Getting Lighting for your Maryland, DC, or Northern VA home
What to Ask and What to Know
Everyone has gone through the same scenario. We start a project, then find out we don't know everything we need to know. Information gathering is essential in anything because the more you know, the better off you'll end up being. It's the same with hiring an outdoor lighting company. There are certain bits of information which can help you decide the company who can best fulfill your wants and needs. A business who can answer your questions, such as what types of entryway wall sconces are there? With several questions and concerns needing addressing, keep reading to find out what it is you should know and/or ask before hiring an exterior lighting company.
Hiring a contractor to do anything is easy, finding the right one for you can be much more difficult. It all starts with some research. But, what are some of the important questions needing to be answered? What do you need to know? If you can't find the answers to the questions below on the contractor's website, try calling them for answers. If they can't/won't answer them, it may be best to find another contractor.
Experience and Qualifications
Is their dominance established? Companies who have been around for a long time tend to know what they're doing better than new, fresh companies. It's not always like this, but keep it in mind. Check the website to see if they have any awards or recognition for their design skills. This proves the skills of the company regardless of age. This is because what really matters is the work they've done.
Project photos are worth millions of words. No matter how much detail is in a description, a photo can blow it away with the information it gives. People can determine whether or not they like a company's work with a few photos. If you like it, go for it! Along with this and the qualifications question goes one more piece.
Ask for references! Look at testimonial pages and review pages, and see if you can contact any of their other clients. Clients can give you information such as how professional the team is, what it's like to work with them, do they communicate well, and how happy they are overall. You could even try and get some addresses and drive by to take a look at their work in real life. Then, hopefully, they'll be willing to work with you.
Will You Be Good Partners
It can be like Cinderella's slippers: you might want it to fit, but it won't without you losing something. A good exterior lighting contractor should be willing to work with you in mind when it comes to design. They should ask questions about your tastes, lifestyle, any lighting ideas you may have (even the hardscape lighting ideas), whatever it takes to get you a design you'll love. Be sure to work with them too by allowing them some creative license. Communication between parties is essential, as you'll learn in the next section.
Communication is Crucial
If they won't talk to you, don't hire them. Will a great design be worth not knowing what's going on, not being able to ask questions when they arise, and feeling left out of your home's project? Hire a company who knows how to communicate. This is especially true for following up. Companies that follow up on projects are great because it means they genuinely care about their customer's happiness. The companies with happy customers tend to have another similarity.
You get what you pay for. Cheap materials can save money in the short run, but people who go with this option typically end up spending more later. Constant replacement of bulbs, frequently painting light fixtures, corrosion, and all the other maintenance that comes with cheap equipment. The best parts tend to last the longest and need less upkeep. A quality company should use the correct parts in the correct places and shouldn't skimp on you. They'll also have a contract laying out all the details.
No Devils In The Details
Know exactly what you're getting, from design to materials. You could install outdoor lighting yourself, but since you may not be you may want to know their process. This can also set up deadlines, payment structure, any warranties, and everything else coming with hiring a contractor. The best idea is to read it thoroughly and possibly have an authority check it out to make sure nothing shady is in there.
What will you do with this information? Don't let a contractor try to get out of answering your questions and addressing your concerns. They should want to do this, and if they aren't willing to they may not be worth your time and money. There are great contractors out there, you may have even seen some of their work around your friend's or neighbor's homes. Start looking today so you can illuminate your yard!