Once you’ve had your driveway plowed by a professional, you appreciate how helpful this service is. No more worries over whether you’ll be able to get out of your driveway after the next big snow—and no concerns about throwing out your back as you attack that 5-foot snowdrift. You may be considering whether you should just go ahead and sign a contract with a snow plowing service. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you make your decision.
- Get an estimate in writing from each contractor you’re considering. Charges can vary greatly from contractor to contractor. Be sure you understand what the charges include. For example, are supplies such as salt, sand and other deicers included in the cost, or will there be a separate fee for those things?
- How much snow must fall before they send out the snow plows?
- Do they charge a flat rate, or is the fee based upon the size of the storm?
- If the snowstorm is a severe one and requires more than one snow plowing service, is there an extra charge for that? Is the second plowing discounted?
- Be sure you specify in the contract where they should pile the snow. You would think it’d be obvious, but some contractors will leave the snow piled in front of your garage door. If you have a street mailbox, do you need the service to plow the area around the mailbox?
- Does the service offer sidewalk and step shoveling? These services can be a necessity for the elderly and infirm, but often are a separate charge—and usually pricey because they are labor and time intensive.
- Are you a doctor, paramedic or other type of first responder? If so, then you should check into whether or not the snow plowing service offers priority service. How much extra does this cost?
- Be sure the contractor you choose has insurance to cover any damages should they occur. It’s not unusual for a snowplow to damage a driveway, fence, shrubs or a home.
- Are you allowed to break the contract? What conditions have to be met to do this? Are there any additional charges to break the contract?
- Finally, be sure to check their references. Ask your neighbors and family for recommended contractors. If they’re happy with the service, chances are you will be too.
Signing a contract this winter for snow plowing may just give you the peace of mind you need to make it a stress-free winter!