What does a snow removal contract cover? Different companies consider different services standard, so it’s best to make sure any contractor you consider hiring understands your needs, and sets rates accordingly.
Angie’s List put the average price of snow-removal contracts for 2013 at about $400 per year, but you could pay more or less — it depends on what you want done. Prices can also vary greatly by location.
Let’s take a look at some different services and options.
Driveway plowing is a big business — this is the service most people have in mind when they consider hiring a contractor. People hate clearing their driveways — especially if they’re long or the snow is deep.
Rates for plowing depend on how much needs to be plowed. Do you have a 12-by-20 paved area in front of your garage, or are you a commercial property owner with a vast parking lot?
There’s a lot in between too — extra-long driveways; two- and three-car garages; unpaved driveways; steeply sloped or circular driveways. All these factors affect the price, as does how deep the snow is. Clearing away 6 inches of snow takes much less time and effort than 18 inches — even with a plow.
It is often possible to snowblow a driveway, but it takes a lot longer than plowing. If you were going to snowblow your own driveway, it might make sense because most people don’t own a plow, and snowblowing is much easier than shoveling, though a snowblower is more expensive to buy and operate.
But generally if you have a driveway and you’re paying someone to clear it, it’s faster and easier to do with a plow, though you may find some exceptions.
Snowblowers are really useful on walkways and sidewalks. They cut a nice, even path, even in deep snow. Piling up shoveled snow on the edges of paved areas often results in the snow falling right back into the spot you just shoveled, forcing you to do extra work.
How much you pay will depend again on the size and lengths of your walks and the depth of snow.
But you can’t use a snowblower on stairs — it just won’t fit. Stairs have to be shoveled by hand. You may be interested in a contract that calls for clearing just large areas because you intend to handle your front walk yourself, but others want the whole job done.
Often this entails shoveling off a porch, clearing a path to the back yard and perhaps making other areas accessible too, such as your trash can storage area, outbuildings, doghouses, etc.
Before you sign a contract, make sure it specifies how much time the contractor has to show up to clear your snow. You don’t want to hang around all day, trapped inside, waiting. Worse, if you have a commercial business, late snow removal could cost you lost customers and lost revenue.
If you are interested in a snow removal contract, or you want to find out individual, pay-per-service fees, call us here at Earthworks Landscaping. We’re fast, reliable and thorough — the most sought-after qualities in a snow-removal contractor!