At this time of year there are many snow removal contractors trying to sign up home owners to snow removal contracts for the winter. Let’s face it who wants to go out and blow snow from their driveway in the middle of a blowing snow storm when it is freezing cold. Unless you have the equipment and the clothing, most of us would rather hire a contractor to clear our driveways. There are a number of criteria that we all should consider when hiring a contractor to clear snow and we will cover these in the following paragraphs. Some items may be more important to you than others, so pay attention to these for your particular situation.
Price – is obviously the main criteria for most consumers, however the services that come with the price can vary a great deal. Compare to neighbors and friends who have similar driveways and walkways along with how often they will clear the driveway
Snow Fall – when will they come to clear your driveway? After one inch, after 2 inches of snow fall or after the snow plow has cleared your street. Will they clear your driveway before you go to work?
Timing – some people must have the driveway cleared every morning before they go to work regardless of whether the snow plow has cleared your street or not.
Markers – will they place markers at the sides of your driveway to indicate were the grass starts to avoid damaging your grass.
Contract – does your contract cover all of these details so that it is well understood by both parties.
Payment – do you need to pay everything up front or can you pay in installments. Paying in installments decreases the risk associated with giving a contract to someone who shows up at your door offering snow clearing services
Start & End – dates should be outlined showing the date they will begin to clear your driveway and the date they will no longer clear the driveway in the spring.
Talk to neighbors and friends – references are one of the best ways to find a snow removal contractor that you can count on. If your friends and neighbors are satisfied with the service and they have the same or similar requirements that you have, there is a pretty good chance that you will also be satisfied.
Call Backs – not all snow removal contractors will offer this service. Some will take calls from their customers for requests to return after they have cleared your driveway if lots of snow has fallen, if you have a special need such as a party going on, or the snow plow has been a long after they have already cleared the driveway. They may charge extra for this service.
Will they do Walkways – not all contractors will clear walkways as part of their standard contract. They may offer this service, however it may cost extra for this service. If you have a small or short walkway, you may be able to handle this small bit of snow clearing yourself.
It is amazing that such a simple thing as snow clearing can have so many different factors to keep in mind when hiring someone to clear your driveway of snow. Paying attention to all of these issues will not guarantee that you will not have problems, however it will increase the odds a great deal of your contract being successful. For consumers that have not dealt with snow removal contractors previously, most of the agreement details can be handled over the phone and then a copied dropped off to you or mailed to you for signature. Once you make the payment, the contract is considered binding between both parties.
If you can do the snow clearing yourself, with a shovel or with a snow blower, you will be better off financially. Anytime you do your own work, you can save money. However as we get older, we are more prone to heart attacks and other ailments. Shoveling snow is hard work and we want to warn readers that they should take their time shoveling snow and to not overdue it. A heart attack is not worth the few dollars you are going to save.