Fence installation, at first glance, looks fairly straightforward. You drill a few holes, measure and cut the required materials, and then attach them to posts.
But when it comes to the installation itself, many DIYers become overwhelmed. From uneven terrain and dealing with local ordinances to incorrectly installed posts and gates, there are many potential pitfalls.
If your DIY fencing efforts have spiraled out of control, or if you simply want the job done quickly and correctly, it’s time to hire a fencing installer. A reputable fencing company isn’t difficult to find, but it’s worth taking a bit of time to compare prices, reviews, and experience.
In this article, we’ll go over some pointers to help you find the right installer for your needs. Let’s go started:
1. Don’t Just Check Google
We know it’s tempting just to click on the first fencing company that pops up on Google, but don’t be fooled by the flashy website and glowing reviews. Sometimes, fencing companies without a strong online presence offer the best value for money and the highest-quality work.
Besides Google, you can check the following sites:
Facebook – This social platform isn’t exclusive to just friends and family, it can be a great tool for finding someone for your fence installation. Check out reviews from past customers, and see their portfolio to get a good gauge of their service quality. Unlike testimonials on a website, Facebook reviews are far more likely to be authentic.
Houzz and Thumback – These are sites that specifically cater to the home improvement industry. Here, you can find qualified contractors in your area with full descriptions of their capabilities and work experience.
Referrals – Ok, this isn’t an online resource per se, but it’s still one of the best ways to find a reliable fencing installer. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors if they’ve used someone locally in the past. Then you can gain further insight into their first-hand experience with the installer.
Other sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor can also be useful resources when looking for a fencing installer.
Ask for References
References, like referrals, will give a deeper account of the installer’s actual work. Ask for a list of references from customers who have had similar projects in the past. You can then ask meaningful questions which may affect the outcome of your project i.e:
- Did the contractor stick to their timeline?
- Was the installer courteous and professional?
- Did they finish the job with minimal clean-up time?
- Did they actually show up on time?
Your contractor doesn’t have to be Mr. Perfect, but a few good references will prove that they are reliable and get the job done.
Confirm their Insurance and Licensing Status
What makes a fencing contractor actually reputable?
Sure, they may promise to do a good job, but everyone can give you their word.
The primary factor that proves without a doubt that your contractor is legitimate is their license. A license says they’ve undergone training to learn their craft and have been approved by their state or local government. In other words, they can claim to be a legitimate contractor in their industry.
Insurance is also vital as it’s your safety net if something goes wrong. If your contractor trips and breaks his leg on the job, you may be the one on the hook for his medical bills. Similarly, with property damage, insurance will protect you from any legal claims. Confirm your fencing contractor at least has general liability insurance as this will protect you from any unforeseen damages.
Once you’ve confirmed their license and insurance status, you’ll be in a much better spot to make your decision.
Ensure they Have a Satisfaction Guarantee or Work Warranty
As the name suggests, a satisfaction guarantee or warranty commitment will guarantee your satisfaction with the installation.
It basically says that if you’re not satisfied, they’ll make it right – no questions asked. Of course, they will only fix defects related to the installation itself. So if you kicked a ball through your fence, don’t come running for a free replacement.
That being said, a good warranty should cover any problems that arise from the installation process itself. If your fence is compromised the following, contact your installer:
- Your fence is leaning
- The paint is peeling off
- The fence is not properly secured
- There are gaps between the panels
This warranty should be in writing and will provide you with peace of mind that your contractor will always finish the job. Unfortunately, everyone makes mistakes now and then, and a warranty will help protect you from any of those potential mistakes.
Your fencing installer may be the bee’s news and have a list of glowing references as long as their arm. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a better deal.
Compare estimates from at least three fencing installers before picking one. This will ensure you get the best deal for your project and save some hard-earned cash. Remember nearly all fencing installers will complete the job without a hitch, so why pay premium prices for the same outcome?
Also, consider the longevity of their work. A cheaper installation may cost you more in the long run if it needs them to come back and fix their work. This is where the tips above come in handy as they’ll ensure you’re getting the best deal for quality work.
Finding a great fencing installer can often be as easy as picking someone close to you. However, to find the best possible deal and service quality, it’s worth doing some research. Just to quickly summarize, be sure to check:
- Insurance and License Status
- Warranties and Guarantees
- Cost Estimates
You can also conduct interviews with multiple installers to get a better feel for who you think will do the best job. Ensure to assess not just their technical ability, but also their customer service. If your installer deliberately avoids questions, is dismissive of your opinions, or is just plain rude, it’s time for you to move on.
In the end, taking a little bit of extra time researching your fencing installer will leave you with a beautiful fence and piece of mind. Good luck!