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How to choose fence contractors and fence companies

When you’re installing a new wood or iorn fence on your property, choosing the right fencing contractor is almost as important as choosing the fence itself. It can be tempting to pick the first company you find in the phone book or through an Internet search, but you’ll get better results if you take a more methodical approach. Below are six key tips for evaluating fencing companies and choosing the right professional for your project.

1. Look for expert fencing. You will undoubtedly find a number of general contractors who say they can install your fence. While that may be technically true, you’ll likely get better results if you work with someone who focuses on fence installation. These fence contractors will be able to better educate you on all of your options, whether you want an iron fence for a pool or a privacy fence for your backyard. They will also be able to address issues should they arise. An experienced fencing company is also more likely to understand any relevant local regulations or codes regarding fencing installation.

2. Get multiple options. Any legitimate fencing contractor will be happy to visit your home and provide you with an estimate for the work they wish to have done. Beware of any company that is willing to give you a quote over the phone. Instead, schedule a few in-person consultations with different fence contractors, and then get quotes in writing so you can compare them later.

3. Check their references. After you’ve identified one or two fence contractors you might want to work with, you should check their references. The company may be able to put you in touch with satisfied customers, but you should also check with neutral organizations like the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints about the company. You’ll also want to make sure the company has an actual physical place of business (as opposed to working out of a home or garage). Lastly, find out how long the company has been in business.

4. Ask about insurance and licenses. Virtually anyone, no matter how inexperienced, can call themselves a fencing contractor. To avoid problems, make sure the contractor you hire is properly licensed and fully insured. While it may seem like you’ll get a better deal if you choose a less reputable fence company, you could end up paying for it later due to poor installation or an unreliable, unlicensed contractor who disappears without completing the job.

5. Find out who will do the work. Some fencing companies will hire subcontractors to do the fencing installation. However, you will probably have a more satisfying experience with a company that has its own trained employees. Not only are these workers likely to be more skilled and trustworthy, but communication will also be easier.

6. Get a contract. Always make sure you have a written and signed contract before you start working with a fencing company. The contract should include a description of the work being done, as well as information about payments and when the project will be completed. Be wary of fencing contractors who ask for full payment up front; 30 to 50 percent is reasonable, with the balance due after the fence installation is complete.

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