Installing a fence, perhaps around your property, can be a daunting thought. There’s a lot to plan and think through before proceeding. Where is the best place to buy fence materials? What will the installation cost be? Can I do it myself, or do I need to hire a fencing contractor?
You should treat a fencing project just like anything you might build. You will probably need to get local planning permission before proceeding, which in turn will mean that you will need properly prepared plans of the project beforehand.
Consider you neighbors
Do you know exactly where your property boundary is? Most people have a good idea where it is, but encroach on your neighbor’s land, even by an inch or so, and you may find your friendly neighbor is not quite so friendly any more. Always be certain that you have the legal right to do it, before you do it. Your iron fencing project will go much smoother as a result.
It’s probably a good idea to drop along each neighbor who borders your property and discuss your plans with them. They might be concerned about your plans as it may obstruct their view in some way, or impinge on them in some other way.
There are many types of ornamental fence, and the one you plan to erect may not be the right style of fence, or the most suitable wrought iron fence for the neighborhood, or indeed, for you. A quick friendly chat with your neighbors will do wonders for your local public relations. You might even pick up some useful tips too.
Licensed, Insured and Bonded?
You will most likely employ a fencing contractor to do the job for you, unless of course you have prior fencing experience. Assuming that you get a fencing contractor, you will need to ensure that he is properly licensed, insured and bonded.
Your fence, unless it is something like a very short 6-foot run of fence, will most likely cost you more than $500, so it is in your best interests to make sure a bond is in place. This will protect you if your fencing contractor fails to meet the terms of the contract, for any reason. If such a situation arises, having a bond in place will save you a lot of money.
The need for liability insurance should be obvious. This will cover any work related damages that might happen. Workmen’s compensation insurance is also important. While you may think that part of it is really none of your business, you really don’t want injuries or health risks that are not fully covered happening on your property.
A proper fencing contractor is one who has paid all the necessary local fees, and one you can probably trust. If your contractor seems a bit cagey about the subject of codes and permits, ask yourself what he has to hide. Contact your local licensing authority if you need to find out.
Avoid sub-contractors, if possible
The best situation concerning fence installers and contractors is where all the workmen are employed by the contractor. This ensures a certain continuity and control. If a contractor sub-contracts all or part of the work to another company, he loses a degree of control, and you lose even more control.
Your iron fence installation will go much more smoothly if the workmen are fully accountable to the fence installation contractor you hired in the first place. The hierarchy will be properly defined, and you will sleep much better at night too.
Choosing a good, reputable fencing contractor from the start is one of the best tips you can have when you install your own iron fence. You won’t have to worry about fence materials, getting a suitable post hole digger, making sure posts are pre-routed, and that’s always assuming you get the right size of posts in the first place. Getting a good contractor will leave you with nothing to worry about apart from how your fence will look when it’s finished.