Even though this is the Fourth of July weekend, many of the property managers and facility managers in our area are already planning for the upcoming snow season. They know that securing a contractor is important and many want to get it off their plate in order to deal with the business of managing their property and retaining tenants. Before you hire the first company that pops up in the search engine, Professional Snow Removal recommends the following tips:
❖ Get several estimates.
Prices can vary widely and are usually based on the amount of work required. The amount of work required takes into account the layout of the property, size of the area to be cleared, and whether plowing, shoveling, ice control and sanding are all needed. Remember, the least expensive service is not always the best service.
❖ Ask the contractor about additional charges and price options.
Beside the quoted price, there are sometimes additional charges that occur. For instance, if there is a very large storm and the snow reaches beyond a certain depth, some snow removal contractors charge more, either by the inch or a percentage. You’ll want to find out how the company calculates the size of the snowfall. Other contractors may offer a fixed price for an entire season, regardless of the amount of snow.
❖ Make sure you know what services you’re getting.
Find out exactly what’s included in the estimate. Are the walks and steps included? What about the cost of sand and salt? Will the company clear only after the storm, or during the snowfall as well? If the contractor has to come back, is there an additional charge? Some contractors may also offer additional services, such as post snow event services. They will offer to survey your property for 1 or multiple days after a snow event to ensure there is no danger from freeze-thaw runoff. This is usually a service you can choose to add on to your contract.
❖ Ask for references and check them out.
This should be a given.
❖ Get a contract in writing.
Do not settle on an agreement over the telephone. The contractor should provide you with a written agreement. A representative should come out to examine your property and make notes about the service requested and potential obstacles. Before you sign the agreement, be sure that the contractor is insured or bonded. Also, find out how you can terminate the agreement if necessary.
There are many contractors and independent people out there advertising snow removal services. With these tips, the stress can be taken out of finding a qualified and responsible contractor. Be prepared, and enjoy the rest of the summer!