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Pricing Sod

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bender, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. bender

    bender LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    What do you charge per square foot of sod?
  2. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I figure one guy can lay 300 sq ft per hour. This is with the sod on the job site. In reality one guy can probably do upwards of 450 sqft per hour but I always figure my jobs at the 300 sq ft per hour rate. This does not include soil prep or grading.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I used to charge by the square foot for sod. And we use it as a VERY general guidline these days. But it's almost always the wrong way to bid a job. Each job is totally different in regards to access, prep., grading, size, etc. These things make a huge difference from job to job.

    Nowadays, we always bid sod installations like this;

    Cost of Sod Cutter (to remove old sod, if nec.); $XX.xx
    Dumping Fees for dumping off old sod; $XX.xx
    Labor for above $XX.xx
    Cost of new soil amendments; $XX.xx
    Cost of Rototilling (if nec.); $XX.xx
    (we sub out for rototilling to a guy who's an expert at it)
    Cost of new sod; $XX.xx
    Labor for above; $XX.xx
    Incidentals / Profit Margin; $XX.xx
    Then total up all of the $XX.xx and that's our price.

    If you're looking for a formula, I can tell you, around here, it usually comes out to about $1.00 per sq. ft. to $1.75 per sq. ft. But again, that's a big range. Furthermore, thes prices vary TONS from one part of the country to another. Check out a thread on sod in the "Landscaping" section of lawnsite. So it's better to work out the above costs first rather than just plug in a formula.

    The danger to just going with a formula is that sometimes you are REALLY over bidding a job. And that sets you up for losing the bid without you even knowing it! I finally figured this out one day when I thought I'd bid a job out at about $1.50 per sq. ft. and just give them that price. But then I stopped for a second and just added up my costs for all of the above. And for that specific job, to my surprise, it turned out to only be around $1.00 per sq. ft. So if I would have bid what I first thought, I would be been overbidding by 50%. Then the next guy who came to give a bid would have done it for less and I would have not got the job and been scratching my head.

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