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  • First Time Bidding On Sod Installation

    Hi! I was wondering if someone could give me a hand on figuring out what to charge a new customer.

    Because of the location and type of sun and traffic he is getting it was recommended by a sod spe******t that we put in Celebration Bermuda which costs $150 a pallet and that covers approx. 450 sq. ft. The area I'm sodding is approx. 750 sq. ft.

    I will need to use a rototiller and remove and dispose of the old sod. The owner also doesn't live in this area so I will be required to travel about 30 min every other day for 3-4 weeks to water. He does not have a sprinkler system.

    I notice people saying to charge $.75 to $1.50 per sq. ft., But I don't understand how that can be when the sod itself will cost me $3 sq. ft. and that isn't counting labor, the fertilizer, or going back and forth to water 3-4 times a week. Is that amount what you tack on to the cost per sq. ft. of the sod so it would basically be $3.00 + $.75 to $1.50

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Oops, I'm an idiot and didn't calculate correctly. Now it all makes sense. LOL

    The cost for my sod is 150/450 which equals only $.33 per sq. ft.

    So how much should the mark up be if you are removing old sod and disposing should I shoot for around $1.50 per sq. ft. or is that too high?

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    • #3
      Hi! I was wondering if someone could give me a hand on figuring out what to charge a new customer.

      Because of the location and type of sun and traffic he is getting it was recommended by a sod spe******t that we put in Celebration Bermuda which costs $150 a pallet and that covers approx. 450 sq. ft. The area I'm sodding is approx. 750 sq. ft.

      I will need to use a rototiller and remove and dispose of the old sod. The owner also doesn't live in this area so I will be required to travel about 30 min every other day for 3-4 weeks to water. He does not have a sprinkler system.

      I notice people saying to charge $.75 to $1.50 per sq. ft., But I don't understand how that can be when the sod itself will cost me $3 sq. ft. and that isn't counting labor, the fertilizer, or going back and forth to water 3-4 times a week. Is that amount what you tack on to the cost per sq. ft. of the sod so it would basically be $3.00 + $.75 to $1.50

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      why not rent a sod cutter?

      Comment


      • #4
        why not rent a sod cutter?
        I'm new at this and I was reading another thread on a different site that stated it would be better for the base so that the sod takes to use a rototiller. I don't know the rules about linking another forum that is on the same subject so I'll tell you it was over at lawn site under "sod cutter or rototilling before laying sod."

        Any suggestions as to pricing?

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        • #5
          Pic of Property to Sod

          Sorry for multiple posting. I couldn't figure out how to edit my existing post.

          Attached is a picture of the yard we need to re-sod.

          I apologize for the quality of pics. My husband took them. LOL
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            I will need to use a rototiller and remove and dispose of the old sod. The owner also doesn't live in this area so I will be required to travel about 30 min every other day for 3-4 weeks to water. He does not have a sprinkler system.
            I would think that would add quite an extra cost. Could you potentially gain access to water in that area and set up an automatic water valve with a sprinkler and a hose?

            Also how long do you feel it would take you to do the job?
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            • #7
              I would think that would add quite an extra cost. Could you potentially gain access to water in that area and set up an automatic water valve with a sprinkler and a hose?

              Also how long do you feel it would take you to do the job?
              Hi Steve! To be honest I didn't know there was such a thing as an automatic water valve. I'm sure there is access to water somewhere and that would definitely be better than travelling out there so often.

              I'm not sure about how long it will take as we have never laid sod. Everything I have read seems to be that prep over an area with weeds and grass is the most time consuming part. It will only be me and my husband so we won't be paying employees. I'm assuming that because we won't be as familiar with the equipment or what we are doing that there will be a learning curve and we'll be slower then people who can do this in their sleep. I'm going to shoot with 5 hours to be on the safe side, but I hope it is faster.
              Last edited by Jencathen; 04-20-2010, 09:53 AM.

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              • #8
                There are many out there and many cheap ones that might work here like the Melnor valve here

                http://www.amazon.com/Melnor-3010-Me.../dp/B00004SDWD

                When estimating, especially early on, I think it's better to go by your hourly estimate.

                You have to know your costs of operating so if you shoot for 5 hours, you can make a profit on a bid you make for those 5 hours.

                Later you can look to bid based on sq ft. But I feel that is a more advanced bidding procedure that will mean nothing to you now until you get a bunch of these types of jobs under your belt and you know how long it will take you to do them and what your expenses are for doing them.

                If this time you feel you will need 5 hours, that will be 10 man hours between you and your husband?

                Based on that, can you multiply that by your hourly fee and come up with a price to charge?
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                • #9
                  Hi Steve. Thanks for your help. We actually took our costs and just added a profit margin to it. Our hourly rate went up because of all the rental equipment needed to be put into the overhead. Like you said, as we gain more experience and get the feel for how long a job will take we'll be able to make better judgement for the area we live in.

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                  • #10
                    I charge about $1 per sq ft. my sod also costs about 30 cents per sq ft.

                    option 1: Rent a sod cutter to take out all the current grass. Then till to loosen up the soil. spray the lawn with some water and lay the sod.

                    Option 2: Spray the area you want to get rid of with round off and wait for it to die. mow the area real low so you pick up the dead grass/weeds. Till the lawn to loosen the soil. Damp the soild and lay sod.

                    Option 3: Till the lawn with live grass/weeds. remove all the grass/weeds. Damp soil and lay sod.

                    ** Which ever way you do it, it seems 5 hours won't be enough time. It will take you time to dispose of the old grass- loading and unloading. time to cut it out. laying sod, touch ups, cleaning up, and watering.

                    Option number 1 is the quickest in my opinion. That is the way I do it. We usually don't till when we do it this way. We just remove the old sod, wet the ground and lay the sod.

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                    • #11
                      Hi JP! Thank you for your advice. I think I like option 1 the best also.

                      I did charge him a delivery and a disposal charge separate from the other stuff. $50 there and $50 to the dump that is close to his house.

                      The final bid we put in and got was $1426.24 including tax. That is for the re-sodding and he wanted his front and back yard mowed and those ugly trees in the courtyard pruned. That is including the $100 for delivery/disposal. I'm guessing that I'm underbidding because he jumped on my offer really quick. I'm not sure if it was because of being too cheap or the fact that he served 30 years in the Navy and he found out my husband is still Active Duty Navy and has been in for 18 years and they both served in Ingleside.

                      I'm guessing that doing this first job will give us a real feel for how hard it is to do it and how much time it takes us so that hopefully the next job that comes our way we will do better. Thankfully, the yard is extremely level so I don't think I'll have to worry too much about laying topsoil to even it out.

                      Geez I wrote a book! Sorry about that. Thanks for helping you guys are so friendly on this site.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think that's underbidding. I think that's a pretty good price for that area and the extra trimming. Trimming doesn't take long if you rent a gas powered pole pruner.

                        Good luck on your job and if you have any other questions, we're here to help.

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                        • #13
                          its easy you just gestamate the bid like I do, lol

                          Just kidding
                          Kirby

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                          • #14
                            Lol, That was how this one yard we did today. We didn't realize we couldn't get the Wright Stander into the front area because the gate was too small so we ended up having to use the push mower and it took a lot more time then it should. Let's just say now we know to check the gate width before giving an estimate. Live and learn eh?

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                            • #15
                              Oops, I'm an idiot and didn't calculate correctly. Now it all makes sense. LOL

                              The cost for my sod is 150/450 which equals only $.33 per sq. ft.

                              So how much should the mark up be if you are removing old sod and disposing should I shoot for around $1.50 per sq. ft. or is that too high?
                              Where are you if getting your sod from? Try to go to a sod farm if possible. You can usually get it for around .15 a sq ft
                              www.TeamDynamicOnline.com

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