How Much Does Snow Removal Cost?

National Average Range:
$75 - $150
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Reviewed by Paula Reguero. Written by Fixr.com.

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 Prices

Snow Removal Cost
National average cost$125
Average range$75-$150
Low-end$50
High-end$600

Snow Removal Cost by Project Range

Low
$50
Professional snow shoveling services after a single snowstorm on a single visit
Average Cost
$125
Professional snow plowing to remove six inches or less of snow from a driveway one time
High
$600
Annual snow removal contract

Professional Snow Removal Cost

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.

Snow Removal Cost per Inch, per Hour, per Visit, and per Event

Snow Removal Cost per Inch, per Hour, per Visit, and per Event

Method of ChargingCost (Labor Included)
Per Inch$12.50 - $25
Per Hour$25 - $75
Per Visit$30 - $125
Per Event$50 - $200

Snow Removal Cost per Inch

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:

Cost to Remove 6 Inches or Less, 6 to 12 Inches, and 12 to 18 Inches of Snow

Cost to Remove 6 Inches or Less, 6 to 12 Inches, and 12 to 18 Inches of Snow

ThicknessAverage Cost (Labor Included)
6 Inches or Less$75 - $150
6 - 12 Inches$105 - $200
12 - 18 Inches$135 - $250

Snow Removal Cost per Hour

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.

Snow Removal Prices per Visit

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.

Average Cost to Remove Snow per Event

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.


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Snow Removal Cost by Method

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.

Cost per Hour, per Visit, and per Snow Event to Remove Snow Using Sanding, Salting, Shoveling, Snow Blowers, or Snow Plowing

Cost per Hour, per Visit, and per Snow Event to Remove Snow Using Sanding, Salting, Shoveling, Snow Blowers, or Snow Plowing

MethodCost per HourCost per VisitCost 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

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.

Salt Application Rates

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.

Snow Shoveling Prices

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.

Snow Blowing Prices

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 Prices

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 Prices by Location

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.

Cost per Hour, per Visit, and per Event to Remove Snow in a Driveway, Sidewalk, Parking Lot, or Roof

Cost per Hour, per Visit, and per Event to Remove Snow in a Driveway, Sidewalk, Parking Lot, or Roof

LocationCost per HourCost per VisitCost 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

Sidewalk Snow Removal Pricing

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.

Parking Lot Snow Removal Cost

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.

Driveway Snow Removal Cost

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.

Cost to Remove 640 or less, 641 to 800, 800 to 1000, and 1000 or More Sq.Ft. of Snow

Cost to Remove 640 or less, 641 to 800, 800 to 1000, and 1000 or More Sq.Ft. of Snow

Square FeetAverage 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

Roof Snow Removal Cost

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.

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Snow Removal Contract Cost

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.

Professional Removing Snow With a Snow Mower

Blowing vs Plowing

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.

Comparison of the Cost per Event of Snow Blowing and Plowing

Comparison of the Cost per Event of Snow Blowing and Plowing

TypeCost per Event
Blowing$50 - $125
Plowing$75 - $150

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Heated Driveway Cost

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 Cost

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.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • DIY. Professional removal companies have all the equipment and expertise needed to meet your snow clearing needs. If you set out to buy a snow plow attachment for your truck, it may cost you anywhere from $1,300 to $4,000. You must also add the cost of incidental repairs, maintenance and gas to the initial investment. And you need some expertise to use a plow for clearing your driveway. Plow rental is another possibility at an average cost of $100 per day, $300 per week, or $650 per month. However, if the plow is over a certain weight, you’ll need a CDL (commercial driver's license) to operate. Although shoveling is another option for DIYers, it is strenuous and time-consuming work in often cold and windy conditions.
  • Markers. Using reflectors or snow markers (around $1 to $3 per piece) to clearly outline the driveway can help speed up the removal process.
  • Heated removal mats. Heated snow melting mats could be used to assist with removal. These mats could be placed on driveways, sidewalks, decks, and porches to instantly remove and prevent buildup. For a 25 ft. driveway, expect to pay around $2,000 to $2,500 for a heated mat. For a 30” x 60” heated walkway mat, you’ll pay approximately $200 to $300.
  • Lawn care and snow removal. Some ground-care companies provide snow removal during winter and lawn care during the warmer months. This may get you better rates and better service. A few companies may also allow you to exchange unused snow removal visits for lawn care.
  • Discounts and promotions. If you are hiring a national or well-established snow removal company, do a quick online search for any coupons or new-customer promotions that may be offered in your region.
  • Company's response time. Find out the company’s average response time and whether you are required to call them or if they come out automatically when the snow accumulates to a certain level7.
  • Tips to find a professional. Always ask for a written quote and an inspection visit before signing the contract. Also, verify references and make sure the company you choose is licensed and insured. When you get a quote, compare different companies to ensure that you get a fair deal.

FAQs

  • How much does a snow plow cost?

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.

  • How much does it cost to have your driveway plowed?

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.

  • What is the average cost for snow removal?

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.

  • What is the cheapest way to remove snow?

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.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Steep slopes: Pitch of a roof having a vertical rise of 3 inches or more for every 12 inches of horizontal run
glossary term picture Blower 2 Blowers: An accessory that makes a fireplace more efficient by circulating the warm air in the fireplace to other areas of the home
glossary term picture Radiant Flooring 3 Radiant floor heat: (Also known as Radiant floor) A heating system using tubes or electric wires installed underneath the flooring
glossary term picture Padding 4 Padding: A cushion placed under a carpet to absorb impact, thus extending the life of the carpet

Cost to hire a snow removal service varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Professional Pushing Snow to the Side of a Sidewalk
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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources