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Old 09-25-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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I have 9 large oak trees in my yard that I want removed. I have gotten 3 estimates from 3 companies. Each company is a member of the BBB, and none of the companies has any complaints against them. Two of the estimates are very similar, but one is very much lower than the other two (50%less). I want a good price, but I do not want to compromise quality. What do you think of the difference in the cost of these estimates? All 3 are from small, local companies.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:31 AM   #2
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Tree guys can be really expensive. The lowest bidder probably needs the business more and so wants to undercut the competiton. You could try pitting them against each other. "Acme said he will do it for ? Can you compete with that?" Sometimes that will get them to lower their prices.
On the other hand when you see these guys 35ft up swinging from limb to limb with a chainsaw you realize just what a skill it really is.
Make sure whoever you hire has some sort of insurance. In Canada, its called Workers Compensation, otherwise its a huge liabilty to you.
Also, make sure its understood in advance who keeps the wood and shavings, cuz there is a lot of money to be had there as well.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mglamber View Post
Each company is a member of the BBB, and none of the companies has any complaints against them.
I have no faith in the BBB.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8kfV9kONw
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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I have no faith in the BBB.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8kfV9kONw
That is EXACTLY what I was going to say. In fact, I have less than no faith in the BBB. It is nothing more than an advertising agency, for companies that pay their dues.


That said, about the trees... There is a lot of variation between the price quotes of different tree companies. And there is a lot of difference between "asking price" and what they'll actually do the job for.


A couple years ago, I had a big old Maple that was almost dead, and leaning toward the house. A guy who was cutting trees in the neighborhood came over & asked if I wanted him to cut it down & haul it away for $1,000. I told him & wanted to keep the wood & asking him his price to drop the tree. For $200 he did an excellent job.

Dicker with the guys a little bit.

Last edited by DrHicks; 09-26-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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Also, make sure its understood in advance who keeps the wood and shavings, cuz there is a lot of money to be had there as well.
Yeah, make sure you are comparing apples to apples as far as cleanup and wood goes. If you or your neighbor wants the wood, will they cut it up for you into reasonable size.
Also get and check references. My sister had a tree taken down several years ago. The guys took forever, unnecessarily tore up her yard, etc. etc.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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have them take the 9 stumps too!
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mglamber View Post
I have 9 large oak trees in my yard that I want removed. I have gotten 3 estimates from 3 companies. Each company is a member of the BBB, and none of the companies has any complaints against them. Two of the estimates are very similar, but one is very much lower than the other two (50%less). I want a good price, but I do not want to compromise quality. What do you think of the difference in the cost of these estimates? All 3 are from small, local companies.
Your best bet is to get each of the companies to provide with you some references, and then do some checking on them. My wife and I had a local "reputable" tree service come out and thin some of our loblolly pines earlier this year. The work they did on the trees was good, but they didn't adhere to the original work schedule (they showed up a week early when I was away on business and didn't bother to call me first), tore up my backyard and it was difficult to work with their front office when it came time to settle the bill. Even though my trees look good, I will not use this service again because of the hassle of repairing the yard and all the trouble I had with the office staff.

When you are dealing with a project like this, cost is almost a secondary consideration. Get some references and talk to people who have experience with each of these companies, and make your decision from there.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:38 PM   #8
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Make sure that the scope of work is understood by everyone (and bid as such.)
Make sure they have insurance.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Make sure that the scope of work is understood by everyone (and bid as such.)
Make sure they have insurance.
I second this posting. Trees are serious and you shouldn't screw around with uninsured workers. You should have them sign a liability waiver also.
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