Mulch job bid example.

A new lawn care business owner shared with us his job description and bid price for a mulch job he was called to do. The price he shared with us, on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, differed quite a bit from other landscapers who shared with us what they would charge. I think it is interesting to see how the bid price was broken down and how the prices differed. This should help you compare and contrast how you would bid such a mulch job.

He wrote “I started my lawn care business a few months ago and I am submitting my first mulching bid. The area to be mulched is about 2,850 square feet, with some bushes spread out within the area. I am trying to figure out how long this will take to complete this job. There is also a little bit of clean up required. I’m guessing 3 hours for that, and I will have to dig a little trench about 4 inches or so deep around some of the perimeter (120 feet) which I am just estimating at an hour to perform. At 3″ thick, I am estimating the amount of mulch required to perform this job would be about 30 yards.

To dig the perimeter I’m figuring on using a narrow shovel, maybe 6 inches wide. There isn’t too much to dig through as it is just sand. I’m putting in the bid tomorrow.

Here is a picture representing about 1/2 of the job. The other half will be a little easier to do, as there is old mulch there, and not much to do besides lay some more down on top.

mulch job bid example

mulch job bid example

Here is how I broke down my mulch job bid:

380 - 2 cu. ft. bags of red mulch - $2.50 per bag = $950
Delivery Charge =$75
Labor = $600
Total= $1625

The Home Depot right across the street is selling red mulch for $2.09 plus tax. However, I am getting the 28 yards of mulch delivered to the site by another company for a total of $650. I will charge $1025 for mulch and delivery, so I make $375 on the mulch, and then I figured 20 hrs of labor @ $30/hr. I will pay two people $8 an hour, along with myself. Plus I have to buy a narrow shovel.

Total expenses should be…$650 (mulch) + $104 (13 hours paid labor) + $30 shovel
= $784

$1625 - $784 = $841 profit. Not bad for a day’s work if it all goes like that.”

A second landscaper suggested “that bid sounds reasonable, if you and the workers can complete that job in 6.5 hours. However it sounds a bit low if your using wheel barrows to move the mulch. Depending on distance of your mulch pile to the beds. I might estimate this job closer to 30 man hours in total to complete. It seems like you built in a nice profit on the mulch, so even if it takes a day and a half, that $700 profit ain’t bad.

I personally would probably charge $1,100 to $1,200 for labor using wheelbarrows to spread the mulch. If you are using a front end loader then you would probably be able to charge less. Don’t forget to add a delivery fee, the price of the mulch, and the disposal fee for the debris.

I had a similar job last year that required 30 yards of mulch around a line of trees. I charged $2,200 (mine was the lower bid) including digging that edge, cleaning some debris, delivering the mulch and spreading it. It worked out alright and I learned how to better estimate my time because of it.”