Are you preparing to install a fence around your property in San Antonio? Fencing can help keep your home safe and may even help your property appraise at a higher value.
To get the best work you can afford, you’ll want to hire the most qualified—and most trustworthy—installation company you can find. But how exactly can you tell the reliable, skilled contractors from the fly-by-night operations that will take your money and leave shoddy work behind?
Here are three simple and easy-to-follow tips for hiring the best possible fence installation companies in San Antonio, Texas.
1. Always Remember LIE: Licensing, Insurance, and Experience
The three major components that make a contractor of any type qualified for the job you need done can be remembered in a simple acronym—LIE:
- Licensing: Installing a fence is deemed a construction job, necessitating the proper license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). You can search that agency’s website to check whether a contractor has the appropriate license.
- Insurance: Any contractor who does any kind of construction work on your property should be properly and adequately insured to cover any possible resulting losses or damage. You can ask contractors for proof of insurance when you interview your candidate companies.
- Experience: Skills, training, and practical experience doing the same kind of work you’re planning to have done constitute a crucial part of qualifications for your fence installation job. A contractor who’s done work similar to your project is preferable to one who hasn’t, all other things being roughly equal.
Each of these qualifications should be verified before moving forward with any fence installer.
2. Compile a List of Contenders
In a big city such as the San Antonio area, it’s usually best to compile a short list of possible fencing installation companies before you start researching. That way, you can narrow down your inquiries and save yourself some time and aggravation.
Start by asking friends, relatives, and neighbors for personal recommendations, whether those are from first-hand experience or indirectly. If you’re installing a fence as part of your preparations to sell your San Antonio home quickly, talk to a local real estate agent and ask for their recommendations and input.
Next, use online tools and sites to search for independent reviews for companies that you’ve received recommendations for from people you know. You can also use third-party digital databases like Angi and Yelp. Also look for the company’s results with the Better Business Bureau. Finally, use the TDLR website to verify licensure.
3. Drill Down With a Few Fence Installation Companies
After you’ve created that short list of possible candidates for your fencing project, call up each company or visit them in person to go over your questions. Have a short written description of your job including yard dimensions and the type of fence you want so that the contractor understands the parameters of the job.
Consider asking each company the following list of questions. Make a note of their responses so that you can evaluate them against each other:
- Can you tell me about your past experience with work that’s similar to my project?
- How do you expect to be paid and when?
- How many people will be on the job site and do you check references for those people?
- How will you clean up the job site after you complete the work?
- Can you give me three or four past clients who can talk to me about their experience with your work for them?
In addition, you’ll want to drill down to your specific job and property. Ask if the contractor will talk to utility providers to locate their rights-of-way and lines. Ask for an estimate for how long it will take them to complete the work.
You’ll also want to ask each contractor about whether permits will be required for your project and who will be responsible for that process. You’ll also want to find out what the permitting fee will be and whether that amount is included in the quote or whether it’s extra.
Finally, ask about what kind of warranty they offer and request a copy of their contract or agreement as well as a written quote based on your job description. This information will help you evaluate each firm fairly and make an informed choice.
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