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What are good prices?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by NYplowboy1, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. NYplowboy1

    NYplowboy1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have an Ariens snowblower, shovel, ice scraper, all of that stuff. About 100 houses about 100-200 feet apart. I'm thinking $15 for a small driveway. $25 for a large, additional $5 for cleaning off car. What do you guys think? This is just for some extra money.
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    good luck cleaning 100 drives with a snowblower in a day
    prices vary from area to area
  3. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    ya exactally. You might be able to do that in about 12 hours in a small snowstorm (1-3") but what happens when you get dumped on by 12" and people need to get out of the house for work? Theres going to be some pissed off people. What happens when your snow blower goes down?

    Prices vary greatly from area to area, but I wouldnt touch anything for less than $30. Large driveways it really varies. Most places your probably talking about 20-30 minutes of work. So why would you only want $15 for that.
  4. NYplowboy1

    NYplowboy1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    oh, I forgot to mention I don't do 100, that is about how many houses are in my neighborhood, I will fix my prices
  5. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,061

    i wouldnt clean off cars, too much liability for damages. youll be buying everyone a new paint job. ;)
  6. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    do 20 for small drive and 40 for double drive.
    dont touch the cars.
    any side walks 1 sweep is 5-10 bucks more.
    if they are elderly do a better job.
    dont get too crazy
    oh yea some houses you will have to do twice due to the wind so price accordingly
  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    why would he only do a better job if its for an elderly person? I dont know about everyone else on here but I do the best possible job on every account whether is commercial or residential.

    I know you dont have a ton of equipment or really any overhead for that matter. But figure out an hourly rate. If you want to make 50$ in an hour, and you think to blow that driveway off and the sidewalk will take you 40 minutes charge 35$. And then have a minimum charge in place, say $25 for example.

    You need to talk with the customer to find out exactly when they will be home and things of that nature from work. If they are gone at 8am and back home by 5pm then you need to make sure you have there drive ways clear buy 730 and 430. But just inform them that unless they request that its done during mid day you will just do it then. And that price of 35$ for the drive is for everytime you do it. Why would you only want to make the same amount of money on a 3" storm as you would on a 12" storm, the 12" will require a lot more work. Which brings me to my next point as well. I base my per push or in your case per blow price on residential on snow totals up to 6." From 6.1-12" the price is increased 30%. After 12" its straight hourly with a 1 hour minimum. And these are per push, so if the in the morning its 5 inches on the ground, ill bill them 35$ and i come back in the evening and theses 8" on the ground then its $45 for that service totaling $80 for that storm.

    I know KEC said not to get crazy with stuff, but, i dont know about you, but me i am in this business to make money, not just for the fun of it. Every time im on that property im billing them for service. When people start coming in and charging 15$ for a driveway and $5 for a sidewalk, its ruining this industry. I am not a big fan of residential work, i prefer the commercial, but its nice to be able to put out another truck for a few hours and make some money. That isnt crazy thats just good business. I will agree with him, dont touch cars.

    With the drifting and aprons (entry to the drive) we offer it in our qoute that we will come back next day to check on the apron and any drifting. If we have to do any work its a minimum of $15.00. If they opt for us not to do that, and just have it done on an as needed basis when they call, its a 20$ minimum. Most people agree to it, so they dont have to worry about it. We will go there clear a few small drifts if they happen and clean up the apron from the snow plow pusing the snow back in to the drive. We will usually do this work the next morning (snow storm on thursday, plow it thursday night, come back friday morning and do a check)
  8. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    i am looking at it as a development with a short drive way for like 1 car 12 wide by 20 long. theres is probley going to be a car in the drive way. how much can you charge if there is a car there. p to 6 inches a single car driveway for 20 bucks ( with the car in it ) is pretty good it will take you 15 minutes with a blower.
    double drives about 20 minutes.
    the seniors i give breaks to only because they are seniors. all others pay full price
    i myself usually do extra for them like blowin to the garbage can so they can get the trash out but thats me. whats it take 5 minutes.
    the seniors will be the ones calling you back every time it snows. the working people might. it depends.
    most of my residential customers are senoirs.
    i always do a good job i just do a little more for the seniors. i would not like any one to come out and fall because of a shoty job.
    i do not do crappy work. i would not do it if i could not do a good job
    its snow shoveling its not rocket science.
    come warmer temps its going to melt any way.
    usually when im done doing my places i go back and do the aprons and mail boxes for people. usually i dont charge as im on my way to pick up the momey
    as far as not charging enuff . diffrent areas will warrent diffrent prices.
    also the prices i stated are fair.
    i base my money on 30 minute intervals. not hourly.
    deep snow i charge accordingly
    and i also charge the same when i go back.
    we had approx 24-28 inches of snow. every 6-8 inches i went back but thats me.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  9. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Well see you are running what sounds like a little side gig business just for the heck of it. I am not, i dont make money, I dont pay the bills. I am not understanding this do certain stuff for free business. I explain to the customer that we are offering a high quaility service, if they dont want to pay us for it, and just want little johnny from down the street to shovel then do that. But werre going to be there when theres 28" of snow on the ground and insure that the driveway is clear at all times, but its going to be for a price. It doesnt matter how long it takes for that little driveway.

    Im getting 35$ for a two car wide and two deep drive, with a plow. No cars in it. Small walkway around back and a covered stoop in front that just needs a little shoveling doesnt even get an inch of snow ever. Back blade the drive, and push to the sides. Im in and out in less than 10 minutes. Plus Im getting .35/lb of ice melt which the house gets about 30lbs so were talking im making $45 for that drive. Im getting that all day long for drives that size. I would charge more if there was a car in that driveway, more of a liability, which is why we have insurance. Ive read your other posts and you tell people that insurance isnt needed, IT IS! what happens when you get snow followed by some freezing rain and that snow turns into small ice. Your blowing the drive and an ice ball shoots out and goes through the living room window and into that car sitting in the drive. Is that 20$ your geting for that driveway really going to pay for that damange?

    I charge them for the work that needs to be done. IF they dont want the walks done or to the garbage cans, i dont do that. Like I said im in business for money, if your not well then good luck is all i can say.
  10. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    i am also here to learn from people on the proper way to do thigs also . how can i learn on the right way to do it or shall we say what most are doing if i do not say what i am doing. i never said my way is correct i stated my opinion thats all. just like you have.
    i have a full time job that i make a decent living at close to 6 figures. and please direct me to the post that i said insurance is not necessary as i will correct that immediatly.
    im just starting out and i apologize if i offend you.
    and lets get one thing streight it is not a GIG as you stated i make a few bucks, im a reliable and dependible worker, i pay my taxes and my share plus others.
    all of my income is stated .
    sorry i cant be more like you oh mighty one.
  11. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Insurance thing i read your post wrong you didnt say that its not needed, you told someone thats looking to start up that its not needed for now. Personally that was the first thing i looked at when I started up.

    Side gig comment was intended to mean that you had another more steady source of income, which I was right you do. As I read on this site, I see there is usually a trend that the people who do this part time (not all but a great majority) tend to charge a lot less. That comment wasnt intended to be rude or downgrading. This is my job, I dont make money at this, well im screwed.

    I commend you for just starting out, and getting into business, and id assume you are a good worker. And im not offended in anyway, nor do i claim to be an all mighty one. When I first started out, i learned a lot from this site.

    My big problem is with charging those low prices is, a lot of people truely dont know their costs of business. You see it all the time on here people asking what exact amount you should charge, and yes im sure if you look back at previous posts of mine i did it too, but i stopped. I sat down and figured out what it costs me to run my business. And everything is automatically billed at a minimum of .5 hours below 30 minutes anything over is billed accordingly. I dont think its nickeling and diming a customer, its just insuring that your actually making money, and not breaking even.