How to Choose a Houston Area Fence Company
While some people install fences themselves, it’s a complex job and requires excellent construction skills. That’s why almost most homeowners hire trusted professional contractors to get the job done properly. Despite the higher cost for the project, hiring the professional installers is your best assurance of a beautiful fence that will enhance your property for many years to come. In addition, Houston area fence companies have access to a wider range of materials and can create a unique look for your home, quickly and expertly. You’ll find hundreds of contractors in the Houston Metro area. Some are small businesses, while others have large staffs and make many installations each year for their customers.
Before hiring any company for your home improvement, you need to make sure that you’ll get outstanding expertise, efficient performance and competitive pricing. Not all installers are the same. Finding the right one takes some research and comparisons. Before you commit to hiring any company, you should get the answers to some important questions and check information on the company. By following the guidelines below, you’ll find the ideal installer to handle your job:
Licensed by the Local Cities
This is an important question you should ask right away. Unlicensed companies can’t offer you the legal protections and assurance of legitimacy that you need. In most cases, fence companies in the greater Houston area are licensed to operate in Houston and in neighboring suburbs. Whether you choose a small or a large fence company that serves the entire area is up to you. Both types of companies can do an excellent job. It’s almost always best to avoid hiring unlicensed handymen for big projects like yours. You may not have the protections you need with such workers.
Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance
This question is crucial. Whenever you hire anyone to work on your property, you need to be protected against damage to your property, your neighbor’s property, and coverage for injuries that may occur to workers. If the company you hire does not have both types of insurance, you may be legally responsible for any issues that arise due to their work. All legitimate contractors will be happy to show you proof of insurance, and you should insist that they do.
Permit and Inspection
Depending on where you live in and around Houston, a building permit may be required before work can begin on your fence. Once it’s completed, the local building authority may require a final inspection. You can learn about permit requirements in the page for each city on this website. Applying for a building permit can be confusing, but fencing companies know exactly what is needed and should handle the job for you if a permit is required.
Complete, Accurate Cost Estimates
After discussing your choices of materials and styles, the contractor you are considering should prepare a complete price estimate that includes all materials, labor costs, and any incidental costs for material and installation. Ask whether the price quoted to you will be the actual final cost. In some cases, unexpected complications can increase the total price, but your builder should discuss those increases with you before continuing work and get your approval. Compare estimates from more than one fence company to ensure that you’re getting a fair, competitive price. Before work begins, you should have a contract for the work that both you and the company’s representative sign.
Starting and Completion Dates
Fence companies should know what their current schedule is and should be able to tell you accurately when they can start on your installation. They also know how long a fence like yours should take to complete. You should expect the work to take place on that schedule, unless bad weather or other unavoidable delays occur. If a contractor can’t give you firm dates, you should be concerned. Unfortunately, many homeowners are frustrated when builders don’t show up when they expect or don’t finish the job efficiently. You want your project to be completed on schedule and installed on time.
Recommendations by Referral
You’ve probably looked at fences installed at your neighbors’ homes and for friends in the area. Ask them about who did the installation and how they feel about the company they hired. They’ll be glad to praise an efficient, quality-oriented contractor or to tell you about problems they encountered with the company they hired. Word-of-mouth recommendations are an ideal way to discover outstanding builders in your area and to avoid those who haven’t satisfied their customers.
Before contacting any fence builder to discuss your project, do some research on that contractor. Look for reviews posted online. Check with the Better Business Bureau for its current ratings. Look closely at the company’s own website, too and look at examples of work they have done in their photo galleries. By doing your research beforehand, you’ll be able to narrow down the list of possibilities before making contact.
Check Contractor’s Work Samples
Any fence company worth its salt will be happy to give you addresses of projects they have completed recently. Drive by those locations and look at the work they have done. Look down the fence line and check the fence for straightness, an even appearance, and an attractive, finished look. Regardless of the type of fence, these examples will give you a clear idea of the quality of work the company in question delivers. Ask yourself if you’d be happy with similar results.
Get Cost Estimates from More Than Once Fence Builder
Any time you plan to hire a company to do work on your property, you should always get at least two or three competitive price estimates. Get the answers to all of the questions above, and compare costs. You should expect similar total prices for the same project with the same materials. If not, ask why there is a difference. Ask all questions you may have before committing to a contract, and make sure you feel comfortable with the company you hire. Be wary of companies that try to pressure you in any way.