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How are my prices?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by surfingofloa, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. surfingofloa

    surfingofloa Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm trying to figure out prices for snow-blowing here in new jersey. This will be my first time doing this for money. I plan on going door to door in my town (Avon by the sea) which is a very rich beach town. For the most part, the houses have small driveways ( 14x20 ) which are on garage streets in the back of the houses. If they want me to clear a path from the front of there house to the street and the sidewalks, I will have to charge extra. I would also have to load my blower in the truck and drive it around the block to get to the front of their house. I have a basic price list set up, tell me if you think I'm too low, or to steep.

    Flat rate for driveway - $40

    $20 increments every 6 inches

    3-6 $40
    7-13 $60
    14-20 $80
    21-27 $100
    28-34 $120
    35-41 $140

    Pathway from house to street + sidewalks - $20

    $10 increments every 6 inches

    3-6 $20
    7-13 $30
    14-20 $40
    21-27 $50
    28-34 $60
    35-41 $70

    Car digout on street - $15

    $10 increments every 6 inches

    3-6 $15
    7-13 $25
    14-20 $35
    21-27 $45
    28-34 $55
    35-41 $65

    Salt $15

    Let me know what you think, thanks!
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    wow lot to take in. I dont know what the going rate is in your area, but that doesnt sound too off. I think that your price of 40 would be good with the drive and the walks included but thats me.

    Id say 90% of the time people want both walks and their drive done so we include that in the price. Id be at my minimum of $30 on something that big plus the salt (which you will probabably wouldnt even use 10lbs on a property that size so Id do my residential minimum of $15. Usually what I try to do is just break things down hourly. If I think that clearing the drive and all the walks will take me 35 minutes on a normal push (1-6") and i want $55/hour for clearing drives then im going to charge $32 for something that size, per push.

    Residentials are plowed 2 times, once in the early morning before they leave and again in the late afternoon prior to their arrival. My base price per push goes up to 6", anything over 6" is 50% more, anything over 12" is billed hourly with a 1 hour minimum at $60/hour. So if I have 3" in the am and the price is 30$ i bill that and i come back in the afternoon and theres another 7inches I get $45 for that. We will also then come back next morning or later that night, if the storm ended early in the day and clean up any drifting and the aprons of the drive. If we have to service that when we check, thats an additional 15$. So for a 10" storm im getting a minimum of 75$ plus the salt which brings it to 90$ plus then if I clean up the aprons and stuff another 15$

    Salting is automatic after each plow visit. Any I will apply enough salt during the storm up to the minimum. After that i charge per appx pound applied at $0.45. So if in the morning i put down 15lbs and in the after noon I put down 15lbs then I get $15 for the 30lbs of salt. if I put down 15 in the morning and 25 at night then I get $18 for that 40lbs of salt.

    Under 1inch of snow, we will usually just salt it, unless they request us to scrap it.

    Ive never dug a car out like that so I couldnt tell you how to price it
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  3. surfingofloa

    surfingofloa Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Well my $40 flat rate would include the driveway and a walkway to the house (which are both in the back of the house). However in the front of their houses they may want another walkway to the main street. I was planning on charging a seperate rate for that simply because I would have to load my blower and drive it around the other side. I would like to simply add that into the $40 price, however I'm afraid it's going to take me to long per house to make it worth it
  4. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Why would you have to load it up into your truck and drive it around? Is it really that far?
  5. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    What I do is charge a minimum of $40/push including sidewalks. The price goes up depending on job size, completion time and so on. A maximum of 6" is allowed to accumulate before we plow. So for an 8" storm, we plow everything twice. Some people have a problem with this (they must not read the contract) and I kindly explain to them how it is fair. This is my fourth winter doing it this way, and I am still adding on new customers. This weeds out the cheapskates and keeps everyone's property clean and accessable.
  6. surfingofloa

    surfingofloa Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes. Depending on what house it is, it could be up too 200-300 yards of walking. If it's only 3-5 inches of snow I can probably walk it through their property though.
  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    do that or just ask them if they would have a problem if you cut a path into their lawn with your blower. At no charge. You might be able to add that cost into there "hidden" but just tilt the blower up a little so it isnt hitting the grass and tearing it up and make your self a small pathway. You might have a little damage to that lawn that might need a hand of seed here and there, but really nothing major. Just explain that rather than having to load up your equipment or walk on the street it would be much easier and more affordable for them to do it that way.

    You might be able to just walk through with the first 3-5" of snow but what happens when you get 3 storms of 3-5", that just turned into 9-15.

    I have a few custmers who i do that for, but blow a path through the lawn. They have no problems with it. Just make sure you dont hit the grass with the impeller.
  8. surfingofloa

    surfingofloa Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes that's a good idea, thank you. That would definatley make my life easier
  9. KEC Maintaince

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

    i base it on half hour rates.
    just did 4 customers this morning after yesterdays 2 in drop in this area.

    it took me 2 hrs round trip and price was for 4 houses just blowing is 40 a pop thats 160 cash total.
    the 40 is no salting . salt extra i learned from people on here not to give my services away when i told the one customer salting will be 15 dollars extra they told me to salt took me 1/2 bag salt.
  10. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    15$ is fair for a driveway I dont know what your using for salt (rock or ice melt) but even on the high end for both products, if your buying rock for $6/50 lbs thats $0.12/lb and at 25lbs thats $3. Ice melt on the high side $12/bag is $0.24/lb so $6. And at my sale prices your making money each way.
  11. plownoob

    plownoob Senior Member
    from ny
    Messages: 128

    Whatever the height of the blower is, charge 10x for every inch over that.
  12. KEC Maintaince

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

    using rock.
    cal is only on request and priced the same way only more money.
    i wont use rockon concrete only cal
    i have 3 customers that have custom blocking pavers for their drive way and walks plus steps and do not want nothing on them.
    they even looked at my blower to make sure it wont scratch their driveway .