Many local homeowners and business owners are searching online for a "fence company near me" or "fence companies near me" and come up with a bazillion search results. It can be quite frustrating for anyone trying to find the right fence contractor to choose among all the fence companies out there. In this article we will bring to light the few things to look for when choosing a quality fence company for your home or commercial property.
You'll want to find a contractor who has hundreds of pictures of their installations. Also be sure they are CURRENT. Not old pictures from a year or 2 ago. Recent fence installation pictures is crucial to ensure they are still performing quality work in in your local community.
Type of Fence Materials
Make sure the fence contractor installs what you are looking for. Many contractors don't install specialty of custom fencing to meet specific needs. So if you are looking for a horizontal fence, custom vinyl fencing, staining, or composite fence material you may be out of luck with the large fence contractors out there.
The standard fence material options like cedar, pine, vinyl/pvc, and aluminum are usually available from most fence contractors. It all comes down to the style you want and the type of work they can perform.
Many large fence contractors that have been around for awhile are "churn and burn". They install the cheapest materials with the cheapest labor available for the lowest price. This is not who you want installing your fence. In the long run, choosing a high volume fence contractor will end up costing you more. How? Because they won't go deep enough in the holes, they won't use concrete, they won't install it to industry standards, and/or they will use shotty cheap materials that won't last.
Quality of Installation
This is a heavy one. Getting a quality installation is often overlooked in favor of a lower price. While you can get a super cheap price from the "big guys" or a small "guy and a truck" operation, you are sacrificing your peace of mind. Installing a fence more than once is an extremely frustrating experience if you have to go through it yourself. Spending upwards of $10,000 and sometimes more is hard enough, then having to do it again after a year or 2 is even more frustrating and painful.
Cutting corners on fence quality could cost you thousands of dollars. With the potential of the fence to blow down in the next storm or fall over from not being installed correctly. Many customers want the highest quality at the lowest price, but that's not how the world works. You will have to pay more for a higher quality installation.
Talk with the sales people from each of your chosen fence companies and ask them their process of installation. Compare it with industry standards of the American Fence Association. Here are our standards of fence installation:
Surprisingly customer service is often overlooked, but it is to be experienced. If you talk to someone when you first call in, that is a great sign. If they get out to your home within a few days of calling, that is another good sign. If they get a quote to you on the spot or the same day, that's 3 in a row and the fence contractor you should choose. But often times clients have that great experience all the way through but still end up choosing the guy who doesn't pick up when they call, is late to the appointment, and/or is unprofessional and can't meet their needs.
Customer service is being on time, answering the phone, communicating the process, and providing a quote the same day of the appointment. Just think, the experience you receive during the sales process is the BEST you will get. So if that's lacking on the front end, you will only go down hill from there.
Years in Business
Something important to consider is how many years the fence contractor has been in business. While new contractors may still be of quality, they haven't been vetted by the test of time. You'll want to find a local fence contractor that has been in business for at least 2 years.
5 Star Reviews
It could be argued that reviews is #1, but it's technically not the most important. Many clients who have great experiences don't take the time to leave reviews. Often times, the disgruntled, irrational customers who are the ones to take the time to leave negative reviews instead. Sometimes a client is happy about everything; the customer service, the installation, etc but they have a small hairline crack in one of the fence pickets so they leave a bad review just for that. Other times, a client is extremely happy and they just don' take the time to leave a positive review.
So consider reviews with a grain of salt. Many fence contractors who have hundreds of positive reviews are paying someone from another country to leave them reviews to boost their rankings. Look for red flags such as fake looking names, duplicate experiences, etc.
Locally Owned & Operated
Is the fence contractor you are considering locally- based? That will determine if they will be on time and be able to service your fence if repairs are needed.
Support local small businesses!
Many preach it but don't actually do it. While you may be able to get a cheaper price from a large fence company, it's much better to support your local community businesses. Local small businesses have been through a lot in recent years with shutdowns and overstepped government regulations. Large corporations have faired very well and posted record profits, so they don't need your money, small businesses do. Just remember, small businesses are owned and run by local families in your community.
Does the company you are looking at post regularly on social media? Are they listed in many local directories in the community? Are they registered as a contractor with your local city/town? Any contractor that does business in your city must be registered to install a fence. That includes county and village.
Do they have a Facebook and Instagram where they post regularly? Do they have a Pinterest account where they post their latest fence installation work? If not, it may be cause for reconsideration as they are not proud of the fences they install.
Does the fence contractor you are considering use contracts or agreements? It's important to have everything signed off upon in writing. Without a written contract, you don't know what you will really be getting. If a contractor does work without a contract, run for the hills!
Many fence contractors are stuck in the middle ages with carbon copies and physical paper everything. With physical paper, you have no digital record. Also, any communication will be by mail or physical interaction every time they interact with you.
Questions to ask yourself:
If the answer to any of these questions, consider choosing another company that is with the times and can keep up with the high demands of your project.
Minimum Project Cost
Many fence contractors have a minimum project cost. Most fence companies have a $5,000 minimum which tells you they don't need your business. Many fence companies won't even give you the time of day unless the project is over 200'. It's best to consider a fence company that has low minimums and also handles fence repairs, as most jobs under 30' are considered fence repairs.
Does the fence contractor you are considering handle commercial fence installation? That is a true testament to their skill and abilities. If they don't handle commercial, it should be a red flag that they are not capable of high quality fence installation. Commercial fencing poses a more highly skilled installation than that of residential fence installation.
So there you have it, the top reasons to choose a fence contractor in Illinois. Choose wisely, as choosing the wrong fence contractor could cost you thousands of dollars.
If you want a professional fence contractor to install a fence for you, we install fencing for all of Illinois and are based in Chicagoland. Call us for a free estimate today at 847-750-4995 or visit SchaumburgFence.com