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How many bid by the SQFT??

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by EGLC, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    how many of you guys are bidding by the square foot?

    now before some of you wise guys jump in here and say each lot is different and there's too many variables, etc, etc. I'm taking about the nice large wide open lots with no major obsiticals and lots of room to stack.
  2. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    All wide open lots are by square feet. Lots that look like they were designed by a 3 year old are a combination of sq ft. and then add in the pain in the ass factor to get a price.
  3. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    I bid large wide open lots by the acre. I'd imagine the same formula could be broken down by the sq ft for lots a bit smaller.
  4. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    I used to bid by looking over the tip of my thumb, Thumbs Up and guessing a price. The price would be made on the amount of time I thought it would take. Since then we have gone to measuring every site regardless of the size. We now have a per sq ft price, which changes depending on lot size, complication of lot ( islands, cart stalls, # of handicapped parking spaces), hrs that lot is open to public and or workers, high or low traffic lot, and percentage the lot is in the full sun. Makes for more consistent pricing. I still have fun guessing the price before I measure it.
  5. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    OK, glad to see I'm not the only want who likes a formula. Up until this past year I only did resi and one small condo. I now want to get some more commercial lots as the bug of plowing wide open areas has hit me :)

    @neige- how are you coming up with a additional sq ft price for X amount of islands, etc? I'm not looking for a number but maybe you can point me in the general direction??

    Thanks for all your help
  6. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    All of my lots are measured, and priced by the sq foot. This includes large acre lots as well. Then I break down the island and curb factor, and add accordingly.
  7. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Glad to see I'm not the only one that uses this when bidding out a property.Thumbs Up
  8. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Time is the number one factor. I like figure how long it will take, how long it will take me to get there from my shop. If you can determine how long and with what equipment, and man power, than just multiply by average snow fall, average visits and you have a starting point.

    Use the starting point and then add for larger snow falls, weekend plowing, traffic, condition of asphalt, curbs, and any other factors that could cost extra time or money.

    Just don't leave yourself short. Then you have to hope for no snow so you can make some profit on contracts.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  9. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    I'm trying to go with per push...if people insist I will bid seasonal.

    how are you guys figuring additional time for islands? does anyone have a formula (you can pm me) or anything to put me in the right direction?
  10. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    More or less by acre and add a factor for efficiency into it.
  11. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    If you have a island in the middle of a parking lot how long do you think it will take to plow around it? Were it is, how many etc. You need to determine how much time any of these obstacles add to you total time depending on each individual circumstance. Add it all up multiply by your hourly rate.
    You will need at least enough experience plowing to be confident enough to determine time. With out that it is just a guess.

    Some times when your starting out it is just a guess anyways. You will know how well you guessed after you pay your dues finding out. All estimating is just that estimating, it gets more accurate the more you do.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  12. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    PM sent... and Johns spot on with his advice
  13. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Thanks Mick,
    No easy and simple way to any of it.
    You have to be willing to gamble when you are in control. You get to live by your mistakes and your victory's.
    My advise is never take on work that is large enough to put you out business from one customer or transaction. That money value is all relative to were you and your business are at that time.
  14. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I have to agree with John and Mick. There is no real formula to price in islands, and curbs. Every lot is different, and every island is different as well. It's these idiot architecs that think they look pretty. All lots should be wide open in a snow belt region in my opinion, but thats what sets apart the good plowers from the fly by night lowballers. I have a 2 acre parking lot that has 14 islands in it. Every year I bid the job, and don't get it because someone throws out some number that makes no sense. After the first plowable snow, I always get the phone call asking me to come save them again. This has happened for 5 straight years now, and by the second plowable event I have the contract to finish the season. I just tell the owner to sign a 5 year and forget about it. I guess he saves money on that 1st event and calls it good, lol.
  15. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    the largest lot I have is an acre and is really broken up with islands.

    Thanks again!
  16. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,145

    I use a sqft then adjust based on its location to other lots we do, the payment terms of the lot owner, the pain in the a$$ factor, and my mood that day.
  17. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    X2 I also try and guess what the average pounds (tons) of salt used is going to be also, before I plug it all into my excel spreadsheet
  18. snobama

    snobama Member
    Messages: 35

    I bid 1 meeeellion dollars for everything.
  19. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    by looking at most lots I can get a general idea of how long it will take depending on where I can put piles and things in the way etc. then I just multiply the truck hours by my hourly rate works well for me so far.
  20. d&r

    d&r Member
    Messages: 99

    We estimate by the square foot, but classify lots with different levels of difficulty ( amount of backdragging, lightpoles, islands) with a break down at 2 inch increments max of 10 inches, after 10" its T&M. Sidewalks are rated differently as well. Salt and calcium is estimated on the # per square foot per application. All this information is fed into a spreadsheet which figures the bid price for the lot, but my spread sheet also calculates the the time need per lot based on accumulation. Which helps in estimating the man power and equipment time need per event. Looking at this past winters logs and estimated time, they were pretty close.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011