Snow removal is a necessity during the winter in Denver, and chances are you’ll look to a contractor to take care of this responsibility for you if you own a business or property.
But where should you start? With all the options available, it can be tough to make a choice. We’re a little biased and hope you contact us for consideration if you’re in Colorado. Still, here are a few tips to help you find a new snow removal contractor for your property.
The Best Time to Start is Early
You’ll want to make sure you have snow removal services in place beforehand, not scrambling to find them when a big storm hits and everyone else is already booked or booking up fast. Start your search for a snow removal contractor by mid Fall at the latest to give yourself the time to find just what services you need and negotiate terms if necessary. Rushing in to a contract can end up costing you in the long run. >br />Give yourself time to make the right decision, start the search for a new contractor before October.
Consider Multiple Options
Many snow removal contractors only provide certain removal methods which may not be the most efficient for your property. Using recognized licensed contractors is important, they know how to handle the storm and anticipate hazards. Keeping your property safe through the Colorado winter.
Prices for the same service can vary greatly from contractor to contractor. Ask your friends and peers for recommendations, reach out to more than one or two companies. It may take extra time, but it can end up saving you a lot of time and money to ensure your lot or property is taken care of.
Ask for References
If a company you’ve contacted cannot provide you with any references of customers they’ve worked for in the past, it should raise an immediate red flag.
Always ask for a few references to check- and actually contact those references to inquire about their experience working with that contractor. This will also let you get a feel for the types of clients they’re used to handling. Good rapport is important, make sure they have a good business relationships and an ongoing commitment to keeping your property clear.
Get an In-Person Estimate
Be wary of the one price fits all approach to snow removal, especially when dealing with larger lots and properties.
Nobody can tell you what services your property will require over the phone. Having an estimate done in person allows the contractor to identify unique conditions and potential obstacles to clearing your property safely, protecting you from any damages. Make sure to get and in-person risk assessment and create a winter plan.
Be sure to ask about any hidden service charges or fees for things like multiple same-day services or large volume fees, as well as extra costs for clearing things like bridges, steps, or stairways.
Ask about Contractor Insurance
The contractor you work with should have coverage for personal or property damage in case of an accident. If possible, ask for the documentation and contact the insurance provider to ensure they have the coverage they claim and ask questions about what is and is not covered under certain circumstances.
Clarify Payment Structure Up Front
On top of ranging in prices for their services, each contractor will have a different way of handling payments. Some may charge by the service, or by the volume of snow removed, while others may charge a flat rate a few times a season. Make sure you understand and agree to your contractor’s payment structure before signing any contracts or making any payments to avoid unexpected costs in the future.
The Better Business Bureau recommends to “split the payments” and not working with any contractor who expects payment for the whole season up front, or who only deals in cash, as this may be a sign of a scam.
Finalize in Writing
Always request a written contract from the contractor you decide to work with, and refuse to close the deal if they will not provide one.
Review the contract with an attorney, if possible, but either way make sure to read it thoroughly, paying attention for any fine print or liability waivers. Check for consistency with the estimates you were given. If there are any discrepancies found in pricing or terms negotiate for changes. Never sign a contract until you are satisfied with its contents.