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SOD Calculation help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Poncho25, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Hey guys/gals. Need someone to double check my numbers here for SOD. Wanted to make sure I am in the ballpark here. I measured out the areas as follows:

    12x2.5 = 30 sq.ft

    23x2.5 = 57.5 sq.ft

    23x3.5 = 80.5 sq.ft

    for a total of 168 total sq.ft (i am rounding off to 170)

    Now the place I get my sod from sells it by piece, or 1/2 pallets. I am thinking of getting it by the piece cause I will not have use for the extra pieces that come in the 1/2 400 pallet (200) not much of a savings anyway.

    So their pieces cover 2.5 sq.ft. that should be 68 pieces correct?
    I am getting it at 1.00 per piece, and I have already told the lady that I will do it for 1.05 per sq.ft. installed. Am i shooting off my foot on this? Or should I charge a delievery fee or something? My only costs are my price and myself, i am a solo guy.

    So breaking it down, clients cost is 178.50 for sod and installation. Is this about right or again am i shooting myself?
  2. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    Your numbers all calculate out correctly but I probably would have charged more in labor. After the sod expenses you are left with $110 to finish the project.

    Granted that sounds good but you have to pickup the sod, deliver the sod, lay the sod in 3 different areas of the yard, cut off the overhang, water it in and you didn't mention anything about prepping the area before laying the sod so I'm not sure if the home owner was doing that or if you are doing it.

    Assuming you can get all that done in 2 hrs then you stand to make $55 per hour but i'm guessing it's going to take longer. Since you've already agreed to the price with the homeowner it's probable too late to adjust your pricing. Good luck with the project hope you prove me wrong.
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I would allow a little bit for waste as well. I find that there is often a few bad pieces in each load. Plus I would allow a little bit for measurements.
  4. Bluestem

    Bluestem LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    So do you guys go with a per square foot rule of thumb as a jumping off point or do you size them up solely on a case by case basis? I've done some sod but I have never had the chance to bid it before. Just curious how you approach it.
  5. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    After thinking it through i am going to be getting 200 sq.ft. of sod for 70.00
    Charging her for the full 200 at 1.05 per sq.ft. Now the price is not set as I told her it depends on how much of a price break the sod nursery gives me for not getting a full pallet, so I can use that to bump the price up a bit. I did forget to mention to her about ripping up the old dead stuff and preping, but figure it would take me about an hour sold to do that, so was thinking about charging an additional hourly rate for prep. I don't even have this client as a reg client, she is just wanting me to do the sod and will probably be hireing me for reg service soon. (long story) :) She also has some simple irrigation repair work and all thats needed is some swaping out heads, so with a 45 per hour fee + parts this could be a good client. This will be my 1st sod job so I guess I will learn from this and get better over time.
  6. chris638

    chris638 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    On a small job like this one, it is a lot easier to figure time and material. Figure on the cost of the sod plus delivery and then add your labor. For future reference, if you charge that much for a larger job you would never get it in my area and I would say Florida either. My folks are snow birds and they say that landscaping is horribly underpriced down there. Going rate just for sod installation is anywhere from 3-4 dollars a sq. yd. around here. Which is a third of what you are charging and that includes all sod.
  7. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    wow....I figured my price based on a company that I had lay all my sod 3000 sqft. They charged me 79 cents per sq ft installed including removal of old sod an prep. Yeah they are a huge company and that is all they do is sod work..
  8. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Well call it inexperience or lack of confidence, probably a bit of both. But I have decided to sub-contract this out to the sod nursery that I get it from. They are giving me a decent price for complete delivery, removal, prep, install. All I did was tack on an extra 100.00 and the client said its all good. I know this is not the correct way to handle this but until i get more experience with this area of our business... Go ahead, bash me for what I did. :nono: The way I look at it, its going to get done right, I will be there overseeing it. I am making 100.00 on it just for being there...so to me, I believe its a win win.

    /flame on
  9. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Well I am sure glad i subed this out, There was alot I did not know when it comes to doing this correctly and making it look great. The guys that came out to do this one of them has been doing this for 20+ years, a mexican who used to work on a sod farm. He told me everything that I needed to know, from the tools needed, equipt I could rent if i don't own, to the prices I should charge against what I will be paying for the sod myself. So for 2 hours of learing a hell of alot from this guy, i still made 100.00 bucks. The client was very happy and so was I. This was just an update :) not that many of you care, just thought i would share it anyway.
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Why is this not the correct way to handle the job? If the larger company is the expert and can do it better, faster and cheaper while you make a little money that is called smart in my book.

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