What's the going rate for prep work on new lawn installs?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by terracare, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. terracare

    terracare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    We're getting into new lawn installs this year and were wondering what the going rate on prep work is? We'll be using our John Deere 4510 tractor with a 6 ft. Harley rake.

  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    around 10 cents a sq. ft to prep it ready for seed

  3. Robert T

    Robert T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    It depends on the area your from
    In North East Indiana we get 6-10 cents to fine grade and seed
    Hydro seeding is about 12 -15 cents

    That said There is a very large company that seeds an acre for under $1800 in the Ft. Wayne area!
  4. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    its all depends on your area ( mostly the cost of living ) olderthandirt is in the same general region as me but i'm getting close to double per sq ft the prices around here are .17-20 cents. the only way anyone can really help you with this number is by making freinds with other companies in your area and asking what they charge or just by trial and error when bidding and asking what the other bids were respectfully.
  5. Katwalk

    Katwalk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I have 60,000 sq. ft. that was spread and graded last fall. There is consistently about 5-6 inches of loam everywhere. The areas are pretty wide open with several small slopes. Hydroseed will cost .05 a square x 60K equals $3000. Prep work with a bobcat with landscape rake(rockhound) and two guys raking figured at .10 a square foot x 60K = $6000 Total =$9000 Does this seem high? I have to send this bid today. Thanks.
  6. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    I would never get the job in my area with that high of a price. Around here there are tons of guys that will grade and hydroseed for ten cents a square a foot. I have been charging six cents a sq ft to grade and six to six to hydroseed and am constantly getting under bid by not scrubs but other well established companies.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Alot is going to depend on what is meant by prep. If the lot is just ruff graded and has to be leveled you sort of have to look at just how much time it is going to take to get it to level. Then If you have to haul in top soil, you have to look at how close you can haul it and dump it. If the lot is already on grade and the topsoil spread and it just needs smoothing up I can take a harley rake and do that 60,000 sqft in two to three hours. Hard to justify $6000 for 2 or 3 hrs of work, even factoring in for equipment. Now if you have to till the ground and start removing a lot of rocks and sticks you have to start factoring in hauling off all the trash as well as the grade work. I find it hard to do prep by the sqft. To many unknowns hidden in the ground I prefer to charge a hourly rate for my equipment, and just give them an estimate for an approx. time to complete. Making sure they understand that if I start digging up a bunch of buried junk and have to start hauling it off, its going to cost more. If they want an excat quote, I just add a few extra hours to my figures depending on job size, before I tell them how much time I figured it would take. In instances like that, if it takes less time than I figured, I dont deduct it from the final cost. After all, if it takes me longer than I figured, they wont want to pay the extra.
  8. bbone

    bbone LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 18

    Depends on the area like mud says, if it's like any of the new homes I've done you will want to account for clean up of all nails and excess concrete left from the homebuilder. You never know what you could find under what could look like a small rock. It always helps if the addition is small and you can knock it out in a day by doing all the yards at once. No drive time. I usually go at the 7-8 cent rate and adjust for necessary extras.

    Hey Rob T. , that company does for $1800 and includes what?
  9. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    I have a lawn to install that is about 17,000sq ft. Needs to be rough graded and about 80yrds of topsoil delievered. There is some topsoil piles onsite but 80yrds more has to be brought in. Im figuring with 2 skid steers and to seed and cover with marsh hay 4days total? Their are some rocks on site but many will get burried. I plan on using skid steers to dump the soil all over then take the power rake and level the lawn off. Does it make sense if this bid could be in the ballpark of about $7,000?
    Havent done any major grading before so thats going to take a few days to do.
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    No way to give an estimate on a site unseen. When you say rough graded, how do we know there isnt a large hole to fill in or a large hill to cut down. You are bringing in 80 yards of top soil but we dont know how much is on site. I can do a lot with one skid steer in a day and you are planning on two. One skid steer will easily move 80 yard of topsoil and spread it out using the harley rake in a day and leave time for seeding. If the ground is fairly level to start with you can use the harley rake to get the grade where you want it. I think your biggest factor will be waiting on the trucks to deliver your top soil. Still depending on the amount of grade work this job could be finished in a day but I would figure two to make sure your topsoil delivery didnt hold you up. A lot could depend on your abilities with the skid steer on whether it takes one day or a week and just what is meant by major grading is another big question.

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