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removing old sod

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by agm, May 19, 2006.

  1. agm

    agm LawnSite Member
    from NM
    Messages: 178

    I have been asked to do a re sod job. The problem is I have to tear out the old sod. I know that I can rent a sod cutter to make the job a lot easier but my question is how much to I charge. By the sq ft or by how long I think it will take. It is not very big, 500 sq ft. Any advise will help. Thanks.
  2. G.M.Landscaping

    G.M.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    Sod cutter:$80
    Dump fee:$20
    Mushroom Manure(1-1/2yd):$40
    Starter Fert:$10

    Total : $930

    There's many variables to this situation , but that's a start.
  3. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Spray it, harley rake, hand finish, and put down new sod.

    1 pallet of sod-$100
    Delivery- $50-$100
    Labor- $200-250
    Total -$350-450

    And that probably at the high for one pallet of sod. We are doing 3 pallets or 1500sq ft and prepping tomorrow for $720. I should easily make $50 per man hour.

    Gm Landscaping,
    How do you charge $600 to lay one pallet of sod?
  4. Cahsking

    Cahsking LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    OK maybe I'm lost?? I figured that he was redoing a sod job. Rent the sod cutter it will leave you with very little prep. (verses the Harley rake + hand prep.), you almost have to charge for time. Your taking up one product, putting down another. What if you need more prep then expected, or the sod that comes is horrible? So my two cents it charge time+ equip used+ material. You can get a good estimate by knowing the price of the equip, and material needed, then give a lenient labor hour bid.
  5. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Ok, either I am missing something or all of you forgot to list the most important line item - Profit. You need to add a profit margin to the job after you figure the cost of your other line items. Remember, your labor is not profit it is wages. You have to add a profit margin on top of that, otherwise you just have a job and not a business.
  6. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    huh? My profit is figured into my man hour rate. No need to add profit on top of my rate.
  7. DavesLawnCarePlus

    DavesLawnCarePlus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Hi all... So I've only been in business for two years but I do know that you need to make something on a job like this. Even if it is only 500 square feet... A job like that would go for about 1.69 a square foot up here in Nova Scotia Canada. I would get the sod at 0.14 a foot and topsoil at around 20$ a yard (applied 3 inches)=(5 yards) so the fixed costs are around 19.4 cents a foot, plus the labour for removal and installation and disposal fees. My price is 845.00 for 500 square feet, plus tax. You should make 350 on it if you do your own labour but have to pay for the equipment rental. If you own your own gear, then you'd make more. I use a sub contractor for any really big jobs (+200 yards) and they charge me 8.00 a yard give or take a dollar. So I make about 40% on it. Hope this helps. It's my first year doing anything major, but I have good guidance. The lowest I would price that kind of small job is around 1.40 a foot if it's a good customer.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Well I would underbid you and get the job and still make money. We did 3 pallets of sod today w/ a gross labor bill of $500. The sod cost $220 for a total bill of $720. It took 2 guys 5 hours start to finish including picking up materials and of course breakfast. $50 dollars per man hour. That is making money any way you cut it. In our area, the market will not bear any more than that... in fact, I am on the high side. Cost of living is cheap here so that maybe the deciding factor for you.
  9. DavesLawnCarePlus

    DavesLawnCarePlus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Lawnworks.. Okay.. So I am new to this industry and may not have a huge amount of landscaping experience, but one thing I can tell you is that 50 dollars per man hour is only enough if that's all the market can bear. As an industry, landscapers are losing out because of lowballers. Up here, there is a going rate for most every type of service, most guys have insurance, pay their staff decent money and I can tell you that everyone makes a good living. I only do this part time, but I have two full time employees who depend on my company for year round work. How can you make money putting down 3 pallets of sod for 700 dollars? How do you make the truck payment, buy new equipment, pay your insurance and mortgage? I guess I can rephrase my response to the original post. *** Do your research, find out what the market will bear, what the big guys are charging, and then set your prices accordingly. Don't charge a lowball price if you operate out of Dad's garage or use a buddy's Skidsteer! If you do, you'll never make enough money to have your own garage/shop or equipment.*** Good Luck. I hope I didn't offend anyone, but for any licensed contractor that wants to come up here and tear out the old sod, replace the topsoil, install new sod and fertilize for 250.00 a pallet, I will hire you!!
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I will take your advice w/ a grain of salt since I have more experience than you and 5 more employees, so how does that make you the expert? I am no expert, but I know what my market will bear. How can you even say $50 per man hour is low when you live in an area where the cost of living is totally different?

    Ps Most of our equipment is payed off, and I have saved 14k since January. I guess I am not making any money though??

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