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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

Digging myself into a hole(s) - Time and Price?


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2010, 02:23 AM
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LawnMoore LawnMoore is offline
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i have another tip for you and you all, instead of a tarp, since you have a full size truck, find you a s-10 sized bedliner, the ones that are poly or whatever there made of, get a used one, no need to buy it new.
Heres the time and money saving advice: since its smaller it will fit and come out easy from your bed, but on this job, use a wheelbarrow get the dirt to the truck, shovel the dirt into the back of your bed into "that bedliner", you get home or wherever just get under the back of the bedliner and slide it out voila! On a different job, take it out of the back, use it on the job for moving mass amounts of leaves/debri/brush/etc.. it slides across dirt ez and lawns easier.

I hope that helps you, i know its aomthing that when u read this, u will be like wow i never thought of that.. but its a nice tool when its out of the truck as well as in the truck or trailer!
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Last edited by LawnMoore; 07-29-2010 at 02:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2010, 09:49 PM
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Sigh.
I knew there would be more to this than just digging holes.

Here's where they need to go...



The customer is at the property with the white fence. They and the neighbor have discussed it and both wish to run the arborvitaes down the center.
There's only 4' 5" between the fences, so no room to run a wheelbarrow through after a plant is in the ground. I'd need to work one at a time from the far end back toward the front of the house.

They also wish to "cover the grass with weed block, then mulch over the entire space between the fences". I don't know if that will be sufficient, or if all of the grass will need to be killed first. Any advice on that would be helpful.

There MAY be a place nearby on an undeveloped lot that I can place dirt, but not within several lots, so taking it there with a wheelbarrow is out. I may not need to remove the dirt though if they want to cover the area with mulch. I could probably just spread it all out first.

Here I was thinking 20 minutes per tree, but with that "sucky" location, I don't know how much it will add to the time it takes. The only access is right in from the front as shown from where the photo was taken.

Oh, and delivery will not be an issue. I stopped at the local nursery and got a price - $20 if I unload, and $40 if they have to unload. $40 is a lot less than I'd charge for all the aggravation of doing it in my own truck.

Here's a shot of the type of houses in the development...

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  #13  
Old 07-30-2010, 03:05 PM
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What are you needing help with here exactly?

Are they providing the materials, weed block and mulch or are you supplying all that? i know they supply the plants.

You should have took some test pokes in that soil when you took those pictures,

What are your measurements on total area of mulch to be covered? It looked like to be about 4.5 x 75 feet but thats a guess.

p.s. clean your windshield! lol
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2010, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMoore View Post
What are you needing help with here exactly?

Are they providing the materials, weed block and mulch or are you supplying all that? i know they supply the plants.

You should have took some test pokes in that soil when you took those pictures,

What are your measurements on total area of mulch to be covered? It looked like to be about 4.5 x 75 feet but thats a guess.

p.s. clean your windshield! lol

Well, like I said, "Here I was thinking 20 minutes per tree, but with that "sucky" location, I don't know how much it will add to the time it takes. The only access is right in from the front as shown from where the photo was taken."

I'm not sure how that obstruction (fences) will play into the estimate of how long it will take.

I thought I posted the measurement, but I see I only noted the width. It's 92' long and 4' 5" wide.


They will be buying/paying to have the plants delivered. I didn't know anything about the mulch until I saw them in person and as I'm new to this, I neglected to verify the details, but they did mention the possibility of having the mulch delivered at the same time as the trees, so I'm assuming they will handle that.

Weed block is no big deal, I can pick that up and charge them, but I'm wondering if simply covering the grass will be sufficient, or if I need to dig it all up, or spray it with vegetation killer first. I'd hate to do all that work and have stuff come up through the weed block.

I did get to dig a little. The homeowner actually offered to get his shovel to let me see how the "soil" is to dig. Mostly dry, light colored dirt with a little bit of small rocks. it wasn't TOO hard to dig, but it seemed like pretty crappy stuff to grow things in. I'm told it isn't "fill" - that it was a farmer's field where the development now stands, but who knows.


And yeah, I wuz bombed. Washing the whole truck tomorrow.

Last edited by Hedgemaster; 07-30-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2010, 04:57 PM
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I would find a sodcutter for that much area.They rent them around here for 35 a day it will take the grass and a little dirt up with it.The holes I would figure 30 minutes per tree because you have to dig em ,set the tree and haul off the dirt.

What about stakes are the trees gonna stand up straight if it blows?You might have to stake each tree.I would just to CYA for future call backs because of weather.

Laying the fabric and cutting around the trees another 1 to 1.5 hrs.Spreading the mulch another 3 hrs.Remember you won't get a wheel barrow in ther after the trees are in so you may have to set a tre put down the fabric and mulch as you move along otherwise you could be carrying the mulch from end to end on a shovel.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2010, 05:18 PM
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Maybe I'll pass on this one. This went from a "simple" back breaking, hole-digging job, to a much more complicated mess. There's no room to work properly, and I can't really remove the dirt. I was thinking of just spreading it out along the length since they want to cover the whole area with mulch.

That leads to more issues. It's not as simple as just throwing down mulch. There's the "grass/weed block issue" that I still don't know the answer to, and then the grass/dirt will need to dug up at least along the edge of both fences in order to keep the mulch from spilling over into the lawns on either side. Heck, if it were MY place, I'd probably install edging as well to keep the grass from the lawns from creeping into that area.

I don't know. "Welcome to lawn care" I guess.
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2010, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Maybe I'll pass on this one. This went from a "simple" back breaking, hole-digging job, to a much more complicated mess. There's no room to work properly, and I can't really remove the dirt. I was thinking of just spreading it out along the length since they want to cover the whole area with mulch.
Why not just bid high and if you get it, congratulations and if you don't, no loss!
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2010, 07:32 PM
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Steve is right as well, dont cut it short on yourself.

But with the dirt issue, if you dig out the sod, theres a place to spread the dirt.

Now again, this could be the job that pays for you a TRAILER!!! it very well could be

So im now thinking that removing the sod would be the ideal thing to do. besides you dont want a higher mulch pile than you do grass, if so when it rains the yards will be mulched.

So im thinking maybe you get a friend/helper.. Maybe your friend has a truck thats not pristine in the back, a 1/2 ton or bigger the better. I would say its going to take atleast 8 hours but could be 12 hours to remove and haul off that sod. so well say 12 hours, so thats 420.00 at 35 an hour. Nice grass price lol.. seems to fit.

Install your trees, yes i would stake them like said above, that puts you at 30 mins per tree. Stake them after all is competed, tie them off to the fence i would say, and tell them you will come back and take the ties off after a couple of months for no extra charge.

As for your mulch if you have atleast 2 foot to work with, after there all planted, i would use a tarp, put about 2 bags worth in the tarp keep it channeled so its not all spread out, double up the tarp at one end and drag it down the side.

So your at 420 for removal of sod, if you have no where to trash it at, you need to find someowhere. maybe that lot needs some new grass you were talking about.

Maybe add 50 bucks to give your helper for gas, after you payed him that is, if you can pay him 10 an hour then you will make 25 an hour, its still not too bad. Jack the price a little if you think you need to.

So your at 475 for removing sod, now add your 10 hours for planting, thats another 350, and hmm isnt there something else to add? oh spreading mulch maybe 100 bucks! Dont forget to tie them off, dont slip knot the tree so you dont choke it.

Lets try 475+350+100 = 925 oh and 35 more for laying cutting the screen

960.00

If it takes you 2 days, thats 480 per day minus the 150 you give your helper witha trailer/truck for the first day.. maybe he will hlep you the second day for just 50-60 since its easier work, and you should have it knocked out in 2 full days.

So 760 for you, thats 380 per day!

This is my figuering.. maybe you can be happy with making 250 per day, but what if it runs into you having to come back out by yourself for a few hours to finish up? You will have to think about that, if you want to knock my estimate down, thats all up to you!

So 960.00 +/- sound anything like what you would do it for?

It sound to me, to be a little high from homeowner point of view, but if you explain to them you have to cut all the sod out and dispoze of it, and the tightness of the job maybe they will understand, if not. like steve said, owell.

Or you can tell them, without removing the sod they might not be happy with the end result and down the road it will only cost more to fix it

and you can always shave some off my estimate. ( Wow i talk alot, i like to do that, i hope i helped ya.)

Edit/ oh yea if you are only planting 15 trees, you would want to knock about 80-90 off the price..
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2010, 10:37 AM
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I think you need to take a deep breath and calm down. it's not a complicated job. this is what I would do.

1. Rent a trailer from Home depot. Here they cost like $20-$25 for 24 hours. This is if you need one for hauling the mulch or if you want to haul the dirt away.

2. Spray all the area with round off to kill off the grass.

3. when they deliver the trees have them place them placed next to where they will be planted so you don't have to do all the hauling.

4. Dig a small edge along the neighbor's fence to keep the mulch from sliding onto the property. Use a flat spade shovel to do this. Just stick it into the ground about 3 inches and kick the dirt out. It's pretty simple and quick.

5. Start at the far end and dig the hole, spread the dirt, lay the weed block and cut a hole where you dug it, plant the tree, steak it, and spread the mulch. (Spread the excess dirt on the property along the homeowner's side of the fence to make another type of edge to keep excess water from the homeowner's lawn from washing the mulch down to the neighbor's since it is down hill. Any excess dirt just spread evenly over the dead grass.)

you don't need to lay fabric to block weeds in this situation. we don't lay that down unless we are putting down rock. The mulch will take care of the grass from growing. If they see a few weeds popping up, they can be sprayed. it's cheaper to buy spray then to have fabric laid along that whole area. Also it's less work for you and less they have to pay. If I were you I would explain that to them. then you can skip that process.

for this job I would charge $20 per tree to plant. Also 1 hour for spraying the round up and the cost of the round up. 3-4 hours for spreading the mulch. 1.5 hours to dig the edge along the neighbor's fence. If they want the fabric laid down I would charge another 2 hours plus the cost of the fabric.

I would charge around $550-$650 for labor for this job depending on if they want the fabric laid down or not. This would take me and helper about 1 day. So If I charged $650 and paid my helper $80 then I would make $570 in a day. not bad for a day's work.

But, lets say that sounds high in your area so maybe you want to make $200 for the day and 80 for your helper. you could charge $300. It just depends on how much you want to make. Here, $600 for that job is normal.

Now if you really want to know what normal price for planting those tree is. Go to the nursery and ask them how much they charge to plant one of those, or 15 of those. Around here, Earl may charges $100+ for a small tree. Then you will know how much you can charge and still be less than having the nursery plant them.

I hope this helped

Last edited by JP Landscaping; 07-31-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2010, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to explain everything the way you did guys.

I'll have to talk to them about the added work of digging/staking/mulching.
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