Many people appreciate the convenience of hiring a snow plow contractor to help get out of the driveway on winter days. Before the pavement freezes or the snow starts piling up, make certain the contractor is more reliable and predictable than the weather. Beware of scammers trying to take advantage of those who need snow removal, especially when more wintry precipitation hits the ground than is expected.
When hiring a snow removal company, asking the right questions is crucial to choosing a reliable and effective service. Keep these tips in mind before you make a final decision:
- Find an Accredited snow removal company. Also, read customer reviews and review the company's profile. Hiring an accredited business adds another layer of protection and peace of mind that you will be pleased with your experience.
- Get more than one estimate. Getting at least three estimates before deciding. Ask for all the costs upfront to avoid surprises and contact previous customers. Keep in mind the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best service. Read Business Profiles for company information, complaint history and detail, and customer reviews. Once you get detailed estimates outlining the scope of work, costs, and potential additional charges, this will help you compare quotes and make an informed decision.
- Ask for references. Request references from previous clients to get a sense of their track record and the quality of their service. Remember, even if a business appears reliable, it does not mean it is. When a company is reluctant to answer questions, won’t supply proper information, or is unwilling to offer references – there could be cause for concern.
- Find out what services are offered, what equipment is used, and their snow removal strategy. Inquire about their services, such as plowing, shoveling, salting, and de-icing. Make sure their offerings match your needs. Also, ensure that the company has the proper equipment to handle snow removal effectively, such as plows, snow blowers, and salt spreaders. Check their process for clearing snow, handling large accumulations, and their approach to different surfaces like driveways, walkways, and parking lots to prevent damage.
- Request a written contract. Never settle for a verbal agreement. Contractors should always provide a written contract. A representative should visit the property or do a virtual tour to make notes about the services requested and observe any potential obstacles. Get all the details in writing and always read anything, especially the fine print, before signing. Understand cancellation fees and any extra charges that may apply, like sidewalks or porches. If you're looking for consistent snow removal throughout the season, ask if they offer ongoing maintenance contracts.
- Verify insurance coverage and adherence to local regulations. Is the company fully insured in case of property damage? Follow up by requesting a statement from the company’s insurer confirming current liability and workers' compensation coverage. Verify their licensing and insurance coverage to ensure you won't be held liable for any accidents or damages that may occur during snow removal. Ensure the company is familiar with local snow removal regulations and ordinances to ensure compliance.
- Ask about scheduling. Some contractors provide snowplow services as a part-time job, which may affect the availability to clear a driveway when needed. Ask about their response time and availability during snowstorms or heavy snowfall. Always check to see if there is a schedule for snow removal. A quick response can be crucial in maintaining safe access. Ask if they offer emergency snow removal services in case of unexpected snowfall or emergencies.
- Split the payments. Find out how the company expects payment and understand how they calculate their pricing. Some companies charge per visit, while others offer seasonal contracts. Inquire about their billing frequency, payment methods, and any cancellation policies for seasonal contracts. Most contracts take two forms: pay-per-plowing or pay-per-season. Consider it a red flag if the customer is expected to pay all fees upfront. Most contractors will split fees into two or three payments – one at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the season.
Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.