What to Look for When Hiring a Fencing Contractor Near You
Everyone wants the fence on their property to look great and do the job intended. Begin by having a firm idea of why you want a fence, it’s purpose and additional preferences. Do your research and write down questions you may have. Make a list of fencing contractors in the area, who have been recommended by people you trust. However, one contractor does not fit all. To help you find the best contractor, you need to know what to look for when hiring a fencing contractor.
1. Is the contractor licensed to work in your state?
Most people working in the construction or renovation industry are required to obtain a license. The specific requirements vary by state and/or location. You can find out what your state requires at HomeAdvisor.com, as well as your local licensing board.
2. Is the contractor insured, having both liability and workman’s compensation?
Choose a contractor/company who is insured. Uninsured contractors could hold you liable for any accidents and/or medical bills arising from an injury.
3. What type of fence/materials does the contractor specialize in?
Is it wood, aluminum, vinyl, wrought iron, chain link, composite material, or something else? Give priority to a company that specializes in the type of fence you want, has a good reputation, and fits your other criteria.
4. What fence heights does the contractor offer?
The fence height will depend on the design style, material, and especially the purpose of the fence. After a site inspection, the contractor should be able to advise you about the best height for your needs. In general, home fences may range in height from 3 to 10 feet, or higher.
5. How long has the company been in business under its current name?
Look them up at the Better Business Bureau, Google, and Angie’s List. If you see something that worries you, try a different fencing contractor.
6. Where is the company store/office located?
Avoid companies that don’t have a brick and mortar location. They should, at the very least, have a business office, where you can physically meet.
7. Is there pending litigation against the fencing company? Again, do your background research. If there is, avoid that company until the issue is settled.
8. Does the contactor obtain the required permits for the job or are you responsible for this?
Most cities and counties have specific regulations and required permits associated to renovation or construction projects. Check with the city and county offices that handle this. You may also want to look at online sources for your area, to see what is needed. In addition, ask the fencing contractors if they handle the paperwork or if you have to.
9. Does the contractor contact the utility companies to verify the location of buried lines?
This is essential in order to make sure that underground gas, water, and power lines are not affected. The service is typically free and provided directly by utility providers.
10. Does the company check the survey records to determine the precise property lines?
Before building, everyone needs to know exactly where the property line is. No building or construction plans should affect a neighbor’s property or any public right of way. If you’re not sure, check with a local surveyor or title company.
11. How much does the contractor estimate the fencing job will cost?
Get a written estimate and be sure of what it includes, materials, labor, and so on.
The estimated costs should be broken down into separate totals for:
• Basic materials
• Any additional fees
• Any additional service charges
• The deposit due and when
• The balance due and when
12. When will payment be required? How much of a deposit is due, and when?
A deposit for materials will usually be required and is often calculated as a percentage of the entire cost of the project. NEVER give full payment until you are 100% satisfied with the job done.
13. Will they provide a firm written contract and schedule?
A written agreement ultimately protects both you as a homeowner and your contractor as a working professional. The contract should contain:
• The full schedule of fees
• Proposed start date
• Estimated completion date
• Estimated costs.
Diagrams, charts, and design specifications are also a good way to make sure that everyone is on the same page before any work ever begins.
15. What do the manufacturer’s and the installation warranties cover and how long are they?
Fencing manufacturers offer a materials or product guarantee. This covers faulty materials, among other things. The installation should also have a warranty. The length differs with each contractor.
16. How long is the quote/estimate guaranteed?
Most contractors will guarantee their quote for a time between 30 to 90 days. However, since material prices tend to change frequently, the contractor may add a stipulation that the estimate should be recalculated after 30 days, to take into account the current cost.
Knowing what to look for when hiring a fencing contractor is essential. When you know and ask the right questions when you get quotes, you ensure that you get the right fence for your needs, as well as the best price, and service.