Sealcoat Pricing

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by grassguy123, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. grassguy123

    grassguy123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Im a landscaper in NJ looking to start sealcoating my customers driveways.

    The only info that I have on asphalt pricing is from "Asphalt Kingdom" They recomend that I charge my customers no more than 20cent/sqft. They will sell me a 110gal spray machine for $2400 and the asphalt runs 6.5 cents/sqft to buy it from them.

    I read posts on this forum saying small driveways=.15/ft and big lots as low as .06/ft

    Obvisously Im not going to buy the materials for 6.5cents and sell for 6cents.

    -Where should i buy the asphalt and what does it cost per Sqft?

    -What should i charge /sqft for small driveways?

    -What should i charge /sqft for large driveways?

    -What should i charge /sqft for parkinglots?

    I know every job is diferent im just looking for ballpark figures
  2. EWS

    EWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    first off dont even look on there website look at reputable sites. Sealmaster, Neal, Seal Rite, equipt....

    Sealer does not cost 6.5 a sq it cost more like 2 c

    I usually set a miniumum up to a 1000 sq 150.00

    usally try to get 12-16 on resi

    commercial is more difficult I have done lots for 6 c, and 18c
    depending on the size, how clean it is, prep work, hand work.. etccc. And a lot of govt jobs require 2 coats and are wage jobs...

    As for a 110 gallon system your gonna be driving a lot back and forth to get sealer, at minimum a 300 gallon unit for resi, and 750 for commercial..
  3. salopez

    salopez LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    even easier...find a good sealcoater and sub the work out...make 10-15 % on what he charges and dont worry about it.
  4. SurfaceMax

    SurfaceMax LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 72

    This is a crazy sounding post. While I agree the "Asphalt Kingdom" is the biggest "rip off" site I have ever seen (the king of asphalt and nobody in the business 20 years ever heard of him? No magazine ads much less stories? Just an Internet "easy money" site. DON'T get suckered by them.) Buy a good machine from a reputable company or there are lots of good used machines out there these days. I also agree 110 is WAY too small. Even a 300 will make you wish you had a bigger rig and the 700-800 gallon size is the most popular because it can do a lot of work per trip to the supplier (but you don't want sealer siting a long time in the tank so a 300 to start will be OK and you could move up later as you get more sales.

    But materials will cost in the range of 6 cents to 8 cents or more depending on where you are (that is your cost, per ft. no labor or anything-just sealer)

    So if you get a good machine, a helper, and fuel , insurance, other expenses you can easily have a "fixed cost" of 10-12 cents per ft. to seal. Then you need a minimum for small driveways because if you quote by the foot you will drive out somewhere to do a $30 job. So you need a minimum and then on larger jobs you can figure by the sq. ft. but I never recommend changing it.
    I believe if you set a fair price for your work it should be the same no matter how big the job (unless the job is big enough it lowers your costs-supplier sells materials cheaper because you need 6,000 gallons on one job etc.)
    For most I know, it works out in the 15-20 cent range to the customer, some higher, a very few lower-like 12 cents.

    PS: As the last post said many sealcoaters are desperate for work so if you can sell it you can sub it and make about the same % profit with NO overhead--THAT'S easy money!
  5. EWS

    EWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    I will say this, I have been REALLY busy this year, Commercial, Municipal is way up, residential is a little slow... DUE TO WEATHER.... People do not think about sealing when it is raining everyday.. Direct Mail sucks, dont waste any money on it, you will not be happy with the results. Best marketing is yard signs and word of mouth..... Try getting your lawn customers booked up for sealing... Call sealmaster directly you probably can buy a brand new unit for 8-10k they are cutting there prices big time... Dont be scared of the economy like surface max is trying to imply. The best time to expand is when the economy is facing a downside. Property and equipment is cheaper.. and the big dogs like his friend who is losing a million this year because of some bad choices will ultimatley die out and the younger generation will surpass him.. Good luck..
  6. SurfaceMax

    SurfaceMax LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 72

    My friend didn't make bad choices. He's one of the best businessmen I know. His area's economy just went to nothing in no time (his service area in NJ is where a lot of investment bankers & Wall street types live and many are now more worried about making house payments and payments on that BMW than sealing or such.) I have talked to people in California who are having the best year ever, and it varies all in between.

    Do know SealMaster ALWAYS offers great discounts because they price their machines higher than everyone else so they can give big discounts. That's a proven sales technique that's worked for them for many years; nothing wrong with it (if you get theirs get the "Maxi-Air" units, they are worth the difference). But this year I have seen more "barely used" equipment for sale than in my 25 years in the "business". I know a manufacturer/distributor in Utah that said the other day their sealer sales were down 50% and they were selling blowers & such at cost just trying to get them off the books before the end of the year and nobody was buying. I've also seen many ads for good quality rigs like Seal-Rite, Able, Equipt, Neal, Nealco -no affiliation, etc. with ads like "only used 10 times", or even "only used once"; and even more 1-2 year old machines still in perfect shape where bigger companies bought them for planned growth that didn't happen or older machines being sold while they keep the newer ones. One company in particular, 20+ years in business, in one "classified" magazine issue alone had a 2006 a 2007, and a 2008 all identical "brand name" machines. They were just downsizing big-time (they are in the NJ area also, near the guy I know personally that took such a big hit so I guess their economy cratered too.)
    Just make SURE the market is really there in your area. A cover story in this month's Pavement magazine was about a big excavation company in Colorado that added paving because the dirt work was too slow and they didn't want to lay people off-but by being able to do everything for customers with one company they had a great 1st year paving and overall their business was up and they kept all their employees.
    So this economy does stink in most parts of the USA but not everywhere and even in a bad economy sealing can be a good business as people want to preserve what they have.
    But like the above post said. Work your lawn customers, look over their driveways or parking areas & keep track... how many might be potential customers?, how many seem to be doing OK & how many have slowed their lawn maintenance schedules? (a sign they are saving where they can)

    My main warning was because New Jersey seems to be an area hit very hard by the down economy
    and even if they need and want sealing if they can't afford it or it's between sealing the drive and braces for one of the kids sealing will lose out.
    Be sure you aren't seeing a lot of "opportunity" in unsealed properties because they can't/won't spend the money not because there's just nobody doing the work. Look in some area phone books and you will probably find LOTs of sealcoaters . The NE has always had plenty of work so lots of people started up in that area back in the 90's or so.
    I make money from successful sealcoaters so I'm not trying to discourage anybody from good opportunities-I'd love to see the market booming and I'd be making far more-but it's not happening but in a few areas mostly "out west"- so it's a time to be VERY sure the work is there and people are spending money AND don't rush. If you do decide to go ahead chances are in the next 6 months (before the 2010 season) you will be able to pick up a good used rig for pennies on the dollar. Then you don't start with big payments hanging over you. (get a free subscription-Google for a magazine called PaverMarket-it's all classifieds for sealing equipment plus paving & such, anything pavement)
    I'm not a negative person, just realistic, and none of these bail-outs & other trillions of dollars being spent are making it down to the "working man" level. So the economy isn't really improving although they make it sound like it. In my state retail sales are way down on everything but autos because of the "clunker" deal-even then pick-up trucks & such aren't selling because they aren't in the program. But the retail reports for the back to school season are still down, stores ran a LOT more back to school sales than normal. Stores like Wal-Mart & Best Buy are "dumping" stuff like HDTVs and computers at super-cheap prices as manufacturers try to clear their old stock before the holidays--and people still aren't buying as much.
    So follow your dreams, but make sure you have a sound business plan and you know the market is there because new Jersey hasn't been the "Garden State" for sealcoating this year.
  7. zjf

    zjf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    was checking out this company called enviroseal out of florida. ther material is top notch from what they friendly,no tracking,driveable in 2 hours walkable in 15 mins and striping in 45 mins. there price is high.I would have to charge 25c per sq.ft. to make any kinda order and have shipped a 55 gallon drum was like 1100 bucks.I can get sealer from a local distrubuter for 7c a gal but had less coverage need to ad sand/water/and took 48 hours to cure.
    I guess it all depends on what your selling
  8. omniplayer

    omniplayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Most of the people on this sight say that a 300 gallon tank is too small but probably don't remember what it was like when they started out. Unless you have a lot of big commercial jobs off the bat then a 300 gallon is perfect. You can seal about $3,500 - $4,500 worth of residential customers on one fill or a 25,000 - 35,000 sq ft lot depending on how you put it down. When you start getting jobs that are upwards of 50,000 sq ft then you should into getting a transfer tank of about 600- 800 gallons. By then you will have the money to afford whatever you want. I have arguably the cadillac of 300 gallon units for sale in this forum. It is only 3 years old with 1 full season on it and retails now for $14,000 new. Check it out and let me know if you are interested.

    People on this sight also don't mention Neyra for a supplier. They are way better than the crap that a lot of people talk about but don't have as many locations. Depending where in NJ you are you might want to check them out. They are in Trenton.
  9. brianslawncare

    brianslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    grassguy, dont buy from them they are a rip off!i was on ebay and they were auctioning off the same system.the price on the first one was 475 and the second one was 700. i contacted them and they said they never sold one for that i gave them the dates and times of the sales and then they told me that the person who won the auction had to pay more,because it cost them 8oo to make. the they told me i could get one for 900.then i told they that they were ripping people off and they told me that because of my complaining that they took it off ebay!! i have all of the emails and i will try to post this week i need my daughter to help me. i want to add sealcoating to my business this year so start up cost is limited.i think i might try to build one myself i could get the tanks for free.
  10. omniplayer

    omniplayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Who are you saying not to buy from?

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