Outdoor living has rocketed to the top of homeowner wishlists, with 45% of people surveyed saying outdoor entertaining is on their agenda.
Are you looking to upgrade your outdoor space? If so, privacy is a must.
Installing a privacy fence can add interest to your space, make it feel custom and high-end, and create a sanctuary-like ambiance.
If you want a lux look, one of the best materials to choose from is stone fencing. However, installing a stone privacy fence takes more know-how than a reed screen or a line of chain link.
Therefore, you must pick your stone privacy fence installer with care.
If you don’t vet your fence installer options thoroughly, you might have a nightmare fence installation experience, and be left with a stone fence that has ongoing issues.
Continue reading for everything you need to consider when comparing fence installer options.
Look for an Installer That Specializes in Fencing
One of the first things to consider is what type of company or installer you want. If you’re installing a simple fence or privacy screen material onto an existing fence, this isn’t usually a highly complicated job.
In contrast, stone fencing is far more involved to install.
There is a lot more structural and technical planning involved. Therefore, the stone privacy fence installer you pick should have ample experience building stone fences and walls.
If you are installing a stone fence, we would recommend that you go with a company that specializes in fencing. While you can hire a general contractor or a handyman, there’s a good chance they might have never had to erect a stone fence before.
In other words, they’ll be learning on the job. Any mistakes might end up being at your expense.
If you pick an installer that specializes in fencing, they’ll also be able to give you more expert advice on your project. For instance, maybe you find that a stone fence is pushing the limits on your budget? If so, an experienced fence installation company will be able to run you through the pros and cons of alternative types of fencing such as vinyl fencing.
Find Out What Stone Fence Installation Experience They Have
Another important thing to consider is the level of fence installation experience a potential company has. Just because a company says they specialize in fencing doesn’t mean they have experience with stone or concrete fencing.
One of the benefits of stone fences is that they can last for decades and require little maintenance if built correctly. However, if they aren’t built correctly, you could wind up with ongoing problems. At some point, your stone fence might even collapse in places.
As we said above, stone fencing requires more technical know-how. Stone fences need to be erected on a solid foundation. They also need to be packed correctly, leveled perfectly, and built in a way that loose stones won’t come tumbling down in a couple of years.
If there are any obstacles, such as rock outcrops, tree stumps, or irregularities in the ground, your installer needs to plan for these. They also need to account for slopes and ensure that the stone fence sits straight and true.
Because stone fences are usually more complicated to build, you need to ensure that the stone privacy fence installer has extensive experience.
Ask them how many stone fences they have erected. You can also ask for referrals to past customers that have had stone fences installed.
Look up Online Customer Reviews
Besides contacting past clients, you should also look up online customer reviews when comparing fence installer options. The easiest place to do this is on Google Reviews.
How many reviews does the stone privacy fence installer have? If it’s only a handful this can indicate that they:
- Haven’t been in business for all that long
- Lack experience
- Don’t have a professional online presence
All of these are warning signs.
Instead, look for a stone privacy fence installer that has a good number of reviews. If an installer has more than a hundred reviews, this shows they have been in business for some time. It also gives you a good selection of reviews from which to gauge the quality of their services.
It’s hard to get a comprehensive overview of past customer experiences from a dozen reviews. If there are over a hundred or more, you can get a better idea of the average star rating of an installer and what their customers are saying about them.
Along with checking online customer reviews, you can also check fence installer ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Evaluate the Quality of Customer Service
Once you have shortlisted a few fence installer options, start reaching out to them and gauge their level of customer service.
Are they quick to answer the phone or respond to emails? If not, they might be a fly-by-night operation. Even if they are legitimate, it still indicates unprofessionalism, customer neglect, and disorganization.
Once you start speaking to a potential stone privacy fence installer, evaluate their attitude. Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seem to value your business and be eager to meet your needs?
Make Sure the Stone Privacy Fence Installer Is Licensed and Bonded
Besides evaluating customer service levels, it’s also very important to enquire about licenses and bonding.
If you hire an unlicensed contractor, this can open up a can of worms. Not only does it indicate unprofessionalism on the part of the contractor, but it can also land you with unwanted legal liability.
If an unlicensed contractor or one of their employees is injured while working on your property, legally you could be responsible for the injury. The same can apply if a third party is injured.
Most states require that contractors hold general liability insurance. This covers claims by third parties as well as damage to your property.
Should a contractor accidentally cause damage to your property during their work, the last thing you want is to be the one that has to foot the bill.
Therefore, make double sure that the stone privacy fence installer you hire is fully licensed and holds general liability coverage.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of fence installer options, it’s time to start asking for estimates.
When the estimates come in, go over them carefully.
When comparing fence installation costs it’s important to check not just the totals, but the individual line items as well.
Comparing fence installation costs isn’t only about finding the cheapest option, it’s about getting the best value for your money. What are the different contractors charging for each area of the job, such as refuse removal, labor, materials, etc?
Some contractors mark up things that don’t bring you value, such as skip rental. If you notice that a specific contractor is giving you a better price on these areas, but charging a little more in labor and stone, they might deliver a better quality product at a similar price.
Another critical thing to compare when choosing a stone privacy fence installer is warranties. If an installer doesn’t offer a warranty on their work, you won’t have any guarantee on the installation. If it gives problems, the repair cost will land on your shoulders.
Therefore, make sure that the stone privacy fence installer you select offers a decent guarantee on their workmanship.
Enquire About Permits and Utilities
Whenever you erect a new fence, it’s critical to look into permitting requirements. It might also be necessary to call a utility locator to establish the locations of any nearby utility lines.
While you can carry out these tasks as a homeowner, it’s much more convenient if your installer handles them. It gives you one less thing to think about. A company that routinely handles these tasks for its customers will also know exactly what number to call, what process to follow, and who to speak to.
Either way, it’s important to get clear on who is going to make these arrangements. If you just assume that the installer will verify the permit requirements and utility line locations, and they don’t, you could land up in a whole lot of trouble with your municipality.
Get Clear on Key Details
If you’re like 53% of Americans, you’re excited to create a functional and attractive outdoor space.
But this doesn’t mean you should rush through the details of your project.
Take some time to get clear on what the final product will look like. How wide will the fence be? What size will the panels be if the design includes panels? What color variations can you expect?
If the fence also includes a gate, are the gate and fittings included in the total cost?
Are You Looking for an Experienced Stone Privacy Fence Installer?
If you’re erecting a new fence, one of the most important tasks is picking the right installer. One you can trust to get the job done and install a fence that will stand the test of time while providing you with standout customer service.
Looking for an experienced stone privacy fence installer?
Butte Fence has been going the extra yard for its clients for 25 years. We have extensive experience with all types of fencing. We pride ourselves on being one of the topmost trusted fencing suppliers in Idaho. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your stone privacy fence.