Snow and Ice Removal: How to Price Services

grounds management, snow and ice removal, snow, ice, contractors, staffing   November 15, 2010

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is pricing services for snow and ice removal.

Pricing services for snow and ice removal is one of the most difficult aspects of the business. Contractors must consider such factors as equipment, site size, job specifics, employee time, and weather conditions.

Contractors use a number of methods to determine prices, including per hour, per push, per season, and per inch. Understanding different pricing structures is essential for hiring the most appropriate contractor. Managers should ask candidates about the methods they use to price jobs and make sure it is the best method for keeping the property clear of snow and ice up to the desired standards.

While quality of service should take precedence over price, too often, this is not the case. When reviewing pricing from different contractors, managers must keep in mind the following reasons pricing can be difficult to understand and vary by contractor:

Preparation. Professional contractors are prepared for anything, which means they have invested in equipment, back-up equipment, personnel, and de-icing or anti-icing materials.

Level of difficulty. More obstructions, people and traffic on a property make it more difficult for the contractor to remove snow and ice.

Staffing. A major challenge for contractors is finding reliable workers who will do the job right. Contractors must invest considerable amounts of time and effort to recruit, retain and manage these employees.

Safety. In keeping properties accessible to the public during and after winter weather, contractors often work in dangerous conditions. Keeping the property secure with a safety-conscious, responsible contractor should be a top priority for managers.


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