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Sod install

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dekalb lawn man, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering, what do you guys charge for sod per foot installed. Also the ground where i will be doing the work is horrible it is about 75% clay. Should i add black dirt and turn the soil or turn the clay over and then add about 2 inces or so of black dirt on top of the clay and how much would you charge to do somthing like that. I appriciate any imput you have. Thanks.
  2. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    Never dealt with clay before, we have nothing but sand around here.

    We charge $400 installed per 500sf pallet
  3. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    So am I doing my math right $1.25 per foot. Thats with the sod includesd right.

  4. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    No, actually you have it backwards. You need to divide the price by the quantiy to get the price per qty.

    500 sqft

  5. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Oh ok because I was thinking around $.85 per foot and when he said 400 per 500 i thought i had to raise my prices ok well at least i know im in the ball park

    But what about the soil?
  6. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    We work with clay all the time.. All I can say is prep, prep and more prep..We always add top soil work it into the clay and keep adding and turning. If you just lay the sod down on the clay you will have all sorts of problems from no drainage and lots of turf fungus..
  7. teamoneoutdoors

    teamoneoutdoors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I would do a soil test on the existing soil and compare it to the soil that the sod was grown in. Check with your sod farm that you purchased your sod from to find out their soil composition. Make sure you attempt to have the same soil conditions.

    When you turn the soil, keep in mind that you "awaken" weed seed. My experience in this situation comes from discing land in preparation for installing hunting food plots.

    Good luck and hope this helps.
  8. Duekster

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

    If you want really good results, yes, get about 3 inches of a quality compost mix ( 50% compost and 50% expanded shale) work that into the top 3 inches of clay so you now have a 50% native clay and your mix in the top 6 inches.

    Lay the sod down, changing up your pattern or use some pins to hold it in place every so often. Roll it several times. Water it twice a day for 2 weeks. Then put on a root stimulator and back off the water to about twice per week.

    The ground will be soft and mushy so tell the home owner to say off the grass. I would even put up some rope to keep the mail man and UPS, and the door flyer kid of the lawn.

    I would charge based upon the sod cost (different sod cost different) delivered plus 30% . Also put in about 10 or more grass in my estimate for I can cull the bad grass and not run short.

    If I grantee the sod or grass then I have to account for that and my follow up trips. Also, no one treats my grass if I own it for the first year.

    What we have not talked about is is this new construction? Is it a home builder? Is there an exisiting yard/Grass?

    Are you providing the finish grade? Is there consrtuction materials? ( trick question because there will be in any case. )
  9. Duekster

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

    Oh yes this is true.
  10. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Well long story short. It is new construction so there is some exsisting grass however the company that put the seed down did a horrible job( I know this because i have the same builder for my house). There was more weeds than grass in my yard so I turned the dirt and started fresh. His yard is different. He wanted me to spray a total veg killer in the entire back yard while construction was going on ( add a sun room) so I did that and in the spring he would like to put in the sod but his soil is nothing like mine. Rough grade is done and he said the final grade should be done before the spring. As far as construction materials I will be using a bobcat with various attatchment to perform the different tasks ( move the pallet, turn the soil, break up and prep the chunks from turning the soil, etc,etc)and have a set price for that. I am hoping to talk with whoever is doing the final grade to find out what kind of material he is going to put down and see if we could work together on getting the soil right.

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