Few traditions have a stronger emotional pull than getting your home ready for the holidays. For many families, hanging outdoor lights and settting up decorations, while sharing a glass of eggnog or two is an annual tradition.
That’s why deciding whether or not to hand this task over to a professional can be difficult. What can you expect? How much will it cost? Are the results worth it? To help you determine if you are comfortable giving up control of this aspect of your family’s holiday festivities, here are some key factors to consider.
Equipment + Experience = Safety
A reputable holiday-decorating company will dispatch an experienced crew with professional-grade equipment, making installation faster and safer. Most likely, the crew you hire will have been trained to handle a wide range of installation challenges and know how to avoid potential hazards.
A Big Time Saver…Now and Later
By hiring a pro, you can devote more time to enjoying the season with your friends and family. Also, the company you hire to install your holiday decorations will likely offer a removal service, so you don’t have to spend time taking down your lights and decorations in cold weather after the holidays. Most firms also provide off-season storage as well, so you’ll be saving space in your garage or attic.
Use Less Energy by Switching to LED Lights
LED lights use 80%–90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. That means that for an entire holiday season, homeowners who really go all out, with lights and animated displays running 24/7, might see electric bills of around $40 for an LED installation compared to $300 for incandescent.
The cost of professional house decorating can be quite reasonable. Based on the typical cost of $10–$30 per strand of lights, installation costs for a 1,500-square-foot, one-story home might total around $80–$300 (assuming 8–10 strands are needed). Supplying the lights yourself means you should plan to pay around $65–$85 per hour for labor costs. Total average costs for a home this size might come to $200–$400.
For larger homes and more elaborate displays, costs can vary widely. According to Angie’s List, you can expect to pay somewhere between $800 and $1,500 the first year for a professional decorating job. (Costs may be higher the first time around because they include the initial purchase of materials and equipment.)
Before you get started, seek out referrals from those who have had firsthand experience with the work done by local professionals.
As professionals, installers tend to have a sharp eye for design and a knack for choosing the right colors and configurations for your home. Plus, leaving outdoor holiday decorating to the professionals allows you and your family to start a new tradition: flipping the switch on your own personal light festival!