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St. Augustine not growing much

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by williams lcm, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,892

    Not installed by me it ain't. Even better is when they spend good money on sod and cheap out on the aftercare.
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  2. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,943

    They'll do it everytime. They think all they need to do is add more water, it's a constant battle. We service the irrigation for some clients so we manage the water. We have far less problems with pests and pathogens and a healthier turf to boot.

    $300 a pallet seems like a lot, I just paid $110.00 for Floritam delivered.

    Enjoy thanksgiving!
  3. $300/pallet R&R is low IMO. $350 is the lowest I will do it for, but like to get $375-$400. I have no problem passing on sod work.
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  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,892

    I quoted a buck a sq ft installed this past season and landed 75% of the jobs. I won't do layovers or scalp and drops. Its my least favorite work but I made some good money at it this year.
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  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,637

    I used to hate sod like the rest of you....until I started subbing it out as they could do it cheaper than I could a majority of the time. This year's end I will have a pretty mint in sod revenue and on most jobs the most I did was paint out the area to be replaced, flag irrigation, follow up and collect the money.
    I wish all subbing went this easy and this profitable.
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,637

    Unknown's area is rampid with low ballers on sod. From the wholesellers to the weekend warriors and craiglist bandits - if he is getting $300 or more per pallet he is doing well for that market. I have pitched a few down there recently and had them look at me like I was crazy for asking for $325 to $350 for anything less than 1600 square. Every once in awhile I still knock one out of the park however.

    Unknowns area is a rather wealthy neighborhoods. The problem with some of those extra wealthy neighborhoods is that everyone is willing to work cheap there to get there foot in the door. They will lay sod for cheap thinking it will lead to mowing accounts for them:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:
  7. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,943


    My question was really if he was paying $300 for the sod or if that was the price installed. $300 per pallet from the farm to the LCO not installed is highway robbery and $300 installed to the HO is giving it away (assuming he does the right prep work).

    Recently we paid $110 (Floratam) for 500sq ft. & $35 flat delivery fee for up to 8 pallets. To install we base our price on the number of pallets, 1-2 $1.00 sq.foot;3-5 .85 cts per sq ft, 6+ .75cts. If the price goes up, we pass on the delivery fee to the client. One month ago we paid $125.00 a pallet.

    I'd like to say the prices are not negotiable, but I can't... negotiation room is based on my calender and at what PIA scale the customer is on. Usually once I explain our installation process and the after care, we get our price or close to it.
  8. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,228

    Yes that's removal and installed. Sod cutter, dingo, then laid. I pay around 130 a pallet by the time I add in labor and fuel equipment to get the sod to the job. Lots of guys will do it for 225 and up for doing it right sod cutter and install. No chemicals. If I have spray work being done the customers I've dealt with tell Massey or Heron to spray it out before I rip it out or take the chance of it coming back. Same with sedge, etc. I do however tune up the sprinklers and raise or lower heads for $300 a pallet installed. I have a lot of competition but I can rip/lap a pallet with 2 hours of labor so $60 per man hour isn't bad. I figured all the other bull crap out dump cost of sod fuel equipment $120 is what I have to pay my labor. I hate SOD and I usually pass on it or tell them the spray guy can fix that with some time.
  9. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,943

    I can see why you would hate it; our margins are better I like doing sod and ornamental installations / renovations this time of year because it keeps my crews busy.
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,036


    There is money in sod in good times when construction is booming. Right now I am not so sure I would want to be in the Sod Business. Lack of construction has a lot of sod guys hungry and bidding low.

    Current Sod Cost in the field is $ 0.15 a sq ft or $ 60.00 a 400 sq ft pallet of St Augustine. Bahia sod can go as low as $ 15.00 a 400 sq ft pallet.

    Pricing for installation. you should figure half your price is Tear out of the old Sod. Therefore a price of $ 300 a pallet means $ 150 is for sod cutting and removal of 400 sq ft. That means you are only getting $ 150 for laying a pallet you just paid $ 125 to have delivered. My point is having the Heavy Duty trucks and Equipment allows you to make a large margin if you have the volume.

    Right now I am seeing competitve bids at $ 200 a pallet for total rip out and replacement by the big boys just to stay alive. I am in fact hooked up with a Sod Company that has me Kill off the present lawn and then over lays it with the new sod. Much to my surprise the jobs are not looking bad at all.


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