How Much Does Snow Removal Cost?
Don’t want to clear snow yourself? Snow removal cost ranges from $48 to $179, with the national average at $113.
- Typical Range: $48 to $179
- National Average: $113
Living in an area with cold and snowy winters means snow removal is a top priority. Removing snow and ice on your own is backbreaking work, and many homeowners prefer to hire a local snowplow service or snow shoveling service. To save time and avoid injury, homeowners commonly search online for “snowplowing near me” or “local snowplowing service near me” to find a reputable company with budget-friendly snowplow rates.
According to HomeAdvisor, snow removal costs range from $48 to $179, with the national average at $113. Homeowners with large houses, multiple walkways, long driveways, or those who require roof clearing can expect to pay $400 or more. Hiring a professional residential snow removal company can cost between $30 and $50 for each plowing visit and $25 to $75 per hour for snow blowing or shoveling. Many snow removal companies will charge between $250 and $500 to clear snow off a roof. Hiring a professional to clear snow is worth it for many homeowners to avoid snow shoveling–related injuries and a possible trip to the emergency room.
Factors in Calculating Snow Removal Cost
Before googling “snowplow service near me,” homeowners should be aware of the many factors that impact snow removal costs. Prices can differ from the national average due to rates and pricing, the amount of snow to be removed, property size, location, unique home features, the method of removal, and response time.
Snow removal companies use different snow removal pricing formulas to calculate their rates. The pricing depends on how much snow one person can remove, in addition to equipment and overhead costs. Typical pricing rates are:
- Per hour. It’s common to pay between $25 and $75 per hour for snow removal. This price is for shoveling, snow blowing, or snow throwing.
- Per event. Each snowstorm is considered an event. Each event is typically priced between $30 and $75, although this pricing formula is commonly used in areas that don’t experience heavy snowfall totals.
- Per visit. Homeowners can expect to pay between $30 and $50 per visit or push by a plow—even if the area is cleared multiple times during one storm.
- Per inch. The average price to clear 6 inches of snow is between $60 and $95. It’s common for a snow removal company to charge another $30 per additional 6 inches of snow.
- Per season. Some companies will charge a seasonal rate of $350 to $450. Be sure to check the fine print: There are usually limits on the total number of visits during the winter season.
Amount of Snowfall
Geographic location is an important factor in snow removal costs. Living in an area that sees heavy snowfall totals will result in more expensive removal costs than areas that get minimal snow totals. The average cost to remove 6 inches or fewer is between $60 and $95. 6 to 12 inches can cost around $110 per hour, 12 to 18 inches runs approximately $140 per hour, and 18 inches or more can cost $170 per hour. The extra snow means that it takes more passes with a plow, which costs more in gas and time.
The larger the property, the more expensive the snow removal costs. Companies calculate the overall cost based on hourly rates, equipment used, and overhead. A long and winding driveway will cost more to clear.
Location Around Home
The average cost to plow a driveway 60 feet long and two cars wide is between $30 and $50. The price goes up if some sidewalks or walkways need to be cleared or there are any additional parking spaces or roofs that need snow removal.
If the driveway is steep or winding, the cost will increase for snow removal. The price includes the time it takes to maneuver steep, curvy, or complex terrain. Expect to pay more if the driveway is gravel or dirt since it will take longer to clear than a paved one.
Method: Shoveling vs. Snow Blowing vs. Snowplowing
The method used to clear the area around your home depends on how much snow there is to be removed and the size of the area. The professional will choose the method that will work the best. Having someone come and shovel typically costs between $25 and $75 per hour per person. Expect to pay the same rates to remove snow with a snow blower. Snowplowing runs between $30 and $95 per visit.
The amount of response time that a snow removal company has will impact the final cost. Companies that guarantee a fast response time during or after a snowstorm may charge more than a company with a longer wait time. Be sure to check if the company will come to your property automatically or if you need to call and request snow removal services.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for snow removal costs, it’s helpful to know any additional price factors or considerations that can increase the overall cost. These can include things like contract and one-time services or salt applications.
Contract vs. One-Time Service
Seasonal contracts are typically more cost-effective than one-time snow removal visits. Contracts can cost between $350 and $450 per season, but be sure to ask about any visit limits. Some companies may limit the number of visits and charge extra per each additional snow removal visit.
Snow removal companies typically charge between $20 and $40 for salt application. Some companies may include the price for salt in their overall total, and some may charge $5 to $15 per bag of salt. If you have pets that venture outdoors, be sure to ask about pet-friendly salt since some types can be toxic to animals.
Some snow removal companies sell or install heat mats or heating cables. These can minimize the amount of snow that has to be removed from your property by using heat to melt the snow. Portable snow melt mats can be as low as $60 for a short walkway or up to $2,500 for a driveway. Homeowners can also opt for a driveway heating system built into the concrete or asphalt, but this is a more extensive project that costs much more than a portable mat. Heating cables are typically used to melt snow on a roof, and the materials and installation cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.
Snow Removal: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Removing snow on your own is the most cost-effective option, minus the cost of a shovel, snow blower, or plow. Doing it yourself is labor-intensive and adds to the risk of injury. If you or a family member don’t have the physical ability to shovel or operate a snow blower, or if a doctor has advised against it, it’s best to hire a professional. Snow removal is rigorous work that can send people to the hospital with back injuries or worse. Professional snow removal companies can save you the time and effort of clearing snow in cold and windy conditions. They have the correct sidewalk snow removal equipment, plows to clear a driveway, and tools to clear a roof. If you’re in good physical health and prefer to clear the snow on your own, investing in a quality snow blower or searching for snowplows for sale can help save money in the long run. It’s always a good idea to call in a professional to clear snow from a roof to prevent falling, injury, and damage to the roof.
Benefits of Hiring a Snow Removal Service
The buildup of snow and ice around your property can make getting around dangerous. To avoid the dangers of slipping, falling, back injuries, and even heart attacks, there are plenty of reasons to hire a professional to take care of the job for you.
Every year in the United States, more than 11,000 people are injured while clearing snow, and approximately 100 people die while shoveling, according to the National Safety Council. To prevent possible injuries, hire a professional to remove the snow for you. If you or a family member are over 55, shoveling is not recommended.
Convenience and Efficiency
When homeowners hire a snow removal company, they have peace of mind that snow will be cleared using the most efficient method. Professional companies have the correct snow removal equipment that homeowners may not have access to without spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Hiring professionals removes any worry or concern about removing snow on your own and will save time and a lot of effort.
Reduced Time Commitment
Removing snow can sometimes take hours, especially if you have a driveway or multiple walkways. If you don’t have the time to remove snow on your own, hiring a professional team to take care of it can free up your schedule.
A professional snow removal team can provide exceptional results. Better snow removal means that the driveways and walkways are less slippery and less likely to ice over, making them safer for walking and driving.
How to Save Money on Snow Removal
Snow removal costs can be high, and the additional fees can quickly add up. One way to save money is to hire the cheapest snow removal company you can find, but there are other ways to save without compromising on quality and the options you want.
- Get multiple quotes. Get at least three quotes from reputable snow removal companies in your area.
- Prioritize. Think about what areas really need to be cleared after a snowfall. The front sidewalk, driveway, and the walkway to the front door would be the most important areas. The walkways behind the house that aren’t used? Save your money and skip areas that are not necessary to be cleared.
- Research snow removal companies. If you feel you need to supervise the team that comes to clear snow, the process will not free up time or relieve stress. By reading reviews and researching your options, you can hire a company that will actually make your life easier.
- Consider contracts. A seasonal contract is typically more cost-effective than single-visit prices if you live in an area with high snowfall averages. Some companies may offer discounts if you book a year-round contract that involves snow removal and lawn and garden care.
- Don’t wait. Waiting until the season’s first snowfall to contact a snow removal company may backfire. Professionals are typically booked up before the first snowflake falls, and some will raise their prices when they’re needed the most. Contact a company before it snows to ensure snow removal services when you need them.
Questions to Ask a Snow Removal Contractor
Asking the right questions about snow removal costs can minimize miscommunication and save money. Here are some questions to ask a snow removal professional.
- Are you insured?
- Do you have a list of clients that will provide references?
- What services do you offer?
- Do you provide a discount on a seasonal contract?
- How large is your service area?
- What type of equipment do you use?
- What is your response time?
- How often do you plow during a snowstorm?
- Who will be my contact person?
- After plowing, do you remove the snow or pile it somewhere?
- How will your team protect the landscaping?
- What kind of salt or ice-melting products do you use?
Deciding on snow removal while staying within your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about snow removal costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. How much is a snow blower?
The price of a snow blower can vary depending on the brand, whether it’s corded or cordless, electric or gas-powered, and if it has extra features, such as multiple speeds, easy turning, heated hand grips, power steering, airless tires, and more. Snow blowers can range from $100 to $2,300.
Q. What is the price of a snowplow and installation?
The overall cost of a snowplow is dependent on what type of vehicle it will be mounted on. If the plow is installed on a truck, expect to pay $4,000 or more; on a UTV, it can cost $800 or more; on an ATV, it can run $400 or more.
Q. What is the cheapest way to remove snow?
The cheapest way to remove snow is to buy a shovel for around $20 and remove it yourself. Still, the risk of injury is greater when shoveling snow on your own, and the cost of medical bills will be more expensive than hiring a professional to do it for you.
Q. How much does it cost to remove snow from a driveway?
It usually costs between $30 and $50 to plow a driveway no longer than 60 feet. Some companies may include clearing the sidewalk along the street, but always ask to confirm what the plowing price includes.
Q. What should be in a snow removal contract?
A snow removal contract should include insurance coverage, what services will be provided and the standard of performance, payment information, and how often the company will come to your home.
Q. Are landlords responsible for snow removal?
That depends on where you live. In some locations, like New York, landlords are responsible, but both tenants and landlords should check state requirements and rental agreements before making any assumptions.