Bid Pricing ? and advice



Hey Guy's,

My wife and are are getting ready to build a house in a local development in which we own property(Thank God, now my boat can turn back into a "boat" again:D). We are going to a Homeowners Assoc. meeting on the 23rd for the 2002 budget and I would like to bring up their snow plowing contract and try to put in a bid. I know I may be too late, but there's always next year! Whoever they had doing it last year did a horible job!

Our avg. snowfall is around 20" a year. Usually 4 or 5 2-3 inchers and a couple of 8 inchers. Although we've been known to get 20+" in one shot on a good Nor'easter.

The development has 1.75 miles of 30' wide road with 7 culdisacks(spelling?). There are about 60 1-2.5 acre lots of which about 60% are built on. All roads and driveways are paved and no cars park on the road.

I figure I can do one complete push of the main road(4 passes) in about 1.5 hrs. I would offer the drives on an individual, per push basis, seperate from the Development contract.

For the road I'm thinking a 2" trigger, 2-4" one push, 4-8" two pushes, 8-12" two to three pushes and 12+" ?. Remember, this will be my starting and ending point. I have to come home sometime;)

What do you think:confused:

A) Should I try to get a seasonal? And if so, what do you think would be a fair price?

B) Should I go for a incremental charge based on snowfall amount? I'm thinking I should charge around $225 per planned amount of pushes.

I'm hoping, regardless of the outcome of the Development contract, to get at least 5-15 of the individual drives at $20-$25 per push.

Thanks in advance!!


Oh, I forgot. I didn't talk about salting. My thought there was to offer it as an option on a time and material basis. What do you think?


Senior Member
RUN. As fast as you can.

You probably shouldn't deal with a community you'll live in, and secondly there are too many differences of opinions in homeowner association communities.

You may be able to bid and win, but guaranteed within two to three years the homeowners will boot you for another service, not because of quality or anything, just because no one in the association can communicate with each other, and someone with the majority feels someone else can do it better.

Our lanscape company dealt with many associations over the past several years and next season, will only be servicing about 1/2 of them. We provided quality service, constant supervision of crews at the site, and communicated in person, fax, phone, etc., however all of a sudden communities want to try another contractor. It usually happens when the association president changes and he has a friend or the management company contact changes and the new property manager has a friend.

So if you do bid, watch your back and expect to find a new client in two or three years.

DaveO Veteran

That is a tough call. I think your bids/pricing ideas are realistic for the job. the previuos posts warn , I would be leery(sp?) of working for YOUR complex. The people I know who plow complexes similiar to yours usually lose the contract after a couple of years as stated above. The committee is mostly concerned with saving money, and as such will almost always go for the lowest bidder. And if you have your share of lowballers like we do....

You may make out better by just doing private drives for a select few. And make the $$ you deserve somewhere else. Just my opinion. How's the stroke running???

I live in a subdivision about the same size as the one you are moving into. My neighbors ask me why I don't plow it as I live here. I reply that I am booked and couldn't give the job my full attention.
Truth of the matter is, I have good neighbors and I want to keep it that way. The last guy who plowed it also lived here and if he didn't have it done pronto, some people got angry with him. I do free touch up work when I am finished with my regular customers. The neighbors really appreciate it.


Thanks for the responses guy's.

I guess I had the $$$ blinders on:rolleyes:

The more I think about it, you all are absolutly right!!

There is already some tension with us and the former President of the Association. Too long of a story to go into;)

I'll just resign myself to cleaning up the lousy contractors mess:D

Dave, The Stroke is running awsome!!! I go though withdraw if I don't "smoke" someone at least once a day! LOL


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