3 Things to Consider When Hiring a Fence Contractor. What not to Do When Hiring?
Nobody can stop you from installing your landscape fences. But why do a messy job when you can go with the professional fence contractor?
Why spend all summer laying out the fences lines, digging the postholes, installing the rails and pickets when you can go the easy way and hire a professional fence company right from the start? Fence installation is a challenging project and many hands it off to the professionals.
Finding the right fence contractor isn’t as easy as one may think. Here are some things you should consider before shaking the hand.
Obtain several estimates
The rule of thumb when remodeling your home is to get three estimates. In all fairness, not all of us have the time (nor the energy) to get estimates for everything you need to do around the house and more often than not the bids are almost identical, anyway.
However, you should think twice in the case of your fence installation. The fence installation is quite a competitive business, and it’s common for the contractors to show up fast and do a good job. Some may even visit you and work while you’re not at home.
Three or even more than three estimates is going to give you a full spread of your cost bids, and it’s going to be easier for selecting the best combination of cost and quality for the project.
Ask the right questions
Even if the estimator may not have the time, you should get him to go over some essential issues before she/he goes to work up the bid:
- Is the company going to call a utility locator for identifying the location of underground utility lines?
- Is the fence company going to get the permits for the job?
- Go over any hindrances as well. A reliable fence company has to know about the local zoning and setback regulations on fence construction.
- Is the height of the fence going to vary over its course?
- Are the gates and the hardware part of the final costs? If not, how much are you going to have to pay for it?
- Does the company have a timeline? Some fence companies may be very busy during spring and summer so they may need a couple of weeks until they reach you.
- Once the company starts working on your fence, is it going to work always the same rhythm?
- Does the company offer any warranty? If it does, is the warranty covering the materials and the labor as well? You want the warranty to cover the cost for the company to come back and fix any flaws to the fence.
Ease out the estimator’s job
When a fencing company visits you, you should be aware that it’s just one of the many that are going to follow. You want him to do an excellent job, so it’s vital that you keep your pets inside, unlock the gate and clear foliage around problematic areas.
Here’s what an estimator is expected to do:
- Take a look at how the fence is going to meet other current fences or your house
- Look for obstructions (trees, rocks) that may slow down the fence construction and even raise the costs
- Ask you about the type of fence you want
- He/she has to evaluate grading. If you have a level lot, the construction is going to work smoother.
- If there’s a significant slope, the structure of the fence is going to suffer.
- Access to the job site is essential for the fence constructions. When the crew has to carry materials up against a hill manually, you should expect higher costs to get the job done.
What are the common mistakes when choosing your fence contractor?
Sometimes, no matter how cautious you are, you still make a poor decision when hiring a fence contractor.
Here are some of the most typical mistake that one can do when choosing a fence contractor:
- Hiring a lack of expertise/inexperience
You need to make sure that the person building your fence has the experience and the expertise for the job. If otherwise, you’re not going to be happy with the results nor be willing to live with it as it is.
It’s not only the number of years that tells you about the experience of a company. Ask around and look for the reviews. The little things do matter, and you should have the patience for making a wise decision.
- You select exclusively on price
What you pay is what you get. The more you’re willing to pay, the more you should expect in terms of durability and quality of the execution. You don’t want to end up with a fence that doesn’t handle a windy day. A right fence should be installed appropriately and take the user for a long time.
- You don’t take your time when selecting the company
If you’re not cautious or meticulous when choosing the company, you may not get what you had in mind. You should know a lot about the company, where it’s located if it returns the customer’s calls. You should see the testimonials, check the sites of products and references. Spend a couple of minutes now so that you don’t pay a lot more money and time later in the future.
- You only take a look at a photo
Seeing and feeling the actual fence is a perfect thing when selecting a fence contractor. Check displays and pictures and ask everything you need to ask for making sure that you’re going to have the fence you’ve always planned.
- Know the importance of concrete
The quality of concrete for your fence post footing is essential. When ample and quality concrete isn’t used for the fence, the integrity of the fence is going to suffer. All fixed structures need a secure and safe foundation.
Low-quality dry sack concrete or no concrete at all isn’t going to help your fence hold up.
- Not paying attention to the 3 R’s: Restrictions, Regulations, and Requirements
Knowing what to expect from the fence constructor gives you power. Not only that you want a high-quality fence, but you also want it to be installed right and on time. The company you’re hiring should also pay attention to the 3R’s. Litigation and fines aren’t something you want to deal with when installing a fence.