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Residential driveways

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by snowplowdog, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. snowplowdog

    snowplowdog Member
    Messages: 32

    Does anyone do alot of residential driveways & how do you charge for them? Per push? Per month? Per season? How do you deal with "intelligence challenged" homeowners?
  2. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    Yes and we charge money, sometimes alot sometimes not so much.

    There are always customers that are troublesome just deal with it. Plus you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you.
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    We do about 40 and some are seasonal and the rest are per time. As far as the "challenged" ones, we tell them up front what to expect when and why we plow AND what we expect, such as, 1st thing PAYMENT! then not calling us when the snow's flying. So far we've had great luck with residential customer's. I've learned over the years, in this business it's just not worth the pita people who are never going to be happy. The only thing you get from them are late payments, bashing your company to any one who will listen and a headache!
  4. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    just do a quality job and they pay just like everyone else
  5. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    We do over 700 residentials. We charge per plow, or seasonal. "Intelligence challenged" customers, as you refer to them, get educated as to how our service works.The complainers are dealt with to a certain extent. The really troublesome ones get the boot in a hurry.
  6. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    700! accounts. How do you do all those with one truck! lol
  7. snowplowdog

    snowplowdog Member
    Messages: 32

    my biggest problem with homeowners is that they don't call until theres a foot of snow on the ground! Then I'm supposed to figure out where the edges of the driveway are! Pain in my arse. The best one from last year was an alleyway that everyone chips in to have plowed. Except one guy. He was also the person that stopped me & screamed at me after the first snowfall that I didn't ge there early enough for him to get out for work!
  8. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    invest in some driveway markers, our competition spends weeks in the spring going around and fixing damaged lawns, belgium block edging, etc because they don't stake the drives. we spend about 2 days doing repair in comparison.

    Drop the PITA's, cherish the golden customers and you'll be all set. work on tightening your route, try to pick up neighbors instead of mass-advertising. remember you don't get paid for windshield time between the accounts.
  9. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    Sign up customers before it snows.
    Use stakes to mark the drive.
    Fire the customers that scream at you.
  10. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    It takes almost two tanks of fuel to get them all done.
  11. D&S snowplowing

    D&S snowplowing Member
    Messages: 40

    the best advice i can give u for if u get a spur of the moment call on a average double wide driveway a decent rule of thumb is follow the garage doors straight back if u werent able to stake it... for the ones that i can see in advance will be a hassle with payment and such i explain to them how many inches has to fall for me to plow, how the invoice works...example with it being my first year owning the business but had been plowing under my father for 5 years we had a customer that wouldnt pay until the very end of the season then try to bicker the price he called this year i told him i do invoices once a month u have 30 days from when its sent out to pay it otherwise theres a late fee...but just have to remember the word of mouth is so much more valuable than advertising so just remember her name is on the line but charge per push mainly its the best way to not screw a customer tooo hard and not shoot yourself in the foot
  12. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Everyone bills differently. There is no "best" way. Personally, I do a seasonal price, with a max number of pushes. Anything over the max is "x amount" per time. It states this clearly in my contract. Doesn't matter if there is 2" or 8", a push is a push.