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jklawncare
04-11-2010, 11:28 PM
okay so i got this lady..tiny yard..i almost didnt put a bid on it but im glad i did..this yard is TINY and im just getting started..so when i say i put a 12$ bid on it..no one freak out..anyways
shes got mulch around the deck and the garage
about 90 sq feet of mulch
she wants me to take it out and put new mulch in
i told her thats no problem i just gotta find out material costs and id get back to her the next time i service her lawn.

i saw an add today
theres natural mulch 4/9$ for 2 cu feet (12 sq ft at 2" thick)
and colored mulch 2/5$ for 2 cu feet (yadayada)
then also shredded cedar bark 2.69 for ""
and cedar chips 2.96 """""""

regretfully i forgot to ask if she wanted the fabric or edging.

so edging costs 6.86 for 20 ft. i need 100
and fabric comes in 3' by 150' for 7.86

so here is the deal:


Fabric (optional) 100 ft. = 10.00
Edging (optional) 100 ft. = 40.00
22 Bags of Mulch = 70.00
____________________________
$130.00 for Materials
+40.00 for labor
________________________________________
160$ Total


is my labor too low? should i charge more?
its me and my partner doing the job
ill be buying mulch in bags to save her money..
buying it from a lot costs more since its not a lot
any advice?

CHEESE2009
04-11-2010, 11:36 PM
Bill her for materials/transportation prior to work, then charge per estimated hour(s)... no?


Chips = Ants like crazy! Stick with mulch

jklawncare
04-11-2010, 11:38 PM
thats what i was going to do but what should i charge in labor? what would you charge?

and thanks for the heads up on cedar chips..i know some people like them because there supposed to last longer but i didnt know ants liked them.

JP Landscaping
04-11-2010, 11:38 PM
based on my numbers that's off but I don't know how expensive bulk mulch is where you live. But, usually it's cheaper to buy it in bulk than to buy it in bags.

Here 1 yard of mulch (100 sq ft) goes f0r $22 for natural and $28 for colored mulch.

I think your mulch cost might be too high and your labor too low.

I charge $65 per yard of mulch includes installation but no fabric install. We don't use fabric under mulch, only under rock. also delivery is extra.

Edging is a separate charge. You can probably knock out 50-100 feet of edging in about 1 hour depending on how hard the soil is.. so if you want to figure in the middle and say 75 ft per hour. so apply that to your hourly rate.

jklawncare
04-11-2010, 11:40 PM
well i dont have a truck..only suv..and theyll charge me like..35 just to deliver the mulch..

CHEESE2009
04-11-2010, 11:44 PM
Well sometimes I charge $17.00/hr (owner/foreman)
$12.00/hr (crew)

but you can try to aim for $40.00/hr (owner/foreman)


Depends if I like the customer or not. :P

JP Landscaping
04-11-2010, 11:45 PM
Then I guess you need to use bags.

But I think your labor is too low. figure the time it will take you to get the material, drive it to her place and install it. You're looking at about 4 labor hours. So you can apply your hourly rate to that and give her a labor estimate.

jklawncare
04-11-2010, 11:47 PM
its a small house and she seems like shed do it herself..she has before but i think shes just short on time and wants to find a way out of it..i expect the job..with 2 people to take about..3-4 hours..i can always take off if its shorter..would 300.00 per hour be a good price?

CHEESE2009
04-11-2010, 11:57 PM
its a small house and she seems like shed do it herself..she has before but i think shes just short on time and wants to find a way out of it..i expect the job..with 2 people to take about..3-4 hours..i can always take off if its shorter..would 300.00 per hour be a good price?

It's hard to say, but if you want to go with that...


Why not make it, "299.00" :D

That looks so much better on the eyes!

jklawncare
04-12-2010, 12:06 AM
agh im sorry..my finger must have twitched.hahaha
i meant to say 30.00$
you think that would be too pricey?
i am only 16
ill be raking out the old with standard hand tools..throwing it in some garbage cans..laying out new mulch and spreading it..and if she wants maybe fabric and edging..i hope she does edging so that way i just have to dump and spread and that way i dont have to worry about over hang..its just dump spread leave..

CHEESE2009
04-12-2010, 12:21 AM
agh im sorry..my finger must have twitched.hahaha
i meant to say 30.00$
you think that would be too pricey?
i am only 16
ill be raking out the old with standard hand tools..throwing it in some garbage cans..laying out new mulch and spreading it..and if she wants maybe fabric and edging..i hope she does edging so that way i just have to dump and spread and that way i dont have to worry about over hang..its just dump spread leave..


I'd say don't even bother with telling her additional work that could be done for this job... the longer you are at a job, the more stressful it becomes.

$30.00 is fantastic!

I'd say, go grab a tarp for $5.00/$15.00 load up all the old mulch onto it, tie it up & throw it out.

Charge her for the tarp. It's cheaper than garbage bags depending on the job size.

Then all you gotta do is lay down some mulch, easy money! In and out!!!

Just the way it should be!

jklawncare
04-12-2010, 12:24 AM
well i dont need to worry about bags..i have 4 rubbermaid cans that i use for home and sometimes for lawns..

i can just put it in to there..no hassling with tarps..and to get rid of mulch theres a 50 acre lot right next to me...all brush and woods..i dump my lawn clippings in it and my old food..its a compost pile..works great..ill probly just throw that in next to it..
plus about 12 acres is cut out for construction and the piles of shredded trees is there..matches perfectly..ahah

CHEESE2009
04-12-2010, 12:26 AM
well i dont need to worry about bags..i have 4 rubbermaid cans that i use for home and sometimes for lawns..

i can just put it in to there..no hassling with tarps..and to get rid of mulch theres a 50 acre lot right next to me...all brush and woods..i dump my lawn clippings in it and my old food..its a compost pile..works great..ill probly just throw that in next to it..
plus about 12 acres is cut out for construction and the piles of shredded trees is there..matches perfectly..ahah

You are lucky :(

lmao... I wish my area had a special little dump spot right next to home!

jklawncare
04-12-2010, 12:29 AM
hahahaha yeah..its pretty convinient..fall leaves..blow em right over the little fence

kdexpd
04-12-2010, 01:40 AM
Hey JK
Just wanted to add my 2 cents here. I used to work for a pest control company and we really hated to see people put mulch against a house foundation. It draws ants and especially termites like you wouldn't believe. Now in your case, it's next to a shed, but still keep it in mind. If you're gonna do mulching around a house, use the rubber mulch. The sales pitch is it won't attract any bugs or termites and it will last for 5 years without fading (for the colored). If they don't want mulch, recommend they use a decorative rock, like river rock because it retains heat which will cook the normal bug. For your pricing, I charge $25/hour for all my small/light work (mulching, trimming shrubs, etc). If I'm installing rock or trenching, then it's $35/hour. Don't forget to add a fee for hauling off the old mulch. That's probably why she's looking to hire someone, as she doesn't want to deal with the hassle of disposing of it. I always forget to add this fee in and I regret it every time. Also, I charge a 5% markup on all my materials. Markup is great because your labor goes into your pocket and the markup goes back into your business.

kdexpd
04-12-2010, 01:42 AM
Sorry, I posted a 5% markup and meant to post 25%. My fingers are dyslexic tonight.

Steve
04-12-2010, 09:04 AM
I used to work for a pest control company and we really hated to see people put mulch against a house foundation. It draws ants and especially termites like you wouldn't believe.

When you worked for the pest company, would you tell the customer the mulch should be removed? Or did you spray it or how did you deal with that?

I guess they get comfortable in the mulch area and then they start to explore and climb up into the house?

When you are working in lawn care, do you point this out to your customers if you see it and suggest they have you remove it? I bet most people don't realize this.

bruces
04-12-2010, 03:25 PM
I have a question .Since you have the empty lot beside you,why not get a large load of mulch dropped there ,then bag it yourself [or use your rubermaid cans ] to deliver it to the site .This way,you will get the mulch cheaper,and have some left to use on the next job .Also,you have to get some mark-up on any supplies you use ,rule of thumb is in the 40-50% range .For a great customer,you can show a discount on your supplies [say 25 % OFF] ,this will give your customer a reason to think your really taking care of them .while your still making a 25% mark-up .

kdexpd
04-13-2010, 01:13 AM
When you worked for the pest company, would you tell the customer the mulch should be removed? Or did you spray it or how did you deal with that?

I guess they get comfortable in the mulch area and then they start to explore and climb up into the house?

When you are working in lawn care, do you point this out to your customers if you see it and suggest they have you remove it? I bet most people don't realize this.

Yes we would always recommend that the customer remove the mulch near the foundation. We would always recommend rubber mulch or river rock instead.

Bugs, especially ants and termites love the moist, warm mulch and it provides termites with a food source. I recommend rock because it holds a high enough temperature that insects can't hardly survive. Your chance of an infestation are much less with rock or rubber mulch. That and rubber mulch lasts for up to 5 years before the color fades. Now all you need to do is buy some mulch dye and re-apply every couple years. This saves you time and the customer money. I know I'd rather show up and dye it then re-apply it! Hey...that kinda rhymes...maybe I need to sell that to the manufactures!

Yes, I always point this out to my customers now that I do lawn care. I think it's a good way to take care of your customers when you are protecting their property. Termite jobs are horribly expensive, and the way I see it, I don't want to be responsible for them getting it. Another bad idea is getting the "free" mulch from the city brush sites. This is so BAD BAD! If you think about it, you are just spreading terrible things. Community mulch can harbor a number of tree diseases, termites, insecticides, unwanted herbicides, and even wood mites. Here in northern Missouri we're having a breakout of pine tree mites that are wreaking havoc on all our pines and spruces. They will totally wipe a tree out in a couple years time. Just some food for thought.

Steve
04-13-2010, 10:24 AM
Another bad idea is getting the "free" mulch from the city brush sites. This is so BAD BAD!

I never thought about that! Ultimately how does it compare with other sources of mulch? What would other places do to treat the mulch to minimize problems?

kdexpd
04-13-2010, 10:17 PM
Ultimately how does it compare with other sources of mulch?

Actually the stuff the city provides here is very long, course and full of small debris...not very pretty to look at. I used it on one of my first mulch jobs last year at a church. It was ok, however it wasn't very close to the road where people could get a good look at it either. I would never recommend it for a residential job though.

What would other places do to treat the mulch to minimize problems?


That's a good question Steve. I would be interested in knowing that so I could use it when I recommend certain brands of mulch. I could let the customer know which is better to suit their specific needs by the amount of what type and how much chemical they use in the mix.

dallen-65
04-14-2010, 01:23 AM
Can you tow a trialer with your suv?

Steve
04-14-2010, 10:01 AM
I would be interested in knowing that so I could use it when I recommend certain brands of mulch. I could let the customer know which is better to suit their specific needs by the amount of what type and how much chemical they use in the mix.

The next time you buy some mulch, if you are at a garden store, maybe they will know.

jymie
05-31-2010, 07:13 PM
okay so i got this lady..tiny yard..i almost didnt put a bid on it but im glad i did..this yard is TINY and im just getting started..so when i say i put a 12$ bid on it..no one freak out..anyways
shes got mulch around the deck and the garage
about 90 sq feet of mulch
she wants me to take it out and put new mulch in
i told her thats no problem i just gotta find out material costs and id get back to her the next time i service her lawn.

i saw an add today
theres natural mulch 4/9$ for 2 cu feet (12 sq ft at 2" thick)
and colored mulch 2/5$ for 2 cu feet (yadayada)
then also shredded cedar bark 2.69 for ""
and cedar chips 2.96 """""""

regretfully i forgot to ask if she wanted the fabric or edging.

so edging costs 6.86 for 20 ft. i need 100
and fabric comes in 3' by 150' for 7.86

so here is the deal:


Fabric (optional) 100 ft. = 10.00
Edging (optional) 100 ft. = 40.00
22 Bags of Mulch = 70.00
____________________________
$130.00 for Materials
+40.00 for labor
________________________________________
160$ Total


is my labor too low? should i charge more?
its me and my partner doing the job
ill be buying mulch in bags to save her money..
buying it from a lot costs more since its not a lot
any advice?

It is much cheaper to buy mulch in bulk without the bags. Use a trailer and a tarp to transport it to the jobsite. Take into consideration the time to do that. Use wheelbarrows to spread it. The bulk of your cost will be to remove the old mulch and dispose of it. I usually talk the customer into leaving the old mulch there as it decomposes over time. Cut the edges straight about 3-4 inches deep so you won't have overflow by using a spade shovel, its the square ended one. I am guessing you are looking at a 5 to 6 hour job if you need to remove the old mulch add another 2 hours to the total to dispose of it some where. Remember you are charging for you and your worker.

robgee05
05-31-2010, 08:03 PM
Well your best bet first of all is to buy it by the yard. Might cost you $25-50(plus say $25 for gas) for the mulch tops, especially if there is a lot of shrubbery. Depends on depth. I would charge her for about 3 hrs labor with edging and fabric. Digging the mulch out will be the biggest task. Plus where will you dump it and how much will it cost if anything. The distance to your truck or trailer pays a great role in the time bid. Can you roll right next to it with the truck of is it 150ft from the (a wheel barrow at a time) LOL.

I get up to $125 for the first yard installed. Just weed eating though no fabric and edging. If your already there to cut the grass you can cut the price down some of course. Most guys I know charge anywhere from 65-100 a yard depending on the size of the job. (mulch included) Just to install mulch. Sounds more like 150-175 plus any dump fees- Depending on your area and how close you can pull the truck to the job.

electronics2667
06-01-2010, 08:23 AM
Yes we would always recommend that the customer remove the mulch near the foundation. We would always recommend rubber mulch or river rock instead.

Bugs, especially ants and termites love the moist, warm mulch and it provides termites with a food source. I recommend rock because it holds a high enough temperature that insects can't hardly survive. Your chance of an infestation are much less with rock or rubber mulch. That and rubber mulch lasts for up to 5 years before the color fades. Now all you need to do is buy some mulch dye and re-apply every couple years. This saves you time and the customer money. I know I'd rather show up and dye it then re-apply it! Hey...that kinda rhymes...maybe I need to sell that to the manufactures!

Yes, I always point this out to my customers now that I do lawn care. I think it's a good way to take care of your customers when you are protecting their property. Termite jobs are horribly expensive, and the way I see it, I don't want to be responsible for them getting it. Another bad idea is getting the "free" mulch from the city brush sites. This is so BAD BAD! If you think about it, you are just spreading terrible things. Community mulch can harbor a number of tree diseases, termites, insecticides, unwanted herbicides, and even wood mites. Here in northern Missouri we're having a breakout of pine tree mites that are wreaking havoc on all our pines and spruces. They will totally wipe a tree out in a couple years time. Just some food for thought.



What about pine straw in the flower bed or does is have the same affect as the mulch.

Steve
06-02-2010, 12:09 AM
That is a good question. Does anyone else want to jump in here? I would think pine straw would have the potential for still attracting insects.