Choosing a fencing contractor is perhaps the most important decision you can make when putting up a fence on your property. Yes, you must decide on material, color, size, and design, but the fencing contractor you entrust with your fence will determine whether or not the installation is a success.
What Is a Fencing Contractor?
A fencing contractor is a professional or team that helps property owners choose the right fence for their needs, install it, and repair and maintain it. While it’s true that sometimes you can install your fence on your own, the project can be a big undertaking, and some areas require a permit to install a fence.
A good fencing contractor will ensure that you have access to the best tools and materials and that the installation is even, beautiful, structurally sound, and safe. They can also make the task of installing a fence as minimally disruptive as possible. The options when choosing a fencing contractor can seem overwhelming, but once you do, they can help you have a beautiful fence that will keep your property safe for a long time.
General Contractor vs. Fencing Contractor
A general contractor is a person who coordinates and supervises the operations of a construction site. The projects they work on vary, spanning most aspects of the construction industry. General contractors are generally required to have both a valid license unique to the state they work in and plenty of experience.
On the other hand, a fencing contractor is a specialist in fence installation and repair. Not every state requires their fencing contractors to be licensed, but they do still need a permit to build. It is common for fencing contractors to operate under the supervision of a general contractor, but because fence design, installation, maintenance, and repair, ultimately come down to the fencing contractor, choosing a fencing contractor you can trust is the more important path.
How Do You Find a Good Contractor for Your Project?
Choosing a fencing contractor that will make your project a success comes down to do things: quality work and trustworthy customer service. Technically, anyone with a hammer can help you install or repair your fence, but the right contractor will ease the stress of the process and deliver timely and impressive results in a way that is reliable and confidence-inspiring. To find such, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Compare online reviews and word-of-mouth suggestions from other property owners in your area.
- It is wise to check the company on the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask about credentials. This may include training experience and licensing that is state-specific for your area.
- Check for companies that have effective liability insurance. You never want to be caught by surprise.
- Ask about the warranties they offer for installation services and products.
- Check out several different contractors, obtaining quotes from each of them and gaining a comprehensive view of the choices available.
- Get all your estimates in writing. This is a safeguard for you and lets you see if the company will be true to its word.
- Make sure that when you call the office, a real person answers the phone and is ready to answer your questions. You can tell a lot about working with a contractor from the earliest interactions you have with their company.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Fencing Contractor
When choosing a fencing contractor, you have the right to hold what is essentially an interview. Don’t be caught off guard, and feel free to ask the important questions so you can find the right contractor for your fencing project.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you work under a general contractor? (If so, who?)
- Could you provide references?
- Will you obtain permits?
- Will you call the utility locator to locate any underground utility ground?
- Will you handle the slope?
- What’s the estimated timeline to complete the job?
- Do you charge an hourly or flat rate for the installation?
- What are your payment expectations?
- May I have a written estimate?
Red Flags to Look Out for in the Interview
As you talk with fencing contractors to determine the right one for your project, don’t be afraid to trust your gut. If you notice something that feels like a red flag, it may be indicative that the company isn’t a good fit. These are some general red flags to look out for:
- A contractor that pushes you to make an immediate decision
- A company that requires cash-only payments
- A contractor that will not give you a written estimate
Installing your fence should be an exciting project. After choosing a fencing contractor, move forward in confidence, working with them to establish a timeline and design plan. The results are sure to speak for themselves.