Very few people think about their fence, at least not until they really need one. As a fencing contractor, we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of topics to discuss with your fencing professional. The items below are to be used as a guide to help eliminate surprises and help ensure a professional installation.
Choosing a Fence Company
First and foremost, you want to make sure the company you hire is licensed, insured and bonded. That means they are qualified to do the job and are covered in case of accident or injury. Furthermore a licensed fencing contractor has passed the appropriate state tests for fence installation.
Where do I find a fence company and are they reputable?
You can find fence company information online, in magazines, publications and through word of mouth. Your friends and neighbors may have used someone they really like. Websites such as Yelp and Next Door can be helpful in gauging customer experiences, although most customer do not leave reviews.
How do I get an estimate?
Fence contractors can typically be reached by phone, email or through the company website. It is important for the fencing contractor to do a site visit to give an accurate written estimate including the cost and time frame of the job. Get as specific a quote as you can, identifying what materials will be used and the fence style that is to be built. When comparing quotes, you want to make sure you’re comparing the same items. For example, two companies may say kickboard, but one may be a 1×12 grassboard while the other may be a 2×12 pressure treated douglas fir kickboard.
Who marks and calls the utility company to stake out buried lines?
At Classic Fence Co. we mark the proposed fence line and call USA North (811). If deemed appropriate, your fencing contractor should handle the process for you.
Will Gaps Form Between Boards? – Dog Ear/Solid Board Vs. Board on Board
The Dog Ear style fence is one of the most common fence styles in Sacramento. The top edges of the fence pickets are cut on an angle to create a dog ear shape. The angles add character and a bit of dimension. On the day of the installation, the fence boards are placed right next to each other. As the wood dries, gaps will appear between the fence boards. The gaps can begin to appear the same day as the installation. Gaps between boards can be as much as a ¼” or more depending on the sun exposure. If you are not interested in having visible gaps along the fence, a board on board fence might be a better option. Similarly, SimTek and Vinyl allow for privacy without the potential defects of natural lumber.
How are fence posts set?
There are a number of fence post available, but the installation usually starts with digging a hole. Your fencing contractor should specify what kind of posts are used, how deep into the ground are they set, and how far apart the posts will be set. At Classic Fence Co. we set our posts in concrete at least 2 feet deep when possible. Generally, posts are set about 8 feet apart, but can vary drastically depending on material and fence style.
Who’s responsible for my sprinkler heads and lines?
Unfortunately, fencing involves digging and cutting and we have yet to invent x-ray vision. We ask that the homeowner marks sprinkler heads and underground lines, cables and fixtures. We do our best to avoid sprinkler system damage, but the homeowner may need to pay to relocate the system if it is within the proposed fence line.
What about my plants near the fence line?
Fencing contractors need room to remove the old fence, dig holes and build the new fence. We ask that the customer remove plants and vegetation within 18-24” of the fence line on both sides. Your contractor will do their best to avoid damaging plants, but construction is heavy, bulky and requires room to move safely. Because of the previous items, the fencing contractor is not typically responsible for damage to plants near a fence line.
What about a contract?
Your contractor is legally obligated to provide you with a written contract before work starts. The contract should provide the specifics of the work to be done, the approximate timeline, payment terms and approximate total cost. Confirm the price includes materials, labor and tax, as well as any special charges incurred. Also make sure the contract states who is responsible for removing the old fence and cleanup of your property when the job is done. Most reputable companies will make sure to clean up to the best of their ability.
What should I expect on installation day?
Fence installation is typically performed by crews of 2-3 people. Confirm with your fencing contractor what time the installation will start and whether or not you should be home. If you are unable to be home, the contractor will want an easy way to contact you should they have questions. As a precaution, you will want to know if your contractor employs sub-contractors, and if so, does the contractors insurance cover them.
What about warranties?
Ask your fencing contractor what warranties come with the fencing materials being used. It is always helpful to know if the work is guaranteed and for how long?
We hope this guide has been a helpful start to your fencing purchase.
If you are in the market for a fence or have specific questions, we would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.
Classic Fence Co.
Call us for a free estimate. You can find additional contact information here.