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roof shoveling as part of a bid

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Little Jay, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Little Jay

    Little Jay Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    So we're bidding on a group of commercial lots that are managed by an out of state headquarters.
    We've done them years prior, but their faxed spec sheet this year is of course, different than years past. Why cant these folks just be happy...
    Anyway, they wanted things changed from seasonal to per time-no big deal.
    The issue is, and i had to keep from laughing, they wouldnt consider our bid unless we included a price for roof shoveling.
    Their properties have new buildings and have never gotten remotely close to needing roof shoveling.
    So I told him $50 an hour, 1 hr minimum.
    So we got the account and now I hope he needs his roof shoveled. Ill send over a college kid and give him a case of beer to do it.
    Anyone ever bid on roof shoveling?
  2. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I dont think we would even bid on that.Ins costs are already enough if someone slipped and fell that could be a major problem.
  3. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I agree. I'd be afraid to shovel my own roof, let alone someone elses'.

    I would have stated an outrageous figure for the roof shoveling, and my normal figure for the rest. $200/hour 3-hour min should cover it, that might even help pay for the potential increase in insureance rates!
  4. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Proffesional roof shovelers out here (usuallly the window washers too) get 90-120 an hour.
  5. Little Jay

    Little Jay Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    well the rest of the story-my two fingers got tired typing before.
    The buildings are small, lot are good sized. I told him I wouldnt get up on the roof, but I would use a "snow rake" thing that has a broom on a long pole. Gets about 20-25 ft extension. I'm already making good margains on the walks and salting so i figured 10 min with the rake would clear almost all the roof.
    Yeah, if i actually thought I'd luge my heavy ars up there and start poking around, they'd pay a premium for sure !
  6. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    One of my roofing buddies, shovels off roofs in the winter and he tells me he charges $150 for a regular small ranch. It takes him and 2 helpers about 30 minutes. He can do 10 to 15 a day when were really getting buried. Pretty good dough if you got big balls!!payup
  7. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I too do roof shoveling. The roof rakes are only good if you REALLY don't want to get on the roof. However, if you can reach the area that you're shoveling with a roof rake then it shouldn't be a very high roof and you shouldn't be afraid of falling. The roof rake is harder work and takes longer, heavy upper body workout. You can't reach very high with them because of the approach angle that you have to take (you have to stand away from the building). It also sucks cause you have to walk through the crotch deep snow that is around the building, so your legs get soaked. and if there are trees, bushes, or other obsticles on the ground they have a big effect on the areas of the roof that you can get at with a roof rake.

    Bottom line, getting on the roof is quicker, better quality, more pleasant. If the roof is high/steep, tie a rope around your waist or better yet by a safety harness.

    This is an opportunity for you to make some more money, I don't understand why there is conflict. If you're afraid of heights, pay somebody else to do it and still turn a profit. Just make sure you account for added insurance, and make darn sure that your covered for this kind of work including damage to the person's property that could be blamed on you (even if it isn't your fault).
  8. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Sending someone up a roof in a blizard with a case of beer is just asking for someone to end up with a broken leg, flat on thier back with a shovel up thier *** :p :D
  9. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I don't think I would take on that liability. The going rate for people here that do that is about $100 per hour. I just don't want no part of it.... Good Luck

  10. cnypropertysvcs

    cnypropertysvcs Member
    Messages: 54

    Roof shoveling

    Hey guys- just my two cents, but I also own a construction company, and when I got my insurance for the landscape/construction I had it include roof shoveling. My premiums aren't too bad yet, but since business is booming I'm sure that'll change!Lol! Anyway I agree on the fact that it is much easier to get up on the roof and shovel it versus a snow rake. Last winter it was more common to get an 8" or heavier snowfall and once you get over 4-6" it's torture on your upper body. I found a shovel in my local hardware store where I can move almost a yard of snow at a time. I've had several customers ask me if I had a bobcat on the roof I was moving so much snow off at a time. It takes two people about 45 mins to do a normal size ranch. That includes setup and removal of ladders and clearing of walkways after we're done. My rates last year were not that expensive, but this year they are definitely going up closer $100 and hour min.

    Have a few roofing projects we need to finish up, then it can snow all it wants!!!

  11. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Get a Roof Rake.

    Ive got one myself. Something that not too many people will ever see or own in their lifetime. You dont see them in stores all too often. Its a very ingenious invention and takes some major bull work to use for long periods of time.

  12. Toby

    Toby Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    I have witnessed a man slip & fall from a roof performing this task. His livelihood gone in a flash.

    There are MUCH better ways of making $$$ w/snow that clearing roofs.
  13. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Thats cause you are from the bannana country. Alost every other house in Leadville has one in the yard.
  14. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    HAHAHA funny stuff. My father has always had a roof rake. That was the first thing he learned about as a kid when it came to snow removal. He worked in a mom and pop hardware store and they would always order a roof rake each winter and no one would know what the heck it was. So then a few years back we found a good one at an Ace hardware and he bought it and we use it every winter and the guy who owns the mom and pop hardware store calls up and borrows it.

  15. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Around here, some of the window cleaners do roof clearing. They have the ladders and safety equipment already for high work, and the appropriate insurance. We also have a couple of guys who specialize in roof clearing, and don't plow. It is kind of nice, because we refer work to each other. One of our customers had his deck ripped right off the side of the house when the snow and ice from his roof avalanched in the spring.
  16. Chuckwk

    Chuckwk Founder
    Messages: 225

    Forget all that! I would not even get on a roof in the summer time to clean a gutter.... To this day I won't even get on my own roof! After a fall from a 2 story roof when I was young then when I was in business I got stuck on a 2 1/2 story moss slimy wood shingle roof... I was in fear for my life. Now I'm freaked out so bad I can't even climb a ladder and expect to turn around and get down... you can have all the money in the world and it wont do you a bit of good when your laying on your back dead or paralyzed from the ears down.
  17. Mick

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

    I considered offering roof clearing and decided not to when I got the quote for insurance. Leave that to the regular roofing companies. I got one of those roof rakes a couple of years ago. The worst is trying to clear wet/heavy snow - definite major upper-body workout. This year I'm going to try putting some Magic Salt up there before any snowfalls.
  18. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    I just re-read my post above, and need to clarify one thing. I said "we also have a couple guys who specialize in roof clearing . . ." and that makes it sound like they are our employees. What I actually meant was that there are a couple of guys in the area that do that as their specialized job, and do not do any plowing. We do not do anything with roof clearing ourselves, and I don't even want to sub it out - I just put the customer in direct contact with the other contractor.
  19. Little Jay

    Little Jay Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    its interesting to hear the different takes on roof clearing. i know that im not getting outta my truck to go up on a roof unless its my own house. and i have never done this work, nor scene it up here. for me its not woth the hastle of adjusting insurance premiums and scheduling qualified persons to go do the work. (which is what i'd do. do it right/have it done right or dont do it)
    what does irritate me is that after years of providing service, the account changes everything. i know things change and are updated, but it still sucks. i dont like the person ive delt with for years (and they have been very satisfied) telling me that he wont consider our paperwork (which is the same as years prior) unless we include a price quote for a service that we have never done, and will never do.
    you do what you must to make customers happy-which is why i threw out 50/hr. i figured it was low, but i know we'll never do it, so why not keep the est low and make him happy?
  20. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    To your point, it sounds like roof clearing is not a necessary task in your neck of the woods. We don't do it until the snow on the roof is at least 18" deep. Most years we do it once per year per customer. Some years we don't need to do it at all. Last year we got alot of snow and it seemed like I was doing it every other week.

    Also for those who are afraid of heights I can understand why you would not want to get up on a roof.

    Some other things to take into consideration when thinking about how dangerous it is (it isn't very dangerous, but there is some risk)

    1.) Steep pitched roofs never need shoveling.
    2.) Most of what we do are single story buildings with 10' eaves and 4 feet of snow on the ground underneath, you're not going to get hurt. Sometimes for fun I jump off the roof rather than climb the ladder cause the snow is so fluffy, it's like landing on a pillow.
    3.) I have a mild fear of heights, if I feel like I can slip and fall, and will get hurt if I do, I panic and my body freezes and I can't move. This has never happened to me while shoveling a roof.
    4.) This has never happened but if somebody asked me to do a scary looking roof, I wouldn't do it. But like I said it has never happened. Why? See #1 above.