short time.The sod is the best ground cover for the area if it is in the sun.
    The Pacasandra will not do well in full sun,and wood chips instead of a quality mulch will look like the house is in the projects.

    Another case of a lawn-cutter playing a Lanscaper
  8. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454


    Pour another cup of Joe and reread what I originally wrote. I know that removing the sod is a bad thing, and that the yard isn't big enough for the trees she wants. I know the difference between chips and mulch. "Chips" was her word. She's an old lady with crippling arthritis who is overwhelmed by the thought of taking care of a lawn. She called me for help and told me what she thought she wanted. Now it's my job to steer her in the right direction, which I will do.

    Am I a lawn-cutter? Yes. Am I a landscaper? No. Does that make me an idiot? No way. But it ain't rocket science, man.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    That would be retail, and premium mulch. If its going to be covered by ground cover you don't need premium and since your talking 47 yards that qualify's for drop ship price. A semi comes and worm-screws it out the back into one huge a$$ pile. At a cost of about $13-15 a yard.
  10. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Coffeecraver, first off if you read his post you'll see that he is listening to the customer (customer service 101) gathering information so he can explain with numbers WHY having him take care of it is actually better than going with her idea.

    So since the whole idea is NEVER going to happen, I just used Pachysandra for quoting purposes.

    As to your last comment, give me a break, it makes you sound like a pomp-us a$$. For a company to grow you have to expand into new territories and asking questions from others in the field is a great way to learn, so why the insult?

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