Some general rules apply to a homeowner searching for a tree service.
- Liability AND workers compensation insurance is a must. Because of the extremely dangerous work involved in removing a large tree (or even trimming), having proper coverage for your property and for the employees of the company in your yard is a must. Most homeowners don’t realize that if an employee of a contractor is injured while performing work on your property, the homeowner is also liable for that employees injury if the contractor is unable to cover the cost of medical treatment. We all know how much a serious injury can cost, and most contractors will not be able to cover it if they don’t have workers compensation insurance.
- Proof of insurance comes from the contractors insurance company made out to the homeowner. It will come via email, fax, or snail mail. The contractor will not simply have a “copy” of their insurance papers to show a homeowner. It is to easy for a less than honest contractor to buy a cheap policy, then cancel it after they receive their paperwork.
- No money should be needed by the tree contractor before the job. Their are no ‘material’ cost involved in tree work. Therefore no deposit should be required or asked for. Usually payment is expected upon completion of the work to the homeowners satisfaction.
- The agreed upon price should not change unless more work is added or unforeseen complications come up (ex. there are major cavities in the tree that couldn’t be seen from the ground so a crane has to be brought in). These ‘complications’ shouldn’t occur very often, an experienced estimator should usually be able to identify these beforehand and discuss these with you. And, if something comes up, all work should cease until a new price is agreed on. A tree service should never present you with a bill that is more than the estimate at the conclusion of the job and expect you to pay it. It is not uncommon for a less than reputable tree service to ‘bid’ a job cheap just to get the buisiness and then try to compensate for their lack of expertise in the bid process or their poor planning by trying to get more money at the conclusion of the job.
All in all, a good tree service will form a long term relationship with their customers and strive to make every interaction positive. After all, tree services are caring for a living organism on your property, so wether it is time to remove a tree, or treat one there is a certain level of trust involved that does not carry over to a plumber, electrician, or carpenter. We hope you give us an opportunity to earn your trust.