Winter is just around the corner again and that means snow, lots of it. This is usually a busy time for snow removal companies, so booking one might not be as easy as you think if there is high demand. Also, there are things you should look for and questions you should ask before signing the dotted line with any snow removal company. It will save you a headache and money later on. Some of the things you should look for include the specific services they provide, reviews from previous clients, their equipment as well as insurance.
Some smaller contractors can’t afford the adequate insurance that is required of snow removal companies. While this can enable them to offer you a competitive rate, the downside is that there is little or no coverage in the event of an accident or claim. Contractors should have at least $5,000,000 in coverage and include a “snow removal” rider in the coverage. Ask the prospective contractor for a WSIB clearance certificate before negotiating services.
Even though a contractor might offer you an attractive price up front, be careful of additional costs that come after. The contractor can make additional charges that were not covered in the contract, so make sure to look at the details before you sign. While contractors should not be outrageously expensive, don’t be fooled by very low prices either. Also, find out exactly how much is being charged for what service. Also, do they charge by the hour or by the project? If it is by the hour how soon can they do the job?
A snow removal contractor should be accessible. Even if the contractor himself is not available to take your call, there should be someone at the office you can speak to. This helps to facilitate trust with the customer and it helps handle any issues that might have come up. If the company does not have a physical address, then you should probably steer clear of it. Any professional contractor should have a physical address that can be found.
What kind of staff does the snow contractor hire? Is it full-time staff or part-time? How experienced is the staff? These are factors that could determine the level of service you are likely to receive. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor these questions. If there is a website, check it to find out more or make a phone-call if there is an office.
The equipment is probably one of the most important things you should consider. The type of equipment the contractor uses will determine the cost and quality of the service. Plow trucks tend to break down frequently, and this can affect the contractor’s ability to carry out the promised service. Ask if the contractor has backup equipment or if they are relying on just one vehicle. Although the best equipment can mean a higher price, it is worth paying knowing that you will receive the best possible service.
Talk to previous clients of your contractor or look for reviews online. This is one of the best ways to know what you might be getting for your money. Ask friends or neighbours who they are using. The best contractors often get marketed by word of mouth. Hopefully the reviewers should not have a vested interest in recommending the contractor. They can tell you the specific things that you need to know.
Call Many Companies
Call at least three companies of a similar size and compare. Don’t go with the first company that is available, shop around a bit. Sometimes you might be able to get some discounts or special offers. There are many companies offering this service, so you don’t have to go with the first one that you come across. Snow removal companies vary in size, quality of service and cost. It is only by doing a little research you can come up with a shortlist of the best ones to hire that are within your budget.
Read The Contract
Read the contract thoroughly before you sign and make sure there are no surprises. The contract is going to be the first point of reference for anything, so be sure to read the details. Verbal agreement is not enough; you should always have everything documented in writing.
Snow removal is necessary but it doesn’t have to be costly. The best way to protect yourself is to gather as much information as possible about the company and the services it offers. Always read the contract and shop around. If you would like more information about snow removal, or you are thinking about buying equipment, then give us a call or browse our website to look at our catalogue. Best of all, come visit us! With the right services you don’t have to worry about the winter.