Even in the middle of the day, you know Todd Wiedemann's house has the potential to light-up the block. Colored lights cover every corner of his Maize home.
"I had put it up myself in years past. And I just thought I'd let somebody else get up on the roof instead of me this time,” Wiedemann said.
A decision he regrets now after finding burnt wires, blown-out lights, and a melted connector. Wiedemann hired someone who doesn't specialize in installing lights.
In fact, Factfinder 12 learned anyone can put-up your lights, because the city doesn't require a permit to do that type of work. That's why the Better Business Bureau says make sure you know who you are hiring... look for experience and ask for references. Also, the BBB says you should ask if they're insured.... and ask for proof.
"Because what if that gentleman falls off the ladder while he's putting up your lights,” Denise Groene with the BBB said.
Next, get everything in writing... from the cost to the decorations.
"Are you providing the decorations, are they providing the decorations. If a bulb goes out, are you responsible for that," Groene said.
And, the BBB says don't pay for the services up front. Pay in installments, with a credit card or check.
"With the final payment being at the end, when the lights and decorations are being taken down,” Groene said.
Wiedemann paid 450 for a job he says he will have to end-up doing over since the contractor won't return his calls.
"I think I'm going to put them up myself and maybe not do as many of them, just because the expense gets a little out of hand when you have to do it two or three times a year,” Wiedemann said.
Wiedemann says he's just glad he found the mistakes, before they caused even more damage to his home.
"We enjoy Christmas and everything it stands for. It isn't going to bother us. I just don't want other people to get ripped-off like that,” Wiedemann said.
The BBB also says if someone solicits you for this kind of work... don't rush in to it. Take the time to check-up on the person or company.