Five topics in one (trees, contractors, worker's comp, tipping, and ditching IT) (Public Board)
Ok so this actually involves FIVE separate topics but I'll combine them anyway LOL.
For the past 5-6 years, with the exception of last year, seems that I've had trouble with trees dying and/or falling. Prior to that, very little trouble. Must be climate change, right? :) j/k It does seem like there have been more storms and rain in recent years. I like trees but they can be a pain in the ass.
It's been posted here before about how difficult it is to find a good contractor in general (especially trees). They either don't answer, don't show up, or don't follow three. After lots of back and worth, was able to get a few estimates. That's one job I prefer to let someone else handle rather than do it myself, unless the tree is already on the ground. I had two trees fall this year during a storm and one tree ended up hanging on another tree.
The guy I used last time did a good job but no longer carries worker's comp insurance. First question.....when someone does work on your property, do you ensure that they have worker's comp in addition to liability insurance? I called my homeowners and they said they would not cover if something were to happen and the company did not carry worker's comp. Out of four estimates I received, three contractors did NOT carry worker's comp. That was a bit surprising even though they were small time operations. I did find a guy that carried worker's comp and his estimate was lower than the others.
When I went to pay the bill, he had some online payment thing setup. There was an option to select a "tip" (10%, 15%, 20%, other). I have never heard of tipping a contractor before. Since they were quite a bit lower than the other estimates, I did give them 10% since they were able to fit me in ahead of schedule. It's a bit weird to be tipping contractors though IMO. Never heard of that before. Have any of you heard of this or done this?
The guy who cut my tree down is a former IT guy with a degree in the field who did tech support, project management, etc for a big company. He burned out on IT and opened his own arborist/tree cutting company. Seemed to enjoy being outside and moving around.
Just a few things I thought I'd throw out there. The most interesting part is the career change from IT to arborist. Sometimes I think about switching to some type of blue collar trade like HVAC but am probably too old to make that move.