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Taking Out Sod?!?!? HELP

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by RedWingsDet, May 11, 2004.

  1. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I have to make an offer to take out 2000 sq ft of sod. Im giving him an estimate of $460. I will have to rent a sod cutter, that runs about $75. so i figured that it shouldnt take more than 10 hrs. Ive never done it before. Is it hard? will the sod cutter cut through roots? please help thanks....

    i also told him to put new sod in that it would be $525 (costs me .12 cents per sq ft.)

    does that seem like a resonable price? thanks
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    You will want the old sod to be dead first. I assume the reason you are cutting out the old is because it is full of weeds?

    Sometimes it's best to try to make what is there work, rather than starting over. This may be one of those times.

  3. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    now, its fine, just alot of bumps and things, he told me he wants it all gone and leveled off and then we'll work from there. so i told him 460 and i'll do it. seems like a resonable rate. how long do u think it'd take? is it easy?
  4. fishman644

    fishman644 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    with two guys it should take about 3 hrs. i can do it by myself in about 4 hrs. i just did 2 tear outs and resodding jobs. i didnt kill the yard before i did it either.that is your call. you are about right on for the tear out cost. hor far do you have to take it to dump it?
  5. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    There's a little bit of a learning curve with a sod cutter but not too bad. The sod will cut better if you don't kill it. With my tractor to load my truck with, I can cut and load 500 square feet in an hour by myself. With the new install I think you are leaving money on the table. With that price are you including regrading to get rid of the dips and bumps? Also consider starter fertilizer.
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    You're gonna love the sod cutter.Go to Bluebirds site.They have a manual that shows how to operate the cutter.
    Drop the knife when starting and at the end of your run,raise the knife while still going forward.Only drawback is this thing will jar your teeth loose.
    It's not gonna take long to cut the sod,so you're getting a good price on that.
    After cutting,take a flat shovel and lift one end of the sod.then just roll it up and load it.Be prepared for it to break on ya.
    As for taking the bumps out,water the soil and roll it with a drum roller.If they're too large or to packed for that,a couple of guys with hoes and shovels can do wonders.The sod cutter itself will eliminate alot of small bumps though.
    Next,lay the new sod and roll the edges.Tell your customer to water twice daily.Keep it moist and don't cut until he/she can't pull the sod up by hand.(Meaning the roots have taken hold.)
  7. Ice_Gargoylle

    Ice_Gargoylle LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 60

    the depth of the blade is the most important. a little to thick and your up a creek- its really heavy and you still have to hual it. to thin and you scalp grass. my suggestion would be to go out a day a head of time and see what the soil is like- moist, dry, rock hard. dry or rock hard-water it. moist your in good shape. you'll ahve to make a few test runs to get the depth just right, but you can tell easily when you are getting JUST under the root system. less dirt = less work. if you do it right, you'll probably end up scalping or missing roughly 10-15% of the grass jyst becuase. so go back and get those missed areas. if ground is still uneven or bumpy....use the sodcutter to level ground out. you'll have to drop the blade for bare dirt to 3/4-1 inch though, otherwise its a rough ride.
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    thanks... also what does roll the edges mean?
  9. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Roll the edges of your sod strips with the roller.(Remember,moisten sod after installation,push the roller over the seams to keep them from curling on you.)
    One thing to take into account,measure the depth of the new sod going in.You'll want to cut your sod at least that deep in order to have a uniform installation.If you just take out the current grass at a shallower depth than your new sod,your going to have an unlevel lawn.
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    well i got the job. i charged $985 and it that includes taking out the old stuff, leveling it off and resoding. there is 2100sq ft

    with 3 people, how long should it take... Sod costs me $252 and to rent the sod cutter that costs about $100 plus labor for two people helping me will be around $50 or $75 each....

    so im looking at about a $500 profit.... how long do you think it'll take?

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