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Old 02-06-2013, 07:11 PM
GodsGreenEarth GodsGreenEarth is offline
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The first thing you must know in order to make an accurate estimate is how much mulch your getting/spreading if you don't have an accurate idea of how much mulch you are putting down how can you charge your customer accordingly. For instance lets look at the two popular ways of spreading mulch Bags and by the scoop.

Bags. Realize that bags usually come in 2 basic sizes at your Home Depot/Lowes/Local nursery. 3cu Ft and 2 Cubic Feet. A yard is a cubic yard or 3x3x3 or 27 cu Ft. So either 9 bags or 13 1/2 bags equal a yard depending on what you are using.

By the scoop. It is important to realize that there are more then one size scoop. A lot of these scoops are 3/4 yd scoops and some are full yard scoops. In practice a level scoop equals the bucket size and a heaping scoop is 25%-50% more depending on the scoop. Hence a heaping 3/4 scoop is close to a yard but a heaping yard scoop can be a yard and a third or more.....

I made a few mistakes early on not realizing the different size scoops. Because the local nursery is nice to you and gives you extra mulch because you do a lot of business with them, is that something you want to give to free for your customer?

The absolute best thing you can do for estimating mulch prices is get used to what a yard is. What it looks like on your vehicle in bags or bulk. Get used to what it looks like spread on the ground. Let it soak in how much time and effort it takes locate the mulch, pick it up, drive it to the job, and spread it. Once you start to do this your mulch charges will go up. At least mine have...I've increased my prices by as much as some are charging over the past 3 years and plan on increasing again this year.....and I still seldom loose jobs as the customers know it will look right.
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