5 Tips For Hiring A Great Fence Contractor
Hiring a fence contractor can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Most people only buy fences once or twice in a lifetime and if you get it right the first time, you’re less likely to have to do it again. This is why we’ve compiled this list of tips for hiring a great fence contractor. Of course, we hope that you pick CFC Fences & Decks for your project because we offer all of these features with our work. However, even if you don’t go with us, we hope that you will hold your own fence contractor up to these standards.
Verify That Your Fence Contractor Is Licensed, Bonded, & Insured
A fence contractor who is licensed, bonded & insured provides extra financial security for your fence project. A bond protects the homeowner against situations where the contractor fails to complete a job, doesn’t pay for permits, or fails to meet other financial obligations. Insurance covers situations where injury (worker’s comp) or property damage (liability) is involved. Finally, being licensed means that your fence professional has been trained and certified to build your project. It’s always a good idea to get the policy and license numbers for your contractor and verify these before signing a contract.
Ask For References
Talk To Actual Fence Installation Customers
Don’t be shy to talk to your fence contractor’s biggest fans. They should be happy to share success stories with you. One or two solid references can mean the difference between not knowing what you’ll get, and feeling assured that you’ve made the right choice.
Usually, your fence contractor will refer you to someone who they have worked with recently. They’ll be more likely to remember more details of the experience working with this contractor. Older references aren’t bad either if it means they confirm that your fence contractor’s work will last over time.
In our experience, happy customers will often give permission to be called as a reference. If a contractor tries to discourage you from talking to any former contacts, something fishy might be going on.
Additionally, many contractors post positive reviews on their own website. Which brings us to…
Check Online Reviews – Google, Facebook, & Others
A good online review is more valuable now than ever before. An entire industry has been created around online reputation management, encouraging good reviews, and trying to resolve bad ones. It’s not only important to look at ratings, but also to try and understand why that company has earned a certain score. It may not always be apparent.
Look for a company that not only has a high rating, but also a lot of reviews. If the company only has 1 or 2 online reviews, they could still be a good fence company to work with but make sure that you spend more time talking to any references they can provide.
Don’t be discouraged by a company that has a high overall rating with a few negative reviews. It’s always important to see why they have a few dissatisfied posts. If the reviewer feels like they got an estimate that was too high or if they were disappointed by the wait time during the busy season, they can leave a bad review. It is possible for a fence company to get an unhappy review from someone that never had a fence built. Also keep in mind that angry customers will post the same review on several different sites, where satisfied reviewers typically only pick one site to post on. Also, look for trends in ratings. A company who has stellar reviews 3 years ago, might have 1 star reviews today.
Test The Materials
Not all fence products are created equally. There are different grades of wood & vinyl. There are also premium products like Trex & SimTek to choose from. Always ask for samples if you have any questions about the materials. You can also see if your fence contractor has the address of any jobs where the product is already installed so you can view it yourself. Or if it is sold through a local supplier, see if they have displays where you can see and test your fence materials. At the end of the day, be sure that you are getting the best materials available.
Ask Questions & Communicate Clearly
It’s a good idea to take time to think about your project and write down any questions you have in advance. You might already have an idea of what questions to ask, based on the research you’ve already done. Familiarize yourself with any printed materials you might have collected, or information on their website. Don’t hesitate to ask about any details of your project that seem unclear.
When it comes time to sign, carefully review your contract. Did your fence contractor detail all of the things you discussed in the estimate? Did they include a site plan? Do the numbers match up to what you had agreed upon? While it’s unlikely to encounter any hidden fees, it’s important to understand any listed charges on your bill.
If you happen to be available during the install and it seems like your installer is deviating from the plan, ask them about it. Sometimes small details can be forgotten and it’s always better to ask first, than regret not talking to them later.
Find A Fence Company With Free Estimates
Thankfully, most fence companies never charge for estimates. A fence contractor could conceivably charge if a job was outside their service area, or in a remote location, but those instances are very rare.
The fact is that fence contractors want to win your business. An estimate is like showing up for tryouts. They want to impress you with their service, price, and unique offerings. The fence installer gets paid for completed work and not the consultation.
Following these tips will help set the proper expectations for you and your installer. If you have any additional questions or need a fence estimate for your home or business give us a call.
Serving Salt Lake, Provo, Wasatch, & Summit Counties:
Provo Installation: 801-374-6428
Salt Lake Installation: 801-990-6888