heated driveway?

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Topic Author
mouses
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heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

The guys who have been doing snow removal at my house for several years are shutting down that business.

This leaves me, an ancient person, with possibly no way to get snow removed. So far I have come up with zero possibilities despite contacting a number of possibilities. I think the fact that it's mainly snow blowing and shoveling vs. snow plowing is the cause of that.

So I am wondering about having a heated driveway installed. Do these actually work to keep the driveway clear of snow, especially if say two feet fall? Any problems with them?

The driveway is small,, a two car garage wide and only about one car length deep.

If this works out, I would later have the path from the house to the garage and street done.

Thanks for any info.
minimalistmarc
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by minimalistmarc »

Somebody else will start up a business removing snow
livesoft
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by livesoft »

A heated driveway works. I had a friend who bought a home with a heated driveway only he didn't know that. His electric bills were ENORMOUS and he couldn't figure it out. Eventually, he found out the driveway heater had not been turned off for many months into the warmer weather.

Such a system would be out of my ability to afford it. It might be cheaper to move to a motel before any expected snow starts.
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Helo80
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Helo80 »

livesoft wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:38 am A heated driveway works. I had a friend who bought a home with a heated driveway only he didn't know that. His electric bills were ENORMOUS and he couldn't figure it out. Eventually, he found out the driveway heater had not been turned off for many months into the warmer weather.

Ok, I have to ask... how much money every month does his heated driveway cost to run?
livesoft
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by livesoft »

Helo80 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:44 amOk, I have to ask... how much money every month does his heated driveway cost to run?
Don't know for sure. He never told me. It is not meant to be turned on unless there is something to melt. Perhaps someone will come along and let us know what they pay. Maybe it is like heating a swimming pool?
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Topic Author
mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

livesoft wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:38 am Such a system would be out of my ability to afford it. It might be cheaper to move to a motel before any expected snow starts.
I'm sure my cat would be thrilled with that. Either his fear of a new place and worries about hotel housekeeping letting him out, or my somehow getting home every day to feed him.
minimalistmarc wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:32 am Somebody else will start up a business removing snow
There are many businesses removing snow. They are not interested so far, either booked up or they only plow.
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Watty
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Watty »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:26 am This leaves me, an ancient person......
It might be worth considering if moving to a condo or senior community where they take care of things like this would be a choice good for you. In addition to the snow a different situation might be better for other things too and allow you to live independently longer especially if you need to eventually need to give up driving.
Strayshot
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Strayshot »

Any neighbors who would help out?

All over northern NM and CO people use resistive heating elements on their metal roofs to melt accumulated snow, I see no reason it wouldn’t work on a driveway just stringing the wires across the pavement. Would probably be a pretty inexpensive solution (way cheaper then destroying, installing, and repaving your driveway) and honestly you could do it yourself before any large predicted snowfall. Only question would be could they support the weight of the car driving over them or would the need to be moved beforehand.
bob60014
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by bob60014 »

To do it right, It only makes sense if your driveway also needed replacement. IMHO, Just look for another snow removal contractor or kid in the neighborhood to remove the snow. Fewer issues and lower costs.
Last edited by bob60014 on Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Strayshot
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Strayshot »

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King ... /202262345

This is the kind of item that I am talking about, any reason you couldnt go out before the storm and string this around your driveway?
Topic Author
mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

bob60014 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:11 am Just look for another snow removal contractor or kid in the neighborhood to remove the snow. Fewer issues and lower costs.
Third post of mine saying that does not work.
BuddyJet
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by BuddyJet »

My father had an electric heated driveway over 50 years ago. Worked but expensive to run.

Here is an article about the systems

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/heated-driveway/

If you go with a boiler system, be sure to buy a boiler with capacity for your expansion. Gas boilers are cheaper to run than electric.

As to the two foot snow question, it depends on the snowfall rate. If two feet gets dumped fast, the melt can’t keep up. It will clear after a time though.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
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Nate79
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Nate79 »

Have you tried posting ads on Facebook or other places to find a local teen interested in a little shoveling? No neighbors with a kid interested in a little money?
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F150HD
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by F150HD »

you should put your location in your first post for meaningful answers.

Living in the UP in MI or parts of Montana vs living in say Kansas....big difference IMO as far as annual snow totals.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Nate79 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:15 am Have you tried posting ads on Facebook or other places to find a local teen interested in a little shoveling? No neighbors with a kid interested in a little money?
Does your town have a NextDoor app? Made for this kind of thing.

Something else I’ve noticed is that few people are interested in snow removal exclusively, but are content to take on that assignment if they’re also doing the landscaping.
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retiredjg
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by retiredjg »

I've only known 1 person to have a heated driveway. It was put in before the concrete - they described it as a blanket. Must not have been terribly expensive because these people lived a very modest life and didn't do much splurging.

Worked great. Didn't need to run for a lot of hours at a time in that climate because of low humidity.

I'm not sure how you would add heating without replacing the driveway.
tibbitts
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by tibbitts »

Strayshot wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:07 am Any neighbors who would help out?

All over northern NM and CO people use resistive heating elements on their metal roofs to melt accumulated snow, I see no reason it wouldn’t work on a driveway just stringing the wires across the pavement. Would probably be a pretty inexpensive solution (way cheaper then destroying, installing, and repaving your driveway) and honestly you could do it yourself before any large predicted snowfall. Only question would be could they support the weight of the car driving over them or would the need to be moved beforehand.
I can't imagine this could possibly work. You are talking about throwing a huge net of electrical wires across your driveway before snow/ice falls?

The only roof wire systems I know are either mounted externally only used on roof edges, or under the roofing material all over the roof, but maybe people use the external wires all over. I would say that my experience with external wires on roof edges is that they can only create channels, not keep the roof clean. Elements underneath would likely do much better.
1130Super
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by 1130Super »

livesoft wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:38 am A heated driveway works. I had a friend who bought a home with a heated driveway only he didn't know that. His electric bills were ENORMOUS and he couldn't figure it out. Eventually, he found out the driveway heater had not been turned off for many months into the warmer weather.

Such a system would be out of my ability to afford it. It might be cheaper to move to a motel before any expected snow starts.
Reminds me of a story about a customer that would heat his pool throughout the winter in Minnesota, he mentioned his gas bill for January being like $5000
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mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

Nate79 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:15 am Have you tried posting ads on Facebook or other places to find a local teen interested in a little shoveling? No neighbors with a kid interested in a little money?
Yes, done that, facebook and nextdoor. Kids working chores for money no longer seem to exist.
Topic Author
mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

Watty wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:06 am
mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:26 am This leaves me, an ancient person......
It might be worth considering if moving to a condo or senior community where they take care of things like this would be a choice good for you. In addition to the snow a different situation might be better for other things too and allow you to live independently longer especially if you need to eventually need to give up driving.
I'm pretty sure I'm not going to give up my seaside home for a condo or elderly community with noisy neighbors and people just waiting around to die, just because the snow guys have vanished.
livesoft
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by livesoft »

I rented the upstairs of a home of a pensioner who lived downstairs and didn't need all the space. I shoveled snow as part of the deal.
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mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

livesoft wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:49 am I rented the upstairs of a home of a pensioner who lived downstairs and didn't need all the space. I shoveled snow as part of the deal.
So much for privacy :-)

We are talking snow removal here, not how to consign mouses to the rubbish heap.
livesoft
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by livesoft »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:02 amSo much for privacy :-)

We are talking snow removal here, not how to consign mouses to the rubbish heap.
Exercise is good. It keeps you off the rubbish heap. It seems you might be destined to shovel your own snow from all the responses you have given.
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tibbitts
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by tibbitts »

I think the assumption we're going on is that you physically can't clear the snow (operate a snow blower or shovel.) You should explain the nature of the property and what needs to be done - do you really need paths cleared? Sidewalks? Are you capable of driving a car?
MishkaWorries
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by MishkaWorries »

Could you buy a small lawn tractor with a snowblower or blade attachment and do it yourself?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

MishkaWorries wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:20 am Could you buy a small lawn tractor with a snowblower or blade attachment and do it yourself?
It sounds like a lawn tractor couldn’t turn around in the small area being cleared.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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scorcher31
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by scorcher31 »

I know there are no kids looking for work and the companies that advertise for snow removal are more commercial/plowing etc. Are you in a very rural area? That could make it a bit more difficult. You might want to try landscaping/ grass mowing companies. We never had luck with the big ones, but many of the small 1 or 2 man operations that use a push mower instead of expensive zero turn mowers would be willing to snowblow/shovel in the winter in our area for a few bucks. If you see anyone cutting your neighbors grass or not just go over and ask if they want some work this winter. Outside of that, your only option is going to be a heated driveway which could be 10k or 15k for installation, and no idea what it would cost to run. With that said if that money is a drop in the bucket for you, maybe just spring for the heated driveway after doing your research. Reportedly they work pretty darn well to clear snow/ice, but I don't know the problems you run into with them.
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Sandtrap
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Sandtrap »

This might be a good reason to build that detached garage/shop you might have always wanted.

This might be a good reason to buy a small very cool UTV (side by side) with a detachable snow plow attachment in front.
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tibbitts
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by tibbitts »

I would still say we're operating on the assumption that we're dealing with someone too physically limited to operate any kind of equipment, drive, or possibly even walk.
Topic Author
mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

livesoft wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:09 am
mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:02 amSo much for privacy :-)

We are talking snow removal here, not how to consign mouses to the rubbish heap.
Exercise is good. It keeps you off the rubbish heap. It seems you might be destined to shovel your own snow from all the responses you have given.
Yes, I'm beginning to think that's what will happen. I am looking at snow blowers, for one what is reasonably efficient but not too heavy to handle.
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mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:45 am I would still say we're operating on the assumption that we're dealing with someone too physically limited to operate any kind of equipment, drive, or possibly even walk.
Geez, what made you think that? I drive safely, walk, no one with the exception of bogleheads has even remotely said I shouldn't drive or should go to assisted living.

However, shoveling deep snow for long enough in freezing weather is pushing it.
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onthecusp
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by onthecusp »

A google search for driveway heating cable gives lots of hits. This site seems to have lots of information and a "total package," i.e. not the cheapest, approach. https://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/snow-melting

Depending on the configuration you might be able to add heat without completely replacing the driveway. There are lots of concrete contractors who specialize in "stamped" decorative concrete. Think a stone look. I believe some of these systems are applied over existing concrete, so the heat cable with an overlay. I imagine there is much prep to make it bond well so I would find someone who has lots of experience and references.
System1
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by System1 »

Regarding the snowblower, I got a relatively small craftsman two stage that has steering levers. I'm quite happy with it, but I do find myself muscling it around when doing the snowplow wake and around my mailbox. I think if I got a heavier more powerful one, I would be able to let it do more of the work. There are a couple brands that offer steering and i would highly recommend that. Also, when just moving it around, the levers act as clutches to disengage the axle, so its easier to turn and push when its not running.

If you like the house and the snow isn't going away, the heated driveway seems like a good investment if you can afford it. I recently put in a driveway and considered it, but I just couldn't afford it.
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Just sayin...
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Just sayin... »

Before I retired, we lived in an area where we sometimes got up to 4’ of snow in a single storm...and had embedded driveway electric-heaters on the steep part of the driveway (about 25 yds). We had a switch in the garage to turn it on/off, and a snow-sensor on the roof to determine when it should be running. That way, you could throw the garage switch, but not have the system run when it wasn’t necessary. I estimate that the costs to heat the driveway ran between $300 to $450/mo on the worst month. We still had to clear the flat areas, so that you wouldn’t drive over the fresh snow, compress it, and make ice but, in an emergency, you could just drive up the driveway and get out - with no shoveling. Neighbors of ours had an embedded liquid system with boiler and pump that covered their entire driveway (about 50 yds). It cost a lot more to install, but the operational costs were less. But, they never had to shovel anything other than their sidewalks (because of a city ordinance). It ain’t cheap, but it sure is nice.

When I retired, we moved out of the snow zone and don’t have to worry about this any more. :sharebeer
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Kenkat
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Kenkat »

If you have the physical ability to mow a lawn with a self propelled mower, you would probably be able to handle a snow blower. I don’t blame you for not wanting to shovel; I am in my 50s and it’s too much for me. I got a little electric Snow Joe which is great for my climate, but if you can actually foresee getting 2 feet of snow, you’d probably want a self propelled, 2 stage snow blower.
makingmistakes
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by makingmistakes »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:48 am
tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:45 am I would still say we're operating on the assumption that we're dealing with someone too physically limited to operate any kind of equipment, drive, or possibly even walk.
Geez, what made you think that? I drive safely, walk, no one with the exception of bogleheads has even remotely said I shouldn't drive or should go to assisted living.

However, shoveling deep snow for long enough in freezing weather is pushing it.
The fact that it’s only 2 car widths wide by 1 car length long implied pretty limited ability as that would take about 5 minutes to clear. 😄
Cycle
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Cycle »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:48 am
tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:45 am I would still say we're operating on the assumption that we're dealing with someone too physically limited to operate any kind of equipment, drive, or possibly even walk.
Geez, what made you think that? I drive safely, walk, no one with the exception of bogleheads has even remotely said I shouldn't drive or should go to assisted living.

However, shoveling deep snow for long enough in freezing weather is pushing it.
According to a survey 100% of drivers said they were safe drivers.

You could probably motivate someone to do it. How much are u paying? It's $1500-2000 a year for a small property here in Minneapolis. Requires snowblowers/shovels
Last edited by Cycle on Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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IMO
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by IMO »

OP: It seems you only feasible situation is to start looking into heated driveway systems asap so that a system can be put in place before the snow starts to fall:

1st video is "heated drivewall myths debunked"
https://youtu.be/DyDW0Ej9ILg

various install videos
https://youtu.be/nC_aF2wmKRU

https://youtu.be/0GL3UAMz7ZQ

https://youtu.be/X7D9mW01hjg
tibbitts
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by tibbitts »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:48 am
tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:45 am I would still say we're operating on the assumption that we're dealing with someone too physically limited to operate any kind of equipment, drive, or possibly even walk.
Geez, what made you think that? I drive safely, walk, no one with the exception of bogleheads has even remotely said I shouldn't drive or should go to assisted living.

However, shoveling deep snow for long enough in freezing weather is pushing it.
You said "ancient", and your post made it sound like you did not even consider the possibility of clearing snow yourself. There are all sorts of options if you can do those things, and you made it sound like a headed driveway or walk would be your only option.

Regarding the path from the house to the garage, why not enclose it?

Maybe if you can post a link to an aerial image of the property that would help.
retiredjg
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by retiredjg »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:46 am Yes, I'm beginning to think that's what will happen. I am looking at snow blowers, for one what is reasonably efficient but not too heavy to handle.
How much snow do you usually get? Is it wet and heavy or dry and lighter?

The EGO electric (battery operated) snowblower is not particularly heavy. And it definitely does throw some snow. However, it is not designed to handle 24 inches of wet snow - that would require some serious wrangling on your part. But if your snow is usually dry and light or not 24 inches deep, you might give it consideration.

Another consideration - if you had a snowblower yourself, it might be easier to find someone to do the work. Maybe there is just a shortage of interested workers in your area that already have the snowblower equipment.
littlebird
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by littlebird »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:47 am I'm pretty sure I'm not going to give up my seaside home for a condo or elderly community with noisy neighbors and people just waiting around to die, just because the snow guys have vanished.
With $300,000,000+ worth of recreational and cultural amenities, I can assure you that except for those actually in hospice care, no one in MY senior community is “just waiting to die”.
motorcyclesarecool
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by motorcyclesarecool »

Up in Québec it is common to erect a tent-like snow shed over your driveway for the winter season. Then you’re only contending with the wall left by the municipal plow. It sounds like snow sheds for your driveway and walk would get you 85-90% of what you need for a fraction of the cost and disruption of a heated driveway. Then you could buy a Jeep Wrangler for winter use and drive through the wall yourself.

This site has pictures of what I’m talking about.
https://canevabec.com/en/produits/car-shelter-rental/
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by neverpanic »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:14 am
bob60014 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:11 am Just look for another snow removal contractor or kid in the neighborhood to remove the snow. Fewer issues and lower costs.
Third post of mine saying that does not work.
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My suggestion is to get the TaskRabbit (or similar) app on your smartphone. People looking for gig work will post what they're available to do along with their rates. Prospective clients can connect within minutes.

I know that's not the question you asked, but it is a modern solution to the problem you identified.
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mouses
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by mouses »

Cycle wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:28 pm
According to a survey 100% of senior drivers said they were safe drivers.
If I were an unsafe driver, people would be telling me to stop driving, my insurance wouldn't renew, etc.

According to a survey I just took this minute, a 100% of younger people think anyone over a certain age is incompetent.
tibbitts
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by tibbitts »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:10 pm
Cycle wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:28 pm
According to a survey 100% of senior drivers said they were safe drivers.
If I were an unsafe driver, people would be telling me to stop driving, my insurance wouldn't renew, etc.

According to a survey I just took this minute, a 100% of younger people think anyone over a certain age is incompetent.
No, especially since as far as we know you have no family or friends, so we would not assume that someone would be telling you to stop driving, even if you should. That's often the case with many older people. And you can be an incompetent driver without having an accident, so your insurance would renew. Many people who are barely capable of walking are able to renew drivers licenses (and I don't mean with assistive equipment.)
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ram
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by ram »

We have snow for 5 months of the year. I do not know of any house in our area that has a heated driveway. (includes the high end houses). I have friends of friends in Canada that have heated driveways. I do not know what it costs.(other than 'a lot')

In my area most snow removal for private driveways is done by a snow plow on a truck. The typical rate is $30 to $50 per pass when contracted for the whole season. (Low COLA) The idea is that the plow operator will not allow snow more than 1-2" inches to accumulate on the drive way during daytime hours of the typical work week and will always have the driveway clear by 7 am on a workday. We do not get a lot of snow and so in a typical snow season the plow has to make 50 to 60 passes. This costs $1500- 3000 per season. If somebody wants a lower threshold of snow then it means more passes and more cost.

The rate for a 30 foot driveway is $30 and for a 200 feet driveway is $50. It is best to think that the initial $28 is for coming to your door and then the an additional $2 to $22 for plowing it. Nobody with a 10 foot drive hires such a service as it is not cost effective. But I am quite sure that the plow operator would be willing to do so if he gets his minimum $30. Also there is an additional charge if somebody lives far out from other houses and such a house is last on the list to have their driveway cleaned.

I do not know the situation in your area but if I wanted to get such a service for my 10 foot drive I would make it abundantly clear to the operator that I would pay his minimum $30.
Ram
cs412a
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by cs412a »

OP, you might be interested in this 2019 article, which compares the costs of different heated driveway systems as well as portable mats:

https://www.thespruce.com/cost-of-heate ... ms-4117474
onourway
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by onourway »

You still haven’t given us any idea of where you live or how much snow you are dealing with, etc. If you are extremely rural, I might believe you can’t find anyone to clear your driveway and sidewalks. If you live in a town of any sort, you may not find someone in June, but by late November you should not have any trouble, especially the way that current events are decimating low-wage jobs.
Balefire
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Re: heated driveway?

Post by Balefire »

I have a heated driveway with my new house.
Hydronic system under my concrete driveway.
Boiler in the garage.
Cost about $17k for my driveway

Splurged with the intention of staying in this house forever and would similarly need this when we become ancient.
It is manually controlled and works well.
Highly recommend.
Chicago last winter. No issue. Never had to shovel the driveway.

Works so well, if I could have purchased it for the sidewalks I would have done the same.

I also have heated mats as a walkway to my detached garage.

The heated mat is an option if your driveway is in good condition but the running costs would be much higher.
finite_difference
Posts: 2017
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: heated driveway?

Post by finite_difference »

mouses wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:14 am
bob60014 wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:11 am Just look for another snow removal contractor or kid in the neighborhood to remove the snow. Fewer issues and lower costs.
Third post of mine saying that does not work.
For those that are booked up, did you offer to pay 50% above market rate? And if they still reject you, did you ask for other recommendations? You can call them again and ask like, I know you’re already booked out but I am willing to pay 50% above market rate and am wondering if you had any other recommendations?

Did you check for businesses online? Facebook/Yelp/Google?
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
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