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First Driveway Bid

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Mark13, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    My neighbor wants me to plow his driveway this winter. This is my first driveway to do for a customer so I need some help with bidding.
    Here is a picture of the driveway.

    255ft long
    9-10ft wide

    Garage entrance area
    40ft long
    30ft wide

    Location- Woodstock, IL (northern,il)

  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Here's where I'd be at...5 minutes to clear the entrance to the drive...2 passes to clear the driveway so another 5 minutes...1200 sq ft for the garage so that'll be about 10-15 minutes. Total time = 20-25 minutes and I think I'm estimating high. Figure out what you need to make an hour and then break it down from there.
  3. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    The site time Camden listed seems a little high, but factor in travel time if it's a little out of the way from where you are & where you might be plowing others (eventually). The difference I see from some of the city driveways we do is that you have wide open space, and presumably plenty of room to pile snow at the ends. It's still more than a $30 driveway, but if you're not shoveling or otherwise getting out of your truck, you have to consider the relative ease of this property. Like Camden did say, though, figure out what your hourly needs are gonna be & give yourself probably 20 minutes. A place like that out here for me would probably be like $50 or so. Can't say I've had any driveways that were more than 50' long & 2 cars wide. Good luck bro

  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    The driveway is not far from my house, I drove my mower there yesterday actually. I had the price of $45-50 stuck in my head and was wondering if that was a good guess or not. He just told me the driveway, if he wants me to do the walk to the front door and the walk to the backdoor and guest house I was thinking about $10 extra. Should I do a bid for 2", then one for 4"+? Or keep it simple with a 2" trigger and even if it gets to 3 or 4" deep keep it the same price?
  5. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    Id keep it the same price then add about 30-50% 6"s and up
  6. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    That is a good way to loose money.

    It takes three times as long to plow 12 inches vs 3 inches.

    I would do as such:
    1-3 $50
    3-6 $100
    6-9 $200
    9-12 $300
    12+ (6-12 price plus $50 per inch)

    This included shoveling up to the front door and shoveling out the garage doors.

    This is how I price simliar driveways and my customers are happy. Of the few driveways we still plow, I get them all back every year. The only ones I have lost is because they moved and I have no desire to add more.
  7. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    Havent lost money yet!

    I have done increments similar to the way you noted but at 30% not 50%. That was for small commercial lots also. A resi would never pay that. Id almost feel criminal charging that! Always worked for me. I dropped all my customers this year because i am subbing but also a crew chief so i get paid every 2 weeks now :D, and paid WELL. The money is not as good but the headaches will be far and few between.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  8. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    If it takes 3 times as long to plow 12", why are you charging $300 which is 6 times and then $50/inch after 12". I might have stayed doing residential if they all payed like that. Good for you.
  9. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i just got rid of a couple driveways that looked similiar to that. i was happy i wouldnt have to deal with them and the person who took them seemed happy to get them. :)
    im seeing some prices posted on here that i wouldnt never get to fly around where i live. three hundred for twelve inches?
    around here that would be sixty five to seventy five. no matter how deep the snow was.
  10. Mick

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

    itsgottobegreen, I'd just insist you plow every three inches at $50 each time (or $250 for 15"), rather than the $450 for a 15" storm total.
  11. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I know this sounds dumb, but how do you explain the cost increase for the increasing inches of snow? I know he is going to know why if I have a 2" trigger I don't plow it every 2-3". Besides the driveway for my grandma and then my families drive he is the only other one I will be doing as of right now.
  12. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I wouldn't care, that price is based on the total amount fallen. Some time we can't get to it every 3". You can make a lot more money doing residentials then commerical. But there is 10 times the amount of headaces. Everyone wants thier driveway done first. As far as I am concern, they really are a PITA to do. So I make them worth our while and people know our rep for snow. So they pay it.
  13. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Thats what i did when i had driveways! Also to get away from the "me first" deal, add a fee for every month. If it snows then the cost of that fee goes off there first bill of the month. This fee did not carry over next month for my customers if it did not snow. You explain that paying this fee you will be the primary 1 customers! Those customers would be done first, primary 2 are the ones that did not pay the retainer fee.If it did not snow all month i got to keep the fee i charged to be primary 1. If they don't like your price screw them, then they are not worth your time. Your providing a very valuable service, and it will be done to the up most perfection. Just go on to the next!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  14. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802


    since its a neighbor and you are just starting out, I personally would just do a 2 increment price. Say 2-8" is one price and anyhting over is another price. you know the snow we get here, its normally no more than 6" at a time but in case we get a blizzard and get pounded then you are covered. Keep it simple for yourself for now.
  15. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i would like to know how you guys pull this crap off. if i tried that around here not only would i not get the driveway my reputation would be junk. i would have people throwing snowballs at my vehicles. they would just find someone else or go buy a snowblower. at those prices they could pay off a blower in two or three storms.:dizzy:

    you must be plowing in really nice neighborhoods. but i thought the wealthy people lived on the other side of new jersey.
  16. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I probably will just tell him a 2" trigger at $50 a hit and will do the front walk and by the garage door. 4-6" would be $75. And above that would be $50 per inch. (10"=$500) He probably will tell me he will get it with his blower on the weekend and wait until the snow is 8"-12" deep then tell me he ran out of time to do it and wants it plowed. Does this sound like a good idea or change the $ per inch, the amount of inches before the price changes, or tell him I will do it all the time not whenever he needs it? I want to be fair to him, make my money but make sure I get the driveway. I do other work for him off and on all year around and he pays good so I would like to keep the friendship/buisness. He is in the shipping industry and talks to a lot of people so I want a good word from him to maybe help me gain a few of his customers as mine for plowing.
  17. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Mark a select few on here seem to be :dizzy: Im convinced they are brain dead.

    Id say $40 - $50 a push, and just hit the drive twice if its over 6 inches and charge for two plowings, If we get 15 inches plow it 3 times. Your going to do it a few times anyways, your right next door. Dont make this more complicated then it is. You should not be in that drive for more than 10 min.

    - Have a good one mark :drinkup:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2007
  18. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    Ok, I will figure on $50 as he can be a pita (perfectionist sometimes) I want to keep it simple but I wasn't sure exactly how to keep it simple yet charge accordingly for the deeper snows. I figure probably 15 minutes my first time and 8-10min after that. Its straight in (besides the natural curve), push off the end, backdrag from the garage, push that snow off the end, shovel the walk, and push if needed on my way back out. Should be pretty simple and nice and open for my first drive.
  19. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Hey im sorry if you guy dont like the idea......and i hope im not the crazy one! The last thing one of my customer want to do is go out in his expensive shoes and shovel snow, before he goes to his big vice president job in the city. I was just throwing a idea out there on what i do. I forgot this was not a snowplowing forum, where you can express your business options. Call me crazy, im only going to be 22 with my own house and 3 trucks on the road. Also i had no help from mommy and daddy! Gas is almost three dollars a gallon and your running around with over 40,000 dollars in equipment for a driveway for 40 bucks. That makes alot of sense to me, goes to show you any1 can put a plow on and call themselves a snowplower. Mark13 i was just giving you a option if you ever get bigger, this message is not directed at you. I wish you the best of luck with everything man! Just remember be a leader not a follower!:waving:
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  20. rcpd34

    rcpd34 Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 688

    Just as an FYI, we have a $100 minimum to come out. Now if we do several guys on the same street, that's something different...