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How Much to Charge for Snow Removal: Snow Removal Prices and Formula

October 13, 2021 7 min. read

When priced properly, snow removal can be an extremely profitable winter strategy for your lawn care business. Especially if you live in an area that experiences several heavy snow events over the winter months.

On average, snow plow businesses charge between $48 to $179 for each snow removal visit. However, these rates can increase as high as $450 depending on the services you provide, the size of the lot, and the amount of accumulated snowfall.

So how much should you charge to make this winter season profitable?

READ MORE: How to start a snow removal business

How to price out snow removal

Setting your rates ahead of the season can help you quote customers faster and win more jobs.

Snow removal pricing formula

To keep your pricing consistent, use this simple formula:

(Your Hourly Rate) / (60 minutes) X (# of minutes you will spend on the property) – (any offered discounts) + (applicable state taxes)

You can also use a snow removal pricing calculator to quote your services.

To determine how to price your hourly rate, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much labor is required to perform the service? 
  • What are your overhead costs? (Include any additional costs such as; snow plow insurance, equipment, and other business expenses) 
  • Where do you need to set your profit margins to grow your bottom line

Average cost of snow removal

The average cost of snow removal in the United States is $113 per visit.

Across the country, the cost of snow removal services ranges anywhere from $48 to $179 per visit. 

Snow removal service costs will typically cover hauling the snow off of the property. 

While other services such as snow blowing, plowing, or shovelling involves clearing the snow and piling it on one side of the property.

Average hourly rate for snow removal

The average hourly rate for snow removal ranges from $25 to $75.

Snow removal rates: Residential

Homeowners are often looking to avoid the hassle of DIY snow removal. 

With the right equipment, lawn care professionals can offer residential snow removal services to turn a profit during the quiet winter months. 

Average cost to clear snow on a driveway

If you’re charging on a per hour basis, the average cost to clear snow from a residential concrete or asphalt driveway ranges between $25 to $75. 

When charging for the visit, snow removal technicians can expect to earn $30 to $50 per job.

Snow removal companies may also be asked to clear walkways and sidewalks during the same visit. Take the square foot measurements of these additional areas into consideration when quoting your services.

READ MORE8 snow removal business tips for a profitable winter season

Price Chart: How much to charge for residential snow removal

Whether you are working with homeowners’ associations (HOA) or with property owners directly, you should know how much to charge for residential snow removal.

Here are the average prices snow removal contractors use for residential snow management services.

Snow plowing driveway$30-$95/hour
Snow blowing$25-$75/hour
Roof snow removal$250-$500/hour

You can price snow plowing services on the higher end of those ranges if the property has: 

  • Larger areas or long driveways
  • Steep, curvy, or hard-to-navigate lots
  • Heavier amounts of snowfall
  • Requires more snow removal equipment (snow shovel or snow blower) or supplies to complete the service
  • Requires you to haul snow off of the property
  • Requires additional de-icing services such as salting or sanding

READ MORE: How to communicate a price increase to customers [with template]

Snow removal rates: Commercial

Snow plowing commercial properties should be approached differently than residential properties.

This is because the lot sizes are much larger and require heavier equipment and more supplies. They also typically require a quicker response time and more regular service compared to residential properties.

How to price commercial snow removal

For commercial properties, use the same formula as above to determine your snow plowing rates.

(Your Hourly Rate) / (60 minutes) X (# of minutes you will spend on the property) – (any offered discounts) + (applicable state taxes)

But pay careful attention to elements such as:

  • Duration of time the service will take
  • The number of labor hours required (When more manpower is needed, multiply your hourly rate by the number of technicians required)
  • Extra equipment and materials needed
  • Measurement of area

READ MORE: Pricing strategies for service businesses: everything you need to know

How to bid snow plowing

Commercial property managers are looking for detailed free estimates on snow plowing, before making an investment in your services. These estimates are also referred to as bids.

Offering a strong bid can improve your chances of landing the contract.

Here’s how to bid on snow removal or snow plowing for a commercial property.

  1. Determine the size of the commercial parking lot
  2. Calculate the amount of time it will take you to drive to the location and push the snow
  3. Research the minimum and maximum number of snow events in your region over the last three to five years. Were these light, normal, or heavy snow seasons?
  4. Use the data to determine the amount you will need to charge to turn a profit
  5. Calculate your markup
  6. Create a professional snow removal bid that includes your snow removal contract and service prices
  7. Email the bid to your prospective client. Be sure to follow up within 24 hours to ensure they’ve received it and can approve.

How to bid a parking lot for snow plowing

Depending on the size and additional services required, snow plowing for commercial parking lots can range anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. 

To keep tenants and visitors safe, commercial properties often want additional salting or sanding services. Work these added services and supplies into the pricing on your bid.

Then provide property managers with a breakdown of price options including:

  • Per visit 
  • Per month 
  • Seasonal contract

READ MOREHow to make good, better, best pricing work for your business

How to bid snow removal by the inch

If your snow plow business operates in a region with heavy snowfall, charging per inch can maximize your profits. 

Here are the typical inch ranges and snow removal costs per hour.

Amount of SnowCost to Remove per Hour
6 inches or less$80
6″ – 12″$110
12″ – 18″$140
18″ or more$170

How to estimate snow plowing contracts

To quote long-term recurring services, like a monthly or seasonal snow removal contract, know the snow history of your region. Look at past snowfall records to get a good feel of how much snow and how many snow events you could be responsible for.

Then control client expectations by adding terms and conditions into your estimate.

Your terms and conditions should answer any lingering questions, including:

  • Will each snow event require multiple visits? Or just one at the end of the event?
  • What constitutes a snow event? (# of inches)
  • What are your timeline guarantees? (24 – 48 hrs)
  • Are there any limits to the number of snow events included under the contract?
  • What duration of the snow season is covered under the contract?
  • What is the cost for additional plowing services if needed?

Picking the right pricing model for snow removal

There are many different pricing models snow removal providers can choose from.

The most common snow removal pricing models are:

Per event$30-$75
Per inch$60-$95 (covers up to 6 inches of snow, add $30 for each additional 6 inches)
Per push/visit$30-$50
Seasonal contracts$350-$450

To determine which model works best for your snow removal business, follow these three steps:

1. Determine the scope of the job, including:

  • The property size
  • The type of property (residential or commercial)
  • Typical snow fall patterns for your region
  • Any additional services that may be required (such as salting or sanding)

2. Calculate your overhead costs, including:

  • Insurance
  • Driving time
  • Employee wages
  • Cost of supplies (snowblowers, snow plow attachment, etc.)
  • Fuel
  • Business expenses (marketing, office rent, utilities, etc.)

3. Know your market

In order to sell to your services to your customers, you first need to know who they are.

Get to know their average age, gender, and property size to better understand the value of your snow removal services.

Then, with your pricing in mind, ask yourself:

  • Can I sell my services to my customers at this price?
  • How does my pricing compare to my competitors?

It’s important to find the sweet spot when pricing for your customers. Pricing too low can make growing your business impossible. While pricing too high can make it harder to attract new customers to your snow removal services. 

Ready to make your next snow removal season the best one yet? Jobber’s snow removal software can help you plan efficient routes, manage invoicing, and get paid faster.

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