Nowadays there are quite a few tree service companies, but which is the right fit for you? With so many options and few testimonials to draw from, you can easily choose a company that will either rip you off or potentially operate without proper insurance, placing you and your home in complete liability. Today, we have gathered a few helpful tips to help you choose the right tree removal service for your home:
8 Tips to help you find the right Tree Service
Always ensure that the company you hire is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Although this credit doesn’t carry the same weight as it used to, it is still the bare minimum of a reputable business or service. A cursory search will also tell you what their rating with the BBB is and what their standing is, beginning your screening process.
2. Avoid Door-Door Contractors
Although it may seem tempting, avoid business with door-door contractors, especially for larger projects. Many of these contractors are not covered by liability insurance, and even worse, many are scammers attempting to extort money from you. They will often rush you for payment and make excessive promises that sound too good to be true. Don’t fall for it, and just ignore it altogether.
3. Payment on Completion
Do not ever pay upfront for a tree service, especially if you are not comfortable or familiar with the individuals you are dealing with. Many contractors will try to extort you and give random excuses for why they need payment upfront, but stick to your guns and only pay after the job is completed. Afterward, ensure that the work meets your satisfaction, then pay. Remember that you should be happy with all elements of the job, including something minuscule such as stump removal. If they advertise and promise a specific standard for the job, hold them to it and only pay when you are completely satisfied.
4. Always Obtain Multiple Estimates
Estimates will provide you with a rough idea of what you are expecting to pay. But don’t be afraid to obtain multiple estimates-it’s completely in your right as a customer. Call multiple companies and have them inspect your project and give you a quote so you have more options to play with.
5. Price not right
Similar to obtaining multiple estimates, you want to have a firm understanding of what you are getting for your money. Some jobs can appear too cheap or expensive, and with good reason. Many companies will cut corners to save costs and make you front the bill. If a price seems too good to be true, often it is. Shop around, do research, and compare the cost of equipment and how much other similar projects are going for in your area so you know what you should be paying for, and if it comes to it, always be prepared to walk away.
6. Get it in Writing
Always get everything in writing. You never know what may happen during a project like this, and paperwork will protect you and your home should something happen. Keep a record of everything and have your tree service give you an itemized list of all expenses at the end.
7. Ensure a Good Reputation
Research any company you work with and ensure they have a good reputation. As we stated previously, the BBB is a great starting point, but you should consult online reviews and consult neighbors on who they have worked with in the past to get good recommendations.
8. Check Credentials
Always vette the people you work with. There are many scammers in-home repair services, and many contractors claim to be licensed professionals of some kind. Always verify and check their credentials and licenses before you do business. If the individual is less forthcoming with this information, you don’t do business with them.
Important Questions to ask:
In addition to these tips, always ask these questions to have a good understanding of who you are working with:
- What is your experience?-
Experience shows that a company can do the job right and without issue. Although it is not a hard rule, most tree companies older than ten years are generally reputable. Those with fewer years can still do the job, but you should keep a careful eye on how they do business.
- Do you have any reviews or referrals?
Although it isn’t foolproof, reviews and referrals will give you a general idea of how the company runs and how it handles its day-to-day business.
- Are there any certified arborists on your staff?
Arborists are a key part of tree service, providing general advice on how to remove trees safely and having extensive knowledge on tree health not just in your specific area, but your surrounds. Many companies will claim to have an arborist on staff, but it’s merely a formality. Ensure that the company you hire has at least 2 arborists on staff with the right credentials.
- How do you minimize potential damages?
An experienced tree service company will have a clear answer to this problem. This is perhaps the most common issue they will encounter in their line of work, so they should be able to provide a detailed run down of their entire process and how they will protect your yard and surrounds from any damage.
- What equipment will you be using?
Another easy question for an experienced tree company. They should be able to tell you all the equipment they use, explain if they are OSHA certified, and have a comprehensive list of protective gear such as gloves, hard hats, vests, harnesses, ear plugs, and protective eyewear. Inspect these elements and see if their vehicles and equipment are well-maintained.
- What is your insurance/coverage?
A reputable tree company will have comprehensive insurance to cover you and them. Make sure to fully grill them on their insurance coverage so you can iron out any technicalities that may arise.
It can be quite a challenge to find the right tree company, but if you follow these tips and do your research, your home will be in good hands.