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Need a little help with two commercial estimates please

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by aron7676, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Hi guys, I'm a first time poster, but I have been reading for a while now. Iv done resi plowing for a year prior to this year. I have a d150 with a 8' plow and salter. I also have a snow blower and tractor.
    I just received some business through a friend, and I honestly have no idea how to bid them. Tell me what you would charge on 1" triggers with salting at 1 and every 3 inches.
    the hyper links are to google maps.

    the first one would need two bids:
    The entire lot
    The lot from the second set of islands South.



    Thank you all so much,
  2. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21


    The total sq ft for the first is approx 220,000.
    the total for the second is approx 43,000 sq ft.

    These are much bigger than the 500-1500 sq ft drive ways I normally do.
    I'm just not sure if i should pro-rate my prices up proportionally, or what.
  3. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    update 2

    Well I asked around to some local plowers, and I came up with a 325 price tag for the church, and I was informed that the school was going to have snow removal donated. The 325 covers ice melt on the sidewalks, clearing the lot, and putting salt in the lot.
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    That is siginificantly lower than I would charge......does that include shoveling too? Is that 325 per push or up to how many inches.....I hope that isn't per storm
  5. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    That's nearly 4 acres of plowing in the first lot. And another in the second. That would go for around $300-400 per push here, salt for the lot would run another $350 or so, and sidewalks I would do hourly and per pound of calcium chloride. Somewhere between $0.35-0.45 per pound. Hope this helps you out. You would have a hard time making money for less than $600 for all of that.
  6. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    im closer to brants number too
    I do a church close to that size and I make around 600 at 2 inches for everything and it has 5 minutes of shovelling at most rest plow and salt
    i charge by inch not push
  7. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    call me a low baller...

    I wanted to get that bid, and that second lot (the small church) isn't exactly rolling in dough. I gave them a pretty low price, but I am charging .65 a lb for anything we put on the sidewalks. I think ill be okay on profit for this, but its only a 1 year contract. no big loss I suppose.
  8. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

  9. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Famous last words... let us know in the spring if you made any $ on this ... you asked for advice and was given sound advice... you chose not to listen ..... are you one of these people that likes to learn the hard way? You should stick to resis since you have no idea and refuse to listen to the advice of others... good luck to you sir and yes you are a lowballer

    Truth hurts.....sorry
  10. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Mick, I asked for help after I got got the opportunity to give them a bid. I waited a couple of days, but they wanted my bid by Thursday. If you look, no one replied untill after then. I would have taken advise had it been given to me a little earlier. I will take the advice I have been given and apply it to any other commercial bids I need to give.
  11. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Aron, please don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way because your new to the site. I'm calling it constructive critz with alittle bit of a kick in the arse. Why would you wait for a response on a public website to find the answers you were seeking? Did you even try and check with anyone local about your areas pricing (i'm talking professional cos - I'm not sure the type of plowers you said you asked in your original thread) ? Pricing is a regional thing but I believe your #'s are VERY low. If this was your only avenue then why not be proactive rather then reactive to the matter and bump your post up a few times until some people respond? You left money on the table which isn't any good for your bottom line.

    We have alot of new people come on the site asking how much to charge. Alot of them will come and go. Alot of that has to do with the $ they make over the season. If they didn't make any $ then chances are they won't be coming back to ps. You are quite possibly one of those guys.

    The kicker is now these lots THINK that what they should be paying for plowing (your cheap arse rate) and you'll see in the spring that you didn't make any $ at it... They'll want you to do it again for that same price or LOWER. You'll say no. They'll say no problem and they'll get another want a be (no offense) plower in there that doesn't understand his costs and will plow it for those figures or better yet, then the other company will tell the account "Oh, I can beat that price by 25%"... It a Domino effect within the entire industry.

    Do you know your costs? (note payments on equipment, fuel, insurances, reg, salt, cacl, deprecitaion, overhead, repairs, maint, office supplies, labor, office workers, worker comp, taxes, ect, ect, ect) My costs are figured out to the penny. I know exactly how much is cost me to run one of my trucks per hour... you can't figure out how much to quote lots UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT YOUR COSTS.

    I hope this info helps even though it may not be what you want to hear.

    Not trying to be harsh, just truthful.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  12. Mick76, you hit the nail on the head and I thank you for that. It really irks me seeing guys coming on here and asking "what should I bid for this job"........my feeling is if you dont even know how to bid it then its probably out of your league. (Anyway we probably dont know ur specifics-overhead, prevailing rates in area etc so how can we tell you what to bid?) Even worse is guys asking where they should push the snow?(have seen asking this for even resi driveways). That is why i have said in other posts anyone who wants to get into snow plowing should work for or with an experienced guy for at least 1 season to get some idea of whats involved and experience,before getting your own accounts. some people need to remember that they are asking to get paid a professional rate to do a professional job that they really have no clue how to do.---not directed to OP or anyone specific just a rant in general
  13. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    thanks guys

    I did do a little checking around with others and it seemed to be in the 300-400s.
    That could be b/c KC doesn't get too bad of winters, IDK.

    I do know my overhead for the most part, but I admit I'm not an expert yet. If you have any formulas for calculating per hour cost, Id love to see them.

    I have worked as a sub before, but as I said earlier, all i have done are residential properties.

    Thank you for that long reply. I really do appreciate the criticism. This way if I get more commercial properties through the season i can bid them "correct".

    NPMinc: Duh... I always just leave the snow piled in the middle of the parking lot access points.Thumbs Up Thats where its supposed to go right?? :laughing:

    now seriously, as I mentioned above, I have subbed, but I didn't ever do the bidding. i was just told to go plow here or there and have people call the office if they wanted to be added to our route.

    For the bidding, I asked how much you would charge for it. Your rates, everything. Pretend they were just down the street. I wanted to see what it was going for in other areas.

    Just a learning process i suppose.

    I really do appreciate all the comments that everyone is posting. Keep em coming!
  14. aron as i said i wasnt directly referring to you. Not trying to be an azz but just bothers me that people come on here expecting others to basically do their work for them as far as estimates, contract templates, and the list goes on and on. Sorry if you felt like I was attacking you in particular, i wasn't. Good luck in your business and just remember to pay attention to what has worked for ya, where ya made/lost money, etc, and you should be ok. Most importantly if you feel you are not sure or uncomfortable with how to bid a job etc, dont bid it just to get the job and be a lowballer.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  15. aron7676

    aron7676 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Oh I know you weren't attacking me.
    Im not asking for people to do work for me.. I just want some guidelines i guess. I asked if Mick had a good formula to figure out overhead per hour. etc. I will admit I did take one of the sample contracts off of here, But I have changed most if not all of it to my terms. I used it for what it was- a template, not the final product.

    As you can see in my third post, I asked some local guys that had been doing business nearby, and even talked to the one that did the lot last year, they all agreed somewhere in the 300s. I'm trying not to be a lowballer. Can the region prices vary that much??
  16. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    I'm glad I didn't scare you away...... Thanks for not taking my post too personal.

    Well , if you truely did ask other PROFESSIONAL companies and they ACTUALLY gave you correct figures (hard to believe but could happen I guess) and the 3-400 range is where you should come in..... Thats your market... but its not how you figure a quote... you figure a quote based on YOUR numbers, not someones elses figures..... personally I shoot for $125 per hour per truck IN MY AREA. You'd have to do some homework to find out the rates in your area.

    Most importantly figure out your costs.... heres a rough but good site to help you on your way.....