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What would you guys charge

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Roachy, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 125

    Im fairly new to the lawn care industry so I would like to know what you guys would charge for this. One of my new customers has a very thin lawn that I would like to overseed, so I figure I would run the dethatcher over it, overseed it, and then apply starter fertilizer. He has a1/4 of an acre. How would you guys break down the pricing for this. Is there any other way that you guys would go about overseeding like this? I live in new jersey and am working in a nice middle class area. Also, what do you guys charge for cuts on a 1/4 of an acre? I wnat to make sure I go about this the right way and not come up with a low ball offer either.
  2. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    I charge 0.45 sq ft to slit seed. Now this rate is for bermuda as I am in Texas. I would imagine you would go with turf type tall fescue or similiar, not sure the price of that. My price does not include soil prep or fert.
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Have you measured the property for the exact square footage? There is a difference between 10,000 sq ft and 15,000 sq ft, especially in regards to the amount of material you will need. You'll need to price based on your costs, I have no idea what it costs you to operate your equipment or what you hourly rate is.

    Dethatching and then overseeding isn't a bad way to do it. Some people like to aerate and then overseed, usually in the fall though. I'm not sure about your state, but be careful about applying fertilizer, you may need a license for that. I know here in Michigan I can apply straight fertilizer without a license but if it contains any pesticides or herbicides, I need a license. So you may want to check into that.

    Pricing a 1/4 acre for mowing can be all over the board, depending on amount of trimming/edging, if the customer wants the lawn bagged or not, number of customers I have in that area or if I have to drive a long ways to get to the job, how often the customer wants it cut and of course my costs that I have (equipment, insurance, etc.). With all that said, prices vary around the country, in my area a 1/4 acre lot with fairly minimal trimming and obsticles would be about $30/week.
  4. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 125

    Im pretty sure its right around 10,000 sq ft. I figured it would probably cost me around $50 in fuel and supply costs and be no more than a 2hr job. I figured I would price around $40 for dethatching and raking, and another $40 for applying fert and seed, and about $50 for my expenses. I was only going to apply with a rotarty seeder and not a slit seeder. Does this sound about right or lowball category?
  5. StihlMechanic

    StihlMechanic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Low, way low. At least break $250. I dont know your operating costs but this is low.
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Thatching is the easy part if you going rake it you better charge something for raking part thats hard part and you should have fee for hauling the thatch off
  7. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 125

    Ya my operating costs are fairly low because it is only my brother and I that run the accounts and the house is about 5mi from me. Im pretty sure the starter fert is around $30 for 10,000sq ft and the seed will be about $20 since im overseeding and not starting a new lawn. I was planning on using a lesco brand starter fert, and a mixture of rye and bluegrass seed. Apart from my expenses, what would you price for a dethatching, which should take about an hour; and what for the fert and seeding, which should take probably 30min. I always like to get $40 an hour when im working, and I will also have to price accordingly for my time picking up supplys. Am I going about this the right way? Its only a 1/4acre lot.
  8. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 125

    In the past Ive sometimes just drove over it with my 52in walk behind and bagged it all. I dont think theres going to be much thatch because the lawn is thin and I was hoping this would act more to loosen up the soil. I charge $35 a cut so bagging it would not raise my pricing up that much
  9. thegrassisgreener

    thegrassisgreener LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 5

    I was just curious about your pricing to confirm I wasn't misunderstanding the price per square foot, because I didn't realize that overseeding with a slit overseeder was so lucrative. $0.45 per sq. ft. @ 10,000 sq. ft. = $4,500. Do you do a lot of seeding jobs?
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,708

    You can low-ball the price if you are non-insured, nonlicensed, non high school graduate, and non-English speaking. Otherwise you are skilled labor and have overhead expenses. I think it will take at least twice as long as you expect. You should probably charge about a dollar per minute for any skilled labor or any job that makes you sweat. Charge another dollar for wear, tear, gas, repairs and replacment cost for the machinery you might use, (or its rental cost). And charge a huge extra fee to cover the cost of probable call-backs and re-dos. What if nothing comes up? And charge a huge extra fee in case the customer never waters (refundable, if he waters well). Or just does not pay. Also since you cannot apply crabgrass control over new seed, cover yourself for call backs due to crabgrass and weeds. Be sure to plant some seed in a coffee mug to prove to the judge that the seed was good and germinates well if watered right. Keep a sample of the seed to have an official lab test it, if a dispute arises.
    If lawn burned out last year--it will probably happen again. Keep in mind that their chemical lawn spraying company may apply crabgrass and weed control on top of your new seed. Naturally if there is a dispute--they will blame you.

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