unusual situation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KerryB, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    I was approached by the owner of a commercial prop I cut on Thursday. He wanted 7yds of red mulch put out in the front beds of his restaurant and color in front of the door. No problem. Then he said he wanted it done before Sat. Ok Friday morning I delivered the mulch and left to go pick up flowers. When I returned the owner was cutting the hedges and putting out the mulch All I did was plant 63 6" mums and mulched around them.

    mums cost $1.89 ea. $90.80
    mulch cost $2.45 2cu bag ea $220.50

    I lost my labor for putting out mulch. should I still charge him 2.5x for the mulch?
    my bill looks like this:
    63 mums 224.28
    90 2cuft bags 553.50
    Delivery $50.00
    Total $827.78
    Sound about right or should I only double the price of the mulch? I dont want to set a precident for the mulch if I have to put it out on the other beds at a later date.
    Any help would be appreciated especially from you guys in North Carolina.
  2. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    Why did you get the mulch in baggged form? I should think that if you are gonna charge the guy for delivery of the materials, then how can you even get 2x for the material itself, without spreading it? I would assume that the guy has been to a Home Depot before and has seen the price for the bagged mulch. But hey, it's not my business. It's your business, so you do what you feel is right, and that you feel you can get away with ;)
  3. Lawn Services

    Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    from DE
    Messages: 28

    as soon as i returned i would have setled it right there with him ethier i'am spreading the mulch or you can spread the mulch what ever made him happy would make me happy
  4. Cheese burger

    Cheese burger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Seems a little high, but sounds like you put in whole day on the project. $500 above materials is where I like to be for a full days labor. Most of my landscapes include some tractor work and it seems to be easier to charge more when there is big noisy equipment on the site.
  5. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    Well, bagged is the only way this mulch comes. Its not ground up pallets, its the good stuff.
    anyhow we do not have a home depot around here, only lowes and no one else carries this stuff.
    Plus this was a rush job, I had to put off everything else I had scheduled for that day. As for him doing my work that was ok by me. I just hated loosing all that labor. Plus we are talking about a round trip to pick up the mulch of 60miles. Plus I had to load and unload by myself.
    Lawnboy I am not sure I follow you, are you saying I should have sold it to him at my cost? After using my truck, my time, my back to load unload and deliver just because i didnt spread it? I would assume that this is a no no in the landscape business just as it is in any other business. I never sell for my cost even if the customer is with me when I buy it. Am I wrong?
  6. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    I dunno, but I mean 2.5X seems really steep. Plus you are getting for delivery?
  7. diginahole

    diginahole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Verbal contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on. Always get a signed work order before you start any work. Just be glad you didn't bring 5 guys along to spead the mulch. This time I would just bill him cost of material plus time spent.
  8. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    Well thanks for your input guys, I was pricing from older threads I had seen on Lawnsite where some are charging 2.5x cost for mulch plus adding labor. Kutnkru, 65hoss, bobbygedd, fireman all have had some very good advice on this and other subjects and this seemed a fair way to price. So I priced the mulch at 2xcost.
    Hey lawnboy82, I even found a couple of posts from you where you charged 2.5x cost plus labor for mulch. Just an observation.
    Diginahole you are so very right about verbal contracts I usually try to prepare a proposal beforehand and have it signed. But this was a rush job and didnt have time.

    As for the delivery charge that is for my truck and trailer. A 2001 chevy longbed v-8 isnt cheap.
    I think maybe I was a little light on the delivery charge but I am still working on all my costs.
    I know it is better to get mulch in bulk, however, some of the mulches I buy are only available in bag form and I think that it is much less time and labor intensive to put it out in bag form.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i would charge him whatever u were going to charge as per your original agreement. a deal is a deal, right? because someone rips u off, and its not on paper, does NOT make it ok.
  10. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    in the state of n.c. verbal contracts are just as binding as written contracts.

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