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Hiring a Tree Removal Company

The following information is provided on the Department of Labor and Industries website and contains valuable information to keep in mind when you are considering hiring a tree service to either remove or prune your trees.

Make sure you:

Plan your project -- If you know what you want done and can clearly explain it, you're less likely to misunderstand instructions or encounter cost overruns.

Interview contractors -- Interview several qualified registered contractors and solicit written bids. Evaluate all aspects of the bids, including the scope of work, warranties, references, time frames and price.

Check that the contractor is registered -- Verify that the contractor registration number is current with L&I.  Look for the contractor registration number in advertisements for contractors. The law requires this number to be included in all advertisements, including business cards and the Yellow Pages.

Verify workers' comp coverage -- If your contractor has workers, ensure they have an up-to-date workers’ comp account.  Contractors using workers on the jobsite must have a workers’ comp (industrial insurance) account and should be paid up-to-date. Contractors not using workers (owner-contractors) are not required to open workers’ comp accounts.

Check the contractor using other resources.

Office of the Attorney General:

TDD users call 1-800-833-6384
Consumer Resource Center: 1-800-551-4636

Better Business Bureau:
206-431-2222 (western Washington)

Ask for references and check them -- If possible, view the work, interview the homeowner and visit a site with work in progress.  

Get a disclosure statement -- Make sure you receive the legally required Notice to Customer (disclosure statement) before work begins.

Check for warning signs of a scam.    

  • Provides a credential or reference that can't be verified.
  • Offers a special price only if you sign today, or use other high-pressure sales techniques.
  • Only accepts cash, requires large deposits or the entire costs up front, or asks you to make the payment in their name.
  • Does not provide a written contract or complete bid.
  • Asks you to get the building permit. In most instances, if you have hired a contractor, the contractor is required to take out the permits. Permits are your protection and help ensure that work will meet local building codes.
  • Offers exceptionally long warrantees.
  • Wants to do most or all the work on weekends and after hours.
  • Gives you an offer that sounds "too good to be true."

Please visit the Department of Labor and Industries website for more information and a Step by Step Guide to Hiring Smart.