Wood Fence Contractors Checklist
Ok, you are serious about buying a backyard fence. Where do you start? How do you know you found a great contractor? Big yellow page ads? Large marketing campaign? Lot’s of fencing in your subdivision? WELL…maybe.
LARGE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Truth is they have to do a lot of work to pay for half or full page telephone book ads. Some companies may be in 5 or more books. That’s between $25,000 to $50,000 a year. Large marketing campaigns are also expensive. So the question is: Are you paying for fencing or advertising and getting ripped off or getting a quality job with quality materials?
LOTS OF JOBS IN YOUR SUBDIVISION
Just because there are a lot of one company fencing in your subdivision doesn’t mean they are good at what they do.
Some fence companies will saturate a subdivision with inferior products or installations (cheap concrete mix = scat mix) or make deals with subdivision developers. By the time the fencing fails (5 to 8 years) the company is long gone from the area.
Take the time and look at those fences after they have been up for 6 to 8 years. If you are buying a fence, don’t get caught up in the new fence smell and the bright wood color, that all changes in about 6 months and then it’s time to stain.
VAGUE FENCE MATERIALS DESCRIPTIONS
Just last week I was in a subdivision where 2 homeowners using the same contractor and same material quote received TWO different fences. WOW! picket boards 3/8″ thick (way to thin for fencing) and backing rails only 1″ thick (industry standards 1-1/2″ thick). The 1″ thickness is ok for decking boards with joists set 16″ on center, but definitely to thin to support fencing. The other job featured picket boards 1″ thick (may have been flooring over runs) with 1″ backing rails to hold the fence up! Totally unacceptable practices.
Without consistency in materials, installation your fence will be unique to you! Now think about it when you need a few replacement parts, where can you find them? Only with the same company, but if they are using a hodgepodge of materials even they won’t be able to match it up.
Click here WOOD FENCE CONTRACTORS CHECKLIST for your specific questions to ask your fence contractors when getting quotes. If they don’t want to answer your questions…THAT IS YOUR ANSWER! PASS AND MOVE TO ANOTHER!
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WARRANTY – did you know there are two different warranties
Manufacturer Warranty – what is covered, how long, transferable
Contractor Warranty – what is covered, how long, transferable
Concrete – Yes there are differences, and IT MATTERS
100% Concrete for fence post footers
Skat mix of materials on trailer, identity unknown, rock, sand, portland MAYBE!
Nails – what are they using quantity, coatings, screw or twist shank, HOW MANY!
Treated for termites pine lumber – galvanized ring shank nails
Cedar/Cyprus/Spruce – stainless steel nails to prevent rust stains (crying)
LUMBER TREATED FOR TERMITES: if you have termite treatment for you house…you need it for your fence!
Posts – size, depth in the ground, eyeball installation or using a string (you will be surprised)
Backing rails – bridges the posts supports the pickets (industry standard 2″x 4″ x 8′)
Pickets – thickness defined (less than 5/8″ thickness unacceptable) standard and easily obtainable at various locations