Master the art of purchasing your next fence! So, you need a new fence but feel uncertain about how to approach your local fence contractors? Most homeowners install only a single fence while they own their properties, so it makes sense that lack of experience could cause hesitation during negotiations. Thankfully, we have compiled the following tips when hiring fencing contractors.
10 Tips When Hiring a Fence Company
Most property owners have never hired a professional fence contractor to complete a fence installation project. As a result, mistakes and miscommunications can sometimes complicate even the simplest installations. To prevent avoidable errors, use some of the following tips to find the best local fence company in your area.
1. Search Locally
The best place to start searching for the right fencing contractor is your own neighborhood. Take a walk or ride a bike around town and stop anytime a fence style catches your eye. Examine the fence to see if it has a badge that mentions the professional contractor that installed it.
If the fence does mention the company that installed it, take a picture or write down the name. Otherwise, knock on your neighbor’s door, compliment their fence, and ask whether they can recollect who installed it.
2. Review Professional Associations
Check whether the fence contractor maintains any professional associations. For example, a membership with the American Fence Association (AFA) shows that a fence company is a legitimate business entity that performs high-quality work.
Search for the rating of fencing companies on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Try to find a fencing contractor with an A rating from the BBB. Any unresolved complaints should serve as a red flag.
3. Check Customer Reviews
Some of the best things to look for in a fencing contractor are favorable customer reviews. Homeowners can find reviews from clients on the fence company website, Google Business Profile, and several other places online.
Customer reviews often paint a picture of what it is like to have a fence installed by a specific fence contractor, providing valuable insight into how a future fence installation might proceed. A couple of the other places to look for client reviews are Home Advisor and Yelp.
4. Investigate Work Quality
If you received referrals for fencing contractors, visit the referrers’ properties for a closer look at the fence companies’ previous work. Examine the quality of materials and workmanship. Pay special attention to any welds, fasteners, and coatings.
Homeowners can also find examples of the fence contractors’ work on their websites. Ask for a portfolio of their fence installation projects during the initial consultation. They should be happy to go over some ideas and explain their work.
5. Prepare for the Consultation
Set up your home to make the consultation go quickly and smoothly. In most cases, the homeowner must schedule a time to meet with the fence contractors at a specific date and time. Both parties involved want a successful, productive consultation.
To prepare for the consultation, bring the dogs inside the home and trim any overgrown plants found where you plan on installing a fence. As the fence contractor measures the construction site, allow the work to continue uninterrupted but remain available to answer any questions that may crop up.
6. Ask Lots of Questions
The at-home consultation represents an opportunity to ask many questions about the property, the fence, and the installation process. In fact, ask as many questions as possible to improve your own understanding. The fencing representative should be happy to take the time to help you fully understand and answer any questions you need.
Make sure to ask the right questions, too. The consultation is your chance to understand the entire process. Some of the questions you should ask include:
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Will you secure the building permit?
- Do you perform cleanup duties after the job is complete?
- How will you anchor the fence posts?
- Do you work under general contractors?
- How long will the job take?
7. Note Any Foreseeable Challenges
To avoid misunderstandings once work begins, point out potential problem areas on the property. Trees, boulders, outbuildings, and other obstructions could slow things down or accrue extra labor fees. In some cases, removal of the old fence may cause issues that delay work.
Other foreseeable challenges may include obstructed access to the job site, which can force fence companies to transport building materials manually. A severe slope can also create extra work that increases the overall cost of the project. Homeowners should divulge the location of any underground utility lines as well. Otherwise, the contractors can contact the utility company for this information.
8. Secure a Contract Up Front
Before work begins on the property, obtain a copy of a duly signed, written contract for record-keeping. This contract will lay out all of the work to be completed so there is no misunderstanding later. Signing a contract is standard practice, and any reputable fencing contractor will be happy to initiate the process.
A contract will help you as the homeowner manage your own expectations during the construction process too. The cost breakdown will also help you understand where your hard-earned money is going.
9. Maintain Open Lines of Communication
After the fence company begins work on the new fence, keep the lines of communication open. Observe any progress made and ensure everything is to your liking. Do not hold your tongue if something does not seem right. Speaking up early will save everyone a lot of time and frustration.
Ask for updates from the fence installer and answer any questions that arise. Good fencing companies love it when the homeowner stays engaged in the fence-building process and provides quick responses to any issues that are encountered.
10. Inquire About the Warranty
All legitimate fence companies backup their work with a warranty. Ask about the warranty when they provide their free quote or written estimate. Do not wait until they start installing your fence. The warranty will give you the right to point out any defects before the fence company leaves the property so they can fix the problems while they are still fresh.
Make sure you understand the length of the warranty and what it covers. Some companies offer only a basic warranty; whereas, other companies may provide more comprehensive warranties based on company policy or through the use of superior materials that carry their own guarantees.
Services a Fencing Contractor Offers
Find a fence contractor that offers a full suite of services to the public. Some fence companies try to specialize in building new fences only. That way, they can avoid the removal of the old fence and the extra cleanup. Other more shady fence contractors may cut corners regarding permitting, marking utility lines, and other crucial aspects of the fence installation process. Search for a fencing contractor that offers the following services:
- Fence installation
- Gate installation
- Fence repairs and maintenance
- Fence design and installation consultation
- Building and zoning permits
- Boundary and utility line marking
High-Quality Fence Installation Services | Stand Strong Fencing
Now that we have covered what to look for in a fence contractor and which questions to ask, you can retain the best fence installation services for your home or office building. Our fencing experts have been installing fences for decades, delivering high-quality fences that stand the test of time. Call Stand Strong Fencing at 615-431-1511 to schedule an in-person consultation today!