Adding a fence to your backyard or other outdoor space is a great idea. Beautiful fencing can increase the value of the property and provide a bit of privacy that you cannot get any other way. For those that own pets or have small children, a good fence is a great way to ensure their safety. However, how do you know you are hiring the right fencing contractor? Here are eight tips for finding reputable fence companies for your next project.
Tip #1: Determine the Types of Fence They’ve Worked With
The first step to hiring a fencing contractor is determining the types of fence they’ve previously worked with. Some wood fence companies only construct different types of wood fencing. Other contractors offer a myriad of choices including wrought iron, vinyl, metal, and others. Be sure to research the different options available to you before calling any potential contractors. Determine what type of fence you are looking for and then find a firm that offers that type of installation.
Tip #2: Request Information on Their Licensing, Insurance, and Bonding
One of the first questions you should ask when interviewing potential fence companies is whether they are licensed, insured, and bonded. In Texas, most types of construction firms are required to have some sort of licensing before they can operate. This protocol is designed to protect both the company and the client. However, this isn’t true for all types of contractors and some less-than-reputable firms don’t obtain the right credentials before opening their doors. Finding out where your contractor stands before you hire them is a great way to protect yourself and make sure you are ready should any unexpected accidents that happen during installation.
Tip #3: Get Referrals from People You Know
A good place to start when finding the right contractor for your project is to ask people you already know. Your friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers might have had a fence or two installed over the years. Finding out from them who they used and liked is always a great idea. Alternatively, if they were not happy with the service they received they can also provide you with a list of companies to not use. This is a great way to whittle the list of providers in your area down to a select few.
Tip #4: Ask How Long the Company Has Been in Business
Asking how long the company has been in business is crucial to finding a reputable company. Some new contractors who have little experience in the fencing industry post on Craigslist or other sites. Many home and business owners over the last few years have been taken advantage of by scammers and companies that simply didn’t know what they were doing. Determining whether or not the firm has experience is important when determining which contractor to work with.
However, there is a slight caveat to this. Sometimes newer companies hire individuals who have worked in fencing and construction for decades. Thus, to accurately determine if a new company is worth hiring, you may also ask how much experience their employees have.
Tip #5: Use Your Intuition
Using your intuition is also another way to determine if you are working with the right fence company. If something appears off or you just don’t see yourself being comfortable having workers from that firm on your property, take that as a sign that maybe you shouldn’t be working with them.You can also ask the firm whether or not they do full background checks on their employees prior to hiring them. Some companies do not, making it a great question to ask when any contractor will have workers on your property.
Tip #6: Check Out the Company’s History and References
One great way to ensure you are working with a reputable provider is to check out the company’s history. Websites like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau are always a great place to start. You can also ask the firm for photos of past jobs or to speak with previous clients. Those that are truly reputable will be able to provide you with this information without any hesitation. (In fact, they will usually have multiple projects that they are very proud to show off!)
Tip #7: Be Weary of Some Online Reviews
Keeping the two websites referenced above out of the equation, it is important to be weary of some online reviews. Websites that list contracting companies but do not make any effort to control the reliability of reviews should be avoided. Instead, rely on reputable sources that either charge members a fee to post their reviews or verify that the company has actually dealt with the client. This rule of thumb regarding online references in today’s modern age also works anytime you are hiring a contractor.
Tip #8: Don’t Rely on Price Alone
It is also important to not rely on price alone when hiring a fence company for your next project. Some of the lowest bidders are not often the best and some of the highest estimates are even worse. Instead, get a few different quotes from various companies in your area. Compare all of the above mentioned factors together to get a complete picture of what you are getting when you hire them. Then, make your decision based on all of the facets instead of just a monetary figure.
Of course, these are just a few of the basic factors to consider when hiring a company to install a fence at your home or business location. Using your best judgment and gathering as much information about the contractor as you can before signing a contract is always a wise idea.
Lone Star Fence and Construction has helped hundreds of Texas homeowners beautify their spaces. For more information on wrought iron fencing, wood fencing, or any other project, please contact us today.
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