A Guide To Hiring The Best Tree Care Contractor
If you are a Fredericksburg, Virginia property owner, it can be rather bothersome to maintain all of the trees on your property. Instead of allowing yourself to get all worked up over it, you should hire a high-quality tree service to assist. The problem is that finding great help is not as easy as it sounds. Here are some pointers that will help you narrow own your options.
Range Of Tree Services
The first thing you will need to do is figure out what tree services are offered by all of the companies you are considering. If the one you need is not on the list, you can remove the business from your list of considerations. For instance, if you are looking to have a very lush tree trimmed, it would help to ask if this is offered early on so no time is wasted.
You should never agree to do business with anyone unless they are insured. This will help protect you and them in the event that something happens while they are on your property. It is not enough to ask them about coverage; you will need to jot down the policy number so you can call and verify the information. The last thing you want is to have someone performing work and something happens, then you find out their insurance coverage has lapsed.
In the event that you allow someone who is not insured to do work on your trees, you will be liable if something happens. This includes damages to your trees and property, as well as injuries that may be incurred while your trees are being taken care of.
It is never a good idea to hire a company without getting a quote first. This will let you know how much you will be expected to pay for their services.
Another point worth mentioning is asking if the company you are considering offer their quotes free of charge. There are many companies that will charge a small fee in exchange for quotes, but they tend to offer this as a discount if you decide to hire them to perform services for you. Be clear about what will be expected of you before having someone offer you a quote.
You should be wary of any company that attempts to offer you a quote over the phone. When it comes to the cost of tree services, the prices will vary depending on the type of tree, its age and several other factors. There is no way that you will get an accurate quote from anyone who is not willing to come out to your property and take a look.
When it comes to hiring a tree service company, it is a good idea for you to err on the side of caution. You should never allow anyone to work for you that does not have much experience. Things like tree trimming and cutting require a large amount of skill. Hiring someone that is just getting started in the business means that you will be taking a chance and offering yourself as a test case. As you probably already know, this means that there is no guarantee that the company you hire will be the best available option. When trying to decide the proper amount of experience, it is a good idea to stay away from any service that has not been around for more than five years.
Fredericksburg Business Directories
This is a great resource when it comes to finding reliable providers of tree service. Since you are looking for someone that is able to service a particular location, targeting local directories will narrow things down quite a bit. Once you access the directory and enter the city that you reside in, all of the results returned should be people who are willing to help. Bear in mind that there are many free directories and you should be able to find them with ease by checking any major search engine.
Never allow anyone to start work on your trees unless there is a written contract in place. This should detail all aspects of the work that is being done. From describing the assignment in great detail to making sure that the price quoted is fixed, each point should be clarified in writing. This is important since it will protect you in the event that there is a misunderstanding. Even if a company seems trustworthy, it would not be wise to move forward without having everything in writing.
Inquire About An Arborist
An arborist is someone that specializes in all types of trees. The reality is that all trees will not thrive from being treated in the same manner. This person will know exactly what each of your trees need in order to thrive. If you call a tree service and you are told that there is no arborist on staff, you may want to look for another company to work with. In the event that you are told an arborist is available, this is the person you want to schedule a consultation with.
Find Out Why They're Good
Every tree cutting company has small things that make them different from anyone else that is available in the industry. This is what you will need to pinpoint of you want to find the best possible service. For instance, if you call a company and they have experience dealing with very old, dead trees, this may be different from a company that only works to keep healthy trees from becoming damaged. It is also a good idea to check out the type of equipment they have available. If they have some new state-of-the-art tools that are not widely used by others in the industry, this will certainly give them the edge when you are trying to figure out who to work with.
References Are A Must
Having a company tell you that they have experience is one thing, but proving it is another. You should always ask for references from current and past customers so you can get a good idea of what can be expected. Ideally, a provider should be able to offer you the names and contact information for at least 3-4 people that can vouch for them. If a company seems hesitant to offer this information to you, it would be best if you did your business with someone else.
Keep in mind that asking for references is useless unless you actually plan to give them a call. It may seem like a great deal to go through in order to verify the validity of the tree services you are considering, but it will be worth it to know that you are working with a reliable business. When calling references, you should always be polite, mention while you are calling and make sure that they are clear about the dates when work was performed.
Finding A Fair Price
Quotes were discussed briefly earlier, but this is a bit more in-depth. If you are looking for the best possible deal on tree service, do not assume that spending more money automatically means that you will get better service. There are many great providers out there who are moderately priced and they offer impeccable service. You should also avoid any service that seems to be priced far too low. For instance, if you notice that one service is charging less than half of what all of the others are, this is sometimes an indication that they are in desperate need of business. This is never a good quality when it comes to finding the best possible provider.
Figure Out How Prepared They Are
There are some instances where it will be necessary for the tree service you hire to have special experience. For example, if the trees they are trimming are located near power lines, they should know that ropes need to be in place to prevent any fallen limbs from damaging the wires. They should also know how to handle things if a mishap were to occur. Most tree companies have someone on staff that is handy with electricity and other mishaps that commonly occur.
Read Online Reviews
This is a good way to get an idea of what to expect. This is similar to gathering references, but on a much larger scale. A reputable company will have plenty of feedback available online, and it is your job to sift through it. Just because you see a bad review, this should not automatically rule a company out. The idea is to weight the number of negative reviews against the overall count. Someone with 500 reviews total is not necessarily bad if 20 of them are negative. On the other hand, having 20 bad reviews when your overall count is 60 signals that a company is not worth doing business with.
Be careful if you see too many glowing reviews for a company that were all posted around the same time. There is a high likelihood that people were offered incentives to provide these reviews. You should always opt to work with a Frederickburg, Virginia company that has a high number of positive ratings that are spread out over a large stretch of time.
This is not a service that is automatically offered by tree specialists when you are seeking tree removal. You will need to request this specifically since it means that they will need to bring special equipment. This particular service is very labor intensive and will take an extended period of time, so it will add to the costs that you will incur for the work that is being done. This is also a process that will make your yard very untidy, which means that the company will have to do some cleanup efforts afterward.
You should never wait until your trees are on the verge of falling down before you make the effort to get some help. This is very dangerous and can make the situation trickier and more treacherous for all that are involved. Essentially, you will have to spend far more to have work done if you wait too long to take action.
Never Pay For Services Up Front
There are some providers that will try to convince you that paying up front will be in your best interest, but it isn't. What happens if you pay for services to be performed and then the provider slacks off and only does half of what they were contracted to do? You may end up jumping through hoops in order to recover any of the money you have invested. If you are unable to get any of your investment back, you may have to litigate, and this is a very stressful and lengthy process that is best avoided.
With that said, it is customary for a tree service to require a deposit in order to get started. This is an act of good faith and it shows them that you are reliable and serious about having them perform work on your behalf. Try to avoid paying any more than 25% of the entire cost up front. Anything more than that is not reasonable at all.
This may seem like a great deal of information to digest if you are on the hunt for a Fredericksburg, VA tree service company to take care of the trees on your property, but it is worth the effort.