Fencing Tips – What consumers should know – Determining Needs when choosing a fence contractor. Remember that the contractor with the lowest price may not be the best bargain in the long run. Be sure of your contractor and the quality of his/her product. You will certainly save money and be happier in the long run once the work is completed.
Determine your fencing needs:
• Provide security
• Retain children or pets
• Enclose pools or tennis courts
• Beautify your property
• Screen an unsightly view
• Reduce traffic noise
• Provide privacy from street or neighbors
What the consumer should know:
• Not all materials are the same and have different uses
• Chain link fence materials come in galvanized steel or vinyl coated steel
• Wood fences can be constructed from several types and grades of lumber
• Cedar is the material of choice for the Pacific Northwest climate
• Ornamental fences can be constructed of iron or even aluminum
• Vinyl fences are mainly used for pastures and but also in decorative situations
Be certain your written contract contains the specifications of the materials your contractor intends to use. similarly if lumber is to be used, you contract should specify the type, grade and dimension of the wood. As a result clear cedar is the most beautiful, it might not be worth the cost to you. We usually specify “tight knot” cedar fence boards. If chain link is your selection, the gauge of the fabric and size of the posts should be specified. Lastly, the number and size of gates, maximum spacing of posts and whether the posts will be set in concrete should also be specified.
The company behind the fence:
Unbelievable discounts are just that…UNBELIEVABLE. So be sure to read the fine print as price for labor and other items just get inflated to offset the discount on the material. Without profits, a business can’t continue to operate…a reputable contractor deserves a reasonable profit…without it, he can’t remain reputable, or even stay in business.
The contractor should give you references and thoroughly should be checked out. Go look at the fences they have built in your area as most contractors will have attached a small identifying sign to the fence they’ve built indicating a pride in workmanship. Be sure to check to see how long the contractor has been in business and if at their present location; ask if the installers are employees or if the contractor hires independent crews to do the work. The use of employees usually leads to better quality control.
Verify that the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured on the L & I website. Above all contractors are required to register with the Department of Labor and industries in the State of Washington, therefore ask for a copy of the Contractor license and be sure to see a copy of insurance coverage.
And Finally know your rights and responsibilities.
- First who clears the property line for the fence installation?
- Second who will be cleaning up the work area after installation?
- Third who is responsible for locating the property line?
Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions!