What would you do?


Junior Member
So I get a call from guy who wants an est. on his small parking lot. (about 15 spaces more or less.) The lot is mainly for employees, not to many customers if any at all. So I go meet the guy and right of the bat he is telling me that last year the guy did all of this damage. He is going on and on how the guy used rock salt and ripped up the lot. He went on to tell me and show me patch work that had to be done and new cement stairs. After I looked at the lot you could tell that it was old and in bad shape to begain with, and the patch work looked like it had been done by 10 year olds. So the guy told me he really need some one and for me to give him an est. with no salt just plowing. I went home and thought it. I just did not want it. I did not want to deal with a guy who is most likely going to say I owe him a new lot and the end of the winter. So I went back to the guy a few days later with this. I told him I want to take pictures of everything and gave him a HUGE price. I figured with the really high (I mean real HIGH) price he would turn me down. He said that is was fine. I could not get over that he said yes. My moulth most of hit the ground, and I stood there for a few seconds is shock. He asked me to draw up a contract for per push with my numbers.
So should I take it or just say no. He did say the lot was going to be replaced next year and he new it was in bad shape. So what would you do?:confused:


PlowSite.com Veteran
Somerville MA.
I'm gonna guess he told the last contractor the same thing. Be aware that most companies that don't deal directly with the public don't care about what shape the lot is in (at least the one's in this area). I can't even count how many times I have looked at lots that are in teribble shape and when I ask if they plan on repaving they look at me and say "what for" or "next year". I too have a couple of lots similar to the one you describe and yes I was shocked to hear them except the bid off hand. Later you realize that they excepted the price becuase they couldn't get anybody else to do the work.

Bottom line, cover yourself with a good contract and make sure that it is within your work area, and you may want to consider a u_edge. Nobody here can really decide if the aggravation will be worth it, only you can do that.


PlowSite.com Addict
Central CT
I have a lot that is in similar condition, and included the following language into the contract to address the issue:

"Contractor will not be held liable for damage to plantings or concrete surfaces caused by de-icers and /or snow removal operations. Contractor will exercise due care and caution while performing services so as to avoid damage to Owners property. It will be noted that the asphalt parking area is in a deteriorated condition and that some displacement of paving material may occur as a result of snow plowing operations. It is understood that Contractor shall not assume responsibility for repair or restoration of such damage or displacement."

It was deemed acceptable by the owner and he signed off on it.


Senior Member
winterset iowa
excellent wording. can we use any of your wording or is it copyrighted to you. i'm sure there are many of us with this type of lot and may save us some future headaches.

Mark K

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Erie, PA
Bill... that wording is excellent.
Thanks for letting us all use it (however, if you had said no, I'd have just stolen it anyway - better to be honest then to BS you into thinking something else).


Stamford, CT
The way I see it !!!!

You only have three options!

1. Walk away from the job

2. Explain the liability of someone getting hurt stepping in a pothole, not to mention the icing factor when the potholes become ice lakes.

3. Offer to patch the potholes yourself for free, and then work your costs into your overhead when you quote a price.

It is a very good idea though to document the lots condition with pictures, and get a signed release from property owner for what ever you decide to do.

If you decide to walk away, I would fashion it in a way so that you put the onus on the property owner, something like a written agreement that the property owner will repair lot prior to winter or the contractor has the right to refuse .

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