Get ready to ring in the holiday season
Deck the halls with … lots of stress and a potential electrical fire and a fall off of your icy roof? No thanks. Instead, consider the benefits of hiring a local holiday decorating service this holiday season to avoid potential accidents and ensure your holiday decorations are not only Instagram-worthy but safe for your family and your home.
Hiring any service provider, including a decoration service, involves doing some research. You want to hire someone capable, trustworthy, and ready to make your holiday decoration dreams come true. Here’s how to light up your house (safely).
Why Hire Professional Christmas Decorators?
Hanging holiday decorations can be tricky. Not only does it often involve climbing up to high places, like the roof and tall trees, but many decorations also have electrical components that need to be set up and connected. Given the heights and electrical systems involved, putting up decorations can be potentially dangerous, especially if you're not experienced. A holiday lighting pro has the expertise and equipment needed to hang decorations safely and efficiently.
But even folks who are comfortable with heights and have electrical expertise under their belt can benefit from hiring a pro. Hanging decorations is often time-consuming, especially if you only practice once a year. Rather than spend your precious free time hanging lights, you can hire a pro to do it for you so you can spend less time doing work and more time enjoying the season.
Before Hiring a Pro
Basically, you need to decide if you are going to be the one climbing onto your roof to install holiday lights yourself or if you’re going to hire someone to do it for you. If you don’t want to DIY, it’s time to start researching pros in your area.
Plan for Accurate Quotes
To get an accurate quote, determine what types of Christmas lights and decorations you’re looking to install, about how many, and where you will want them to be located. This might involve some simple skimming of “holiday lights” on Google Images, Pinterest, or social media to determine what you do and don’t like. You can even take screenshots to show your holiday decorator what you are hoping to have them do.
Determine if you are looking to have incandescent lighting, LED lighting, Dome lighting, C9 lighting, or something else, and about how much it might cost. In addition, some decorators will help wire your home to reach yard displays, such as blow-up characters or holiday scenes.
The more specific you can be with exactly what you want to install, the more accurate your quote will be. This prevents unwanted budgetary surprises at the end of the project, costing you more.
Check Your Holiday Decorating Pros’ Qualifications and References
You wouldn’t let just anyone in your home to work on your appliances or install your carpet, so why would you let just anyone climb on your roof? It’s imperative that you review the qualifications of your holiday decorating professional before signing any contracts or moving forward with a project.
Ask them where they are credentialed and ask to see proof of their insurance. In addition, you should ask for references from your contractor or find some yourself on the Internet to hear stories from satisfied (or not-so-satisfied) customers who have worked with them before.
You can ask the references the following questions:
Were you satisfied with the timeline, cost, and outcome of the project?
How well did the contractor communicate with you?
Did the final product look how you wanted it to, and did it come out on budget?
Did you find the contractor to be friendly and professional?
These questions will help you gauge the quality of the contractor you are working with.
Questions to Ask Your Holiday Decorating Pro
When interviewing potential contractors for this job, you want to ask a few specific questions to ensure they will do the job well. These include:
What types of projects have you done similar to this in the past, and do you have any pictures of the final result?
What is your policy if something breaks, falls, or otherwise stops working?
When do you return to take down the decorations?
Are you insured and certified, especially by any professional organizations?
Do you have references for others who I can call to hear about your work?
Will I need to be home while you are working on the project?
Will the project be exactly what you have quoted me or does it vary?
Hiring Your Holiday Decorating Pro
Once you’ve found someone you are interested in working with, commit to hiring them by having a phone or in-person meeting to sign a contract. This should be done ahead of time and should outline exactly what you expect and what the cost will be for each aspect of the project. It should also include what will happen if the decorations break or need to be repaired or replaced, and if that is included in your quote.
Finally, include dates of setup and tear-down so you aren’t the only house on the block with Christmas decorations still hanging in March.
Some contractors require payment upfront, but you should push to pay when the job is completed in case any issues arise. You can also set up a payment schedule with the contractor, and ensure that your contract reflects these dates and amounts.
For example, you may want to give them a down payment for supplies, and then pay half of the remaining balance when lights are installed and half when they come down. This will prevent a situation where they aren’t coming back for timely repairs or light removals.
Keep Records of Your Project
Keep records of your contract and the specifics of your project both to ensure there are no issues as your contractor installs or removes your decorations. Make notes on your records of things you may want to change for next year and reference those when the holiday season comes around again. For example, you might note which types of lights you liked the best, or that you should hire someone earlier so your house can be decked out for longer.
After Your Holiday Decorating Pro Has Finished
When your project is complete, offer to be a reference for your contractor’s future clients. Leave a review on their website so others can see and hear about how well the project went. Finally, tag your contractor’s business on social media if you post a picture of your decorated house.
If you weren’t so satisfied, you may want to try asking a manager at the company about your specific situation. You should also make a note for future research in your files to not use that service again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Professional holiday light installation costs between $200 and $650, on average, or about $1.25 to $3 per linear foot. However, several factors affect the cost, including the lighting type you choose, as well as the complexity of the project. For instance, if you have multiple pitched rooflines or a very high roof, you can expect to pay more to hang lights than if you have a one-story home with a flat roof since the latter makes for an easier installation.
Yes, you can absolutely pay someone to decorate your Christmas tree. Many professional holiday decoration services will decorate both the exterior and interior of a home, including the Christmas tree. There are also dedicated Christmas tree decorating services in many areas that you can use if your outdoor decorators don't offer it.
Many homeowners choose to tip their Christmas decorators around 10% to 20% of the overall project price. Although it's not a requirement by any means, it's a nice gesture if you have the means and you're happy with all the hard work your decorators put into beautifying your home for the season.