Halifax’s Christmas light installer is busier than Santa right now

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This goodwill towards men is a little hard to arouse when you are standing in the sleet unraveling a length of Christmas lights, knowing in your heart that decorating expectations and decorating results will differ. Verry much.

But listen! From the sky comes Steve Hoffer.

Hoffer, the owner of rope access company Perpetual Industrial Services, is in the midst of his third Christmas season keeping people who shouldn’t be on ladders safely relegated to a supervisory role.

A display of Christmas lights installed by Steve Hoffer’s company Perpetual Industrial Services. – Courtesy of Steve Hoffer

“Rope access is like industrial climbing, rappelling down buildings, towers and bridges with two ropes, a working line and a safety line,” Hoffer said from his truck at the frenetic day course. “It’s similar to scaffolding, but instead of using scaffolding or ladders, you use ropes to get to where you are going. It is much safer than people think.

A welder by training, Hoffer learned rope access skills over 10 years traveling west and back to work in the oil fields. Once he got tired of it, he decided to start his own rope access business at his home in Nova Scotia.

“And I realized that there is a great demand from people who want to make Christmas lights, so I opened a division making Christmas lights in parallel,” he said. “It’s a seasonal job, that’s obvious, but it keeps us busy during the winter.

A display of Christmas lights installed by Steve Hoffer's company Perpetual Industrial Services.  - Courtesy of Steve Hoffer
A display of Christmas lights installed by Steve Hoffer’s company Perpetual Industrial Services. – Courtesy of Steve Hoffer

“My parents are getting older and they don’t take care of the roofline lighting anymore, and it’s obvious Nova Scotia as a whole is an older population. Many people reached out, saying they didn’t have the tools or were afraid of heights or were too old and didn’t want to fall off a ladder.

Hoffer said there has been more interest in his business than he expected, and the past year has been particularly busy due to COVID. It is now in its third year of offering all-inclusive service.

“The only thing a customer has to do is call us. We handle everything else, the service includes the design, so we will design the lights and colors if you want. We come to install it, all the materials are cut to measure at your home. After the insulation is done, if you have a burning bulb or a crown that’s blown around, we’ll fix it for free, ”he said. “After the season, usually in mid-January, we come and turn off all the lights and store them in a warehouse in bins, a nice dry and safe place.

Perpetual uses commercial lights for residential and commercial customers, which are rented to customers, then inspected and marked before being put into storage for the next year. The price of the decoration is determined by the size of the house, the size of the display and the accessibility of the house.

A display of Christmas lights installed by Steve Hoffer's company Perpetual Industrial Services.  - Courtesy of Steve Hoffer
A display of Christmas lights installed by Steve Hoffer’s company Perpetual Industrial Services. – Courtesy of Steve Hoffer

“Usually an installation ranges from around $ 600 to $ 1,800,” Hoffer said. “It really depends on how much you want to light up. Some people just want to light a big tree in front, some people want to go crazy and make their whole house and make it look like the Griswolds.

Perpetual provides Christmas decorations to all Tim Hortons stores in Dartmouth, as well as to several assisted living facilities in the city. The most expensive facilities are commercial facilities, but the most difficult was a house on Portland Street.

“You can’t miss it, we also did the entire perimeter of the roof line as well as the ridges. There’s at least a thousand feet of light out there, ”said Hoffer, whose business doubled last year and doubled again this year. It has two full-time and two casual employees and nearly 100 clients. This week and next should be the busiest of the season.

“There are a lot of last minute folks until, I would say, the second week of December. And usually there are people who are really last minute and want to do it on Christmas Eve. “


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