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how to price residential drives

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Brian's Lawn, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Brian's Lawn

    Brian's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    its my first year doing any kind of snow removal and i dont really have lots of money to spend on a plow because im 17. but what i do have is a truck, some ramps, a shovel, and a snow blower. how would i price a driveway in town? im thinking about $25 minimum. is that to high??? also when should i take out an add in the local news paper and how should i word it? i live in central ohio so the snow doesnt really come until about december.
     
  2. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Wow, lots of questions, Brian. A lot of which have already been answered here in the forum. Read, read, read.

    To briefly touch on your Q's I'll try to do my best. Remember that there are people here from all over the world. that means there will be just as many different answers.

    1. a typical 1 car driveway (9 feet wide) and about 50 feet long should net you about $25.00 with a 2 to 4 inch snowfall and no salt applied. This will also include shoveling off the stoop & sidewalk if necessary.

    2. taking out an ad in the paper can do more harm than good. I don't know how large of a service area you will have but I would recommend printing out a nice flyer with pull tabs with your phone number on it and place them in your local library, grocery stores, gas stations, or anywhere else. This will help consolidate your service area. Plus, it'll be WAY cheaper. I would start with the flyers, or any other forms of advertising, the beginning of October. I live in Chicago so you and I see a lot of the same weather. I remember in years past we had snowstorms on Thanksgiving. You just never know when the snow's gonna fly. It's best to be prepared as early as possible.

    The best thing you can do for advertising is have some inexpensive door magnets made to mount on your truck. "Brian's snowblowing / snowplowing service (212) 555-1212"
     
  3. Brian's Lawn

    Brian's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    i do mainly lawn care and this is just something i plan on doing in the winter to generate a little income. so i have some business cards and such. where could i get some fliers like you were talking about. like can i make them or would i have to order them? thank you
     
  4. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Nah, just create something in MS Word. I'll try to locate mine when I first got started & email it to you. It may take a few days but I'll look for you. All you'll really have to do is some cutting & pasting.
     
  5. Brian's Lawn

    Brian's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    ok. that would be great! thanks! ill shoot you a PM with my email and all. if you can find it that would be great but if not thats ok
     
  6. Brian's Lawn

    Brian's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    i guess i cant p.m. so just let me know if you can find those fliers. thank you. my email is BrianBLawnCare@aol.com
     
  7. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    First and foremost, inform your lawn service clients that you will be available for snow removal this year...you might get enough takers from that pool to keep you busy enough.

    My plow guy did my driveway for $25...its a wide single lane (I'd say 10-11 feet...it takes 2 passes side by side with an angles 8' blade to clear it) with a 2 car turnaround and 4 car parking area at the top. Overall length is about 350' from the road to the top. $30 for sanding when it was necessary. In 7 years of home ownership (2 homes), n plow guy has ever once offered to do my walkways or even get out of the truck...around here all the guys want to do is sit in the warm truck, clear the driveway and move on to the next driveway...thats why I do my own now.
     
  8. Brian's Lawn

    Brian's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    yeah maybe next year i will get a plow but right now i just cant afford it. i hope i do make enough money mowing and doing some landscaping this summer to buy a plow for next year. and one more thing... i am new to this industry and ive heard it mentioned a few tmes on here and i dont know what it is. so what is sanding? is it like salting except with sand?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  9. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    You got it Brian
     
  10. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    .0001 of the homes assed value. $300,000 home x .0001 = $30.00
    $30.00 is per 6 inches.
     
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    ???

    Never heard of that one before. Tell you what, if you want, come up here and plow my driveway for that. My house was assessed for $210,000 three years ago. So that would be $21for what I was charged $50 seven years ago and thought that was low.

    A $50,000 house would be $5.
     
  12. Dakota2004

    Dakota2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    Mick lets not get Gicon started again with how he does his figures:dizzy:
     
  13. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Huh ? Ok. When you coming to plow mine? :confused:
     
  14. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    There are no homes in my town lower than $300k that require driveway plowing. If there is that one home in this town worth $250, it probably doesnt have a driveway with it. I dont use that formula. I looked at my driveways compared to the housing market and my whole plow list, which is fairly long, equals out to that formula. I dont have any driveways lower than $30, and my highest driveway is $65. To the gentleman who mentioned his 210K house 3 years ago.....arent we talking about this upcoming season????
     
  15. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    We've got some tough plow critics here on the plow site.
     
  16. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Adult discussion personal attacks not tolerated.

    I think you have what the civil service would call a "novel" approch
     
  17. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    It was me who mentioned the value of the house. Not sure what you mean by "arent we talking about this upcoming season" as the thread refers to pricing in general. My point was to show how, although this might work well for you in your market, it won't necessarily work for everyone. For instance, in my very small rural area, there are houses that may value out at $25,000 (local person living in a trailer) with a 1/4 mile driveway and 400 square foot parking area. Then within a half mile is a cabin on the lake valued at $3 million (yes, I'm serious, this is "vacationland") with 30 sq ft of parking (I just priced one like it today and a "$25,000" one last weekend) So, for the first one I'd charge $2.50 and the second $1,000 for a 6" snowfall.

    No, I charge everyone the same based on the amount of work involved and the level of service they want. Obviously the person living in the $3million home wants, expects, gets and pays for a higher level of service.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2006
  18. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386





    You got somebody to plow a 350 ft driveway with a turnaround for $25?

    And you're complaining cause they stay in the truck?


    I hope their your relative or something.
     
  19. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Next door neighbor.

    Not really complaining, just making a comment that at least locally I don't know of any (or many anyway) plow services that provide full snow removal services for residential...everyone does plowing, some do sanding but few if any will help you dig out your car after they bury it with the plow.

    I know $25 is a really good price, but I don't know how good since I have no other frame of reference. I do know my annual bill used to run a good $800/year on average. Its not a price that I negotiated because I don't want to pay them, its the only price I was quoted, no options were ever offered to do my walks or anything.
     
  20. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I think the bottom line is, no matter the market, as long as you are making what you want to make per hour, and you are covering your overhead, and etc, and you are happy, than thats all that counts. Some guys are happy with bringing in $100 per hour in sales some guys need $1000. Different strokes for different folkes.