Sherwood Park Alberta Sherwood

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Things To Consider



  There are a growing number of companies and/or individuals that offer landscape construction to property owners. A significant number of these companies are start-up companies that do not carry the appropriate WCB or liability insurance. They can provide services for a low rate primarily because they do not follow the same regulations that more established companies choose to, and in many cases must, follow.

•    It is very important to complete a written contract with the landscape provider. By having a signed contract it protects the interests of both the homeowner and contractor. The contract should clearly outline the work to be done and the terms of payments. It is important to remember that unless the company has applied for an Alberta “prepaid contractor’s license” they are not allowed to accept full or partial payment in advance of doing the work.

•    Alberta One Call/Click should be contacted prior to the commencement of work in order to complete service locates.

•    The company completing the project should proper equipment to complete the project in a timely manner. This should include having equipment properly maintained and following regulations. Trucks and trailers should have the proper commercial weight registrations and insurance.

Snow Removal

  •  •  It is especially important to ensure that the company hired for snow removal holds WCB and Liability Insurance, due to the risks associated with slipping or shovelling-related injuries when a company or its employees are at a property. Property owners do not want to leave themselves exposed to claims against them personally or against their homeowner insurance.

  •  •  Companies offering a “per time” residential snow removal service should be chosen carefully, as they are often not reliable during years where there is limited or no snow for long stretches of time. The issue is they would likely not survive as a business if there is no snow. Each company or individual would have monthly business and personal costs; therefore, customers should strongly consider a company that charges on a per month basis to ensure reliability.

  •  •  It is risky to pre-pay a company for snow removal services unless they have a pre-pay license, as there is very little recourse if there is a service complaint or the company goes out of business during the snow removal season.

  •  •  Companies offering services for significantly lower rates should be looked at sceptically, particularly around the issue of reliability and speed of service. The lower the rate charged, the more clients a company would have to service to generate income to offset “hard costs.” Since there is only a certain amount of time to remove a snowfall, a company with a limited client list can greatly improve reliability. EHS only accepts a particular number of clients each snow removal season, based upon the anticipated number of employees. A waiting list is generated each year.

Companies should adhere to local bylaws. A specific example is the Commercial Signage Bylaw in Strathcona County, which prohibits signage to be posted on public property without authorization from the county. The purpose of this bylaw is to improve the aesthetic appeal and cleanliness of the county – a goal that any company and/or member of the community should desire to comply with.  

Companies and prospective clients alike should be cautious with entering into year-round or long term contracts until both parties have worked with each other for an extended period of time. In order to have the opportunity to analyze client expectations with service delivery satisfaction, it is significantly beneficial to both parties to “test the waters” before making a potential long term decision.