Snow is wonderful when you have nothing to do and nowhere to be, other than snuggling in front of a roaring fire with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa. But when you have to leave the comfort of your warm house and spend hours shoveling snow just to clear your driveway, it can be a pain. A professional snow removal company can save you all that trouble and hassle. After all, just because it’s snowing outside doesn’t mean you can’t get to where you need to be, if you have the help of expert contractors. Professional services are also a boon for homeowners who cannot deal with removing it on their own because of health issues.
The cost for this type of service varies, based on where you live, how big the driveway is and the frequency of removal service. The national average cost ranges from $75 to $150. Removing up to six inches of snow from a standard driveway with plowing or shoveling costs most homeowners around $125 for professional plowing to remove up to 6 inches from a standard driveway. Costs can be as low as $50 for removing snow with a shovel from a driveway after a snowstorm and can be as high as $600 for an annual removal contract.
|Snow Removal Cost|
|National average cost||$125|
Ideally, the contractor or an employee from the snow removal company should visit your property before the start of the season to determine what sort of conditions they would face and what equipment they would need. From that point, you can choose from several ways of charging for removal. Some professionals charge only by the hour, but others charge based on inches of snow. In addition, some contractors charge per event, or each snowstorm, or have prices for each visit.
Be prepared to pay a small refundable deposit (around $50), which will be returned at the end of the season when starting a relationship with a removal company. When services are charged by the hour, the type of equipment used will affect the final price. The less time they have to spend on the project, the less you will have to pay.
|Method of Charging||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Per Inch||$12.50 - $25|
|Per Hour||$25 - $75|
|Per Visit||$30 - $125|
|Per Event||$50 - $200|
Snow removal per inch costs vary but typically run from $12.50 to $25 per inch for the first six inches and $5 to $8.50 for inches beyond that. For over 18 inches, homeowners can expect to pay about $30 to $50 for every six inches. The price increases per inch because the professional handling the job needs to do additional labor for the additional snow. The below table provides insight into what the pricing is like for various amounts of snow:
|Thickness||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|6 Inches or Less||$75 - $150|
|6 - 12 Inches||$105 - $200|
|12 - 18 Inches||$135 - $250|
The average snow removal cost per hour is $25 to $75. An hourly rate for shoveling snow (or otherwise removing it) is the most common option. In this situation, a homeowner contacts a professional when some part of the property needs attention. A professional visits and removes the snow at an hourly rate. The amount of it is not an obvious factor in the pricing. However, the more snow there is, the longer the process will take and the higher the final costs will be.
Remember that the cost of hiring a professional by the hour depends on their overhead and operating costs. The distance driven is also incorporated into the costs and depends on the distance of your home from the company's base and on whether there are other jobs they can do in your neighborhood or on the way to your house.
The typical driveway snow removal cost per visit is $30 to $70. These prices are based on a contractor visiting a property on a single occasion and removing an average amount of snow. Per visit pricing is more common in locations where snowfall only happens occasionally. It offers a fixed cost that homeowners can budget easily for each time they need one of these services for their property.
The residential snow removal cost per event, such as a snowstorm, ranges from $30 to $100. This is different from per visit pricing since the contractor might visit more than once to finish the work. In addition, this is a pricing option that is often used when snowfall does not occur often. This is different from a seasonal contract, which is typically available in locations with heavy snowfall throughout the winter.
Depending on the type of equipment used, you have the following options for removal. In general, shoveling requires more time and physical labor than using a snowblower or a plow. Before hiring a contractor, always ask what removal method they will be using on your property and what equipment will be used.
|Method||Cost per Hour||Cost per Visit||Cost per Event|
|Sanding||$10 - $20||$20 - $40||$25 - $50|
|Salting||$10 - $20||$20 - $40||$25 - $50|
|Shoveling||$25 - $75||$40 - $100||$50 - $125|
|Blowers||$25 - $75||$40 - $100||$50 - $125|
|Plowing||$50 - $100||$50 - $125||$75 - $150|
Sanding costs approximately $10 to $20 per hour with a total cost of $25 to $50 per event or $20 to $40 per visit. Sanding is appropriate if temperatures are below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If above this temperature, salting is typically preferred. When you sand for snow removal purposes, you’re attempting to get better traction on walkways and driveways. Sanding is less effective with melting but will help stop slips from falls and improve driving over ice. Sand can clog drains on the property. Therefore, it’s important to clean up any residue sand once the stormy weather has passed.
Using salt or chemicals to melt snow and ice will cost around $10 to $20 per hour with a total of $25 to $50 per event or $20 to $40 per visit. Some contractors include salting in their contracts, while others may charge extra for performing these services. In most cases, you should try to salt down before the event to prevent it from settling and any ice from forming. Professionals use spreaders for quick applications and can cover about 250 feet of area per pound of rock salt. If you have animals in the home, remember to ask about pet-friendly salt. Certain types of salt can be toxic to animals if ingested.
The typical shoveling cost is $25 to $50 per hour, $50 to $150 per event, or $40 to $100 per visit. This method makes it easier to clean small areas; therefore, it will be useful if there is not much snow to clean or the area to be cleaned is not very large. One of its downsides is that it is more time-consuming. However, professionals can handle the process more quickly than the average person. This is an option for homeowners who have little snow or need removal only in tiny areas.
The average cost for snow blowing is $25 to $75 per hour, $50 to $125 per event, or $40 to $100 per visit. Blowers can be used for clearing steep slopes 1 and gravel driveways. While electric blowers 2 are good for areas that don’t receive excessive snow, two-stage gas blowers are best for accumulations greater than six inches. Single-stage blowers are not effective for sloped driveways. Blowing services avoid damaging your lawn, and the snow is dispersed more evenly around the property. This can ensure the grass isn’t affected when the weather warms up.
Snow plowing service prices average $50 to $100 per hour, $75 to $150 per standard driveway or event, or $50 to $125 per visit. This means plowing the snow from your driveway and piling it at one part of your property. If you prefer to have it removed, you will need to hire additional services. If the service includes removal, the snow will be loaded into a truck and disposed of at an approved site. Make sure that the contract clearly specifies what is covered under the terms of your agreement. Plowing is good for clearing icy snow and this process removes it relatively fast. However, plowing is not suitable for small areas or narrow paths and it can cause damage to gravel driveways if handled by an inexperienced person.
Snow removal can be arranged for driveways, roofs, sidewalks and parking lots. Contractors offer pricing for removal by location, and costs may vary, depending on whether it’s a regular residential neighborhood, a large rural driveway or a parking lot. Costs range from as low as $30 for an hour clearing a driveway to as much as $700 for removal from a large roof over the course of a visit. Make sure you talk to your contractor about the specific locations that you need to have cleared. Also, don't forget to include it in writing in your contract.
|Location||Cost per Hour||Cost per Visit||Cost per Event|
|Sidewalk||$25 - $75||$40 - $80||$50 - $100|
|Parking Lot||$25 - $75||$60 - $150||$75 - $200|
|Driveway||$30 - $70||$40 - $75||$50 - $100|
|Roof||$50 - $100||$150 - $700||$150 - $700|
The average sidewalk snow removal price is $25 to $75 per hour, $50 to $100 per event, or $40 to $80 per visit. The longer the sidewalk, the more time it will take to clear. However, many contractors incorporate sidewalk and driveway removal services into a package, covering both services for a rate between $45 and $75 per hour. Clearing sidewalks with a shovel or a blower usually requires less time than a driveway, due to the smaller area.
The cost for these services varies, based on the size of the parking lot, but plowing rates for parking lots are usually between $25 and $75 per hour, $75 to $200 per event, or $60 to $150 a visit. Plowing is often the most efficient choice for removing snow from parking lots because a plow can cover a greater area quickly. The price is determined by the location and size of the parking lot, as well as the need for salting or sanding services. If you want the snow completely removed from the lot instead of just plowed to the side, the price may go up to cover the extra time and resources.
The price of removing snow from a driveway is $30 to $70 an hour, $50 to $100 per event, or $40 to $75 per visit. While professionals do not usually charge based on square footage, it can give you an idea of your final costs. For example, an average U.S. residential driveway is 16 x 40 feet or 640 square feet. Based on that average, snow removal rates per square foot are about $0.08 to $0.10 per square foot. Based on that information, a driveway snow removal may cost more if it is larger. The type of driveway does not significantly affect the cost paid per event or visit. Although most contractors don’t advertise removal rates per square foot, depending on where you live and how much snow you receive, your removal contractor may help you understand these calculations.
|Square Feet||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|640 sq.ft. or Less||$40 - $65|
|641 - 800 sq.ft.||$50 - $80|
|800 - 1000 sq.ft.||$65 - $100|
|1,000 sq.ft. or More||$80 - $200|
In addition to removing snow from ground-level areas, most removal companies also remove it from your roof for an extra $150 to $700 per visit or event. If hired separately, the service averages $50 to $100 per hour. Removal in this location requires special tools, due to heights. Accummulation on the roof can eventually lead to the creation of ice dams and damage to the property. Keeping your roof clear, therefore, helps preserve roofing, keeping you and your house safe.
You may get a discount if you sign a year-round snow removal contract or if you hire a service provider before the season starts. The annual cost of snow removal in the U.S. is between $300 and $600. If you opt for a seasonal contract, you may pay $250 to $450. The average removal cost per month is about $150 to $250 after signing a contract with a specific company.
The price offered by professional removal companies in your area depends on the average snow per season and associated labor costs. If you live in an area that typically gets just a few dustings of snow, a seasonal contract may be less than in a region with heavy snowfall across the winter.
The contractor will typically visit the property to assess the situation and arrive at an estimate, which includes the initial visit and is based on an agreed amount you will pay over the course of twelve months, usually at a discounted rate overall. This also buys you priority removal service, which can be a big perk if you are waiting to access your driveway or leave for work, as are all your neighbors. If removal has been a regular concern for you in previous seasons, then a professional removal contract may resolve the need for regular cleanup and allow you to get a better deal on snow plow rates.
Some year-round contracts specify a certain number of plows per season. If you need more plowing, it would involve additional charges. Since these types of arrangements should be made in advance of the season, plan ahead, because there may be limited availability in your region. Also, some driveways are parallel to the garage door and plowing them can leave a snowbank in front of the garage door. It's important to have the removal of this pile included in the contract.
In some instances, you’ll have to determine if it would be better to use a blower or have your property plowed. To find out the most cost-effective solution, you’ll have to evaluate the size of your property and the amount of snow accumulated.
Plowing is best for large amounts of snow. A plow quickly removes snow in half the time of a blower. Plows are ideal for large areas of your property, including driveways and parking lots. If you have accumulations over a foot, then a plow works best to quickly and efficiently get the area cleared. Plows have some drawbacks. With a plow, accidents are more likely to happen due to decreased visibility. Plows may end up damaging your lawn, shrubs, trees, lawn ornaments, and stonework. Most significantly, plows cannot effectively clear areas such as sidewalks, paths, decks, and porches. Plowing costs between $75 and $150 for a event, which is more expensive than blowing.
Blowing is ideal for more compact areas requiring removal, including sidewalks, decks, front porches, and small driveways. Blowers are easier to maneuver, so they are less likely to cause property damage like plows. These blowers also work for modest amounts of snow, especially light, fluffy types. Blowing costs range from $35 to $75 per event, which is at a lower price point than plowing. The disadvantages of blowing are that the removal process takes longer and isn’t ideal for snowfall over six inches.
|Type||Cost per Event|
|Blowing||$50 - $125|
|Plowing||$75 - $150|
Heated driveways will cost an average of $1,500 to $7,500 installed. Heated driveways work in the same manner as radiant floor heat 3. Water and antifreeze flow under padding 4 in the driveway and can be switched on and off. The only real benefit of a heated driveway is snow and ice removal, which means it works best for properties in northern states with large annual snowfall amounts.
Roof heating cable installation projects cost around $500 to $1,500 when performed by a professional. With a roof heating system, you’re able to prevent snow and ice from accumulating on the roof. When turned on, the cables warm up, and the system protects shingles from weather damage and keeps gutters and downspouts flowing properly.
A simple snow plow that mounts to a truck ranges from about $1,300 to $4,000, depending on the size, brand, and features it includes. Manually operated versions tend to be less expensive than electric plows. Electricity is easier and more comfortable to use with features like automatic angling.
The average cost to have a driveway plowed ranges from $40 to $200. The price depends on the driveway’s size and whether a sidewalk also needs snow removed. With the addition of sand or salt to the area, the price can increase. However, a driveway that is two car stalls wide and 60 feet wide costs around $160 to $200 to plow.
On an average, you can expect to pay $75 to $150 for removing up to six inches of snow. For additional snow, most people spend about $30 to $50 for every six inches beyond that amount. The price varies based on job size and the time it takes to finish the process.
The cheapest way to remove snow is to buy a shovel for around $10 to $50 and do it manually all season. Since this is time-consuming and laborious, it makes sense to pay a removal contractor per season via a contract in climates that get regular snowfall (for example, $200 to $600 per season), or pay for a single visit ($50 to $100 per hour) for shoveling and blowing services.