Any time you are thinking about repairing or replacing your fence, you should consider hiring a professional fence contractor to do the work, unless you are an avid DIY'er and have a lot of fence installation or repair experience. Finding a reputable and trusted contractor should be your first priority but there a few things you need to consider before undertaking the hiring process.
Start by considering the different types of materials that you need or want your fence to be constructed from:
Aluminum - less maintenance is involved with this material compared to the others and you have a choice where grades or levels of quality are concerned. On the downside, aluminum is more subject to damage and using it instead of another material involves a more complex and tedious installation process.
Vinyl - this material is available in a wide range of colors, finishes, and styles, as well as a number of decorative options. Vinyl never cracks, rots, splinters, splits, or warps and unless it gets damaged, you never need to repaint it. Finally, vinyl is extremely easy to clean. However, vinyl gets broken easily by high winds or when struck by objects such as balls or tree limbs. Additionally, it looks like plastic even though it cannot be recycled (vinyl is not environmentally-friendly).
Wood - as an all-natural material, wood is eco-friendly and will last for years if it is properly installed and maintained. It is less expensive initially than aluminum or vinyl and there are a number of styles available on the market. There are tons of colors available for painting or staining wood fencing. You can resist insect infestation and rotting if you use cedar. Overall, wood has a more aesthetic and natural appearance compared to the other materials. There are certain drawbacks with wood. It requires more care and maintenance over time which makes it more expensive than aluminum and vinyl.
The second aspect to consider is understanding the entire process from beginning to end. For instance, do you know where your property line starts and ends? How long will it take your fence project to be completed? Is your project going to disrupt the neighborhood? Where this last question is concerned, you should give your neighbors a head's up about your fence work. Remember, your fence will be bordering their properties. Keep in mind that you should have covered all of these issues before any work begins.
Finally, you want to make sure that you hire a qualified and reputable fence contractor before having the work done. Make sure they are bonded, insured, and licensed since this protects you as much as it protects the contractor. Most importantly, if they cannot prove that they are a local area company, keep looking. In other words, you will know which fence contracting companies are local if they list a local area address and telephone number - avoid companies that use P.O. Boxes and toll-free telephone numbers.
Reputable contractors always have a portfolio of past fencing projects as well as references and testimonials of prior clients. Some of the better fence contractors will even take you to the site of their past jobs. Be sure that they are based in your local area by asking for a local address and phone number. Just remember that you don't want some fly-by-night operation doing your project.
About the Author
Mike Keels has been building and repairing Austin fences for businesses and residences for some time now. There has not been a situation where he couldn't replace or repair any type of fence. You can learn more about his expertise by visting his website at http://www.fence-austin.com