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help with bid on small commercial lot please

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by HadiCoop, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    so this would potentially be my very first commercial lot. its about a 7000sqft lot...with maybe around 5000 sqft to maintain.
    he prefers the use of a snowblower which is all I have anyways old 22" ariens that still throws snow like crazy. I know its a small blower but he doesn't open until 9am and I would have it cleared way before then anyways. not sure what you guys do for snow events during the day...I guess just get there asap. hes about 5 mins away from my house so ill be able to keep a close eye on the lot. again, I'm new to all this so go easy on me! lol.

    he also wants salt on the lot and the steps and wheelchair ramp. id be using a walkbehind spreader so also not sure on how many bags of salt would be needed per app. I'm guessing 2-4 50lb bags per app. I told him salt is extra so I will need help or advice on how to price for that as well please.

    he also wants the lawn re-sodded and maintained for next year but that's something I know how to bid, but I'm wondering how I can make him such a great deal on everything that he just cant resist. any advice on that route is also appreciated.

    I'm thinking around $500-$600 per month + salt.

    what are your thoughts on all this? thanks guys, I appreciate any help!
     
  2. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    #1, are you insured for commercial lots?
    #2, why does the owner prefer a snowblower?

    My advice to you on this, is that it's going to be at least 6 times worse than you think. If all we get are 2-4" powdery snows from 1am-5am and then you can go in there for a couple hours before 9am, you'll be fine. When we get the 12" snows, or the wet sloppy snows, you'll hate your life. If we get a lot of day time snows, traffic will pack the snow down and make it tough to blow as well.

    Don't make him a great deal. Make him pay a fair price, and give him fair service.

    If I had to do this job, I would price it by the hour. That way you are covered if its a bad winter.
     
  3. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    yes I am covered for residential & commercial with the use of hand shovels and snowblowers only for 2mil liability. yes your right, I probably would hate my life if we get a bad winter which they are calling for in my area this year. cold and snowy. he doesn't like the banging of the buckets or plows on the asphalt. said he fired the last company that would constantly drop the front end loader bucket on the ground instead of setting it down smoothly, as a result the operator cracked parts of the laneway.
     
  4. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 742

    Not trying to be a jerk but I just wouldn't do it. A walk behind snowblower for a commercial parking lot seems almost impossible to me even though it's that small especially since there will be vehicle traffic on it. If you get a real storm you would have to be out there in the elements non stop until it's over because it's your responsibility to keep it cleared no matter what. I think you may get yourself in trouble.

    As for salt a normal application would be between 1000 -1300 square feet covered per 50 lb bag. So just measure the walks and ramps to get square footage. Figure 15 min per bag to charge for time with a minimum. I charge double to triple what I actually pay for salt. So for easy math say you buy the bag of salt for $10 charge at least $20 for it then I would add hourly on to it. My minimum is 30 min and I charge $45 per man hour for shovel crew members. Yours will probably be different. So if you were to apply a bag at a time my charge would be $42.50 per application of salt. Just my two cents. Sounds like a bad idea though and it sounds like the business owner is someone I would refuse to provide service to anyway. Good luck whatever you decide to do!
     
  5. SHAWZER

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,149

    Where are you in Ontario ?
     
  6. SHAWZER

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,149

  7. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    Thanks ktfbgb for your input! I don't mind the the cold (I'm a sled head) and besides I gotta start somewhere. I may loose my shirt on it, but it's definitely going to be a learning curve! I may upgrade to a commercial ariens snow thrower later on in the season. We'll see though. The little ariens I have right now works awesome and doesn't owe me a red cent lol! I know there will be storms to deal with and I'll be stuck out there wishing I had something bigger & better to move the snow with, but I'm sure we'll always wish that.

    Thanks again, and I appreciate your help!
     
  8. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    Shawzer I'm located in fergus about 2hrs south of you. Actually I should probably update that...
     
  9. redclifford

    redclifford Senior Member
    from Niagara
    Messages: 174

    I had a friend that tried to do commercial sites with a snow blower and it was terrible, he ended up calling me to help him out during day storms n the wet heavy snow/slush. He lasted two years and now doesn't do snow anymore. If it was me I wouldn't take the site, I think you could make more money doing sidewalks and driveways with less head aches. Good luck, I hope it works out for you
     
  10. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,915

    Sometimes ya just gotta say no. My price would be so high, he wouldn't go for it. If ya do this, get another blower. And go with both and a helper.
     
  11. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    I do plan on taking on residential drives & sidewalks this year. Which will be the main focus, but this is a small lot that can be done. If need be, I'll end up buying a good commercial blower. Or if I get enough work lined up I'll find a used plow and up my premiums
     
  12. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    Randall, my price will be higher than most and he probably will say no thanks. I know somebody will come in at the right price and get the job. Worth a shot though...
     
  13. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,036

    NO NO NO NO! Just no. Walk away. I am you, just slightly bigger. I have a few blowers, a lot of shovels, and a crew or more of guys doing just what you want. We do sidewalks for companies. I subcontract for a local company and knock all the sidewalks out.

    Stay with me here. When you're doing walks, the snow is fresh. Maybe has a few foot prints. It is no problem to either use a shovel or snowblower. Even the wet heavy stuff is no problem if you put rubber pieces on your impeller (check out impeller mods on youtube). Now think about what the slushy half melted crap looks like in the street. It will wear your motor out FAST. Not only will it kill your blower, but also think about the liability of throwing all those rocks and crap that's in the lot with cars around during the day. I could go on and on about how bad of an idea this is. There's plenty of money to be made doing residentials and sidewalks (I quit doing residential because I made more with walks) to not worry about this one lot. Save the commercial accounts for when/if you get a blade and just don't work for idiots who "don't like snow plows" unless it's for residential, then charge a premium.

    If you do bid this job, make sure you REALLY over price it. I don't see many going for it, so he may just be stuck with you. If that's the case, make sure you are making serious money doing it.
     
  14. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    Very good JMH! A lot of good points there and it's much appreciated. Stuff I didn't really think of...

    I guess I will overprice it and if I get it, I get it...if not no worries.

    Another option would be to sub it out to my buddy with a plow. And I could just take care of the shovelling of the wheelchair ramp and steps salting etc. might be the way to go...
     
  15. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 742

    Yes do that!
     
  16. redclifford

    redclifford Senior Member
    from Niagara
    Messages: 174

    X2
     
  17. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    thanks guys! I appreciate all the help & info. I will let yas know the outcome..
     
  18. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,915

    I thought you said he didn't want a plow? And if you sub it out, it's still your responsibility, and liability.
     
  19. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 82

    He prefers a blower, but will accept the use of a plow. My buddy is very reliable and I would have no worries subbing it out to him.
     
  20. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,181

    X3, Be careful with that owner, Sounds really uneducated on moving snow. Fired a guy because slamming of the bucket cracked his blacktop. :dizzy: If there was cracking it was probably the weight of the loader, Not the bucket. Sounds like a real PITA. Highball him on the blowing and then give him a reasonable price on the truck. See what he wants to do.Thumbs Up