How To Determine What You Are Getting For Your Money From A Tree Service
Every Rockland or Bergen County homeowner deserves to know what they are receiving from a tree service. A written estimate is a good start, but does it clearly spell out how to determine what company is delivering the best value? Below are a few questions homeowners should ask and understand so that they can determine which service is the best fit:
Eight Keys To Knowing What You are Getting For Your Money With A Tree Service
- Ask the contractor for their certificate of insurance. Make sure that it is paid up and current. You want to ensure they have all proper insurances, including workers compensation, so that you will not be liable for injuries, accidents or damages that might occur.
- Is the company credible? How long have they been in business? Do they have deep ties to the community they serve? Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints
- Ask for a list of references. Make sure that they are recent and reflect similar work.
- Get a clear understanding of exactly what is to be done, what equipment will be needed and understand why. You want to make sure that only necessary equipment is used. There is no need for extra equipment for your lawn. Make sure the contractor knows where any objects that could be damaged are located – sprinkler heads, sewer cleanouts, landscape lighting, etc. Understand the firm’s policies if damage occurs. Finally, get a clear understanding what cleanup services will be performed.
- Ask the contractor for a timetable for completion of the job. If there are significant differences in various estimates, ask the companies why. If one says the job will take two days and another says four hours, drill down until you understand why.
- What is your sense for the company? Your subconscious will pick up more than you know. Contractors may come from a job in work clothes, but do you feel they are experienced? Are trucks and equipment in good shape and seem professional? Is the contractor more interested in helping you solve a problem or are they all about closing the sale? Check their website – do you get a good feel from it? Does the site help the consumer or is it all about getting a sale? Do they take the time to answer your questions in easy-to-understand terms? Do you feel comfortable with them and feel they are well-qualified?
- Ask how they protect your trees and keep them as healthy as possible. If climbers use spikes when it is not necessary, they will damage your trees. If a tree service tells you, or worse advertises, that they “top trees” (removing entire sections of the top of the tree) be very wary. There may be town ordinances that require you to maintain your trees so that your neighbor’s view are maintained or issues with power lines that require drastic procedures, but they are very rare.
- Ask what safety precautions they follow. Do the crews use all appropriate safety equipment? Do they use proper ropes, a bucket truck and, if necessary, cranes to ensure the job is done safely and properly? Many less-than-professional services cut corners here without the homeowner knowing…until it is too late!
By fully understanding how a company approaches the job and safety, as well as how professional they are and their reputation in the community, you will be able to understand the value, or lack of it, under the numbers in the estimate. If you have any questions, please give us a call, and Andrew will be more than happy to answer your questions. Suffern Tree can be reached at 845-353-4505.