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Please help with this 1st time commercial bid

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by turbo38sfi, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. turbo38sfi

    turbo38sfi Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I've done all residential here in the past and never gotten into a commercial/sanding job in the past. This would be my first. It's mine if I want it, I have an in, I just don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

    It would be a yearly contract to sand/plow. It's a doctors office. I have no clue what each storm would run in materials, I figure a yard would cover it. It gets full sun all day so I don't think it will ice up all that much either with the good sun all day.

    Here's a map of it with a 50ft scale to give reference as to its size. It's 160 parking spots. I've outlined in yellow what would be my responsibility. Woods on the back side so pushing snow far back will be pretty easy.

    He was paying the guy last year in the realm of 7500. Over 12" the guy was getting 65/hr with a 4hr min. If a loader was required it was $120/hr with a 4 hr min.

    So my main questions I have if you can help me.

    1. How much material do you estimate per job?
    2. As far as the contract goes..our snowy season is from say November to March. So if I quote the job and we get snow outside of that window, do you just say in the contract that a storm would cost say $400 or something?

    3. Lastly as far as breaking down, how do you do it for commercials? Over 8" would be $40/hr, over 12" would be $65/hr? Or just do from 0-12" is in the contract and over 12" would be 65/hr?

    I'm sure I'll have more once we get a discussion going.

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  3. turbo38sfi

    turbo38sfi Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Should be there. Let me know if you can't see it.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If you're charging by the hour, your hourly rate will not change due to depth. This will take care of itself. More snow on the ground will mean it will take longer to plow. If you're charging by the job (site), then, yes, the rate will be graduated for depth.

    Are you sure you want to use SAND on this site? You'll be much better off using salt - or even better a treated salt - as a pretreatment which will be especially effective with full sun exposure. With a yard of sand (or salt), you'll have a beach. First thing to do is get accurate site measurements. Then figure how much material you'll need. To give you an idea, I used sand/salt mix on a private road with two steep hills and a sharp curve (laid it down heavy) and used 1 yard to cover 44,352 sq ft (7/10 mi and 12 ft wide) for a heavy application. About half that usually. With salt, you'll use even less. If you've never pre-treated a job, you'll want to learn. You'll also want to learn how much salt it takes to melt how much ice at various temps.

    But I don't think you or the doctors want sand used on that site. It makes a mess to clean up.
  5. turbo38sfi

    turbo38sfi Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I did ask about the sand or salt and he did confirm that sand/salt combo is what they've had done in the past. A mix is cheaper anyways right?

    As far as the hourly rate..it's not by the hour. It's a a seasonal contract with an hourly provision if it goes over 12".

    I was talking to one guy and he bids his seasonals for the whole season but up to like 70 inches. After 70inches he goes to an hourly rate. Is that common?
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Mix vs Sand or Salt. A mix will leave a mess to clean up in the Spring. So, depending on the site, it may actually be cheaper in the long run to use salt. When figuring the cost, figure about half the amount of salt that you would use if vs a sand/salt mix. You might also point out that salt melts away but sand hangs around; gets pushed to the sides and tracked where it's not really wanted (in offices etc).

    Seasonal - what you showing there might be considered a "storm clause". It's just that I don't use it. I give one price to cover anything that falls for the winter. BUT - I have a mix of Seasonal and Per Push accounts. So I'm hedging my bets on what type of winter we get.
  7. turbo38sfi

    turbo38sfi Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Thanks Mick. Didn't realize you're from Maine, what part? I'm in Derry NH.

    This is my first commercial, trying to decide if I wanna get involved or just stick to residential..the money is too good to pass up tho.
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Palermo - east of Augusta about 25 miles
  9. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Are you also going to shovel and salt the sidewalks?
  10. turbo38sfi

    turbo38sfi Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I will not be responsible for the sidewalks or any shoveling.
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    If you were to have a snowfall over 12" would you actually wait until the end of the storm.
    We would never have the benefit of a storm clause or if more then X amounts falls in a year You get to charge extra. If that is the case then would you give a rebate if less then 20"(example) falls during the winter.

    I would recommend you give the contract a try for a year. I think commercial is easier to do and easier on the equipment.

    Side note on the storm clause. Even though we don't get extra to plow we usually get loader work shortly afterwards, especially on a lot that needs all their parking spots.