Selecting a contractor to install or repair a fence is an important decision. Customers should expect professionalism and competence for the price that they will pay. There are many individuals who list their services however many lack the experience or qualifications to complete a difficult fencing project. Before choosing a fence contractor, it is important for each customer to consider his or her needs. Commercial, Governmental and Residential fencing projects all have different project requirements. A contractor that succeeds in one of these sectors may not necessarily be experienced in others.
Cost is one of the most important aspects to consider when picking a fence contractor. In this era of tight fiscal budgets, the lowest bidder often gets the job. The customer, or whoever is selecting the contractor, must evaluate what the project actually requires. If the project is small, only one contractor will be necessary. However, for a large scale job, a general contractor will oversee the project. The general contractor will manage final pricing and will hire ‘subcontractors’ who will actually price and install the fence.
Knowledge and experience are a large part of the construction game. Prior to fence construction, contractors will share a submittal with their client. A submittal is a drawing that shows the specifications of the contract documents. The purpose of a submittal is to show the customer that the contractor is competent in the aspects of the project by illustrating exactly what will be constructed. Without a thorough submittal, a customer cannot be assured that their contractor understands the project fully or is fully capable of completion. The submission of submittals is especially important when a low priced contractor is hired. No matter how tempting the small price tag is, if the contractor cannot prove their familiarity with the scope and nature of the project, then they must not be awarded the job.
Some of the best authorities on any contractor are their previous clients. A longstanding good reputation with General Contractors and customers can be vital in obtaining future fence work for a fence company. Maintaining a good track record and consistently performing above standards will be taken into account in the hiring decision. For commercial fence projects, it is necessary to have the resources and manpower to bid commercial jobs and the knowledge to complete them successfully. Special types of projects do arise and for that reason adaptability is a key to project completion and gaining future work.
For military clients, characteristics in a contractor are similar to those desired in the commercial sector. Although cost plays a big role in who will win the contract, the business classification is the main deciding factor. Certain bases or military institutions will require a fence contractor to be a Small, Women and Minority (SWAM) owned Business. Other qualifications for this are Disabled Veteran Owned, Disadvantaged Business, and Minority Owned business. If a contractor has any of these qualifications, he or she may have a leg up on competitors in landing the military contract. Bidding military work can be tricky and may require a contractor who is familiar with the complicated bidding process or who has a business relationship with the contracts officer. A lot of high security fence is used on military bases and this is a case where having the resources and knowledge is vital in obtaining work.
In the residential sector, price and selection drive the majority of decisions. As a contractor, it is important to have a wide variety of resources and materials as well as to maintain a fresh and creative outlook on projects. In this market, there are a lot of fence contractors with plenty of materials so keeping a very positive reputation is essential. Word of mouth advertising is very powerful and can lead to more bids and repeat customers.
Article contributed by Ellen Falci.