Not all fence repair services are made equal. Finding reliable and well priced contractors requires research, vetting, ranking, and eventually zeroing down on an expert who is qualified for the job.
The following is a breakdown of what you need to know and do in order to get a great fence service near you. These tips will also come in handy in helping you to avoid scammers, and they will also protect you from exposing yourself to unnecessary legal and financial risks.
Tip 1. Only consider fence services that have valid licenses
Any contractor who takes their profession seriously will have a valid license. A valid license should be seen as a sign of legitimacy, and should be the first check mark when considering contractors.
Furthermore, the licensing authority tends to regulate the conduct of fence contractors. As a result, these contractors are more likely to act in a professional manner. And if disputes arise, you will always have the extra option of resorting to filing a complaint with the licensing authority, something that usually speeds up the dispute resolution process.
2. Insist on inspecting copies of insurance documents
There are two main types of insurance covers that you should look for. The first is public liability insurance. And the second is worker’s compensation insurance.
Insisting on inspecting proof of liability insurance will ensure that you are covered financially in case damage arises as a result of the fencing professional’s work. And as for workers’ compensation insurance, it limits the liability that you are exposed to in the event of a contractor’s employee getting injured.
3. Always conduct in-person interviews before hiring
In-person interviews give you an opportunity to evaluate the fence repair expert’s professionalism. It also provides better opportunities for asking follow-up questions. And in case you are wary of scammers, then having a face-to-face meeting is the best way to sniff them out.
Therefore, before signing the contract, insist on having at least an in-person meeting with a representative of the repair service. Any service that can’t accommodate this request is likely not worth your time.
4. Stick to using a payment schedule
A payment schedule is a good way of limiting your losses in case things go south. It is also a proven way of encouraging the fence repair service to get the job done faster. This is in addition to motivating them to do the repair work to your satisfaction.
You should keep in mind that not every repair service is open to getting paid on a payment schedule. As a result, it is always good to confirm this before signing the contract. And generally, if the fence repair service isn’t flexible enough to accommodate your needs, then they are likely not an ideal fit.
5. Always interview references
Most fence repair services are open to providing a list of references when requested. However, some of these references are never genuine. And some of them don’t count by virtue of the passage of time. Unfortunately, the repair services that provide unhelpful references tend to count on most clients not being diligent enough to contact any of the people on the list.
Interviewing references is thus a good way of separating the professionals from the pretenders. It is also a great opportunity to learn more about the approach of the repair services that you are considering, and their professionalism. And when doing so, always make sure to ask about what the references didn’t like about the particular service.
6. Get multiple written estimates and quotes
Written quotes and estimates are more reliable than verbal ones. This is because when something is in writing, it is more crystalized and this makes asking follow-up questions easier. It reduces the chances of misunderstandings and makes making comparisons much easier.
7. Always carry a list of relevant questions to ask the contractor
It is always a good idea to prepare a list of questions right before you start carrying out interviews. Having a list with you will help to make the interviews more productive. It will keep you focused. And it will also ensure that you get all the information that is essential to your making an informed decision.
When preparing this list, keep the questions simple and direct to the point. Make sure that you include questions that try to probe the service provider’s expertise, their availability, and capacity to handle your fence repair needs.
Asking questions about permit acquisition requirements, easements, and any other legal requirement that you have to meet will help to prepare you for what to expect. You may also want to ask about their approach to dealing with various challenges — like slopes — that are unique to your property.
Questions to ask fence repair service
Asking a fence contractor questions is necessary in order to get a feel of their competence. It is also a good way to gauge their professionalism. Through your questions, you can seek clarification on contractual terms, and the general timeline of the project.
The following is a list of questions that will come in handy in helping you to get a fence expert who is a perfect fit for your project.
- How long is the fence repair work going to take?
- How many people do you have on staff, and how many of them are going to be working on your project?
- Do you have the recommended licensing and insurance?
- Do you accept scheduled payments?
- Are you going to pull permits on my behalf?
- Do you offer warranties, and if so, what are the terms of the warranties that you offer?
Hiring fence repair service in my area
If you are looking to hire a fence repair service in your area, you will have the following options as far as ways of finding a qualified fence expert is concerned.
Word of mouth
One of the best ways of finding a fencing contractor who won’t disappoint you is to ask for recommendations from your friends, family members, and neighbors. This option has a high chance of success because you will be getting recommendations from people that you already trust. Furthermore, you will have the luxury of inspecting their work.
If you don’t have loved ones or neighbors who know a good contractor, then performing an online search is a great option. Search engines like Google are great at automatically showing relevant results of contractors that are in your vicinity.
They even go a step further by giving you directions, reviews, and even contacts of the service providers. You can use these details to learn more about the service contractors, their reputation, and then rank them.
The cost of fence repair
The cost of repairing a fence varies widely depending on the nature of the damage that the fence has suffered, the extent of the damage, the type of fence being repaired, and the height of the fence.
Typically, tall fences cost more than short ones. Chain Link fences cost less to repair than vinyl fences. And repairing fallen fence sections cost more to repair than fixing minor cracks.
Here is a general breakdown of the average cost per square foot of repairing the most common fence types in the market.
|Type of fence
|Cost per linear ft
Should I repair or replace my fence?
Whether you should repair or replace your fence will depend on your budget, the state of your fence, and the purpose of undertaking the project.
You should repair your fence if:
- It hasn’t suffered significant damage and simply needs minor repairs
- You are on a tight budget and so repairing the fence will be more affordable
- The fence is still new and has a long way to go before its lifespan runs out
- If your warranty has expired and fence replacement isn’t an option
You should replace your fence if:
- The fence has been significantly damaged
- The fence is way past its lifespan and the cost of maintaining it are prohibitive
- You want to increase the value of your property by using better fencing materials
- It no longer serves its purpose whether it is providing privacy or security
- You want to make a significant upgrade in your home’s aesthetic appeal and where simple repairs can no longer work
- If your warranty hasn’t expired and it covers the type of damage that the fence has suffered
How do you fix a rotten fence?
The following are the steps that you should take in order to fix a rotten fence.
1. Remove affected panels
Start by removing the rotten wooden panels. You may remove them by prying them from the rest of the fence, unfastening them, or simply sawing them off. A hammer and a saw will come in handy in helping you do so.
2. Cut out rotten patches
The next step is to get rid of the patches of rotting wood on the panels. To do so, use a saw to cut the patches out so that you are left with panels that are free of rot.
This will minimize the risk of the rotting spreading. And it will also create room for a sturdy and more structurally sound replacement.
3. Cover the gap
The next step is to fill up the gap left behind after removing the rotten parts. To do so, take a piece of wood with 2×4 dimensions and affix it to the base of the good part and the sides of the voids created after removing the rotten parts.
4. Reattach and reinforce
With the rotten parts removed and the void filled, it is now time to reattach the panel. to do so, use the 2×4 piece on the panel to affix it to the fence post.
When should I replace my backyard fence?
You should replace your backyard fence if:
- It is significantly damaged
- It no longer serves its privacy or security function
- You want to significantly change the appeal of your property
- You are planning on selling your property and a fence upgrade could improve the overall value of your property
How hard is it to repair a fence?
Repairing a fence is not hard especially if what you are dealing with is minor damage. Most repairs are easy enough to such an extent that they typically make up for interesting DIY projects.
How much does it cost to repair a leaning fence?
On average, homeowners spend an average of $547 to repair a leaning fence. They can spend as much as $818 or as low as $282 depending on the type of fence, the degree to which a fence’s structural integrity has been compromised, and their given location.