Late summer is the ideal time to develop a custom snow response plan and to consider the costs of your snow removal.
There are four basic pricing structures for snow and ice maintenance.
- Fixed Seasonal – a set price for the entire winter’s service.
- Per Inch – pay per inch and application for each snow & ice event.
- Time & Materials – pay hourly for labor, machinery, and supplies used.
- Seasonal with Cap – this is a hybrid of the Fixed Seasonal and the Per Inch options. You pay for a set winter’s price within an agreed upon snowfall range, and if the snowfall totals reach above the seasonal total, you will be priced at a Per Inch Rate.
Fixed Seasonal vs. Per Inch / Time & Materials
With a Fixed Seasonal contract, you gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your annual snow budget upfront. A Fixed Seasonal will protect you from the fluctuating costs of a greater than expected snow season.
Others prefer the pay-for-what-you-use plans of Per Inch and Time & Materials contracts. This allows the client to account for just what they need during a given winter.
Depending on your risk tolerance, one of these may be more beneficial that the other. However, for many, a fixed budget works best in a volatile weather environment.
The Hybrid: Seasonal with Cap
Many clients are discovering that they can find a combination of the best of both worlds. The Seasonal with Cap option hedges the risk of an extreme winter snow total, while providing the stability of knowing what you need to budget for a given winter. This option has the flexibility to help predict their annual costs, while keeping the seasonal price lower.
When pricing your next snow contract, make sure that you run your proposals through a few of these options to determine which one will serve you, and your budget, the best.