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Seasonal Residential Rates in Upstate NY

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Merc1100sc, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Merc1100sc

    Merc1100sc Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    Hi everyone.
    Planning on doing some light residential plowing this winter to earn some extra cash. Not a full time thing. Just to wok around my current job.
    Wondering if anyone can give me some input on pricing residentail jobs for the season(contract).
    For example, using a 20x40 driveway for a baseline. How much would some of you guys charge for the season?
    What's the best method to use to price these jobs?

  2. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I have an $18.00 minimum..

    A 20'x40' would be about $400 + tax per season ($20 visit x 20 visits MAX)..

    My contracts include 20 visits. Anything after 20 is billed monthly at the end of every month with a net 30days.

    I'm in Rochester. Make sure you don't cut yourself short and lowball just to get jobs. There are A LOT of guys around here that will do a 20x40 for $100 per season, unlimited visits. And of course they don't charge tax because they aren't a registered business..

    Make sure you get insurance and a DBA..

    Good luck! :nod:
  3. Merc1100sc

    Merc1100sc Senior Member
    Messages: 245


    Thanks for the info.. I was figuring somewhere around $400 or so.
    As far as insurance goes.. Any rough ideas at whatd I be looking at as far as premium goes?

  4. c_maint

    c_maint Member
    Messages: 46

    I charge a min. of $25 per storm. That's including several pushes untill the storm is over. I collect after the storms.
  5. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    My auto policy is $8590/yr.. This covers myself all year, commercial auto coverage (so its lettered legally), and residential/commercial plowing coverage.

    My business liability policy is $2350 per year which has equipment coverage for the plow, and all of my lawn care equipment.. $5,000,000 in coverage
  6. Merc1100sc

    Merc1100sc Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    thata pretty steep. Can you add a ryder to your exsisting auto to cover plwoing?
  7. Mick

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

    :eek: :eek: :eek: How can you possibly go with an $18 minimum/$400 seaonal? Not that I don't believe you, just that I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open.
  8. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501


    I have a lawn maintenance account that pays $200,000 per season for mowing and hedge trimming.

    I only have 5 driveways at the $400 seasonal rate. They are all in the same subdivision..

    Most of my driveways are private drives and commercial lots. $125-140 per hour
  9. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Um, geez I am still with Mick on this one. :confused:
  10. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I just turned 18yrs old a week ago if that helps..
  11. usabestsnoplowr

    usabestsnoplowr Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Listen Here I am only 40 miles to your east you need to charge at least $30.00 visit utica gets about 20 plowable events a year around 600 a year.
    you should consider deicing to and dont forget about ins. also there is no such thing as plowing in your spare time.
  12. Dnipro Max

    Dnipro Max Member
    Messages: 60

    Thats some nice contracts, i would like some of thouse, do advertize anywhere?

    Utica is about same as here prices, so yea $20 per trip sounds good, try locals see what they charging, and how big is competition
  13. usabestsnoplowr

    usabestsnoplowr Junior Member
    Messages: 29


    I agree with you it probably costs me about $18.00 to plow a res. Consider my laborer, Ins. Lawyers fee, Marketing, Salt, GAS

    I dont know how they do it :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  14. usabestsnoplowr

    usabestsnoplowr Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Quality Lawn Care

    If you want to kill the low ballers you should kill yourself LOL.

    No just kidding I think you need to bring up your prices trust me if your service is reliable you are worth more than $18.00 Get yourself what you are worth.

    PS if you have low ballers what are they charging for a min. $10.00???????

    Oh yea one more thing you are in a good market there is money in those hills, lots of development, play your cards right and your new Min. will be $40.00

    I wont put my shoes on for $18.00

    Sorry I am reacting like this but wow. With all the overhead I just dont understand.
  15. Mick

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

    That's what I told the lady who called me a couple years ago. She wanted to pay me $15 to come and plow out just the end of her driveway. Told her I wouldn't even START my truck for $15. Maybe if I was driving by and got waved down. I put my minimum up to $30 this year.
  16. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    First your normal auto insurance Will not cover commercial plowing and any plowing for money is commercial. Residential driveways included. If you plow anything for money or trade you are in the business and have to play with the big boys. Go price your insurance before even thinking about starting a business then figure out what you need to make a profit. $5000 to $10000 is not unreasonable for insurance, then there is a business license. etc. add up the numbers and if you can't make enough to pay your expences like the rest of us then stay out of the business. That is what hurts the guys that do this for a living. There is nothing wrong with doing your own, family, neighbor, or friends driveway for free but the first time you take a dollar for gas or accept something in barter then you need insurance to cover your A$$. and as we all know that is about the largest expense we have outside of our equipment.

    Sorry if this is not the type of answer you wanted but you asked.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2004
  17. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Did I not say I'm only doing 5 driveways at $400 a season which is my minimum.. I don't do unlimited contracts either. If I go a penny above $10.00 on most of these, they will turn you down. You can tell me all you want about how much money there is around here, I know it; but the thing you haven't seemed to realize is EVERY truck around here has a plow hanging off it. Saratoga Springs is by no means a "big city".. This is urban competition where guys from the city living in a hole at night will plow or shovel for $4-5..

    Most of my contracts are commercial and I'm making anywhere from 125-165 per hour. I also do long private drives that the lowballers would never be able to handle.

    Get your facts straight before you tell me to kill myself.. :nono:
  18. Dnipro Max

    Dnipro Max Member
    Messages: 60

    steve is right
  19. North Country

    North Country Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    I have to go with Steve – I have commercial accounts up here that are going for less than cost!!

    Which means we are not bidding apples to apples - The bid spec says one thing and 'They' are offering another (ie. Plowing without plowing insurance, they may have insurance but not to plow....)

    There is a large chain of convenient stores in our area and one of the locations is paying the guy in beer to plow! Come on! How do you compete with that?

    There are times when you have to fill the hole with a smaller margin. Every year you find another batch of folks who want service and not empties thrown on their property! So eventually it will work itself out.

    I job cost all of our bids and I know where my margin is so if I bid tight and still make a profit am I a lowballer? Make no mistake, we are a real company who is changing the way business is conducted in this area and we are raising the bar on service.

    In a couple of years the only properties the fly-by-night guys will have in our area, will be the ones that we don't want! Amen! - michael