Hire a pro to light up your home for the holidays
Use Angie's List to find a company in your area that will hang your lights. (Photo courtesy of Dorothy Dyer)
Decking the halls for the holiday season is a long-standing tradition honored by most people, including Angie's List member Dana Audrain of Eden Prairie, Minn. However, last year Audrain found her family's hectic schedule left no time to decorate her home's exterior.
"We were busy and unable to put up the Christmas lights," she says. "But it needed to be done."
Enter highly rated Red Nose Lighting, located in Eden Prairie, and owner Dustin Quale, who Audrain hired to hang multi-colored lights across the front of her house. "The lights looked better than we could've done ourselves," she says.
Hiring a professional to hang holiday lights might be a new idea for some, but Quale says his company and customer base has grown in the past five years.
"We provide everything — we're a full-service operation," he says. "We provide the design, the lights, and we'll fix anything in the display, if need be, at no additional cost. Then in January, we come back and take them down."
Quale's packages start around $500 and offer the homeowner flexibility from year-to-year as they're just leasing the decorations.
"Since the customer doesn't own the lights, they can swap it out," he says. "They aren't locked into anything long-term and changes are very easy to make."
Finding a company that agrees to hang your previously purchased lights versus their own might be difficult.
"Most companies provide the decorations because of quality issues," says Bob Evans, owner of highly rated Property Creations in Cumming, Ga. He doesn't offer a leasing option but sells his decor directly to the customer. Evans won't work with other materials, including lights the homeowner already owns. He cites their unreliability.
"There are product warranties involved, and being able to maintain them is important. We know how our stuff works."
His services start at $800 and the company — which swells from six to 70 employees during the holidays — hangs lights right up until Christmas.
"We work for just about anyone," he says. "Business professionals, athletes, families — they hire me because they don't want to spend the time hanging lights themselves or can't afford to get hurt and be out of work."
Both Evans and T.J. Houghtalen, owner of highly rated Green Vista Landscaping in Noblesville, Ind., say the most important thing is making sure the company you hire is properly qualified.
"We're talking about people up on your roof, so definitely check their insurance — ask for a certificate — and worker's compensation," says Houghtalen. In addition, make sure they're using Occupational Safety and Health Administration-approved harnesses and inquire about product warranties. "Otherwise, it all falls back on the homeowner," Evans says.
Having a house adorned in professionally hung lights brought a smile to all who visited the Audrain home in Minnesota.
"Our extended family and friends enjoyed pulling up to the house with their children and seeing the lights instead of a dark house at Christmas," she says. "It looked very festive — it was beautiful."