Landscaping Question On Prices

by Morgan Stallard

A landscaping question on prices from a landscaper.

I can't even recall how I found your site, but I really like it. I am a landscaper who was curious about your pricing advice so I decided to buy your ebook. I appreciate your experience and am interested to see how it matches up with my own. I suspect our market in DC might be slightly more expensive but it isn't hard to adjust accordingly.

I did have one question. I'm having a hard time with the math on one subject. You'd put $.50/foot to install grass seed which would INCLUDE installing a few inches of topsoil. Later you said that installing soil would be charged at $75/yard. By my math $75/yard is $.23/inch. A "few" is nebulous (I typically will put down 2-4 depending on the situation, but even if it's only 2, isn't that leaving $.04/foot for seed, labor (grading), and profit?

In general from what I've seen, some of the prices are higher than we charge and some are lower, but I like your book as a point of reference.

Another question I just thought of. I was hoping to see pricing for fire pits (we're starting to get requests for these more often). Do you have experience with these in NJ (I'd assume you might since the climate is a bit chillier)?

Hi Morgan,
Thanks for so much for purchasing my ebook Landscaping Costs. It's pretty new and have sold quite a few.

The costs I provide in the book were actual costs from landscapers over the years...they haven't really changed that much.

The soil figure of $75 was for plantings. So you can't interpolate this figure and compare it to the price for seed. It's a different type of labor than putting down topsoil for seed. Soil for seed can be spread with a machine, while soil for plants is more of a manual labor. Although there is the cost of the machine, the manual labor takes more time.

That being said, I have never dissected the two prices before. I am only going by the going rates based on estimating I have done for design/build companies and also reviewing bids for my clients.

As far as fire pits go, I haven't done many that are built in, so I can't give you any figures.
I prefer portable fire pits. The reason is that in the summer when it is hot, a fire pit won't be used (especially in the DC area) so why take up space with an unused structure? This way, it can be used when needed and removed when it won't be in use, leaving space for more practical things.

You might like to read my page on patio fire pits.

Once again, thanks for the purchase and visiting my site. I hope I have answered your questions to some degree!

You can always contact me through the contact form on my site (bottom of navigation bar).


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