Once Thanksgiving is past, homeowners’ attention will turn to decorating for the winter holidays. You can save a lot of hassle by hiring a professional to hang your holiday lights, and the sooner you call to get on their schedule, the better. A pro will have the experience and training to get the best effect out of your lighting, protect it from snow and water exposure, and efficiently get the lights up and back down.
Some lighting companies offer holiday services, and a trusted handyman can also perform this job. This work usually costs about $400, but it can change based on size of your home. A multistory house will cost much more, and steep roofs will raise it even more. In most cases, installers will put up your own lights. If you don’t have lights to supply, you can often buy them from the installer, or rent a set for the season for an additional fee.
As always, make sure whoever you hire is bonded and insured. Insurance is particularly crucial for any work that involves ladders. If your pro doesn’t carry insurance, you could be financially liable for any injuries if someone falls or an accident damages your property or your neighbor’s. A ladder that tips over can easily crash into someone else’s house, after all.
Holiday lighting safety
If you do it yourself, take it seriously. Accidents while decorating are responsible for about 15,000 emergency room visits each year, and half of those take place due to falls.
Follow the same ladder safety procedures when hanging lights as you would for any other job. It’s often very tempting to go a bit higher than is safe or reach a little more, just for long enough to hang one more thing. But that last bit of extra reach is often what causes accidents. It’s always worth it to take a moment to get a better ladder or safer perch to reach that difficult spot. The buddy system is important for grown-ups, too; you should always have someone stabilizing the ladder while you’re climbing it.
For added safety, consider magnetic holiday lights, which simply stick onto any metal surface. After the holidays, you can remove them easily simply by pulling the lights down.
While you’re at it, take care not to overload your electrical system. If you draw too much power, you can trip your circuit breaker or cause risk of fire. Any outdoor lights should be plugged into GFCI outlets. You can spot such an outlet by looking for the “test” and “reset” buttons. They’ll shut down the flow of electricity in event of overload, and add an additional layer of protection.