Christmas light hanging/estimate methods

Here I am again. Ive been researching the whole holiday lighting thing and it seems pretty complicated. I have concluded that I should charge based on how many feet of lights Im hanging and charge more for 2nd story. The thing Im stuck on is what method to hang the lights. Staple gun or hooks?
If the customer already has hooks or nails do you charge less?? Also how do you fit in the charge for returning to take them all down??

Any response would be great. Ive got a couple estimates to do and Im not too sure how to go about it.

If someone could give me a whole run down on how they do it I would be really really stoked

Thanks

I try my hardest to not use any staples. Sometimes, though, it is unavoidable. I use a clip that is made for shingles, gutters, or flashing, and sometimes it will even hang on to soffit/fascia. We use zip ties to run the extension chords behind all the gutter downspouts. I buy my clips on line. THere are several places to get them. I reccomend www.aachristmas.com . They had my orders to me in one day–normal shipping!

I usually buy 2000 at a time. They come in one box. I have found that the ALL in One Clip is the best. The all in one plus clip doesn’t work as well.

I give the estimate as follows:

Say the total cost of my estimate is $500. This would be for everything: design, materials, installation, and removal.

I get a 20% down payment via CC $500 X 20% = $100
I get 60% after the lights are installed, $500 X 60% = $300
Then when we take them down, 20% $500 X 20% = $100

This does a number of things for me; First, I am getting their down payment because I don’t want to be out of pocket for the material cost. They pay that when they schedule a day for their services. Second, the 60% payment covers the cost of having my guys put the lights on the home. And third, the final payment insures that we are still getting some income coming into the business when we are the slowest. January is my slowest month, so income is nice here. And the lights come down 2-3 times as fast as they went up.

It may be too late this year for some folks, but if you are really getting into lighting next year, I’d take a look at some desinging software called “Holiday Soft”. I allows you to import a digital pic, put just about any kind of lights on it, animate it if your that talented (I’m not yet), and then it will help you with light count reports, Bid Proposals, etc. You can set the price for certain objects while your designing the project, and it keeps track of it all for you.

You’d be surprised what people will pay for their Christmas lights. It’s kinda like the window cleaning thing, they’ll pay you handsomely for doing a job that makes their property look better, so long as they don’t have to anything but write the check.

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Hey thanks man. I think Im just gonna do the hanging and not actually supply lights. I guess Ill see how this add on service evolves over time. I really appreciate your post. i feel a bit better now knowing what I know now.

Thanks!

If your just getting your feet wet with holiday lights I would suggest not buying any inventory. That way there is no harm no foul if things don’t work out. Today being right before Turkey day you have missed the boat on doing enough work to constitute inventory.

What I do is blanket all of my previous customers + the rest of my target demographic starting in October. That way you can estimate and line up the work before buying any inventory.

Right now. I would just advertise. When estimating just pitch $1.50 per linear foot installed and removed, they supply the lights.

You still doing this? I would love to hear how it has evolved in 9 years?

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All in one clip

If you staple every light it triples labor up time and turns the wood to swiss cheese in a matter of years.

hooks look like a homeowner did it

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