Any time you decide to complete a multi-step home improvement project, such as installing a fence, you are dealing with risks of something going wrong and out of control.
There are different types and kinds of aluminum fences. Some are really easy to install. Others are not, especially the ones that are 6+ feet tall. Also, it depends on where on your property and why you want to install the fence.
If you want a small, simple fence that protects your garden from pets, then you can probably install the fence. If you are installing a large, complex fence to enclose your backyard, you may want to hire a contractor that makes sure everything goes smoothly.
Hiring a contractor to install a fence has yet another benefit that may not be immediately obvious to you. Depending on the fence that you are installing, the fence and installation work may require a permit. All licensed fence installers know where and how to obtain the permit. This knowledge and experience can make your life much easier. Here’s how to select the best fence installer for your project.
Fence Installer Bidding
Every professional fence installer has a standard contract and set of practices that they use with clients.
If you need a fence installed, yet you haven’t selected a contractor to do it you can send your plans and specifications to several installers to get estimates from them. The best way to compare bids from different installers is to make sure that your fence installation project description is as full as possible.
To get started with this process, see if your friends or neighbors have any fences that you like and ask them for a referral. The Internet is also a good source of information because most installers have an online portfolio with pictures of their work and reviews on Websites, such as Yelp and Angie’s List.
For example, on Google, Split Rail Fence in Littleton, Colo., gets a rating of 1.9 out of 5 stars. One customer stated: “Read the reviews and save yourself the frustration. Two months in to trying to get an estimate from this company I am giving up. The customer service is terrible and they will not call you back. Played phone tag with the estimator Bill Ehlis for four weeks and learned that he absolutely never answers his phone. Left a message for the Customer Service Manager, Autumn, weeks ago and never heard back. Finally, through email, I advised Bill of the needed work and he agreed to meet me and provide an estimate… only to b be advised before the appointment that my location was not in his territory. They were provided my address on the first contact. Bill advised that he would provide my information to Chris the estimator in my area. Two weeks later and I am still yet to hear from Chris. A call to Autumn in Customer Service finds that she is again away from her desk but still accepting messages….. I don’t think so. :)”
However, Pioneer Fence in Sedalia, Colo., gets a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. One customer stated: “This is one of the best fence companies ever. The price was good, the workmanship was excellent. Richard and his crew were very attentive and were always there when they said they would be. Their clean up was very good (always appreciated) and their skill level was excellent. I was impressed that they always use a level instead of eye balling it. Highly recommend, you won’t be disappointed!”
While you may get references from your friends and family, talking to people who you don’t know can add to your perspective about the quality of work of an installer. Ask open-ended questions, and people will tell you what you need to know.
This factor is absolutely obvious. If you submit your project description, you receive bids that you can compare. While price is important, you probably want to avoid the cheapest installer if they use the worst-quality materials.
Consider contractors who submit bids that list similar materials and costs. If a contractor submits a bid that is much less or much more than the other contractors, then it is best to not entertain their offers.
The average cost to install a fence is between $2,000-$3,000.
Consider Quality of Work
This part is what really matters in the long run. You want to know that your fence installer will do the job well for you to enjoy your fence for many years. It is important that you don’t confuse quality of work with style.
The best way to check the quality of work of a fence installer is to check the fences that they have installed in the past. They should be able to give you addresses where they installed fences. Also, there may be some pictures of fences the installer did on their Website.
Make sure you look at fences the contractor did recently, as well as years ago. If you are looking to install an expensive fence, don’t be afraid to talk to people who live in a home where the installer did some work. Ask them if they had any problems with the installer or the fence.
Finally, ask the installer about a warranty. Look for installers who offer one that lasts several years, such as a 5-year or 10-year warranty.
Compatibility is much harder to figure out than other factors, yet it is not any less important. Figure out which installer does the best work for the style of fence that you need. Find an installer who has a work-style like yours.
For example, if you want to be informed and updated about every step of the project, you need someone relaxed and patient. You would inevitably have a conflict with an installer who hates micromanagement and wants to be left alone.
Communicate with the Fence Installer
There is one important factor that you need to keep in mind if you need to hire a fence installer for a complex fence installation. This factor is communication. You and your installer need to coordinate all the steps during the installation project, such as the purchase of the materials, their delivery to the site, installation timeline, time for the concrete to cure, and so on.
The best thing you can do is be proactive and available, so your installer can reach you when they need you. Be prepared to respond to their questions and suggestions quickly. Otherwise, the project may be put on hold, while the contractor waits for your decision.
Are you looking for a contractor to install a fence at your home? Follow our suggestions to find a professional who meets your needs.