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Snow Removal Pricing Formula: How Much to Charge for Snow Removal

September 8, 2023 9 min. read
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When priced properly, snow removal can be an extremely profitable winter strategy for your lawn care or landscaping business. To cover your expenses and turn a profit on this service, use this snow removal pricing formula:

(Your hourly rate) ÷ (60 minutes) x (# of minutes you’ll spend at the property) + (overhead and materials) x (profit margin)

You can also use a snow removal pricing calculator to quickly calculate how much to charge for your services.

On average, snow plow businesses charge between $50 and $204 for each snow removal visit. 

However, these rates can increase as high as $400 depending on the services you provide, the size of the lot, and the amount of accumulated snowfall.

1. Pick the right pricing model for snow removal

There are many different pricing models to choose from. The most common snow removal pricing models are:

Per event

A snow event is a snowstorm or considerable snow accumulation within a set time period, like 24 hours. This pricing model is most suitable for locations that don’t typically see consistent snowfall.

The average cost of snow removal per storm or snow event ranges from $30 to $100.

Per inch

If you offer snow removal services in a region that regularly sees heavy snow falls and large accumulations of snow, price jobs per inch of snow to profit more.

You’ll want to set a flat fee for the initial four to six inches of snow. If the snow event exceeds six inches, charge a fixed amount for every extra inch or switch to charging an hourly rate.

The average cost to plow four to six inches of snow is $60–$100. You can add $3–$10 for every additional inch of snow.

Per push/visit

For this snow removal pricing model, customers pay a set fee every time you come to clear their snow. If you choose to charge per push or per visit, you’ll need to account for all of your overhead and material costs to make sure your pricing is profitable.

The average cost for snow removal services per visit is $30–$70.

Use a per push or per visit pricing model for one-off snow removal jobs.


Charging per hour is one of the easiest ways to price out snow removal jobs. Simply multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours required to complete the job. Then add on your overhead costs, cost of materials, and markup to stay profitable. 

The average cost for shoveling or snow blowing per hour is $25–$75.

Seasonal contracts

For seasonal contracts, customers pay a one-time flat fee that covers snow removal for a set time period specified in the contract. It’s a popular pricing model for regions that experience heavy snowfall during the winter season.

The average cost for seasonal snow removal contracts ranges between $200 and $600.

Pro Tip: To keep your seasonal contracts profitable, check the average number of snow events for your region and competitor pricing to make sure you’re not over- or under-charging. 

READ MORE: Pricing strategies for service businesses

2. Determine your labor costs

Regardless of whether you charge hourly, per-inch, per-visit, per-event, or seasonally, the first step for pricing snow removal is to figure out how much you’ll charge your client for labor.

Use the square footage of the plowing area to estimate how long the snow removal job will take you and your crew.

Then use this formula to calculate the total labor cost for a snow removal job:

Hourly rate x # of workers x # of hours

For example, if plowing a large commercial parking lot takes 2 hours and two snow removal contractors who earn $25 per hour, your formula will look like this:

$25 per hour x 2 workers x 2 hours = $100 (total labor cost)

3. Calculate your overhead rate

Your overhead costs are the operating expenses required to run your snow removal business, including:

To calculate your overhead rate, start by adding up all of your overhead costs for a given month. Then divide your monthly overhead amount by your total sales for the same month. Multiply it by 100 to get a percentage.

Here’s what that formula looks like:

(Total monthly overhead costs ÷ total monthly sales) x 100

For example, if your total overhead costs for the month are $2,000 and your total sales amount is $10,000, here’s how you determine your overhead rate:

($2,000 ÷ $10,000) x 100 = 20% overhead rate

4. Consider elements that may affect your pricing

You can charge more for your snow plowing services depending on:

  • Type of service. Will you be hauling snow off the property, pushing snow with a plow, or blowing snow with a snow blower?
  • Typical snowfall patterns for your region. Is your service area prone to heavier amounts of snowfall?
  • Competitor pricing. What do other snow removal companies in your region charge for the same service? What pricing model do they use?
  • Type of property. Are you pricing snow removal for a residential or commercial property?
  • Size of property. How big is the property and how long will it take you to complete the job?
  • Accessibility. Is the area accessible with a plow? Is it steep, curvy, or hard to navigate? Will you have to hand shovel?
  • Equipment required. Does it require more snow removal equipment, like a snow blower, to complete the service?
  • Additional services that may be required. Does your client require any additional services that will take more time and materials (e.g., salting or de-icing)?

5. Apply your markup

Your markup is the additional amount you charge after covering your costs so you can turn a profit from your services. The percentage of revenue that you take home after applying markup is your profit margin.

Here’s how markup should factor into your pricing:

All job costs + markup = total price for the job

Let’s say your overhead, labor, and material costs add up to $1,400, and your ideal profit margin is 30%. That means the cost of your job should make up 70% of the total price.

To calculate your total price, use the formula:

Total price = Cost ÷ (1 – profit margin)

So, the total price you should charge to achieve a 30% profit margin will be:

Total price = $1,400 ÷ (1 – 0.30) = $1,400 ÷ 0.70 = $2,000

You’ll need to charge $2,000 to reach a 30% profit margin. That means you’ll charge a markup of $600 on top of your cost of $1,400.

FREE TOOL: Calculate your profit margin in seconds with our free profit margin calculator

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$30 – $95 per event or per visit
Snow shoveling$25 – $75 per hour
Snow blowing$25 – $75 per hour
Salt application$20 – $40 per hour
Sand application$20 – $40 per hour

How much to charge for driveway snow removal

If you’re charging on a per-hour basis, you can charge between $25 and $75 to clear snow from a residential concrete or asphalt driveway.

When charging for the visit, you can expect to earn between $30 and $50 per job.

These factors may affect how much to charge for driveway snow removal:

  • Condition of driveway 
  • Length
  • Slope
  • Material (concrete, asphalt, dirt, or gravel)

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.

How much to charge for sidewalk snow removal

Some homeowners will request sidewalk or walkway snow removal in addition to their driveway. For these areas, you’ll likely need to use a snow blower or a shovel. You can charge the same amount as other snow removal services—between $25 and $75 an hour.

If your hourly rate is $40 and the sidewalk takes you 15 minutes to clear, you can charge an extra $10 in labor costs for the add-on service. 

How much to charge for roof snow removal

Clearing snow from roofs is much more dangerous than ground work and requires specialized equipment. For roof snow removal, you can charge between $200 and $3,000, depending on how much snow has accumulated, the equipment required, and the size and slope of the roof.

How much to charge for commercial snow removal

Pricing snow removal for commercial properties should be approached differently than residential properties. Commercial lot sizes are much larger and require heavier equipment and more supplies.

They also typically demand a quicker response time and more frequent service compared to residential properties.

How to price commercial snow removal

To get your base commercial snow plowing rate, use this formula:

(Hourly rate ÷ 60 minutes) x (# of minutes you will spend on the property) – (any offered discounts) + (applicable state taxes)

Keep in mind other factors that you’ll want to include in your pricing, such as:

  • The number of labor hours required (when more manpower is needed, multiple your hourly rate by the number of technicians required)
  • Extra equipment or materials needed, like salt or sand
  • Duration of time the service will take to complete
  • Square footage of the plowing area

How to estimate seasonal snow plowing contracts

To quote 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.

Determine the average number of snow events for the past five years and multiply your snow removal cost by that number.

For example, if the average number of snow events for your region is 20, and you charge $100 per snow event, you’ll charge $2,000 for the season.

Then, control client expectations by adding terms and conditions to 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?

It’s important to find the sweet spot when pricing for your customers. Pricing too low can make growing your business impossible. 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.

Originally published in October 2021. Last updated on September 8th, 2023.

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