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Avoiding Common Mistakes When Hiring a Fence Contractor

Welcome to our blog post where we will guide you through the process of hiring a fence contractor. Choosing the right professional for the job can make all the difference in achieving a successful and long-lasting fence installation. In this article, we will highlight the common mistakes to avoid when hiring a fence contractor, and provide valuable tips to help you make an informed decision. At Sonoma Fence Company, we understand the importance of a reliable and competent contractor, and we are here to assist you every step of the way.

Why Hiring a Professional Fence Contractor Matters

Hiring a professional fence contractor offers numerous advantages. Not only do they possess the necessary skills and expertise, but they also have the tools and resources to complete the job efficiently. Here are a few reasons why hiring a professional is crucial:

  • Quality Workmanship: Professional fence contractors have years of experience in the industry. They understand the intricacies of fence installation and can ensure high-quality workmanship.
  • Knowledge and Expertise: Professionals stay up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques, and building codes. They can provide valuable advice on the best fencing options for your specific needs.
  • Timely Completion: Professionals have the necessary manpower and equipment to complete the project within the agreed-upon timeframe.
  • Legal Compliance: Professional fence contractors are familiar with local regulations and obtain the necessary permits for the installation, ensuring that your project is compliant with the law.

Researching and Evaluating Fence Contractors

Before making a hiring decision, it’s essential to research and evaluate potential fence contractors. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have recently had a fence installed. Their firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights.
  2. Browse Online Directories: Utilize online directories to find reputable fence contractors in your area. Check their websites for more information about their services and expertise.
  3. Read Online Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from previous customers to gauge the contractor’s reputation and customer satisfaction levels.
  4. Check the Better Business Bureau: Visit the Better Business Bureau website to verify the contractor’s rating and any registered complaints.
  5. Request Portfolios: Ask for a portfolio of their previous work to assess the quality and style of their installations.
  6. Contact References: Reach out to their references to gain a better understanding of their professionalism, communication, and work ethic.

Assessing Experience and Expertise

When hiring a fence contractor, experience and expertise are crucial factors to consider. Look for a contractor who has:

  • Proven Track Record: Choose a contractor with a solid track record of successful fence installations. Their experience will reflect in the quality of work they deliver.
  • Specialization: Some contractors specialize in specific types of fences, such as wood, vinyl, or metal. Ensure their expertise aligns with your desired fencing material.
  • Knowledge of Local Regulations: Local regulations and building codes may vary. A knowledgeable contractor will be familiar with these regulations and ensure compliance.
  • Innovative Solutions: An experienced contractor can offer innovative design solutions to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your fence.

Checking Licenses and Insurance Coverage

Before hiring a fence contractor, it’s crucial to verify their licenses and insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Check for Licenses: Ensure that the contractor holds the necessary licenses to operate legally in your area. This helps protect you from potential legal issues.
  2. Insurance Coverage: Verify that the contractor carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. This protects you from any liability in case of accidents or property damage during the project.

Reading Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials provide valuable insights into a fence contractor’s reputation and the quality of their work. Take the time to read through online reviews and testimonials to understand the experiences of previous customers. Look for patterns in the feedback, paying attention to aspects such as professionalism, timeliness, communication, and overall satisfaction. At Sonoma Fence Company, we are proud of our extensive list of satisfied customers and positive reviews.

Comparing Pricing and Getting Estimates

Obtaining multiple estimates is essential to ensure you get a fair price for your fence installation. Consider the following tips when comparing pricing:

  • Quality Over Price: While it’s important to consider your budget, remember that quality workmanship is worth the investment. Choosing the lowest bid might result in subpar materials or workmanship.
  • Detailed Quotes: Request detailed written quotes from each contractor. This should include the cost of materials, labor, permits, and any additional charges.
  • Clarify Payment Terms: Discuss payment terms with the contractor to ensure both parties are in agreement. Be wary of contractors who demand a large upfront payment.
  • Ask About Warranties: Inquire about warranties for both materials and workmanship. A reputable contractor will stand behind their work and provide warranties to protect your investment.

Asking for References

Before finalizing your decision, ask the fence contractor for references. Contacting previous customers can provide valuable insights into their overall satisfaction and the contractor’s reliability. A reputable contractor will gladly provide references and encourage you to reach out to their past clients.

Understanding the Contract and Warranty

Once you’ve selected a fence contractor, it’s crucial to understand the terms and conditions of the contract. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Detailed Scope of Work: The contract should outline the specific details of the project, including materials, dimensions, and any additional services.
  • Timeline: Ensure that the contract includes a realistic timeline for completion, including any penalties for delays.
  • Payment Schedule: Clearly define the payment schedule and milestones in the contract.
  • Warranty: The contract should state the warranties for both materials and workmanship, including any exclusions or limitations.
  • Change Orders: Outline the process for approving any changes or modifications to the original scope of work.
  • Dispute Resolution: Include a clause that outlines the process for resolving any disputes that may arise during the project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What qualities should I look for in a fence contractor?

When hiring a fence contractor, consider the following qualities:

  • Experience: Look for a contractor with a proven track record and extensive experience in fence installation.
  • Expertise: Choose a contractor who specializes in the type of fence you want and has in-depth knowledge of the materials and techniques involved.
  • Reputation: Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge their reputation and level of customer satisfaction.
  • Licensing and Insurance: Ensure that the contractor holds the necessary licensesand carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.

How long does it take to install a fence?

The installation time for a fence can vary depending on various factors, including the size and complexity of the project, the type of fence, and the weather conditions. A smaller residential fence installation can typically be completed within a few days, while larger projects may take several weeks. It’s best to discuss the estimated timeline with your chosen fence contractor.

Are permits required for fence installation?

Permit requirements for fence installation vary by location. Some areas may require permits for certain types of fences or if the fence exceeds a certain height. It’s important to check with your local building department to determine the specific permit requirements for your area. A professional fence contractor like Sonoma Fence Company can assist you with the necessary permits and ensure compliance with local regulations.

What types of materials are commonly used for fences?

There are various materials commonly used for fences, each with its own advantages and aesthetic appeal. Some popular options include:

  • Wood: Wood fences offer a natural and classic look. They are versatile, cost-effective, and can be customized to suit different styles.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl fences are low-maintenance and durable. They are resistant to rot, fading, and cracking, making them suitable for various weather conditions.
  • Metal: Metal fences, such as aluminum or wrought iron, provide security and durability. They can be ornamental or functional, depending on your preferences.
  • Chain Link: Chain link fences are affordable and practical for both residential and commercial properties. They are known for their strength and versatility.
  • Composite: Composite fences combine the benefits of wood and plastic. They offer the natural appearance of wood with the low-maintenance qualities of plastic.

How do I maintain my fence?

Proper maintenance is essential to keep your fence looking its best and prolong its lifespan. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your fence regularly to remove dirt, debris, and any mold or mildew. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush or sponge for the cleaning process.
  • Inspect for Damage: Periodically inspect your fence for any signs of damage, such as loose boards, rusted metal, or cracks. Repair or replace any damaged components promptly.
  • Stain or Paint: If you have a wooden fence, consider staining or painting it to enhance its appearance and protect it from the elements.
  • Trim Vegetation: Trim any vegetation or overhanging branches near your fence to prevent damage and maintain proper airflow.
  • Address Moisture Issues: Ensure proper drainage around your fence to prevent water from pooling and causing damage.

By following these maintenance tips and conducting regular inspections, you can ensure that your fence remains in excellent condition for years to come.


Hiring a fence contractor is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. By avoiding common mistakes and following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can confidently select a reliable and skilled contractor for your fence installation needs. At Sonoma Fence Company, we take pride in our expertise, professionalism, and commitment to customer satisfaction. If you’re ready to enhance your property with a beautifully crafted and durable fence, give us a call at 707-238-7161 or visit our website to request a quote. Our team is ready to assist you in creating the perfect fencing solution for your home or business.

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