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How to Start a Contractor Project

1. What is the fences purpose?

Before you even begin to dream up your fence, you need to establish a purpose. Am I fencing a garden, building a pet fence, trying keep the kids safe, containing livestock, or defining a boundary in the landscape? What ever your purpose, you will want the contractor to build a fence that meets your needs. You do not want to build a 4 board fence to keep pigs in or barbed wire fence to keep your children out of the pool. You want to be happy with the end result once the project is complete.

Before calling a contractor, take some time to walk your property to determine where you are wanting the fence to go. Where do you want gates to make access easier to the fenced in area? Are there particularly bad areas that might be of concern to the contractors?

Write down all of your concerns and ideas. You will want to communicate all of them to the contractors. Developing a drawing of the lay out will be helpful.

2. Where do you want the fence?

3. Get contractor references

Talk to friends and family to get references to trusted local contractors. If your list is short, you can use a service such as Home Advisor to help add more choices. Do some online research on the contractors to see if there are any helpful reviews. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see how they rank.

4. Call the contractors

Once you have a potential list of contractors, call them and ask a few questions:

1. Do they do this type of project and do they have some former clients you could call?

2. Are they licensed and insured for your area?

3. How soon will they be available to work?

4. How long have they been in business?

5. Is there a guarantee or warranty with their work?

5. Do more homework

Call a few of the references that were given from the contractor and make sure they were satisfied with the work performed. Ask them about how their projects were run and how issues were handled.

6. Set up face to face meetings

Once you have narrowed your list down to 2 or 3 contractors you feel comfortable with, set up face to face meetings to discuss the project. Walk them around the property and bring up all the details you gathered earlier for the project. Request an estimate on what it might take to do the project.

7. Select Contractor

After talking in person with contractors, you should have a feel for who will be the best person for the job. They will show interest in what you are trying to achieve and may suggest alternatives to help solve some of your issues. The may not always be the cheapest. You will feel you can trust this person to do what is right for the project.

Once you have selected one contractor, it is time to get into the details. You will want to discuss the payment plan and timelines. For small projects, most payment should not be made until the end of the project. For larger projects, payment to cover some material may be required at the start. Never make 100% payment on the front end.

8. Discuss payment plan

9. Finalize Design

With the business side of things resolved, now review the design plan of the contractor to make sure it meets your needs you brought up during your initial meeting. Revise the plan until you are satisfied you will have the end result you want.

10. Get it in writing and go

With all of the details worked out, make sure everything is in writing for the payment plan and the design. Once everything is signed, begin your fence construction project.

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