Questions to Ask When Deciding on a Fence Contractor
o Ask how long they have been in the fence business. Are they well established in your area?
o Are they bonded and insured? Do they have general liability and workers compensation insurance policies? Have them add you to their policy during your fence installation to be safe.
o Due they have a business license? Check their license out at the Contractors State license Board.
o Are they members of the Better Business Bureau? Do they have a good rating at the BBB?
o Do they hire and employ their own employees or use sub-contractors or day workers?
o Are they familiar with local building codes, pool codes and the fence permitting process? Can they point you in the right direction to find out this information?
o Ask for a written/signed fence estimate and compare their prices with others. They must have their license number on their contract.
o Ask for at least two other customer references and drive by to examine their fence work. It always nice to see what is going to be in your yard.
o Ask what their lead-time is for scheduling and can they give you a completion date?
o What is their payment schedule? How much do they require you to pay up front? In the state of California it should not be more then 10% down or a $1000.00 deposit to secure the fence job. You can check your specific state laws, but as a good rule of thumb it should never exceed 50% down. How much is due at the start of the job? Depending on the size of the job you may have progress payment(s), or just have you pay the balance upon completion.
o Do they offer any sort of warranty on fence materials and installation?
When you contact a fence contractor they will ask for the following information, so be sure to have it ready:
o Have you discussed with your neighbor the idea of a new fence and are they on board with it? They might even help pay for the new fence.
o What style of fence interests you and at what height?
o Do you have an idea of how many linear feet of fence you need to install?
o Is the fence line easy to access? Will you have an old fence and/or brush to remove and haul away? Can a work truck get close to the fence line if necessary?
o Is the terrain uphill or on flat ground? Is the dirt soft or rocky?
o You the customer may want to confirm with USA (Under Ground Service Alert) where your underground gas, water, power and sprinkler lines are located – Fence contractors will not be responsible for damage to unmarked underground utilities.
o You, the customer, are responsible to get Building permits (if necessary).