Is this a normal rate for landscapers?
We had a landscaper come out to give us a quote on making our front yard ready for grass seed (it has a lawn now but it's mostly crab grass and dandelions). It included loam on top of tilling the existing lawn under.
The loam price looks normal. But they estimated it would take 4 men 4 full days to do the work. The yard is roughly 125'W x 50'D (minus a double width driveway) and it's already graded well (slopes slightly away from the house).
They charge $35/man hour for labor (he hires high school kids so he can't start until late June). That came out to $4500 in labor costs. I really liked this guy, but I just think that sounds really high to till and spread loam 3" deep across the lawn.
We also have rental yard very close by and I can rent a mini skid steer with a loader bucket, leveler, and ground ripper for a week plus a monster rototiller for a day ... total price: $900. The skid steer is really small, it's a Dingo that you stand on the back of (instead of sitting inside the thing). I'm thinking that if I used the ground ripper to bust up the sod, then got the monster rototiller for a day to really till the ground, and used the skid steer to spread the loam I could possibly do it all in a week. And if I'm right, that would save me $3500 in labor costs. I have plenty of vacation time so I could take a week off work to do this.
Am I crazy? Is it really hard to do this (is it really a 4 day job for 4 men)?
Thanks in advance,