Opinions on price for church lot

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mike Hughes, Jan 19, 2001.

  1. Mike Hughes

    Mike Hughes Member
    Messages: 51


    Just curious what you folks feel a lot like this is worth, on a per push basis, for plowing only.

    It is a church (no cars in lot). Double wide entry, and the lot itself is 197' by 165'. The picture makes it look a bit bigger then it really is. It has a wide, shared driveway coming in from the road (on left) and the lot is just a big rectangle.....wide open.

    The guy that did the lot previously was doing it for $70 per push, which I feel is too low.

    Mike Hughes
    Souderton, PA

    By the way, the picture is actually 5 pictures stiched together to make a panoramic. I took all 5 pics from standing in one place with a digital camera, then used MGI PhotoSuite 4 software to stitch them together. It's cool because you can see the whole lot in one shot.
  2. Leroy

    Leroy Junior Member
    Messages: 15


    I was doing my church lot for $80.00 per push plus $15.00 for salt for about 4 50# bags. Sounds ridiculous but when it's your church what do you do? I have since gotten out of that commitment and recommended other plowers to the church. In reality it was about a $150.00 per push job (2-4"_) plus another $50.00 for salting. It's hard if you belong to the church so my advice is stay away if you're a member and if you're not, charge them likke a commercial job. Hope this helps.

    FIREMAN Member
    Messages: 50

    70.00 per push.....lol....way way too low..church or not...a lot of those dimensions here would fetch at least 150.00 per push (2-4) and up from there..no salting or walkway clean up included in that number...picture this...one of my accounts is a large office building/warehouse...on either side of building there is a driveway that is 25ft wide that runs the length of the building(about 75 ft) and behind it is a lot that is 100x 200..plowing lot 450.00 per push salting is 150.00 per event...I'm done plowing in 1 hr and can salt it in about 15 minutes...these prices were given to me when I was asked to take the account...I think they are fair for my market if not a bit generous to me last decent storm dumped about 18 inches here and I was pleased when I recieved payment in 3 days after billing for plowing 1350.00 and salting 2 x 300.00....I just wish they all paid so fast..lol...

  4. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Hey Mike,

    Nice shot. I fool around with a digital also. They are very cool!! A parent who helps clear the lot at my kids school (& our church) came over our house new years eve to drop off his kid and saw the plow on my truck. Well to make a long story short, I told him that I have prior commitments but would help out after I get all my stuff done. If this is your church, it's a tuff call. If not I would say that's real cheap for our area. I got res. drives I get almost double that. We don't get alot of snow around here so make it worth your while. Good luck

  5. Leroy

    Leroy Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Your post was not to long. Better to here the whole deal or none at all. I agree with your pricing. Like I said, It's a tough proposition if it's your own church. I know it's hard to understand, but, how do you bill your church commercial prices? That's why I say if you can ,stay away from it. Good luck to all and I hope we all have a prosperous season!
  6. 4 Saisons

    4 Saisons Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    the other guy probably droppped the church because the price were too cheap...like LEROY first post.
  7. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    We do a lot of work during the summer for churches(sealcoating,line striping,And sweeping).
    Please remember you are in business to make money(I hope)and you are giving them a proffesional job.
    We give them a top dollar price and then maybe 10 or 15 percent off that.Seems to work everytime.
    Good Luck
  8. john r

    john r Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 298

    Mike, I'm a God fearing man. I think I do all the right things. A church is a business. Remember the church does not pay taxes, they get their electric, gas, water, sewer, and a..... what else, FOR FREE. (guess who pays for all of these freebeee's?). Thats right! What I think you should really do my friend is to plow for FREE! BTW any money the churh receives legally does not have to be reported to the IRS. Not a bad deal. Get the point?
  9. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    John R
    You are so right!Silly me.Monday morning I will have my secretary call my church to schedule their Free sealcoating this summer.....
  10. Chip

    Chip Member
    Messages: 43

    I plow a church that also has a double wide entrance and lot size I guess almost similar in dimension. I charge $70 for an average storm and $125 for over 8 inches. Salting is extra. I know my price is low, I'm not a memberof the church, but I do get referals from them for lawn accounts. I can usually be in and out in 30 min. and go next door to my next account.
  11. Eric E.

    Eric E. Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    If you are a Christian, in the true meaning Of "The Word", then you should do it for free, if they preach a doctrine that is Bibically correct. If you are not a Bible believing Christian it doesn't matter in the long (eternal) run so charge them. I plow my church for free but many times another member beats me to it. He does it for free also. Last year they asked me to shovel the walks and charge them. I charged regular rates and when I got the checks I signed them back to the church.


    If I am wrong in my belief than I just wasted alittle time. If you are wrong in your unbelief than you will have a lot of wasted time.

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    With a lot like that, I would figure I'd probably kill an hour there. I try to stick in the $125/ hr. range, so off the top of my head, I'd say $125 up to 6 inches. I'd add extra for larger snowfalls, with my discretion whether I plow twice and bill twice at 6 inches, or once at the higher amount and push all the snow at once.

    My business does not do freebies for anyone. My wife and I do however. So, if it was my church, and I wanted to help, then I would pay my business out of my pocket. Route the bills through the church, and then write a personal check to the church to pay it, or whatever portion of it you want.

    That way the business stays profitable, the local plowers are not hurt by my "cheap" pricing, and if I want to claim my "donations" to my church as charitable contributions, I can.
  13. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Church or not,the church wont fix your truck when it breaks,and the we live in the real world where we have to pay for all the free-bees the church gets.So i wouldnt have a hard time charging for that job,I used to do a lot for a church i used to go to,I did it for about 3/4 of what it was worth.They kept adding on to the lot though and wouldnt give me any more money,so I had to stop doing it.I found that i was frustrationg myself,spending time there,when i had good paying customers,that paid the same as the church but took 15 minutes to do as oppessed to 50 minutes.You end up rushing it and not doing a professional job,since it is costing you money to be there.In my market that lot would go for 165-200 a push up to 4" then id charge 35 an inch over 4".
  14. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    I'm with Eric,to a point,we do four churches our own we give a signifigant discount because we can and the rest are getting rates that are a little shy of full bore.Alot of what you charge this church depends on where your beliefs are but I know for a fact that my eternal salvation has absolutely no correlation to whether or not I plow a church lot for free, that depends on only one thing.

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    I agree with Eric and Digger to a point, but remember-your business is not eligible for salvation, only you are. You still need to make wise business decisions, keep your christian business viable and profitable, and you owe it to your profession and other snowplowers to keep it at competitive rates.

    Now if you feel the way Eric and I both do, that tithes are important and that includes your talents, then by all means pay the bill that your business send to the church out of your own pocket. Not only does that accomplish the same thing as doing it for free, but it is done in a way that probably very few people will ever even know about, and that is the real test of genuine "giving".

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    that price is in the ballpark for my area there are still other factors, relation ship to other accts,when it needs to be finished (many of the churches thatb i plow will not need to done until 9 or 10),amount and severity of storms in your area

    if this church was in my town i would plow it for that the measurements make it only 30.000 sq/ft you should only spend 30 mins or so to do that
  17. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    MH -
    In your market, $70 is way too low.
  18. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Mike If I was to price that lot it would be about $200-250 per storm up to 6" then would nock off some for going 6"-12" $180-230.Hard to tell from picture but then again everones area is different what I get here may be too much there and vs versa.
  19. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I'm glad to know there's hope for Digger. We bid our church this year (not the First Church of the Open Barstool)and ended up walking away from it because they expected such a low price. Gotta make your money and if you can cut them a break, then so be it.

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    You guys out East really do charge much more than we can get away with in my area. I think that my $125/hr. estimates are usually on the high end here.

    On a side note, we have a better time getting church jobs by bidding them seasonal. The way that churches budget and pay their bill, they seem very receptive to locking in their costs pre season. Most of the time we are considerably higher than the other contractors, but get the job anyways. I guess they like the idea of fixed costs, and they all are worried in the back of their minds of the "big" year that they will get caught paying more than they expected. Then we offer a small discount to prepay, and most of the time get one big check in November, which I appreciate.