When considering hiring a snow removal service, you should review the positives and the negatives. Depending on your budget, cost may be the largest factor as to why you have not considered hiring a service in the past. But cost does is not always calculated in dollars:
- If it takes you an hour or longer to shovel your driveway and walkway, consider how this affects you. If it’s a work day, you’ll have to wake up earlier to shovel your car out and lose precious sleep.
- Depending on how much snow has fallen, it may take you longer than expected to get your driveway clear. This can mean arriving late to work or not making it in at all. Some jobs are flexible, but if yours isn’t, deductions may come out of your pay check. Is that a cost you have accounted for?
- Shoveling is strenuous, and not recommended for seniors or anyone with health issues. Year after year, we here of community members having a stroke or falling gravely ill while or after battling the snow on their own property. OHIP will cover the doctors visit but is the associated medication factored into your budget too?
Hiring a contractor saves you time and spares your health. It also eliminates the need to shovel again in the evening when you return home from a long day at work.
If you are worried about the dependability of a certain snow removal company, there are many ways to do your homework before signing a contract.
- You should always review any contracts or agreements presented by the snow removal company. Some contracts may state that a truck will come by after 3 cm of snow and others after 5 cm. Knowing this information can help you determine whether the company can meet your needs.
Snow removal contractors have to have multiple clients to pay their own bills. Many people don’t consider the price associated with such a business. Examples: Fuel, maintenance, insurance, equipment, employee wages etc. Some companies, in effort to meet their bills and make a profit will take on too many properties and too far away from each other. This type of business structure could mean that even if your contractor is on the road right when the snow hits to start their route, it may take them many hours before they get to your home. A good snow removal contractor will keep his customers local to him, and will do his best to accommodate each client. Don’t be afraid to discuss the following with them:
- Do they have clients an (during a snow storm) equivalent to an hour or more away from your home? If they do, you can expect that they will have difficulty reaching your property on a timely basis.
- Snow removal contractors create a route list, that is consistent in which properties they visit first to last for the duration of the winter season. If you feel you have legitimate reason for having your property at the top of their list, be sure to communicate that to them. A good contractor will not have properties all over Ontario, and they will be willing to accommodate your needs as best as possible.
- Find out all the best contact information. Usually the office for the contractor is best, as the contractor will be on the road driving and plowing and may not have the ability to talk to you. His/her office staff will be able to keep you up to date as to what the current situation is, where the contractor is in proximity to your property and all other information. Snow removal contractors have a crazy habit of watching The Weather Network CONSTANTLY, if you can’t be bothered, contact his office to see what the weather looks like for the week!
A little bit of research before you sign a contract means you’ll always get the service you want. A reputable snow removal contractor will usually stipulate by what time you can expect your driveway to be cleared following a snowfall. BUT remember, no one is in control of Mother Nature or traffic. Understand that during heavier than normal snow falls, and at particular times in the day, your contractor, despite best efforts, may have difficulty reaching you when you need him, but rest assured he/she is on their way.
If you’re afraid of half-completed jobs, snow piled in front of your mailbox or tire tracks in your front lawn, these are all common concerns you can address with one simple conversation with your potential snow removal provider.
Reliable businesses will be happy to answer all of your questions, and make sure that their level of service is up to your personal expectations. Remember, communication is the best tool. Tell them what you need, and how you want it done, they should obliged.
Some homeowners or apartment residents are lucky enough to have snow removal taken care of without having to look for a contractor, but for the rest of us, all it takes is a quick search for your LOCAL company or by asking around. The benefits of convenient and affordable snow removal can be immediate, and you’d be surprised how wonderful it feels to look out of your window at the snow falling down, knowing that your shovel has been retired indefinitely.
Timbers Snow Removal Pricing – Winter 2015/2016
Snow Removal – Driveway Only
(breaks down to $70/month or $17.50/week!)
(breaks down to $80/month or $20/.00week!)
Snow Removal – Driveway & Walkway
Single + Walkway – $450.00/season
(breaks down to $90/month or $22.50/week!)
Double + Walkway – $500.00/season
(breaks down to $100/month or $25.00/week!)
*Please be reminded that as we are aware that residential property sizes and requirements are each unique, the prices are negotiable and can be customized to suit your needs. Please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com with any questions or service requirements, so we can prepare a price especially for you.
Message from Timbers
We encourage everyone to use some of our tips and let us know how it worked for you. If you need more detail or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, if you lack the time to do the work yourself, drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll give you a hand with the project of your choice at a fair price as always!