by Rebekah Barron, Development Manager at NB Benny’s Contracting Ltd.
How to Hire a Snow Removal Contractor
Choosing the right snow removal contractor is crucial when it comes to maintaining your property or condominium!
Whether you’re an Owner or a Property Manager, you want to ensure the contractor you hire is reliable, efficient, and follows proper protocols and procedures to keep the property as safe as possible.
Safety is managed by keeping daily snow logs, before and after pictures, and making sure that each site is monitored on a regular basis. Attention to detail is very important for maintaining a safe environment. This includes the contractor reporting any possible hazards, issues, or concerns. Communication is key!
Ask the questions, get the response you want…
Here are a few important questions you as an owner or property manager should ask potential contractors:
- What kind of liability insurance do they have? Is it up to date? (Always get a copy for your files.)
A contractor having the right amount of liability insurance is pivotal, not only does this protect you personally, but it also protects the Corporation.
- Do they have WCB coverage?
Worker’s compensation coverage provides workers with the services and benefits needed to help them get back to work safely should they be injured on the job.
- Does the contractor have a formal contract?
Not only does this protect the contractor, it also protects Owners, Property Managers, and Corporations to ensure all expectations are clearly laid out.
- Can they provide current references?
It is important to verify the contractor’s references to ensure their quality of workmanship is of the highest standard.
- What type of sites do they services for snow removal? Do they have experience with large sites?
It is always good practice to verify that the contractor has experience with similar properties (in both size and scope), so you have confidence that they can service the site in a safe and timely manner.
- What is their snow removal crew ratio to properties?
You want to ensure the contractor has the staff and time to service your site.
- Where does your site fall within their route?
This will help eliminate any confusion regarding timelines. Adjustments can be made prior to the contract should there be any special requests.
- What equipment will be used, and do they have the proper equipment to service your site?
Some sites require specific equipment to be used, advising expectations upfront allows all parties transparency.
- What is the turnaround time for emergency visits (i.e., freezing rain)?
As sites should be monitored on a regular basis, it is imperative to request what the contractor’s procedure for icy conditions are.
- What is their policy for damages onsite?
Knowing ahead of time how the contractor manages damages to the property can reduce future frustration if the client is aware of their policies and procedures.
Here are a couple of ways owners and property managers can ensure a smooth process:
- Confirm the scope of work provided is the same for all contractors, this helps minimize the confusion of pricing when quotes are received.
- Reach out for snow removal quotes early. This allows adequate time for questions and concerns to be answered by all parties, and ensures a contract is in place before the snow flies!
Knowing what to look for, and asking the right questions, is key when choosing the right contractor.