Sod Installation / Ground Prep

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by GainesvilleLawnscaping, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. GainesvilleLawnscaping

    GainesvilleLawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Hey everyone,

    I have a client asking us to quote her for installing 5000sqf of sod and also for preparing her property for the sod installation. It's a wooded lot that has some sparse grass currently growing.

    I was just curious what some of you charge per square foot just for the prep work. We've done several sod jobs before, but they were for new construction so there wasn't anything we needed to till or haul away. Any help you could provide would be appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    There are several things you will need to consider.

    1. Are you going to be cutting out the old? I would suggest this instead of just doing a layover like some. Keep in mind your cost of sod cutter, the removal of all the soil to the landfill. The time and effort it is going to take you getting that soil to the landfill. Sod cutter will save you time in overall prep vs tilling which is what you sound like you are leaning towards.
    2. Man hours to take a landscape rake to the property and fix any small grading issues.
    3. Budget in some extra for broken sprinkler line - no matter how careful you are , you always seem to hit one.
    4. Distance and space - Just going in the front lawn or is there a back lawn? If there is a back lawn - do you have access to it when the pallets are being delivered? Or will you have to place pallets in the front because of a small gated fence and walk piece by piece to the back lawn.
    5. Lots of Cuts? More Cuts = More Sod, More Time and Higher Cost

    To properly do the sod and make a profit - depending on turf type and I am assuming you will laying SA....My suggestion is $350 to $400 per pallet if you are doing a basic install. If your cost is roughly $110 or less for pallet. That is your price removed, prepped and installed. More situations that cause you more work - the price will need to be adjusted accordingly.

    I would call and see what your landfill is going to charge you for sod waste per ton! How far is the closest landfill that accepts sod removal waste (Not all will take it).

    Those are some basic thoughts I hope would help you. If I can answer any more questions let me know.
  3. LoweJ82

    LoweJ82 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Thumbs Up yeap
  4. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    First off, why the heck would you want to do 5k sqft? Why carry the responsiblitly of a guarantee? You didnt grow the grass so why would you warranty anything that size? Anything over 1k sqft I call my distrubutor and have them install. They just completed a 6200 sqft job for me, they charge me .28 cents a sqft for materials, labor and delivery, I charged .62 cents a sqft and the only finger I lifted was to make the call. I carry no warranty responsibilities because they cover that for me for 90 days. I like that type of profit better.
  5. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    First off God bless the state of AZ for its economy destroying prices. That price is insane and it reflects early 80's pricing, I wouldn't be bragging about that if I was you. It sound like to me the entire state is a bunch of law balling scoundrels. Just my .02!
  6. LoweJ82

    LoweJ82 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    really anything over 1k sq ft you sub out? Dont get me wrong if you can turn a dollar these days just by making a phone is dang good,

    I love sod would lay it all day long! I have a 28k sq ft job coming up this spring, We will be laying every bit of it, No way will I sub it out, Warranty?? It will be green as can be when I get done, While im there I do all watering, we skip no steps at all (cause we charge for each anyway) if its not a watering issue the sod grower will ask how much is bad a send a crew out, always have.
  7. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Bragging about what? The fact that I made more on a job than the company actually doing the work? My prices or AZ prices are below average? I may agree a little with that, but I can care less were the market is at and I can without a doubt care even less about hurting you or your business with what you call low prices. I bought this company from my dad 2 years ago with
    $30k out of my pocket and an additional $25k in a loan. I have sinced paid that 3 year loan off in under a year and have banked my original $30k. So like I said, I believe my prices are where they need to be and I am in no way hurting for work. By the way, our sod comes from California, we dont grow the product we all just sell it. Maybe give the sod distrubuters a call and cry to them. I dont care because you pay more for a product that I should charge more because you have too.

    4CORNERS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    If that's 80's pricing, I'm all for it. The guy made a good chunk of change by making a PHONE CALL!!!! Sounds pretty smart to me. At the end of the day you have to look out for number one. What's wrong with the guy making EASY MONEY!!

    4CORNERS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Sorry, Forgot the ?
  10. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I charged by the sqft within a slot. Less than x gets a y price. x-z sqft get r price etc.... Obviously the larger the area the lower the sqft price until you peak and it just becomes inefficient to actually do the work but I wouldn't imagine this happens until around 100k sqft of sod or so. Obviously certain criteria adds to the price such as peak season labor rates with OT etc.

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