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A little help

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by pyropierce, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. pyropierce

    pyropierce Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    There is a church that is just around the corner from where I live and a member of the church that I was talking to asked me to quote how much I would charge to plow the parking lot roughly 75' x 125' wide open nothing to go around or dodge. I have only done drive ways and the approch drive at my fire department. I am asking for input on what some of you may charge. I don't want to over bid seeing that its a church and i'm sure that they have a small budget but then again I don't want to get screwed. Thanks :salute:
  2. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,830

    I don't know in your area but in mine something like that is worth around $125 just to plow, give or take. Are you just plowing? Any salt? shoveling? Church's are strict with the times it has to be done also. I would apply something either mix or straight salt. There might be alot of people coming and going to mass, older people and kids, etc. Just to protect your self and them.
  3. droptine

    droptine Member
    Messages: 43

    Its a church lot, so they may only want it plowed for weekends. You should ask the what ifs; snows on Monday then temps in the mid 40's wed. The snow will melt w/o plowing before sat or sun. Do they want it plowed any day it snows? Also, how could you think you may "get screwed"? It would take less than an hour with even a 7' blade. If you claim your snow $$ as income, you could plow it as an offering to the church and it would be deductible come tax time. If you choose to do this, (A) get an agreed upon price like a contract with the stipulation that they only send you a receipt. (B) they pay you and you give it back on Sunday morning when you go to church service.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    First you need to figure out your rates.
    Who much do you need to make an Hr to cover your cost and make a profit?
    50$-75$- 100$-125$ 135$ etc etc...

    the lot
    75X125=9375sq or .21acres

    It should be an easy job.
    Approximate time to plow this lot.
    2"-4" 00:17
    4"-6" 00:39
    6"-8" 00:43

    salt? 2 to 3 50# bags.

    I keep mentioning this but do you have liability INS?
    Churches have a lot of older members what if someone slips and falls and breaks a hip? Are you covered?
    Even if you are not found to be liable you will need a lawyer.
    Do you have your business set up properly to protect your assets? IE, an LLC, INC.........
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    I don't get it. Why can't you just give him a price? You're only what, 400 miles away from him?

    Seriously, listen to what SF typed. (is that possible?) Despite his (our) voices, that's some darn good advice right there.

    After you're done with the above, find out what level of service they desire and if they want a seasonal, per push, per inch, or a combo of those.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I had a moment of lucidity....:D
    Now and then they all shut up for a second......

    WoW.. did that hurt.....:waving:

    The deal:
    If he really needs me to tell him how much he should charge.
    Then he has to plow it for that price all season, at the end of the season he has to open his books. Then we can see if he made a profit or not.

    Now you see why it is kind of hard to give you a number?
    Only you know what your overhead is. Only you know how much you need to charge to make a profit.

    Even the amount or percentage of profit has to be considered also.

    Dam be quiet for one second!
    nope their they go again..

    got to go......
  7. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    think i would charge fourty five to plow it. another fourty to put a mix down. i dunno. if i have to get out and do sidewalks and shovel stairs the price would dramatically increase. given they probably just dont have people their sundays and that by sunday the snow could be freezing or hard packed i would plow it every storm. wether they wanted me to or not.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    That's great. One minor problem. You're in Maine and he's in Indiana, the markets are just a tad different.

    If you want, we can go into the rest of it, but that will have to be later.
  9. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    doesnt matter what the market is. that would be my church price. and since mom was a minister i have a soft spot for churches. actually had people volunteer to plow her last one for free from within the congregation......
  10. droptine

    droptine Member
    Messages: 43

    As it should be. We who are blessed with quality equipment should use it to help non profits. its the right thing to do.
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    Yes, it does matter what the market is. What if the market in NW Indiana is $25 for churches? They do get a fair amount of lake effect, so my guess would be rates are lower than other areas.

    I didn't say a word about charging a church full price or not, that is up to the contractor.
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I plow the local food shelf's lot, It takes me about 30min to 1 hr to plow.
    I charge then $120 a push...2" trigger. yup it's the same for 12" $120 a push,
    anything over that add another $35 to it.

    I should and could charge more. It has nothing to do with being blessed or not
    it's business.

    My services do NOT cost the nonprofit (it could be a church or any nonprofit)
    a dime.

    I donate my services, well kind of. All they is give me is a receipt for my services
    (no money) and I use it as a charitable donation on my taxes so I get to use the money to lower my tax burden or to get a refund.

    p,s. the snow does not care if your equipment is "quality" or not it just has to get the job done.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  13. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    the market

    for future reference i disclose that i live in maine. therefore if i say i would take on a certain plowing job and charge x amount of dollars for it please realize that it may not necessarily be based on rates in your local vacinity area since i may very well be in a different "market".
    For those that are in my local area please be advised that I charge based on what the job is worth to me, not necessarily on what the market in my local area says the job is worth. I charge what im willing to do it for and what i consider a fair price. I base this on my time, inclination, and expenses. I do not base it on what others may be willing to do the job for. Any input on pricing from me may not work for your specific business plan and allow you profitability.
    If a thread comes up asking input on what to propose for pricing on a job and i state "I WOULD CHARGE...." it means exactly what i state and that is what I would charge based on what the thread says about the job. That does not necessarily mean the price i suggest is WHAT YOU SHOULD CHARGE. If you would like to know what you should charge then the answer most likley lies in your own balance sheet and how important the job and the money from it is to you.
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    Thanks for the clarification. That would have prevented some misunderstanding had you stated that in your first post.
  15. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    Did you mis-understand Mark?
    In the upper right hand corner of the posts it gives a persons location.
    This is for those reading the posts to take note of since im sure the person writing the post knows where they reside.
    I believe the question was what others would charge and i didnt see it as being very specific but rather general. i answered what i would charge. If you are going to factor in a persons location in the costs of a church parking lot you may as well factor in the entire balance sheet of the person plowing, the amount of members in the congregation that have pickup trucks they can put a plow on, and whether the church is catholic, prodestant, methodist etc. since one faith usually can afford to pay more than another for expenses. suppose you could also consider the possibility of not needing liability insurance if they church is really religious they would not sue another christian (is the plow guy christian?) and you could also factor the wednesday night bible studies at the church, and the saturday youth group meetings and etc.etc.etc.
    lot more to be concerned about in pricing this than where i live. but generally speaking based on my expenses and assuming i lived in indiana in the church vacinity that is what i would charge. that is probably the same as i would charge here.
    further note: i understand what lake effect snow is. if you look at your yearly snowfall totals you will find that the area doesnt get much more than maine. some parts sorrounding the lakes get less than maine. im voting that indiana gets less though i havent looked it up.

    DOES ANYONE HAVE A U. S. MAP ON ANNUAL SNOW ACCUMULATION? that is something id be interested in seeing.

  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    I'm sure it depends a lot on where you are in Maine, now that I know you reside there. However, NW Indiana would receive a crapload of lake effect when the wind is out of the NW. Which occurs rather frequently in the winter. For instance, Holland a city approx 40 miles west of me along the lake receives approx 100" per year, while GR receives about 72-73" per year. I checked, and LaPorte, IN which is in the NW corner receives 45-75" of snow. I know accumulations vary greatly in Maine, so I can't even guess without you narrowing it down more.
  17. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    springvale maine almost on nh border. looking for map of annual snowfall in last ten years countrywide. for instance. i didnt know they had much snow in maryland but found out from a post last week on here.. learn something new everyday.