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How to Select a Fence Contractor


Once you have decided to proceed with the installation of your fence, the next step will be to choose a qualified fence contractor. Before meeting with the fence professionals in your area, you should be prepared to discuss the following points:

  • The purpose of the fence
  • The exact location of the fence
  • What type of design features you want (height, style, material, etc.)
  • Approximate budget
  • Desired completion date

When interviewing the fence contractors in your area, the following issues should be considered:

  • Ask if the contractor belongs to a national or local trade association such as the American Fence Association (AFA). AFA members abide by a strict code of ethics governing quality workmanship and business practices. However, this does not imply that non-members are not reputable companies.
  • Find out if the contractor is affiliated with a nationally known manufacturer. Merchants Metals Dealer Advantage members meet strict standards regarding professionalism and product knowledge.
  • Verify credentials. Before making your choice, call the Better Business Bureau to make sure the contractor is reputable and there are no complaints against the company.
  • Check to see if the company holds liability and worker’s compensation insurance. The contractor should be able to supply you with the proper forms.
  • Desired completion date
  • Request a list of references. Former customers are an excellent source of information. Call these individuals and ask if they were pleased with the contractors work.
  • Be prepared for an on-site visit. A good fence contractor should inspect the installation site personally in order to evaluate your overall needs. Beware of a dealer that simply takes information over the phone.
  • Request a sample of the products to be used. Make sure they are the same quality you are looking for.
  • Ask about warranties. Material warranties are usually provided by the manufacturer and workmanship is guaranteed by the contractor. The warranty terms will vary from product to product, so be sure to read all the fine print and make sure you understand it.
  • Get a cost estimate and make sure it includes all the services and products you have requested.
  • When reviewing the cost estimates from different contractors, be sure they are based on the same service and quality of products. Be wary of a contractor who offers an unrealistically low price: it may mean they plan to cut corners or they do not fully understand all of the elements of the project.
  • Be sure to get everything in writing. The estimate and/or contract should be completely explained in a written format and signed by the contractor.
  • Ask questions. You should feel free to ask for details about the company, the installation and the fence products themselves. The professional contractor knows that his reputation depends on customer satisfaction both during and after installation.

To ensure your fence is installed according to the highest standards, please fill out and submit our Find a Contractor Form to find a reliable contractor in your area.