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Non-Business pricing for driveways...

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by ETMegabyte, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. ETMegabyte

    ETMegabyte Member
    Messages: 41

    The last couple of years, I've run into a few situations where I've been "flagged" down by homeowners shoveling themselves out, who ask me to do a couple of swipes along their driveway (or sometimes just to swipe away the snowbank at the end of their driveway)...

    As the title implies, I don't do this commercially. Usually when this happens, if it's a small-ish driveway, I just ask for like $20, drop the plow, 2 swipes to clean most of the snow away, and I'm off... The times I get asked about seasonal rates, I let them know that I don't do it commercially, but I just happened to be here...

    I'm wondering if I should be charging more, or less I suppose... On one hand, most companies would charge more since they have overhead that I don't, but on the other hand, charging a bit more would help with gas and maintenance for the plowing I do for free (neighbors, parents, some friends on occasion)...

  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    you must be willing to loose everything and take on un-nessasary liability. If you don't do it as a business you probably don't have the proper insurance in place to even think about dropping a plow on any driveway other than yours and maybe your parents. When people flag you down, keep driving. just my opinion.
  3. M.A.H.

    M.A.H. Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    If you have a plow and plow for family that's fine, but as soon as you accept money for services you are now a buiness. It does not matter if you charge $5 or $50k you are now a buiness. If you like plowing and want to plow driveways check into some insurance, it's not worth losing everything you own and it only takes a split second for something to go wrong. It's better to be covered then take the risk.
  4. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Yes, a very quick way to kiss that truck and anything else you own goodbye. Highly suggest not doing this.

    Forget about all the worst case scenarios like what if you run someone over, or what if the truck slides through the side of a house on a sloped driveway, what if you hit the family dog, etc.. Bring the liability aspect down to a lower level such as what if someone has a paver driveway, or even cobblestone/paver apron on the entrance, you plow it and catch a brick, pull out a few and misalign all the other bricks on the driveway, and now your replacing a $30,000 driveway. What if you press the button to angle left instead of right and end up putting the plow through the garage door. Well now your replacing a garage door.

    I know its easy to do, and hard to say no, but its really a bad idea on so many levels.
  5. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    Great quote! More people should think about this quote on a regular basisThumbs Up
  6. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    Besides the things that others have posted, I would recommend putting together a "One Time Service" agreement for the flag downs., etc.,

    As far what to charge, you are going to have to do some research. All you have to do is call some plowing outfits in area for some quotes