When you are installing a new wood or iorn fence on your property, choosing the right fencing contractor is almost as important as choosing the fence itself. It may be tempting to pick the first company that you find in the phone book or through an Internet search, but you will have better results if you take a more methodical approach. Below are six key tips on evaluating fencing companies and choosing the right professional for your project.
1. Look for fencing experts. You will undoutedly encounter a number of general contractors who say that they can install your fence. While that may technically be true, you will likely get better results if you work with someone who focuses on fence installation. These fencing contractors will be bettter able to inform you of all your options, whether you want an iron fence for a pool or backyard privacy fence. They will also be able to address problems should they arise. An expert fencing company is also more likely to understand any relevant local regulations or codes regardng fencing installation.
2. Get several options. Any legitimate fencing contractor will be happy to visit your home and provide an estimate for the work that you want done. Be cautious about any company that is willing to give you a quote over the phone. Instead, schedule a few in-person consultations with different fence contractors and then get quotes in writing so you can compare later.
3. Check their references. After you have identified one or two fence contractors that you might want to work with, you should check their referencs. The company may be able to put you in touch with satisified customers, but you should also check with neutral organizations like the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints about the company. You will also want to make sure the company has an actual physical place of business (rather than working out of a home or garage). FInally, find out how long the company has been in business.
4. Ask about insurance and licenses. Virtually anyone – no matter how inexperienced – can call themselves a fencing contractor. To avoid problems, make sure the contractor you hire is properly licensed and fully insured. While it may seem you will get a better deal by choosing a less reputable fencing company, you could end up paying for it later because of a poor installation or an unreliable, unlicensed contractor who disappears without completing the job.
5. Find out who will be performing the work. Some fencing companies will hire sub-contractors to do the fencing installation. However, you’ll probably have a more satisfactory experience with a company that has its own trained employees. Not only will these workers likely be more skilled and reliable, but communication will also be easier.
6. Get a contract. Always make sure that you have a written, signed contract before you begin working with a fencing company. The contract should include a description of the work being done as well as information about payments and when the project will be completed. Be leery of any fencing contractors that ask for full payment up front; 30 to 50 percent is reasonable, with the balance due after the fence installation is complete.