A nice heavy snowfall can turn your home into a winter-wonderland, but with heavy snow comes some heavy lifting and back-breaking work. In areas where it snows regularly, many households and businesses prefer to sign a contract with a company that provides snow removal throughout the winter season.
Try our cost estimator to help set a realistic budget for your snow removal project! If you need help through this process, ImproveNet can connect you with a local snow removal contractor!
Table Of Contents
- Cost Of Snow Removal
- Cost Factors Of Snow Removal
- Cost of DIY Equipment
- DIY Snow Removal Tips
- Is A Snow Removal Service Worth It?
- Find A Snow Removal Contractor
Cost Of Snow Removal
Costs for removal of up to six inches of snow start between $75 and $95. Some contractors will charge a lower fee for removal of smaller amounts, such as two inches. A good rule of thumb for any removal project over six inches is to add $30 per additional half-foot of snow. So, removal of six inches might start at $85, while removal of 18 inches would cost $145. Many contractors require a deposit, usually around $50 at the beginning of the season. This deposit is generally refunded at the end of the season if the customer does not cancel.
Cost Factors Of Snow Removal
There are some important cost factors to consider when budgeting for a snow removal service. Below is a breakdown of what goes into the overall cost for a snow plowing service:
The size of your driveway will greatly affect the overall cost of your snow removal. Expect to pay more if you have a longer driveway or even a four-stall garage. The larger the space, the more snow there is to remove; the more snow there is to remove the longer it will take. Also, if your driveway has any steep slopes or curvy cuts around landscape, expect your snow plowing cost to rise.
Households with longer driveways and businesses with large parking lots are typically assessed additional charges based upon the total space in question. Most contractors define an overly long driveway as being 70 feet or longer in total distance. Additional treatments with materials other than salt may also be available, especially in regions that experience temperatures well below zero.
Amount Of Snowfall
It can be tough to predict the weather, but the amount of snow you receive every winter will be the main cost factor for your snow removal project. The more snow you get, the longer the removal will take, the more it will cost.
The total snowfall tends to also be a factor. In most heavy snow regions, contracts may include higher rates for snow amounts greater than six inches. This is because the extra snow builds up faster in the plow and requires the contractor to take smaller swipes, ultimately costing the contractor extra time, fuel and, wear and tear on equipment.
When you’re getting estimates from snow plow contractors, remember to include any other areas you’d like cleared, such as any sidewalks, walkways, porches or patios. These areas might already be included in the overall price but always ask just to be sure. Also, ask about a salting treatment service. Typically, this will cost about $40 per session and include sidewalks.
The equipment your contractor chooses to use will affect the project cost. Like above, the longer the project will take, the more it will cost. Snow blowers are very effective and will take the least time to clear your driveway, compared to just a shovel.
However, shovels are more effective when it comes to tight corners, or closed in areas. Going over this with your contractor will help them understand what you’re looking for, and save them time while working on your driveway.
Cost Of DIY Equipment
Taking on your snow removal project by yourself is always an option and can be done by any homeowner. Below is a cost breakdown of common snow removal equipment:
There are plenty of options when it comes to snow shovels, from the shape of the shaft, to the size of the blade and the function of the shovel itself. These will affect the cost of the snow shovel because of the quality and durability.
The cost of snow shovels range from as low as $15 to more expensive shovels around $45. The shovel you choose is dependent on the work you need to get done and the type of snow you’re removing.
The cost of snow blowers will be dependent on whether you choose an electric or gas-powered model. Both will get the job done and be more efficient than a snow shovel, but they are more expensive and are more of an investment, especially if you live in a region with heavy snowfall.
An electric powered snow blower will cost as low as $100 and be as high as $900 for a heavy-duty model. The average cost will be around $250 for a good quality electric snow blower.
A gas-powered snow blower will cost as low as $250 and be as high as $2,300. Gas-powered models will be more expensive due to the durability and added power. The average cost will be around $750 for a good quality gas-powered snow blower.
Spreading salt to break down ice and prevent slippery walkways and steps is the easiest of the DIY snow removal options. This small project will take the least amount of effort and doesn’t require the strain on your back from lifting snow. Snow salt will vary in price mainly from the amount that you purchase and the brand of the salt. The cost of a bag of snow salt will be as low as $10 for a 50 lb. bag and as high as $35.
Snow Melting Mats
Snow melting mats are another easy DIY project that take little to no effort, besides installation. Installing a snow melting mat is simple and is as easy as placing the mat on the surface area you want to keep cleared of snow. Turn on the mat 30 minutes before any snowfall to ensure the mat is heated and ready for the snowfall. Prices for surface areas are below:
DIY Snow Removal Tips
If you’re looking to take on the snow yourself, here are some tips for clearing your driveway after that snow storm. There are a lot of equipment options for you to choose from but some may be more effective than others.
The most popular option for snow removal is a snow blower. There are two options, either electric- or gas-powered. Both vary in price and efficiency, so choose the one that works best for your driveway and weather conditions.
If you enjoy some physical labor and aren’t in a rush, then you can’t go wrong with a shovel. There are a lot of options when it comes to shovels from small to large, aluminum or plastic, and straight shafts or curved shafts. All of these can help to make your chilly chore a little easier or a little more work on your back.
Is A Snow Removal Service Worth It?
Choosing to hire a snow removal service will save you time, money and possibly any removing-related injuries. It can be hard to predict what your snow removal costs will be because it’s hard to predict the weather, but what is predictable is the time and hassle saved from hiring a service.
Snow removal services are highly negotiable compared to other types of contracting work. Homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to seek a rate that’s more suitable for their needs. In heavy snowfall regions, there will be a number of contractors available to handle this type of work, so there’s no reason to avoid shopping around for the best snow removal rates available.
Find A Snow Removal Contractor
If you’re looking to avoid the back-breaking work of snow removal, ImproveNet can help you find a local snow removal contractor ready for hire!
Get free estimates from local snow removal contractors
Last updated on Jun 5, 2017