Fence Contractor Hiring Guide in Austin TX
So you’ve decided it’s time for a fence. Great choice! Not only does a fence add beauty and security to your home, but it can also increase its value. But with so many fencing companies in the Austin area out there, how do you find the right one for the job?
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential contractors, it’s time for an interview. Here’s what you should cover:
- When can your fence be installed? The contractors you’re considering will most likely give you a range of times when they can install the fence, but make sure to pick a specific date for installation and then hold them to that timeframe. There really is no such thing as "rushing" when it comes to fencing—the job takes time and careful attention. And if the contractor refuses to give an exact timeframe, he probably has something else lined up before yours and therefore isn't committed to your project.
- Who will install my fence? Do you want a team of employees sent over from the company, or would you prefer a more independent approach? If you’re interested in the latter, make sure you ask how many people will be working on your job. And if they say "one person," beware of hidden costs—the company is likely charging by the hour. You should also ask whether any employees will be subcontracted for labor (e.g., cutting down trees) and whether there are any particular schedules (in case it clashes with yours).
- Are permits needed? Most fence projects require building or permit fees, so find out who’s responsible for obtaining them. Does it fall under your responsibility as a homeowner? Is extra money required to hire someone to fill them out? Or does the contractor take care of this process entirely? Note that in some neighborhoods, permits may not be required. Ask your contractor to check with the local planning authority to make sure.
- Is there a guarantee? No matter how careful you and your contractor are in planning and installing your fence, accidents can happen; when they do, it’s nice to know there’s someone looking out for you. You may want a written guarantee that covers all of the following:
- Fence materials
- Work performed
- How long repair jobs will take if something goes wrong
- What kind of warranty is provided? If anything goes wrong with the fence down the road, will repairs or replacements be free of charge? If you want to be sure that the warranty won’t require you to pay for expensive repairs, look for a licensed contractor.
- Will my fence look exactly like the sample boards presented? Double-check with your contractor on this point—if you have specific ideas about how you want your fence to look, make sure they're included in the plan. And if aesthetics aren't as important as function and durability, keep in mind that design often comes at a cost. Also, find out whether he will be using pressure-treated wood or a different type of wood altogether—pressure treated is typically more expensive, but its chemical treatment makes it last longer than untreated wood.
- How much will the project cost? This is probably the most important question of all, and it’s best to have a detailed estimate in writing. Your contractor should itemize the cost of materials, installation, and any other associated fees. If something isn't clear, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
By taking the time to interview several contractors and asking these key questions, you'll be sure to find one who meets your needs and budget. If you want our recommendation, check the fencing company details below. Good luck!