Price For Mulch Job

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jk7295, May 4, 2006.

  1. Jk7295

    Jk7295 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    1st of all this is my first time posting on these forums but I have been lurking and reading on here for quite some time. I would like to thank the many LCO owners and employees who give a large amount of advice to the new LCO owners like myself.

    Anyway back to my question.

    Since I started my business I have only handled normal lawn care services; cutting, trimming, edging, and fertilizer application. One of my very good customers though approached me this year and said the landscaping company who usually installed his mulch was no longer doing it and he would like for me to do it. I take a look at the job and quickly realize it is something I can handle (I pretty much work alone) so I decide to tell him I will work on an estimate. In turn he tells me he knows it will not be cheap and just to go on and handle the job and he will pay me when I give him the bill.

    Now understand this is older gentleman who enjoys having a perfect yard and it is on a great location in the middle of town. It is one of those yards that has got me a lot of publicity with people riding by and than stopping to talk to me about doing there yards. Plus I get a decent price for cutting his yard every week.

    Anyway. I put the mulch in this week. It took about 5 cubic yards of colored red mulch, which I buy for $17 per yard. I picked up the mulch and took it to the job site. Prepping all the beds around the house, chemical treating for weeds and putting the mulch down took me about 7 hours. Now I am looking at how to charge this gentleman. I want to be fair to both of us and I am sure he will not complain, but I don't want to overcharge him so I can't look myself in the mirror.

    As of right now I was going to charge:

    $25 per cu yard (paid $17 plus $8 delivery charge for me)
    $25 for chemical application which I apply as often as needed
    $30 per hour times 7 hours

    Total= $385

    Does this sound fair or am I overpricing?

    Thank you very much for your time in reading this post and any advice or suggestions.

  2. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Dang it took 7 hours? I put out 2 in about 30 minutes.. What was your method for getting it out? I tried shoveling at first but that was just too long so I raked out a bunch right in the middle of the beds and then raked it around, came out nice and was pretty simple. Anyway, I sprayed some grass killer on the beds and put down 2 yards in two seperate beds at the front of the house, each about 180 sq ft for $125
  3. mrbray101

    mrbray101 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Thats not a bad price for a first mulch job. As you go you will get faster. Normally I throw about 2 yards per hour depending on the yard. Everyones price is different but this is how I would have done it where i live.

    5 yards x 16= 80

    80 x .25 markup= 20

    5 yards @ 2 yards per hour is 2.5 hours Round up to 3

    3 hours x 65 per hour= 195

    TOTAL= 295 for just the mulch

    This is how I do it, or sometimes just charge 70/yard depending on the size of the job. You are not far off, you will get faster and make more money at it. Good luck to you.
  4. Jk7295

    Jk7295 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Yeah 7 hours :confused:

    The beds already had a large amount of plants and bushes in there so I had to spread around all them, plus he wanted it put under some spreading evergreen plants that were already established in the beds. All the mulch had to be taken from the trailer to the beds via wheelbarrow since he did not want the trailer backed into the yard. Since I could not spray around some of the established plants I had to pull all those weeds by hand and prepare the ground that way.

    The seven hours also included loading and hauling away all the debris from preparing the beds, and also he had several bushes he wanted removed and hauled away.

    Oh well. It was a long time but the job was done right (in my opinion) and it looked excellent. I guess I will get faster if I do more of these jobs. It really added some time with having to move all the mulch by wheelbarrow.
  5. mrbray101

    mrbray101 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    yeah thats not too bad if you had to do all of that bed work and prepping. You will eventually get pretty fast at it. If your stil confused about pricing for future reference i would just sit down and determine how much time each yard will take and how much profit you want off that. Then come up with a price to charge per yard like 70/yard or whatever. I would go as high as your area will allow. I hear some guys say they get 90 per yard and some barely getting 45 per yard. I am at 70 and some people huff and puff about it but most dont mind.

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    mulch - $40 yard
    3 hrs bed prep @ $35 hr
    dump fee $100
    round up $25

    I guess however you look at it your in there!
    good luck!
  7. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    Depending on what mulch is used I charge 65-80 per yard installed and delivered. On bigger jobs though you will get less but I won't go lower than $50 per yard, and it has to be larger than 50 yds for that price. :waving:

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Im moving to zone 5, down here we have a little thing called competition well a rather big thin:usflag: .:)
  9. qualitylawnmanagement

    qualitylawnmanagement LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    Mulch is $60 a yard
    mulch 60 X 5 = 300.00
    3 hours of work @ $50.00 an hour
    50 X 3 = $150.00
    Round up $40.00

    Total price would be $500.00 around here. But it may be different in your area.

    Good Luck!:waving:
  10. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Jesus. Where do you get dyed mulch for 17 a yard?

    I just did a 3 yard install for 285. Took 2 hours.

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