Living in Canada means we’re lucky enough to have 4 distinct seasons that show us all the beauties of nature. It also means we spend half of the year freezing and shovelling ourselves out of several feet of snow. If you’ve had enough of waking up early to dig yourself out of snow banks, then it’s time to call in a professional to deal with your snow removal. Here’s what to look for in a company before you hire.

men shaking hands

Image courtesy of Lucas Richard

Communicates and Listens

Like any good relationship, the foundation between you and your snow removal company should be built on solid communication. If you find that a company has a hard time getting back to you, doesn’t answer their phone most of the time, is always rescheduling or forgetting appointments, these are all signs that they do not have good communication skills. Instead, look for a company that responds in a timely manner and actually answers your questions when you have them.

Every home is different and will require different snow maintenance. If a company says they have it covered but do not offer any specific examples or options of how they’re going to help you, this isn’t the company for the job. Find a company that listens to your unique needs and offers a solution.

signing a contract

Image courtesy of Entrepreneur

Provides a Contract and Sticks to It

It is very important that the company provides you with a signed contract. You’ve made an agreement with the company and you expect them to honour it. Make sure that you get the terms in writing as part of a formal contract signed by both parties. Should the company not uphold their end of the agreement, the contract will be there to help you out should the matter have to escalate.

Snow is unpredictable but your contract shouldn’t be. Make sure the contract contains a plan for emergencies or extreme weather. You want to be covered should anything happen, and you want to know exactly what that process will be if and when it does. Having a valid contract also means that there will be no surprises when your bill arrives. Make sure that the pricing you agreed to is correctly reflected in the contract and do not sign if there are discrepancies.

person using snow blower

Image courtesy of Flawless Landscaping

Has Professional Working Standards

When considering a company, ask about the type of insurance they offer. If they do not offer insurance, do not hire them. You want to find a company with insurance that covers you should anyone fall on your property. Not all insurance is the same so be sure to ask specifically if you’re covered for falls and accidents.

You should also ask the company about how its employees are treated. Snow removal is a hard job and workers are often overworked, especially when hit with snow storms. Find out about the company’s policies when it comes to proper safety standards. If they do not want to share this information or it seems vague, that’s a sign the company does not have proper standards in place.

man researching reviews

Image courtesy of Flawless Landscaping

Is Well Reviewed

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take a chance on a new company; however, hiring a company with proven results and past customers will make your hiring decision easier. Check out their reviews and pay attention to how people describe their interactions with the company. Were they polite? On time? How was the quality of work? All of these things will be listed in an effective review.

Do not just look at the positive reviews; a lot can be learned from negative reviews. Not only can you read about potential problems previous customers have had, you can also see how the company deals with complaints and criticism. A company that provides good customer service on a negative review is more likely to provide good customer service when problems arise. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews to see the whole picture.

Do not be afraid to shop around and get multiple quotes from several companies. It’s important to weigh your options. When you’re ready to get some quotes and make a decision, start on HomeStars for all your snow removal needs.

Cover image courtesy of the City of Burnaby.

Posted by Jessica Greaves