How To Hire a Wood Fence Contractor?

Your home is your biggest investment. Reliable fencing is important. But, hiring a licensed fencing contractor can be challenging.

You may think of DIYing the fence installation. But, it can be time-taking and exhausting. The right wood fence company can get it done on-time & on-budget. 

Best Tips on Choosing Wood Fencing Professionals

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DO Understand Types of Wood Fences 

A fence gives you privacy, safety, blocks wind, noises & skinny dips in a swimming pool . But the right wooden fence style makes a strong aesthetic statement & improves your home’s curb appeal.

Determine which wood fence style will go best with your property. You can choose from: 

  • French gothic blunt point
  • French gothic post
  • Square top
  • Stockade
  • Dog ear 

Consider the height, fence color & design. If your neighbors have around 6-foot cedar fences, match it.

IMPORTANT: You must check with your HOA! They have regulations as to accepted styles and rules. 

DO Get Multiple Estimates

Obtain multiple quotes from various fencing contractors to check who best fits your budget. Figure out how much you are willing to spend first and contact local fencing companies near you. Most contractors offer free estimates. Before you call them, ensure to:

  • Inspect previous work
  • Check on licenses
  • Check reviews 

DO Check For Warranties

The installed cedar wood is not usually warranted. It’s natural wood. But what can be warranted is the labor installation. Licensed contractors in most states automatically apply a 1-year workmanship guarantee.

This is WHY you need to work with a licensed contractor. Check with your local state board of contractors.  

DO Inquire About Quality Of the Cedar or Redwood

Western Red Cedar is a naturally durable wood fence that matches up perfectly for the Idaho climate. Red cedar is lightweight and possesses high weather resistance plus decay properties.

Quality cedar fence planks are rated “premium #2 grade board”. The thicker the better- choose 1” to ⅞” thick pickets. You will get minimal warping or shrinking of any cedar picket available on the market.

NOTE — the higher the premium grade of the wood, the nicer it will look & longer it will last. 

DO Evaluate Complications That May Affect Cost

Obstructions like rock, trees can affect the fencing cost. If your yard has a significant slope, it adds to your budget & time as grading might be needed.

DON’T Rely On Solely Online Reviews

Online ratings can be manipulated. Contractors often buy advertisements to get increased exposure. But here, professionals themselves offer reviews and tips. And that’s why these tips on how to hire a wood fence contractor are so vital.

And guess what? Reviews are not always true. Businesses often ask friends and relatives to leave positive comments on Yelp & Google.  

DO Use Word of Mouth

It's a great way to find the best pros. Check the past projects & inspect them personally for quality. Also, check the Better Business Bureau & Idaho Attorney General’s office for complaints before closing the deal.

DO Get Everything in Writing

Your agreement must include — complete description of the project, associated costs, & target completion fees. 

DON’T Allow For “Allowances”

These open ended amounts in the contract can blow up your budget. Once the project starts, stick to the terms.

DON’T Apply For Permits

It’s the job of the fencing company. If they ask you, that can mean that they are in bad standing with local building authorities.

DO Verify The Paperwork

It has all the info about license, insurance & workers compensation policies.

DON’T Pay in Cash

Fraudulent contractors can take your money & run. Reputable contractors accept a check made out to the company or credit card payments. 

DON’T Pay Anything Until The Job Is Done

NOTE — It's NOT common to put a deposit down on a simple $1000 residential installation.

But you have to pay a 25% deposit for the initial delivery of specialized materials or a custom design. Make the final payment ONLY when you are satisfied with the job.

Asking for a large upfront payment is a sign of fraudulent activities. Stay away from it!

After You Hire A Fencing Pro

Prepare For the Representative's Visit

When fencing company representative come for an inspection, 

  • Clear foliage from problem areas
  • Keep the dogs inside
  • Unlock all gates 

Also, check where the new fence will meet the pre-existing fence of your house. And make this area clear. 

Maintain A Relationship With Your Contractor

Once you hire the fencing professionals as per your preferences, build a good connection with them. This will help you if you need any fence maintenance in the future. 

And, it also offers you peace of mind of being in the great hands. 

Questions To Ask 

This is the list of questions to ask when choosing a fence company when you call them. Do not be surprised you have to leave messages. Contractors are busy.

The guy who answers the phone is also the guy who will come give you an estimate & do the install. You can ask them over the phone or during the first visit. 

Are You Licensed?

If your state or city requires this, always choose licensed professionals.

Do You Have Insurance?

No matter how affordable pricing they offer, never use a pro without insurance.

How Will They Handle a Graded Lot?

Check if they step up the fencing or contour to run close to the ground. 

Will They Get the Permits?

Some localities in Idaho need permits from local government agencies for such works. Ask if they obtain the required permissions.

Will The Fence Height Vary?

Most cities allow a max 6-foot fence. If you want your fence to be of the same height, it may still vary depending on the grade.

What About The Clean Up After Fence Installation?

A reputable fencing company leaves your yard as it was before they came (except for a great looking fence). Ensure if they clean up your garden, backyard, entrance & all other spaces that were involved in the job. 

How Long Will Their Fencing Job Take?

This will help you compare different companies. 

Do You Offer a Written Estimate or Contract?

Avoid handshake deals. Always choose a company that offers contracts & estimates in writing.

If you are satisfied with their answers, schedule the inspection for a detailed estimate. You may be forwarded to the sales rep. 

Book A Fence Installation Estimate or Bid

Choose at least 3 companies for a site visit. 

What to Expect During The On-Site Estimate?

An estimator will survey your yard. They may ask what type of fencing you want and where you want it. Be ready with your answers.

They’ll also ask about the connection points of the neighbor's property lines. Discuss with your neighbors ahead of such inspection? — especially if the fencing is shared.

After measuring the area, they will ask about the fence design, style, and type. If there are any obstacles like hedgerow or tree, they may discuss the cost to remove them. 

Ask The Following Questions During A Home Visit

Do not accept the quote without home consultation. Ask the following questions when they inspect your yard: 

What Will Be The Upkeep & Maintenance Cost?

Most great fencing companies do these tasks. They can offer maintenance packages. 

What Fence Style & Material Will They Recommend?

Check for options. They can offer a wood picket fence, cedar privacy fences, white cedar shadow board fences, and more. Choose the one that suits your property the best. And meets the Home Owners Association or neighborhood code, including city regulations where you live.

What Will Be The Estimated Time For Job Completion?

Ask them to give this in writing if possible. 

How Much Will It Cost to Fence?

If they have inspected your residential property, they can give the price range on the spot. 

If The Hiring Goes Wrong

If you choose a bad company & now want to fire them, talk to the contractor first to see if the issue can be resolved. 

Good communication can resolve almost all the problems. Keep a copy of your files, the emails you received or sent for your future references.