Do you really know the person looking after your fencing? There are plenty of rogue fencers operating right across the country so learn how to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Anyone in the market for residential or commercial fencing, along with getting their minimum three quotes, needs to do their due diligence on any prospective contractors.
Don’t risk a going with a contractor who says they’ll do the job cheaper for cash either. Dave Ward from Awards Fencing has outlined some questions you'll want to ask any fencing contractor before signing any contract.
1. What length of warranty is provided for the product and the installation?
You might think that you have a perfectly built fence after the contractors leave your property, but what happens when you spot a major construction error several weeks later? This is one reason why warranties are so important. These legal agreements guarantee you free repair or other compensation for faulty construction, damage by weather, and other issues within a certain time frame.
Before deciding on a fencing service, be sure to ask if the work is covered by a warranty. Fencing companies that do not offer a warranty should not be considered. Even if a warranty is offered, be sure that it allows you an ample period of time to report and have any issues resolved.
2. What is the time frame of the job from start to finish?
Like with any construction project, the people in charge of your fencing project should provide you with an estimated time frame for the entire project from start to finish. Some people may be on a time crunch to have the fence built before they hold a special event for guests, for example, so this information is crucial for their planning. Remember that an estimated time frame for completion of the fence is just an approximation.
Projects could be finished far ahead of schedule, or they could take a few extra days due to inclement weather or a hold up with council approval. This variation is normal unless there is a huge discrepancy between the estimated completion date and the actual completion date.
3. Do you supply direct from the manufacturer?
This is an important question to ask if you want to save yourself some money. Buying straight from the manufacturer means cutting out the middleman and getting materials for less. As the customer, you should receive lower prices if your contractor gets supplies straight from the manufacturer.
4. Do you have any testimonials I can read?
Testimonials are another essential thing to check before settling with any fencing company. It is always a wise idea to read up on what other customers have had to say about the quality of the service and end product because you don't want to waste your time and money. While good reviews suggest that a fencing company does quality work, reviews cannot be taken as fact because they are opinions. Reviews can just as easily be written by honest customers as those with strong biases.
Top tip: Fencing companies can have their own employees submit good reviews, and rival businesses can also post negative reviews to redirect customers to their door.
5. How long have you and your contractors been in business?
Fencing businesses that have been around for many years are typically more trustworthy than companies that are new to the scene. Long-running family establishments usually employ passionate and experienced workers who know the ins and outs of the business. After all, it would be very difficult for a company to stay in business for a long time if it wasn't doing something right.
6. Are there any display homes or existing jobs where we can inspect your workmanship?
Reputable fencing companies will proudly display photos of past projects on a website or other form of social media. If not, you should ask if their work can be seen in person around town. Having the opportunity to physically examine the work of fencing company is ideal because you will be able to judge whether or not the quality is up to your standards. Having visual proof of good work should make it easier for you to come to a decision regarding getting service from a particular fencing company.
7. Are you a member of any industry organisation such as the Master Builders Association?
Fencing companies that belong to industry organisations are definitely more credible than companies that do not have some professional association. Such companies typically need to meet certain standards of quality and professionalism in order to be included among the ranks. Here in Australia, members of the Master Builders Association adhere to strict quality standards.
8. Do you have insurance?
All businesses are highly recommended to have public liability insurance. This insurance protects a company from being sued by customers who have suffered injury or death due to negligence on the part of the company's workers. If a fencing company does not have insurance it’s an immediate red flag and a sure sign to stay away because it might not be legitimate.