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swstout
05-13-2009, 08:16 PM
I have been getting calls for estimates on sod turf. I have some questions.

I find sod distributors on the web but very little information. One farm 12 miles from me offers 4x4x4 pallets (covers 400 sq .ft.), small rolls and large rolls and weight 1,700 to 2,900 pounds for a pallet.

Is there any advantage to the different styles (cost, ease of installation, needed equipment)?

All of the web sites show the different sods they carry but none give prices.

The last time I layed sod was 30 years ago for my own home in Jacksonville Florida. Any tips, suggestions, warnings?

Steve

CheapNEasy
05-13-2009, 08:38 PM
Here is an article I found may through a little insight to your question.

http://www.essortment.com/home/lawncaretipsi_sdlv.htm

I have always laid the rectangle sections of sod never laid the bigger rolls.

I find the sectionals easy to work with and such...

Make sure the soil is prepared correctly and ready before hand.

Once its laid and fertilized, good time to apply lime also! Water, roll, and water again till almost a "puddling" then you should be good to go... My aunt has helped me lay sod at a few properties.... she worked at a nursery for about 15 years and is a certified horticulturist.

Hope this helps at all...

CheapNEasy
05-13-2009, 08:44 PM
Here is a pricing chart for one of my suppliers, I am in Ga.

Zoysia (Empire) 504 sqft. pallet $200 pallet
Zoysia (Meyer)504 sqft $199 Pallet
Zoysia (Emerald) 504 sqft 209 Pallet
Bermuda (Certified Tifway 419)504sqft $109 Pallet
Tall Fescue 504 sqft $167 Pallet
Centipede 504 sqft $179 Pallet
St. Augustine (Palmetto)504 sqft $199 Pallet
St. Augustine (Raleigh)504 sqft $199 Pallet

Always very very good sod.

swstout
05-13-2009, 08:48 PM
Interesting article.

Steve

swstout
05-13-2009, 10:16 PM
Here is an article I found may through a little insight to your question.

http://www.essortment.com/home/lawncaretipsi_sdlv.htm

I have always laid the rectangle sections of sod never laid the bigger rolls.

I find the sectionals easy to work with and such...

Make sure the soil is prepared correctly and ready before hand.

Once its laid and fertilized, good time to apply lime also! Water, roll, and water again till almost a "puddling" then you should be good to go... My aunt has helped me lay sod at a few properties.... she worked at a nursery for about 15 years and is a certified horticulturist.

Hope this helps at all...

How do you figure labor? It's been 30 years since I did it. Then it was $100.00 a pallet. After doing it myself then (I thought it was a bargan). I didn't know what I was doing, what techinques saved time and work and it was hard work.

Steve

CheapNEasy
05-14-2009, 12:02 AM
I have heard that most charge around $2 to $3.50 per sqft

I have been charging around $750 for purchase of $200 pallet, soil prep, install, roll and watering.

Just seems like a decent figure to me and I dont mind doing it for that rate.

picframer
05-14-2009, 06:29 AM
I have two suppliers of Kentucky Blue Grass, one delivers for $75.00 doesn't matter what amount, one we have to pick up from and I keep about 5,000 square feet at the house along with soil (garden and lawn) mulch, clear stone, pea gravel etc.

I was shocked when I went into these places to set up a commercial account and get contractor pricing, we are paying about 50% less than customers, currently I am paying $0.21 a square foot and I charge $0.53 plus $0.46 to lay and $36.00 a thousand to spray. We too are getting a lot of requests for sodding, it's so heavy to transport, I only have two trailers that are worth the effort on big jobs, they are tandem and will haul 7,000 pounds.

We all meet at the house here at 6:30 in the morning, I plan the night before or if I have time plan ahead what crews are doing what, I hand them two work orders for each site, one for the client and one for the client's signature, they have to come back with the money attached (cheque, credit or cash) the staff then get loaded up.

I bought an older John deere with a loader which stays at the house, most of the staff can run it and load themselves or come back for more if required which is usually the case.

I am thinking of having one of the guys simply do deliveries to the crews or the job site the day before, I am trying a lot of things to figure out what the process should be that is the most efficient. We have a very quick staff meeting every morning to talk about when the staff would like changed, ideas, problems etc. Everyone has an equal say and every idea is counted, really builds the team.

Thank goodness I have an office lady helping me or we would be in serious trouble due to the quick growth, she is amazing and very well organized, as I mentioned before she is a single work at home mom, I gave her a gift certificate for a weekend at a spa for Mothers day, these little things go a long way, I think everyone is putting in 110%.

Make sure you keep lots of stakes for the sods in your vehicles, they are free here, staff generally go back after 5 +/- days to remove them or collect them from the home owner.

So in closing make sure you tell them you are a contractor, make your company sound big as that is their target market and push for a discount as you will get it.

swstout
05-14-2009, 09:03 PM
I have two suppliers of Kentucky Blue Grass, one delivers for $75.00 doesn't matter what amount, one we have to pick up from and I keep about 5,000 square feet at the house along with soil (garden and lawn) mulch, clear stone, pea gravel etc.

I was shocked when I went into these places to set up a commercial account and get contractor pricing, we are paying about 50% less than customers, currently I am paying $0.21 a square foot and I charge $0.53 plus $0.46 to lay and $36.00 a thousand to spray. We too are getting a lot of requests for sodding, it's so heavy to transport, I only have two trailers that are worth the effort on big jobs, they are tandem and will haul 7,000 pounds.

We all meet at the house here at 6:30 in the morning, I plan the night before or if I have time plan ahead what crews are doing what, I hand them two work orders for each site, one for the client and one for the client's signature, they have to come back with the money attached (cheque, credit or cash) the staff then get loaded up.

I bought an older John deere with a loader which stays at the house, most of the staff can run it and load themselves or come back for more if required which is usually the case.

I am thinking of having one of the guys simply do deliveries to the crews or the job site the day before, I am trying a lot of things to figure out what the process should be that is the most efficient. We have a very quick staff meeting every morning to talk about when the staff would like changed, ideas, problems etc. Everyone has an equal say and every idea is counted, really builds the team.

Thank goodness I have an office lady helping me or we would be in serious trouble due to the quick growth, she is amazing and very well organized, as I mentioned before she is a single work at home mom, I gave her a gift certificate for a weekend at a spa for Mothers day, these little things go a long way, I think everyone is putting in 110%.

Make sure you keep lots of stakes for the sods in your vehicles, they are free here, staff generally go back after 5 +/- days to remove them or collect them from the home owner.

So in closing make sure you tell them you are a contractor, make your company sound big as that is their target market and push for a discount as you will get it.

I made an agreement today with a local sod farm. He deals in both rolls and the rectangles. Bermuda is $75.00 per pallot, Centipede is $95.00 a pallet. he delivers to job for a $100.00 flat fee up to 25 miles.If I sell "retail" he will give me 25%. He gives 5% for 10 pallets, 10% for 20 Pallets, and 15% for 30 or more pallets.

He is 12 miles from me. I went to the sod farm today and it was spotless. No weeds that I could see. Well kept fields.

I had him go to my website and showed up with both my trucks. Gave him a packet with my contractor's liceince and certificate of insurance.

Steve

picframer
05-14-2009, 09:34 PM
I made an agreement today with a local sod farm. He deals in both rolls and the rectangles. Bermuda is $75.00 per pallot, Centipede is $95.00 a pallet. he delivers to job for a $100.00 flat fee up to 25 miles.If I sell "retail" he will give me 25%. He gives 5% for 10 pallets, 10% for 20 Pallets, and 15% for 30 or more pallets.

He is 12 miles from me. I went to the sod farm today and it was spotless. No weeds that I could see. Well kept fields.

I had him go to my website and showed up with both my trucks. Gave him a packet with my contractor's liceince and certificate of insurance.

Steve

That is great news Steve!!!

Unless it is a very small job, I buy from the spot that delivers for $75.00 as this stuff is so heavy I just can't be bothered. They deliver on pallets then I put the fork lift attachment on the tractor and move the pallets around the property to save the staff back work.....well a bit I guess

swstout
05-14-2009, 11:40 PM
Make sure you keep lots of stakes for the sods in your vehicles, they are free here, staff generally go back after 5 +/- days to remove them or collect them from the home owner.

I know I am showing my inexperience, I only have installed sod on my own home about 30 years ago, but what are steaks and how are they used. How will they make my jobs easier or have better results?

Steve

picframer
05-15-2009, 05:33 AM
Make sure you keep lots of stakes for the sods in your vehicles, they are free here, staff generally go back after 5 +/- days to remove them or collect them from the home owner.


I know I am showing my inexperience, I only have installed sod on my own home about 30 years ago, but what are steaks and how are they used. How will they make my jobs easier or have better results?

Steve

If there is much of a grade, and where I live everything has a grade due to small rolling hills and big hills, you stake the top and bottom of the sod to keep it from sliding should it rain.

I have seen a few jobs, not many, where a company put sod down, customer had a pretty good grade, we would have a called for or freak rain storm (living next to the ocean it's desperate hard to forecast the weather) and the sod would slide down the grade, man what a mess and qute often the sod would be ruined.

Andy

swstout
05-15-2009, 08:39 AM
If there is much of a grade, and where I live everything has a grade due to small rolling hills and big hills, you stake the top and bottom of the sod to keep it from sliding should it rain.

I have seen a few jobs, not many, where a company put sod down, customer had a pretty good grade, we would have a called for or freak rain storm (living next to the ocean it's desperate hard to forecast the weather) and the sod would slide down the grade, man what a mess and qute often the sod would be ruined.

Andy

The home I did was in Florida where the highest point in the state was 45 feet abgove sea level. No hills at all - flat as a table (the local's refer to a hill as something that doesn't turn to swamp when it rains). Here in South Carolina we have some grade though. My own front yard is about 3' higher on the right side than the left side over 150'. I have seen lawns that have been built up that have a somewhat steep grade on one side - a 4-5' incline over 10-12 feet.

Are your steaks made of wood? I probably will have to make my own ateaks. How long should they be? How long should they be left in the sod before the sod roots?

Steve

picframer
05-15-2009, 08:13 PM
The home I did was in Florida where the highest point in the state was 45 feet abgove sea level. No hills at all - flat as a table (the local's refer to a hill as something that doesn't turn to swamp when it rains). Here in South Carolina we have some grade though. My own front yard is about 3' higher on the right side than the left side over 150'. I have seen lawns that have been built up that have a somewhat steep grade on one side - a 4-5' incline over 10-12 feet.

Are your steaks made of wood? I probably will have to make my own ateaks. How long should they be? How long should they be left in the sod before the sod roots?

Steve

On your lawn, we would not stake based on that grade.

Have you seen door shims at the big box stores, basically a shingle but only 2" wide??

A sod stake is about 1 1/2" wide, maybe 6" long, 1/2" thick on one end and to a point on the other.

Not sure what they cost as the place I buy sod from sends 1 few hundred every load, I probably have 5,000 in the garage, if you want some let me know but most places include them for free.

swstout
05-15-2009, 09:00 PM
On your lawn, we would not stake based on that grade.

Have you seen door shims at the big box stores, basically a shingle but only 2" wide??

A sod stake is about 1 1/2" wide, maybe 6" long, 1/2" thick on one end and to a point on the other.

Not sure what they cost as the place I buy sod from sends 1 few hundred every load, I probably have 5,000 in the garage, if you want some let me know but most places include them for free.

I have probably 150 shims. I use them for leveling kitchen cabenits, etc. They are cheap here but I don't think I will need many. Very flat here.

Been a busy exausting week! I figure 12-16 hours tomorrow and 12 Sunday yet to go. Doctor told me to lose 40 pounds. I think I lost 10 this week.

Steve

picframer
05-15-2009, 09:11 PM
I hear you bud, I along with the staff are pounding the hours in, 64 so far this week, one 16 hour day. Make hay while the sun shines as I suspect there will be a dry spell, I sure hope so as I am getting burnt out.

Decided to stop taking orders for a bit, I did an interview with a local paper on Organic lawn care and the phone has been going nuts as Mosquito's and black flies are here, weeds are everywhere and the by laws here are oull or find an organic product, they even changed it so we can't use a torch to kill weeds anymore.

Anyhow no complaints:)

Andy

swstout
05-15-2009, 11:19 PM
I hear you bud, I along with the staff are pounding the hours in, 64 so far this week, one 16 hour day. Make hay while the sun shines as I suspect there will be a dry spell, I sure hope so as I am getting burnt out.Andy

After my last post I sat down in the livingroom to watch the weather. I just woke up, didn't hear the weather! I just checked weather.com - 95 tomorrow with 90% humidity. Same for Sunday. Have 2 gallons of unsweetened Ice Tea ready for tomorrow. Thunderstorms M-W. and cooler.

I ordered almost $800.00 for supplies from Nature's Magic last night. Have 9 jobs lined up. Doing an interview with local paper Monday on Organic Lawn Care. Any tips?

Steve

swstout
05-16-2009, 01:13 AM
Here is a pricing chart for one of my suppliers, I am in Ga.

Zoysia (Empire) 504 sqft. pallet $200 pallet
Zoysia (Meyer)504 sqft $199 Pallet
Zoysia (Emerald) 504 sqft 209 Pallet
Bermuda (Certified Tifway 419)504sqft $109 Pallet
Tall Fescue 504 sqft $167 Pallet
Centipede 504 sqft $179 Pallet
St. Augustine (Palmetto)504 sqft $199 Pallet
St. Augustine (Raleigh)504 sqft $199 Pallet

Always very very good sod.
My supplier here in SC have 4 varities of Zoysia @ $125.00 to $150.00
Bermuda Certified Tifway 419 - $75.00
Centipede - $95.00
St. Augustine - Too far north
All 504 sq. ft. in small roles 16" x 81" or pallets
$100.00 jobsite delivery

I would negotiate!
Steve