To give a few examples of where problems might arise with bids:
If a company is going to cut down your tree, is it going to haul the wood off, or leave it in place? If the company is leaving it, is it going to neatly stack it in your yard or leave it all over your grounds for you to gather and stack? If you hire a company to trim the trees overhanging your pool, will the limbs be dropped into the water and left at the bottom of your pool, or will the company get everything out of the water and then skim your pool? If ball moss is to be removed, is the company proposing to get the "majority of it" (51%), 80%, 90%? All of the preceeding has actually occured at different times when it came to companies not being clear on exactly what they were proposing to do. If a company isn't clear on what it's going to do, how can a client know what he/she is actually agreeing to pay for on the bid sheet being signed? In fact, he/she can't.
This is where the "comparing apples to apples" comes in:
When you get a bid, you must make sure everything is spelled out so you can make an informed decision on which company is actually giving you the best value. If one company is bidding less than another, are they going to give you the same services as the company with the higher bid? You need to know what is being offered.
There is more to the story, though, than just services being offered when it comes to the "comparing apples to apples."
You need to know the qualifications of the company working on your trees. This is so important given that anyone with a chainsaw and a pick-up truck can call himself/herself a tree company.
Sunrise Tree Sevices is a professional tree company with excellent credentials. You can read all about our certifications and licenses on our first page. We are insured for your protection, registered with the County of Travis, and Licensed by the State of Texas. We have degreed workers on our staff and are always increasing our knowledge base by taking continuing education classes in our chosen field.
When it comes to insurance, one simple thing you can do is ask each tree company for its certificate of insurance. When you look at it, get the phone number of the insurance company and call it to verify the authenticity of its certificate. At times, you will find that you are looking at a forged or expired document.
Keep in mind that while two companies may offer identical services, and one may offer these services for a lower price, the lower bidding company may not necessarily have the experience and educational background to correctly do the job it is proposing to do. This company may do serious damage to your trees and property due to its lack of knowledge and/or experience. Ask questions, and consider the answers you get to help you determine the expertise of the company you are trusting to work on your trees.
Make sure your quote includes the tax you will be paying. Unknown to the public at large and, unfortunately, many smaller tree companies, tree work is taxable. If a company gives you a price, please ask them if that price includes tax. If they tell you that they don't charge tax because they are a service business, feel free to direct them to: this page. If they scroll down to "Real property services," they will find that tax is due on tree work. Sunrise Tree Services always includes tax in its quote to you, so you never have to worry about an unpleasant surprise when you ask what you owe at the job's completion.
In the final analysis, you need to be careful when collecting your bids. I hope this page will help you when you are in the process of deciding which company to go with for your tree work, and I sincerely hope that you choose Sunrise Tree Services for all of your trees' needs.