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Pricing for Driveways

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by tonylillo, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. tonylillo

    tonylillo Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    I am in North NJ here is my pricing on a pay as you go basis no contracts. 2 to 5 inches $50, 6 to 10 inches $70, anything over 10 inches $100. Is the pay as you go idea a good one and are the prices i am charging in line with prices in North NJ. Trying to get and idea if i am in line or not. Planning on the houses being is no more than 1 1/2 miles of my base location. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ponyboy

    ponyboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,104

    If you do not have a contract how will u know who wants to get plowed
    Are you going to just drive around with your head out the window asking people?
    Are the drive ways marked out if not and you tear up the grass you are responsible
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Are you just going to stop at your customers and plow them when ever? Or do they have to call you?
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I used to have a sweet driveway route in Mass. I had it since I was about 11 years old when I started with a shovel, then a blower, and then a plow. I had F250's with 8' Fisher speed casts. Those plows never ever let me down once. The trucks never complained either.

    The prices obviously had to go up with the truck (gas, maint, insur). I never sent actual bills though. It was COD or I would go back the next day to pick up the check/envelope taped to the storm door. My furthest driveway was 15 mins away. I drove past most of them everyday and more than half were in my neighborhood. That was how I was paid from the beginning and I never saw a reason to change it. No waiting on the mail!

    I had a flat price regardless of the amount of snow. That backfired a few times on me ofcourse if we got dumped on. I'd plow once if we were getting an average size storm (3-8"). I usually waited to the end of the storm to start and all the customers were fine with that. Plowing every 3 inches seemed like such a waste for driveways. Parking lots are a different story.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  5. tonylillo

    tonylillo Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    I have a very low budget here, as I am just getting started. I had about 400 flyers printed (as a start) and I plan to walk door to door in October and deliver the flyers in the mailboxes in the 10 blocks or so around the house. This maybe completely crazy but if i get a 5% on my return thats 20 houses or $1000 per storm plus what ever i pick up after my commitment is done. Once I get a commitment I will inveatigate each driveway and post any tricky areas. I was looking to see if my initial $50 was to low, or if you think I should raise it and start at $70. I guess the price will be dictated by supply and demand, the bigger the storm, the more people will panic and pay higher.
  6. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    $50 doesn't seem bad for an average or slightly larger than average driveway. 5-10 mins plowing with no real obstacles (no shoveling). What is an average rate for your area? Is that with the walk way shoveled or no?

    Part of my pricing depended on how easy I could move/pile the snow, but I never told the customer that. I had a couple drives with circles and some drives I had to back drag the whole thing and then stack near the corners of the driveway.

    I had one driveway that was a straight push in. It was a little old ladies house and I had known her for years. I would move her car and two straight pushes to the end of the 40 foot driveway would be it.(no way to plow with the car in the drive, single car wide) It was maybe 2-3 minutes of actual plowing.

    I know moving a customers car is not standard practice and I don't recommend you offering that, but I always tried to take a little extra care of my elderly customers. I think it's the right thing to do and they seemed to spread the word about me more. I never advertised one bit. It was all by word of mouth. I picked up new customers each season that way and stayed plenty busy.

    You need to also price according to your operating costs and overhead. An example would be, closer the route = less gas.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  7. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    If you charge $15 per driveway per storm and pick up everyone's driveway you'll make more money. payup
  8. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    5% sounds high

    5% return rate sounds a bit high. .5 to 1% is a little more accurate based on averages for fliers.

    If you do get a 5% return great. However, have you calculated your actual cost to do the job based on your company's overhead and expenses? I would start there, and then think about the marketing.

    Good luck.
  9. R3Dside

    R3Dside Member
    Messages: 86

    Beginner Also

    Im just starting too, and I'm going to send out mailers to about 200 homes. I have went to most of the upper class neighborhoods and already have about 135 addresses. I think this will give back a small percentage, 5% seems sadly low, but in all reality my hopeful 10% will fall severely short. Despite that, I still will go this route, get my foot in the door on a few neighborhoods and hopefully flag downs cover the low percentage-comebacks, losses. :)

    Also Im very wary of posting too many fliers in public places too much, that could put me running to too many parts of town for a job here, a job there and loose money trying to cover my butt and not loose customers, while rocking a one-truck setup.
    Just a thought.