You’ve decided to trust a professional to handle your holiday lights this year- Now what? Now you are looking for a lighting company, and just as you do for many other services, you must do your research. Knowing that someone else will take care of stringing lights and decorating your home or business brings instant relief. That same stress you rid yourself of has now instantly returned if you face problem after problem with a bad contractor.
To help you in your search, keep these 8 factors in mind:
Relationship. Most will be living in their home for some time and decorating it year after year. You want the contractor you choose to be there also each year. They designed and custom fitted the lighting and décor, they will warranty their work, they know your preferences and are simply going to be there. Many quality contractors will not take on “Install Only” projects. Too many good contractors over the years have been burned by taking on these jobs only to step into a giant headache of cheap materials and poor workmanship that they simply don’t have time to fool with in such a fast paced industry. The problem for you the client is you are stuck with all your paid for lighting and décor you purchased last year and want to fire the bad contractor for a number of reasons. You then can’t find a good one that will install someone else’s materials because they won’t warranty it nor want to deal with it. So you’re forced to stay with the bad contractor or purchase all new materials again and start over. Good contractors usually only take on new business and maintain and service that relationship and account for many years. Therefore it is VERY VERYIMPORTANT to choose WISELY the right contractor in YEAR ONE!! We see this problem constantly unfold year after year after year.
Insured. There are lots of “bucks in a truck” that come and go. Don’t settle on price for that nightmare “fly by night” contractor we have heard about or unfortunately experienced. Ask what type of General Liability policy your potential lighting company has for their employees and equipment used.
Product Warranty. Make sure the company you work with offers product warranties. Glitches exist within every product that contains electrical hardware, so you need a company who will come back and fix that random strand of lights or faulty bulb. Ask specifically about a multi-year or a Lifetime warranty on products.
Safety. Lights involve a large electrical component, so having the job executed correctly means everything is done safely. The wrong miscalculation can result in a power surge resulting in a power outage or even a fire hazard.
If you are interested in learning more about what goes into proper safety, check out last month’s blog post: Safety Measures to Take While Hanging Christmas Lights
Year-Round Service. Seasonal lighting contractors are a riskier hire because you can’t be certain if their “expertise” is really just a side hustle. A year-round lighting service has more credibility when it comes to their ability to complete a job. You will also have access to professionals who work on a variety of property types such as commercial buildings, homes, HOA’s, and even historical residences.
Experience. Proper experience translates to someone who knows how to connect and hang lights without damaging your property or creating a fire hazard. Most likely, a seasoned professional will provide a wider arrangement of product options in addition to assisting in creating the overall design that works best with your indoor or outdoor space. Verify the experience of your potential lighting company by looking for pictures of past completed jobs.
Quality Products. There are contractors who buy and install the same cheap Home Depot lights and décor you can for your home. To get the most value for the money, your base option should be LED lights. The quality of LEDs and décor should only go up in quality from there. This is non-negotiable in your search because energy-efficient lights will keep utility bills low and drastically lower the possibility of tripped breakers and fire hazards.
Communication. Commonly heard frustrations from new clientele is that a contractor won’t pick-up the phone or even give them a call back. A red flag is when a lighting contractor does not outright overcommunicate with you from Day 1. Between texting, calls, and emails, there is no reason you should be left in the dark. Make sure your potential lighting company is providing realistic expectations, detailed description of the entire process, and fully itemized estimates.
Electrical anything is not an area where you want to “live and learn” whether you are stringing holiday lights yourself or dealing with a “professional” in the industry. Remember Christmas lighting is high voltage 120V, same as what you have in your outlets. You do not need exposed unterminated lines laying around and believe us we have seen it. The qualities listed above are to help guide you in selecting a contractor you can trust to make this holiday season a safe and stress-free one.
The goal at Higher Ground Lawn Care & Lighting is to leave you without a single worry, task to do and peace of mind knowing you hired the right contractor the first year and for many years to come. We love to help those in our community experience the joy of their outdoor space throughout the year and especially during the holiday season. People throughout the world are spending more of their time outside. Get in touch with our team and begin discussing what will make your outdoor life better!
Like an archer who wounds everyone, So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by. Proverbs 26:10