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Should we do this?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by iskoos, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. iskoos

    iskoos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Hi there,

    My roommate and I were fixing the chinch bug damage on our St. Augustine/floratam yard recently. We did a good job and our neighbors(who have the same problem) saw us and asked us to fix their yards as well.
    We have done a pretty good job so far and made some lunch money.
    The other day one neighbor came to ask us to fix her yard. The problem is that her yard is entirely gone. About 2000 s.f. area needs to be resodded.
    We did a research and we realized that we can do this within our budget and make some money. The problem is that it is now November in Florida and we are getting out of the rainy season. We will not have any freeze for the next several months and it will still reach mid to high 80s some of the days but we won't have rain every day(The yard has an irrigation system though). If we sod the whole 2000 s.f. and sod doesn't establish, then we would be liable. This is not a few s.f. we are talking about here. It is 2000!!! s.f.

    So that's why I wanted to get your opinion. Is November still okay to resod in Florida?

    Thanks in advance...:)
  2. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    If you're not sure of what you are doing then it would be best not to accept the job.

    Are you assuming that it's just chinch bug damage and have you ruled out other additional issues that may have contributed to the loss of the lawn? What are you going to do about those issues before you start? What proof can you give us that you have properly indentified and corrected all the site issues/problems before taking up and laying new sod?

    Are you willing to take on the liability and accountability of this neighbor's lawn once you've received payment? Planning on being good neighbors a long time? Just know what you're getting into before you start. Good Luck.
  3. iskoos

    iskoos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Hey Rob,

    Thank you for the reply.
    If I was for the money only, I would just go ahead and do it and never bother doing study, asking professionals.
    I have been maintaining my and some neighbor's yard for several years. I am not professional yes but I know about lawns more than an average person. And chinch bugs are very familiar to me. I can dignose chich bug problems by just looking at the yard. But of course I did more for this yard. I checked the lawn and spotted adult chich bugs all over the place. This is not a new issue with this neighbor; happened early this year (in May). I dignosed it at the time when the damage was insignificant and let them know that they needed to take an action immediately and I offered to spray their lawn but they did not believe me. They thought once the rain starts, the grass would grow back. It did not of course and now there is pretty much nothing left in their yard.
    So far between my yard and neighbor's yard I have fixed a good several hundred s.f. of damaged lawn and all were successful.
    I pretty much know how to clear and treat the top soil, grade the surface and lay the new sod. The only thing I am worried is that I have never done this in November. All the work I have done was in Spring, summer and late summer.
    That's why I am asking if there is a risk involved due to the season. If there is, I would certainly not do it no matter how much they are paying me. I would just let them know that it is not the right time. But if it is possible, then I am not going to give them a half-assed crappy job. I am a neat and disciplined person and I produce a quality work. Please do not see my post done by some adventerous teenager looking for a quick cash...

    Thank you...
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,353

    I do sod jobs year round. It just take less water and a longer time to establish a strong root structure. My sod dealer get a thicker soil layer in the winter which helps protect the product through the winter. I would make sure you cure the chinch bug problem first though and keep on top of it. Floratam has a better resistance to chinch's than St. Augustine. Incidentally what are you charging. I have been getting 1.00 a sq foot with little problem. That is rip, rake, and replace.:usflag::usflag::usflag:
    ericg likes this.
  5. iskoos

    iskoos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks again for the reply.

    I will do my best to cure the chich bug problem before I lay the sod(that's if I get the job.) but so far per my experiences, there is really no 100% solution to this chich bug problem. They seem to hit the lawn from different spots every year in the hot season. The best I found is to keep constant monitoring. That's what I do for my lawn. No matter how much preventative care I apply, they find their way in somehow and I have to fight them at least once every season.
    I did not finalize my offer yet but it will be roughly around $2400 for 2000 s.f.
    Of course this may be more than the street price and I will let my neighbor know about this. It is up to her which route she will take.
    Since I am not a professional, I cannot compete with the guys who is doing this for a living. But if I get the job, I will come up with a good work.
    Last year, a neighbor across my street did hire a professional to do her yard. She paid $1500 and I felt really sorry for the money she spent. The guy did such a terrible job that there was a sod on top of another sod. He used so low quality sod that the yard never fully came back. Then she had to hire another guy this year to do the whole yard once again. She paid $1800 but the guy did it well... I do not know how many s.f. area she had but my guess is around 2000 s.f.
    Anyways, we will see how it will work for us...:)

    P.S. So far I have used Permetrol(liquid) and some granular material to cure the chich bug problem. I find permetrol to be efficient if used a bit higher than recommended dose.
    Do you guys have other reccomendations?
  6. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Yes, I do have one recommendation. If you do not have the required state license/certification for applying caution label pesticides in the state of Florida you may want to reconsider applying chemical yourself. The fine of up to $5000.00 could be detrimental to your profitability.:cry:
  7. iskoos

    iskoos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    In the United States, if something requires a licence then you won't be able to get it out of the shelves when you go to store. I went to a nursery and the guy recommended this stuff to me. It is not that I obtained it illegally.

    Jeez man!.. What is this resistance? Is it because I am going to do what you guys are doing and then get paid? Do not worry! I do not have any intention to get into lawn business. And I never went out to get paid jobs; did not advertise myself; did not knock on doors. It is just neighbors saw it and then they came up to me. They were all small jobs. Because this specific one is a big job, I came here to ask opinions from professionals but in return I get slammed left and right.
    Nobody is forcing nobody here. They came up to me and I will give them my offer. If they want it, then I may consider. If not, then nothing will happen.

  8. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Jeez, YOU were the one that asked for a recommendation. It"s no skin off my butt. I am simply telling you that if another licensed LCO or PCO finds out and turns you in YOU could be fined. By all means do as you wish. Peace:confused:.
  9. iskoos

    iskoos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Yes, I asked for a recommendation but you sounded all negative about it. Some others were already negative so I did not understand why.

    When I was asking for a recommendation, I was asking what you guys were using to treat chinch bugs and what type of method you guys were following than hearing the state fines in this category.:dizzy:

    Anyways no big deal. Peace on my side as well:)
  10. Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC

    Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I don't do sod or fert....but i am curious, do you need a license to apply over the counter fertilizer ?

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