Important Considerations and Questions
Many people have fences around their homes for privacy and protection. In fact, some people just do not feel secure in a home that is not fenced. Granted, this all may depend on the type of neighborhood you’re in, your relationship with your next door neighbor, or other factors.
However, those who want fences around their homes are usually not skilled enough to put it up themselves. So they seek out the services of professional fencing contractors.
Since fencing is not something you do all the time, chances are that you’ve never worked with a fencing contractor before.
There are many fencing contractors in the market today and choosing between them can be a challenging task. So how do you manage to get a fencing contractor that is worth your money?
The following are the 5 crucial things that you should consider before choosing a fencing contractor:
1. Finding Fencing Contractors
The first task you need to perform is to make a list of your preferences. How do you want your fence to look like? What materials do you want to use? What type of fence are you seeking?
After you know what you want, come up with another list of fencing contractors that meet your goals. How will you find the contractors to place on that list?
Well, there are several methods which if implemented, you will be able to successfully find the fencing contractors you desire; one way is through the use of the Internet.
Go through search engines such as Google and Yahoo and source for contractors that you feel will be able to meet your listed preferences.
Another way of finding contractors to place in your lists is through references from friends, neighbors, and relatives. Does a neighbor have the type of fence you want? Who made it for him? Was it perfectly done? If it was, include the neighbor’s fencing contractor into your list. In this manner, you will end up with at least five of the best contractors to perform your fencing.
2. Carefully Consider Their Bid Prices
The next step that you need to carry out is to consider their quotes for doing the work. Finances will play a vital role in the quality of the work done.
Therefore, you need to choose carefully upon the person that you feel will best construct your fence at a reasonable price.
The only way to do this is by carrying out a competitive bid on the project. Let each contractor give you a quote on the project. This will give you an idea about which contractors may be out of your price range.
However, you should not make your sole decision based on the lowest quote. The lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean good service. In fact, sometimes, the lowest price could result in disaster.
So there are still other factors that should be considered alongside the bid price before making your selection.
Understand that with a project such as this, there usually is not a fixed price. This is because construction projects often have many unforeseen circumstances that you might be required to account for financially.
Even worse, inflation may make the price of construction materials go higher before the fence is complete and if you had not made provisions for such in your budget, your construction may stall before it is complete.
Another factor to consider when looking at financial implications is whether all the costs are covered within the charges forwarded by the contractor. For instance, know whether the cost of construction materials is included in the charges that they have forwarded to you. Will it be their duty to buy construction materials and transport them to your home?
Also, know whether they offer after sales services and if they don’t, whether they will carry out the maintenance for the fence on your behalf. Will they have extra charges for maintenance? After how long will they carry out maintenance? How long will it take them to respond when you call them for repairs? Knowing such will give you insights into determining whether their services will be affordable to you in the long run.
3. Consider The Contractor’s Expertise And Skills
Once you have identified the fencing contractors, you need to know the level of their expertise and skills when it comes to successfully completing the work.
Does the fencing contractor have a good and well-known reputation? How qualified are the workers working with the fencing contractor? What is their educational background like? Are they sure of what they are doing? Do they look confident enough?
Also, ask them for a list of references that you can check with. If they are legit and honest, they should have no problem giving you references.
Another important matter that you need to settle is whether the fencing contractor is certified and operating legally.
Do not hesitate to ask the contractors you are considering about their training, skills, and certifications.
Find out the type of operating license they hold and whether their license is valid. Know the types of bodies that they are affiliated with as this will increase your trust and confidence in their services.
Another thing to check is whether they hold any form of insurance. A serious fencing contractor will hold worker’s compensation insurance, liability insurance, and a property damage insurance certificate. However, it will be upon your discretion to use their services or not should you discover that they are not insured.
Try and find out how many contracts the contractor is currently handling and the level of contracts he has previously completed successfully. The more you know in regard to the work of the contractor the more likely you will choose wisely.
4. Consider the Time Frame
Another important aspect to know is how long it will take for the contractor to finish the work. Time is of the essence when it comes to the construction of your fence because the more your fence is un-complete, the more insecure you are and the more likely you are to become a victim of burglary. Therefore, let the contractor specify exactly when he will begin the construction work and how long he will take to complete it. Are you comfortable with the timeframe?
If you are not satisfied with the time specified by the fencing contractor, it will be advisable to open up and speak. Discuss wholly on how the time can be either shortened or brought ahead.
If you cannot agree and you cannot compromise, the best thing to do would be to choose another contractor who conforms to your set timeframe to do the work. Remember that no one should force you into doing that which you have no intention of performing.
What happens when you change the project specifications? For instance, you change the design of the fence altogether after the fencing contractor had begun his work? Does he leave the project halfway?
Know beforehand whether the fencing contractor has allocated time to accommodate such project changes should they occur. A simple change may cause the contractor a lot of time delays and know what the contractor feels about such delays. Let the fencing contractor tell you whether he will add additional charges should such changes happen.
5. Visit their Physical Location
The last thing you need to do is to go and see where the contractor’s physical location is based. While on such a visit, consider the distance from their physical location to your home. Is it too far? Will you be the one to pay for the transport costs? Can your budget accommodate such transportation?
During such a visit, ask the fencing contractor’s workers questions and see how they respond to you. Are they open and honest or are they rude and arrogant? What type of material do they use at the foundation of the fencing?
If you notice that they are uneasy and not open when answering questions, something should be wrong. Also, never fear to ask them questions in regard to their qualifications and skills. Furthermore, it is you who will be investing your money that into their services.
It will also be advisable to also have a look at their equipment and the manner in which they have organized themselves. Are they using modern tools and equipment? How organized is the place? Are they neat and tidy or they are very untidy?
Remember that an organized fencing contractor will most likely be organized when working for you and will complete the work within the stipulated timelines.
Even after you have done all of this, there are still many things that may come into consideration. For instance, if you notice that the contractor insists in the payment of all the money before the contract, then, it should raise a red flag that he may not be in a position to perform the work successfully. A good fencing contractor is not only money minded but also have the contract at heart.
Hopefully, the 5 crucial things you should know before choosing a fencing contractor have helped you and equipped you to get the best contractor to carry out your fencing project.
Though, it is left at your discretion to choose the fencing contractor that you feel best meets your needs. The only advice you can be given when all has been said is, choose wisely to avoid regret.