very large sod qoute need some other opinions

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by coastlinelandscape, May 25, 2006.

  1. coastlinelandscape

    coastlinelandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a builder I have been working with for a while now. We were hydroseeding all of his lots but now he wants to sod everything for two developments he has comming up. It is about 63 lots and 10,000 sq ft of area to get sod. I get sod at 250 per 1000 sq ft.

    Here is my issue. I typically charge .50 a square foot to install sod. But never priced a job of this quantity. Like I said I have been working with him a while but still do not want to risk being too high on this one just because of the off chance he might use the other guy. But I still do not want to loose my shirt either. How would you guys work pricing on somthing like this? Thanks for the replys in advance I need some other opinions here.
  2. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    My advice is price it to make good money. Sure, you could keep the customer happy with a cheap rate but you and only you lose on revenue.
    The customer will be rewarded with a cheap price while you will never ever see that lost money and time again. You can't turn the clock back so make the most of your time. There is always another job that will pay better so you can stay in business...
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    It would seem to me that a certain amount of your usual costs that you are trying to cover with the standard 50 cent price is to cover your advertising and another portion is to cover your costs to go out and give quotes on the jobs.

    If you take those costs out of this, since they don't apply, then you can afford to give a discount and still have the exact same margins as before.

    If I were doing it, I would go a 10% discount.
  4. coastlinelandscape

    coastlinelandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    thanks for the opinions. I just put it in at .85 a square foot. Reason being there was some fine grading added and I have to remove any excess materials from the site. Knowing the excavator I will be doing some dirt removal. So it is at 850.00 per thousand sq ft. What do you guys think of that price. It's in now so it's too late to pull the bid. But I am not going to loose money on any job that's for sure.
  5. jdkatz

    jdkatz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I worked for a tract home builder and we paid out just for the sod install $185 per 500 sf. Yeah it sucks real bad. The contractor kept $30, and gave his sub $20 per pallet/500 sf. the guy and his crew would hand rake included in his $20, we subbed out the grading to someone else. And the installer mould average 400 - 500 pallets a week. his crew would eat up a chunk and his insurance was expensive. The only advantage is volume but even in Fl its still a cyclical biz. I install sod and depending on the size, smaller jobs are more costly, I charge between $185 to $205 per pallet/500 sf. Some folks get 250 per pallet installed, Maybe here its market saturated??
  6. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    i just put a bid in for a job like yours only the jobs were about 15k to 20k sq. ft. i bid .34 cents a sq. ft installed. this also included preparing the seedbed by harley or york raking. plus you had to do 6 model homes and they would only pay for the material. they said i was much more than the guy who got the bid but they wouldnt give me an exact number.....

  7. syzer

    syzer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I don't have a lot of experience in sod laying, however we have layed about 3k sq ft this year. We charge anywhere from 1.25 to 1.50 a square foot (depending on where we have to pick our sod up do to job size) and an hourly rate for ground prep. We have gotten the few jobs we bid on.

    How are you guys charging .34 or .50 a sq ft?
  8. coastlinelandscape

    coastlinelandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Well I figure like this....

    Sod costs me .22 cents a sq ft. I do not price by pallet because I use rolls. So I do everything by sq ft. Now in that .22 cents for the sod I get the sod, the delivery and they unload the truck and stage for me this way I can be preping the ground while they unload. So at .22 cents for the sod if I charge .50 I am only making .28 a sq ft. I can blow out 30,000 sq ft in a day with 5 guys and two machines if the ground is ready. But if you have to do prep work that cuts in a bit due to time, gas and machine wear and tear. So I went .85 on this one. Also, with this particular builder and most builders for that matter the insurance requirements are crazy. Plus you have to give a guarantee and water and fertilize usually for the first month. So all of this needs to be figured in. Some dumb ass LCOs go in cheap because of the large quantity and shoot themselves in the foot in the long run because they don't account for these costs. I know a few guys that only make .10 a square foot for this same type of job and they loose their ass all day. There is a difference between owning your own biz and making money and owning your own biz and just keeping busy making the same money as if you worked for someone. At .10 a sq ft if you figure all the actual time spent some guys make a big 15 dollars an hour. I outwright own all my skidsteers, trackhoes, trucks and trailers nothing is financed and I still could not go that cheap. best I can do is .50 on a typical install.
  9. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    i live in a small resort town. my landed cost to my customers door for sod is .30 cents a foot this year. nearest farm is 110 miles away.

    Last year I did sod for .50 a foot, and then read this forum. then figured out I was losing my behind.
    so, now I'm doing it for about a buck a foot by the time you figure prep. Then sprinklers on top of that, and gardens, and drip lines, and trees.

    big enough job, i'll cut it some, but have to be careful.
  10. sir mows-a-lot

    sir mows-a-lot LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 3

    So "coastline" did you get the job? Send me a PM, in case I don't find this forum again.

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