Design Speak: Q&A With Jason Everitt of Rottler Christmas Lights and More
Making your home look festive and bright for the holidays may not be as simple as tossing a few lights on the shrubbery. Many homeowners want professional-looking, color-coordinated lighting that outlines even the highest roof peaks and creates twinkling silhouettes of tree trunks and branches. To achieve this look, a professional Christmas light installer can help.
Ladue News spoke with Jason Everitt, technical director for Rottler Christmas Lights & More, a division of Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, about trends and tips for holiday lighting.
How long has Rottler been offering Christmas lighting services?
We started almost 15 years ago. We bought a franchise back then, and we kind of got it off the ground. The first couple years, we decorated anywhere from 30 to 50 homes, and I think we’re decorating about 350 to 400 homes now.
So this must be a really busy time for you!
We start putting them up the first week in October, just based on the fact that it’s such a short season, and when you’re trying to get that many homes up you can’t wait for the week of Thanksgiving to start because you’ll never get them all up. We offer a lease type of situation where we come out and everything’s full service – you design it as the homeowner, we put it up, set the timers, put up garlands and wreaths, take it all down and store it for next year.
How do homeowners design the looks they want?
We come out and help with the design, although people have their own ideas initially. Sometimes we can help with making it less or more or whatever they really want. We’re seeing a large trend with LED lights. They’re a little friendlier when you start getting away from structures to go up trees, etc. They’re more efficient so they help keep utility bills down, and they’re more durable so you don’t have the fear of glass breaking or electrical issues with shorting out circuits and things like that.
What are some of your most memorable projects?
We had a home quite a few years ago that must have had 15,000 to 20,000 lights on it. There weren’t too many places where there weren’t lights. Every tree in the yard was lit, the roof, the gutters, all the ridges and angles on the roof. It was one of the largest residential projects we’ve ever done.
How do you accomplish the installation? What kind of equipment, do you need?
On the small-scale projects, we use ladders from 6 to 40 feet. Larger projects, like commercial facilities, require hydraulic lifts. Getting onto certain portions of roofs that are really steep obviously requires safety harnesses and special shoes that grip to shingles really well. We use personal protective equipment to make sure we don’t have anybody get hurt.
What do people need to know if they want to put some lights up themselves?
The No. 1 rule is to be mindful of electricity. You don’t want to burn your house down or blow a circuit. One thing I see people do that is a big no-no with electricity is to staple the prod-uct to the house. You never want to do that. That’s the difference in using a service. We have specialty clips we use that are made of thermoplastic and don’t cause any damage to the house. They make the lights look very uniform, and they’re very safe. Remember, you just can’t put a price on safety.