Tips for Choosing a Professional Fencing Contractor:
Choosing a fence company is very important since most fences will last for years to come. During this tough economy, it’s easy to go by price alone. But, that’s usually not the best way to choose a contractor. Below are a few questions you should ask your fence contractor:
- What is the full name and address of the company?
Always get a full address of the company, a PO Box is not acceptable in establishing whether a company has been in business for many years.
- Does the company carry insurance?
Any reputable company will be able to provide proof of both Workers Compensation and General Liability insurance. It’s best to get a certificate of both prior to work starting.
- How long has the company been in business?
Longer is always better. If less than 3 years, references are helpful to double check a company since the failure rate of a small business is highest in the first 3 years.
- Does the company use a fence system or materials from a reliable brand?
Always check the brand of materials that will be used. Make sure it is what you expect so no problems arise later. Check warranties and sizing of fence (for example, some companies use 5/8” privacy boards and others use a thicker ¾” board).
- Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?
You want to get references from not only new installations, but also fences that have been installed for many years. This helps to know the quality of work and to see how well the contractor has responded to any issues that have arisen with the fence over the years.
- What is the company’s stance on customer service and what kind of track record does it have for solving customer complaints?
Not only will you get a good idea from the references provided, but it’s also wise to research all companies on the Better Business Bureau website. Some companies have complaints, but it’s important to know how they handled the complaint and whether the customer was satisfied.
- Will the company put the quote in writing?
It’s best to always get your quote in writing to verify the footage, type of materials, style of fence, are the posts set in concrete, warranties, payment terms and any special instructions needed. This will also help if you are comparing a few quotes. You want to make sure you are comparing “apples to apples”.
- Does the company offer other options on pricing and paying?
It’s always good to have options if you are trying to stick to a budget. If possible, tell the contractor what budget you need to stay within and they can come up with options for you to choose from. For example: Go with a different grade of wood, change the fence configuration, or use a different type of fence. There are usually ways to come close or meet a customer’s budget. Also, make sure the contractor accepts many forms of payment: credit cards, cash, checks and even offers retail financing for customers. Having many options will help achieve your fencing goals.
Information courtesy of CertainTeed Corporation.