Two Guys and a Ladder: Duo starts holiday lights installation business this year

Jacob Lopez of North Newton puts lights up Thursday morning at a Newton home through his and his partner Eric Saltmarsh's business Two Guys and a Ladders. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Eric Saltmarsh with Two Guys and a Ladder said the money he and partner Jacob Lopez earn putting up Christmas lights on the side is great, but they mainly do it to help people—like people who don’t like getting up on ladders or those afraid of heights.

The two each have their own full-time jobs and families, but they’re taking time out this Christmas season to light up the Newton area and surrounding towns. Other houses in cities they’ve been to or are planning to go to include Hutchinson, Andover, Park City, Mulvane, Peabody, Walton and Haysville. That’s as of Thursday morning. Incidentally, Thursday was National Christmas Lights Day.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” Lopez said while adding clips to lights Thursday morning at a Newton home. “I’ve done Christmas lights for many, many years.”

They started putting up lights a week before Thanksgiving this year.

“We didn’t know how busy we were going to get,” Saltmarsh said. “I put it out there on Facebook.”

Even though it’s their first year providing this service, it’s been popular, as they’ve already done 14 or 15 homes, at least as of Thursday morning.

“We’re booked solid until Dec. 10,” Saltmarsh said. “We’re busy every day until then.”

Saltmarsh said he got curious on Wednesday night and looked to see how many people were reached on Facebook.

“I was surprised my post on Facebook had reached over 1,600 people,” he said.

As to what they charge, Saltmarsh said that all depends on the house and location, since Saltmarsh lives in Newton and Lopez is in North Newton.

“Depends on what the house looks like,” Saltmarsh said, adding they’ve enjoyed their customers. “Everyone’s been great. They offer us coffee in the mornings if we want coffee.”

He said they worked all day in the rain on Saturday, and on Thursday, they were getting pierced by blasts of north wind at another location.

Customers supply the lights, and the cut-off date for them to put up lights is near Christmas.

“If people want ’em put up Christmas Eve, I’ll go out Christmas Eve,” Saltmarsh said, adding they understand people are busy.

Lopez and Saltmarsh have known each other for nine years, Saltmarsh said, and they kid around with each other.

“Nine long years,” Lopez said, joking.

Their children have been in the Junior Railer football program together.

“They were in that third through sixth [grades],” Lopez said.

Customers have been happy with the results. Last weekend, they did a house at Stone Creek where the couple only wanted the front of the house done, but later the wife changed her mind, asking for the entire house decked in lights and was pleased with the result.

“The couple in Haysville, when we got there, they were excited to get theirs done,” Saltmarsh said. “They were ecstatic. They have two little kids.”

There, the oldest wanted to climb up a ladder to see the lights from a higher vantage point, and the parents didn’t mind, so they let the kid do that while the parents watched.

They’re not sure how many lights they’ve put up, though, saying it’s in the tens of thousands.

“I know it’s been a lot of lights,” Saltmarsh said.


Those wishing to use the Two Guys and a Ladder services can contact Saltmarsh on Facebook through Messenger. Some people send him their numbers.

“Sometimes it’s easier to get a phone call than message each other,” he said.

From there, they go to the people’s houses and get a game plan so they do the job like the customer wants it done.


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