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How much to charge for new bed installs

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  • How much to charge for new bed installs

    I got a call to make a new bed running from the front porch to halfway down the side of the house. To include some shrubbery and plants. Im not to concerned about the plants and shrubs, what would you charge to make the bed from scratch not including he planting. 40 ft X 5 ft with a rounded curve around the corner of the house going out a couple more feet. Thanks
    http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

  • #2
    I'm not an expert on this, but I feel bad seeing you haven't gotten any replies yet.

    So here's how I understand it: currently, there is grass, and the person wants the grass removed, and a garden/plant bed in place of that area (200sq. ft.)?

    Here are the steps that I can think of: 1) Removing all of the grass. This could be a challenge, or fairly easily. Some grasses you can just cut in a line and roll them up like sod almost. It grows so thick, that the roots just all come up at once. Other grasses are not so easily. Each cluster of grass, 2in x 2in section, has its own root clump. This would be a pain to pull out over a thousand of these.

    2) Till or otherwise freshen the area. You could skip step 1, and just till the grass, but then you have blades of grass mixed up in the soil and I personally think that looks like junk, and not very professional. I do not recommend skipping step 1 because you want to remove as much material as possible. For that professional bed edged look, the bed has to be a bit lower than the rest of the yard for that dramatic looking edge edge. And, in step 3, you should add top soil anyway. Adding water to the soil makes tilling much easier.

    3) Add new soil. Depending on where you live, the soil may or may not be crap. New rich soil never hurts though. Especially when it looks so fresh and black. It's pretty cheap too. You might want to mix in some fertilizer if you think that could be a concern. You can mix in the soil with the tiller, or you can throw it on top.

    4) Do the edging and clean-up.

    For this, I would personally charge between $500 and $1000, leaning more towards the upper numbers.
    Removing 200sq. ft. of grass: 2-3 hours at least? $120-150 for this
    Tilling: $250+ in labor plus costs. Home Depot rents one for $50. plus gas
    Top soil: 200sq.ft. x 2in(?) top soil = ~32cu. ft. Home Depot sells 1cu. ft. for ~$1.50. You can get it cheaper other places. $50 in soil, plus transport costs.
    Edging: 50ft. Probably take you an hour to do a good, clean job. $50.
    ~$600. Plus plants.
    Again, not an expert, but this is how I would go about.
    Keep in mind, Hose A and Hose B out front Home Depot will quote this person ~$250 for the whole job.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the input!
      http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input!
        Do you feel like what I said applies to you, or helped you?
        I know it can be hard to give a customer a big bill like that, but you have to realize how much work it will take. I still have trouble spitting out large numbers like that, but I'm tired of not getting paid enough.

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        • #5
          40 ft X 5 ft with a rounded curve around the corner of the house going out a couple more feet.
          How are you planning on doing this? What equipment would you be using and how long do you feel it would take?
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          • #6
            I have done several of these types of projects for people who are having nurseries coming in to plant the plants. I would charge around $1,100 for an area 40x5 depending on if they want mulch, stones, or some type of bed liner.

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            • #7
              Do you feel like what I said applies to you, or helped you?
              I know it can be hard to give a customer a big bill like that, but you have to realize how much work it will take. I still have trouble spitting out large numbers like that, but I'm tired of not getting paid enough.
              Yes it does, I'll know more after I talk to him wednesday.
              http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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              • #8
                How are you planning on doing this? What equipment would you be using and how long do you feel it would take?
                I'm thinking two days to finish, depending if he's looking for mulch too, the scraping the grass up and then tilling will take most of the time. The planting should be simple.
                http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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                • #9
                  HeHe, Hose A and hose B. good one.

                  I would agree with ratchetmaster. this is a bigger type of job. Most home owners dont realize how much time and work it takes to do something that is quite simple to picture. especially if your posting ads on craigslist when starting out. Most people go for craigslist ads because they want to get jobs done as cheap as possible. but its good to do these jobs as it gets your name out there and quick.

                  I would easily quote between $600-$700 dollars for this job. keeping in mind that i only work within a certain radius. so it doesnt take me far to drive to either dump off excavation fill, old grass. or to pick up new materials such as soil mulch or stone.

                  Hope this helped, just kind of wanted to throw in my two cents. Thanks for the great site by the way.

                  Danny.

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                  • #10
                    I'm thinking two days to finish, depending if he's looking for mulch too, the scraping the grass up and then tilling will take most of the time. The planting should be simple.
                    Yes. Very time and labor intensive work. Be ready for the tiller, it will be a workout. Tilling that much area will tire you out very fast. Other tillers might be different (I would hope so), but the ones I've used are constantly trying to rip your arms off, from the nature of them trying to dig into the soil. Just keep a firm grip and don't let it get away

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                    • #11
                      I just bid one out at 25$ an hour. for 8 hours of laying mulch , and 4 hours of pulling weeds at 20/hr. plus supplies. Gave them an estimate of 500$ , and it was just an estimate, but I'm not doing it for any less then 25$ an hour. I also guessed it was 3-5 square yards of mulch. Much bigger job then I am usually use too

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                      • #12
                        Ok I know I am new here but wanted to put my 2cents out there also. I completely agree with the $1100 bid. I have recently just started getting into the landscape side of things, and can personally tell you this smallest job I have bid was $450. And that was 3 cyd of mulch to freshen up beds, re-edge two beds which total length was 40ft, apply a contact herbicide, and a preemergent. The job took 2 hours an had a total of $75 of materials.

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                        • #13
                          Ok I know I am new here but wanted to put my 2cents out there also. I completely agree with the $1100 bid.
                          I think most people would say "Whoa! $1100, for a patch of dirt? No thanks." I agree, it's a fair price, at your profit margin, but you have to broaden your perspective.

                          If you bid $1100, it's likely you won't get the job because the customer wasn't expecting such a high number. Then you don't have any money in your pocket.

                          I just watched lawn care business operation episode by Steve. It was about overhead, and calculating it. Every single day costs you money. Insurance, depreciation in equipment, closer to the end of the season, etc.

                          Work is slow for me right now. I would rather get the job for $700, spend $150 on materials, and profit $550 than not do the job for $1100 and have nothing in my pocket. $550 for 2-3 days work by myself? That's food, gas, and cell phone bill for the month. If you had a laborer or two, it would be less than a day's work.

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                          • #14
                            I think most people would say "Whoa! $1100, for a patch of dirt? No thanks." I agree, it's a fair price, at your profit margin, but you have to broaden your perspective.

                            If you bid $1100, it's likely you won't get the job because the customer wasn't expecting such a high number. Then you don't have any money in your pocket.

                            I just watched lawn care business operation episode by Steve. It was about overhead, and calculating it. Every single day costs you money. Insurance, depreciation in equipment, closer to the end of the season, etc.

                            Work is slow for me right now. I would rather get the job for $700, spend $150 on materials, and profit $550 than not do the job for $1100 and have nothing in my pocket. $550 for 2-3 days work by myself? That's food, gas, and cell phone bill for the month. If you had a laborer or two, it would be less than a day's work.
                            Here is how you get your price
                            Layout and design 3 hours
                            remove sod, edge, add soil amendments 8 hours
                            Install weed cloth and mulch 5 hours
                            Install plants 4 hours

                            total Time 20 hours

                            Material
                            layout material 50
                            top soil, and amendments 100
                            Weed cloth 50
                            Mulch 150
                            Plants say 250
                            total material 600

                            Total Estimate 1200

                            When they see what it takes in time and material, and how har the work is they will gladly pay you 1000 to 1100

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                            • #15
                              Here is how you get your price
                              Layout and design 3 hours
                              remove sod, edge, add soil amendments 8 hours
                              Install weed cloth and mulch 5 hours
                              Install plants 4 hours

                              total Time 20 hours

                              Material
                              layout material 50
                              top soil, and amendments 100
                              Weed cloth 50
                              Mulch 150
                              Plants say 250
                              total material 600

                              Total Estimate 1200

                              When they see what it takes in time and material, and how har the work is they will gladly pay you 1000 to 1100
                              I completely agree with you on this Steve. I think maybe where a lot of people make a mistake is just telling someone a price for a job instead of giving the an itemized written, or electronic estimate. The general public will respond better to an itemized estimate showing the complete break down of a job is what I have noticed from the get go.

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