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just starting out... resi

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by mrplowpa, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. mrplowpa

    mrplowpa Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 19

    Hi all,

    I currently service my own home as well as 3 duplexes we own, but I am trying to branch out because I have the equipment. I have an inquiry for a residential account, and I've been reading up a lot on this forum but would just like to know if this is standard/makes sense ---

    The client needs the driveway cleared by 7:30am because they have back problems and need to go to work. This is how I was planning on bidding it:

    2" trigger
    2"-8": $30
    9"-15": $45
    15"+: $60

    I don't have a question so much with the actual amount, but rather how to handle the 7:30 requirement. I have thought of saying this:

    If snow accumulates overnight greater than 2", driveway and walk will be clear before 7:30am

    If snow accumulates during the day greater than 2", driveway and walk will be clear before 5:00pm

    If snow accumulates greater than 2" after initial plowing, event will be billed as next level up regardless of total storm accumulation.

    does that make sense? I just don't know how to handle the storm that snows 4" overnight, so I have to plow early am, but continues to snow after 7:30am so obviously I would have to go back. How I wrote it above, I would just charge them the next snow level up --- is that typical?

    Thanks for the advice
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Make it easy,seasonal contract,

    Side note,do you write off snowplowing on your duplexes?
  3. mrplowpa

    mrplowpa Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 19

    we are so sporadic with snow here I don't know a lot of resi's that do seasonals.... some winters (like last) we get next to nothing, others we get 30-40"

    write off which part? the cost of my plow/gas etc? yes, I do write off general maintenance/cleaning - but I also have a contracting business and it makes more sense to write the actual cost of the plow etc off of that. if i was paying a company to clear my duplexes i would definitely write that.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Most drives start at 3 inches anyways. If you plow 3 times with 3 inches each time bill for 3 plows.
  5. mrplowpa

    mrplowpa Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 19

    gotcha, thanks - that makes it easy, i can just ditch the incremental amounts because i would be plowing more than once anyway.
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    And that is the problem with the residential market. Ever plowed a foot of snow with 2" of packed ice under from the prior weeks storm? Our resi clients are near zero tolerance like our commercials. Our clients just get in the car and drive away, no worries, no getting stuck, no shoveling. Most guys don't have the balls to dictate such a level of service though.

    To the OP there is a huge difference between 2" and 8", perhaps a few more steps and a target as to maxuminum accumulation between visits. Make no guarantees to timing or maximum depths between visits. Failing to meet these could be grounds for breach of contract based on failure to perform and grounds for interrupted payment. Lower snowfall average equals higher rates.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  7. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I charge per push.
    1" trigger on all but two that have to look like June.
    I push every 4" or the end of the storm whichever comes first.

    I.e. a three inch storm will be one charge, a 5 inch storm will be two charges. Same price each time. I've got more customers than I can effectively handle in a big storm and I've been doing it this way since day one.