Actual photo from a customer who chose the lowest price fence contractor.
Unfortunately when looking at anything these days we consider the cost. With inflation out of control, the price of goods, services, and labor have increased dramatically. What one must consider is the OVERALL cost of things, especially services. Contracting services can be not only expensive as a general rule, but also consequential. What do I mean by consequential?
I will use an example. Say you call around to get quotes to install a new fence in your yard. You call 10 companies, get a few guys to come out, a few phone estimates, etc. You have a budget in mind, say its $10,000 for your entire yard. So you get 2 estimates that are super cheap, well within your budget, you get 2 higher quotes, flirting closely with your budget, and you get 1 estimate slightly above your budget, and then another estimate way above your budget. What do you think sets these companies and prices apart?
Do you choose the "cheapest quote"?
Often times contractors will underbid themselves just to keep their guys busy. Maybe they are in a pinch and just need to "buy the business" in order to avoid any issues. Often times, the lowest bids are the ones you should scrap. They often don't have insurance, will do the job terribly, or will take your deposit and leave town. Or a combination of all of those things.
The companies that bid high are often the ones that will value you as a customer and provide a superior level of customer service. When you call, they answer. When you need something addressed, they will be there to address it.
So now what really is the "cheapest quote"?
If you value quality and a "one and done" installation that you never have to worry about again, choosing the highest bid is often the best bet. But there's a catch, if someone throws out the highest bid and doesn't back it up with a high level of customer service, that means they don't want the job, they are simply bidding high to avoid getting the job entirely.
Now if you choose the lowest bid, it will cost you more in the long run. A full re-installation of an entire fence is not something you want to do. You thought it was painful the first time around, the second time will hurt even worse. Not only financially, but also your time, and how much is that worth to you?
So in the end, it's always about cost. But often the cost is felt later on, not on the upfront outlay of cash. Sometimes a trick contractors pull is they get you in the door with a low bid, then process changeorders and upsells after they start. So after its all said and done, you might be paying thousands more for the "lowest bid" company.
Some ways to avoid these scams is to do your research on local fence companies and to see how they treat you when first interacting with them. Do they answer the phone, do they treat you respectfully, do they arrive on time?
The other thing to consider about low bids is, are they paying their workers a living wage? Now that may not seem like a big deal to you but disgruntled employees can wreak havoc on your property and cut corners. If they aren't being paid properly, YOU pay the price for that with a shotty installation.
At Schaumburg Fence, we pay our workers high wages and have a high level of customer service. Our philosophy is happy employees means great service for every customer. We don't cut corners, we do the job right the first time.
Compare your shopping experience of say buying a television. The difference of walking into an Abt Electronics versus a Wal-Mart. At Abt, you're going to get a superior customer service experience and help deciding on exactly what you need. Versus Wal-Mart, you will pay the cheapest price but have zero customer service or knowledge.
Fence installation is a skilled trade, you can't just hire any handyman or random person to install it. What I always say, "We aren't the Wal-Mart of fencing." You'll pay more but get a better experience AND product. While you may be able to shop for televisions, shopping for a custom built fence should be treated much differently. Is the sales rep and company trustworthy? Are they respectful? Are they transparent with their recommendations and process?
We understand there are many options out there for fence contractors. Many large fence companies have a model of high churn and treat you just like a number. Once they get your deposit they won't communicate with you and fall through with empty promises. While you may pay more with us, we know you'll pay less over time and enjoy a superior customer service experience.
When you meet with one of our sales reps, they provide 100% transparency in pricing and on recommendations. We will never recommend services you don't need. So if its important to you to work with a locally owned, honest small business, Schaumburg Fence is your best choice for fence installation this season.