There is a lot of competition in the fencing industry. As you look to hire a local fencing company for your project, you may be overwhelmed at the number of fencing companies in your area. A fence can be a big investment and a lasting impression to the security, functionality, and curb appeal of your property. That’s why working with a qualified fencing company is important!
But how do you know whether a fencing company is reputable?
Finding a top rated fencing contractor isn’t difficult, but it requires a bit of research and asking a few questions. In this article, we’ll cover some detailed tips for selecting a fence company and highlight many of the reasons we believe Central Iowa Fencing meets that standard.
What you’ll find in this article:
1.) Searching for “Fence Companies near me” Online
These days, most individuals are likely to turn to the internet and their favorite search engine to seek out local fencing companies. With so many search results, you’re likely to be overwhelmed as you perform your search. So you can quickly narrow down your fence company preferences by asking a few initial questions to yourself about the company before you even contact them.
What is the initial perception of their website?
A reputable fence company will take necessary steps to ensure their website is a professional representation of themselves. The company should clearly communicate their fencing services, ways to contact them, show image galleries of projects and provide reliable information about their qualifications and credentials. If a website is overly generic or attempts to conceal the identity of the company, you’re likely not working directly with the fence company.
While a fence company may not necessitate the most extravagant website to relay their business information, if the initial impression of their online presence seems suspicious, it could be an indicator of a less than professional individual behind the content.
Extra Tip: Business websites should take customer security seriously. That includes using SSL certificates to ensure a secure connection for their customers & website user data. You can tell the connection is secure via the “https://www.” in lieu of “http://”. The “s” stands for secure. Learn more about SSL Certificates.
You can trust our fencing business website.
You’ll find our website clearly communicates our company name and contact information in the header so you can reach our representatives directly. Plus, you’ll find a transparent disclosure of our address in the footer ensuring we operate out of a physical location near Cedar Rapids. Prospective customers will also find a wealth of information about our products as well as images of past projects in our fence project galleries.
We clearly display links to our social media pages where you’ll find actual customers commenting their experience with us on our Facebook page.
Does the business have reviews and testimonials?
One of the fastest ways to tell whether a company is worth earning your business is discovering what type of experience past customers have had. Most contractors that have had overwhelmingly positive reviews will proactively want to display those reviews. It’s important to be wary of companies that have manually created testimonials on their website instead of embedded testimonials from their source.
Some companies may write fake testimonials directly on their website, even going so far as including a picture and name from the alleged reviewer. If the company has a seemingly high number of positive reviews on their website, but doesn’t seem to have a track record of reviews elsewhere (Facebook, Google, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List), there’s a good chance the testimonials aren’t real.
It’s also important when vetting a fence contractor to ensure they’re not skewing their ratings by way of insider reviews. A new fence company without any reviews (or one with low reviews) may encourage their employees and owners to leave biased reviews.
How do you know our reviews are real?
You can tell the reviews on our website are genuine because they’re directly pulled automatically from Google Reviews. You can find a link to our Google Business Reviews in a widget in our footer and throughout our website you’ll find customer reviews embedded on the page directly from Google users who were customers.
(These are verifiably real and directly from Google.)
You can also seek out additional reviews at places like Facebook, Yelp, BBB and Angie’s List. You’ll note in our Google Reviews widget exactly how many reviewers our average star rating is based on. With currently over 300+ Google reviews and a 4.9 out of 5 star rating, that’s a lot of reviews over the years and because individuals can only leave a review once with their Google account, it keeps the average truthful.
Has the business been nominated for awards?
It’s unlikely that a shady business would be noticed by the community and nominated for a “best of award”. Often, newspapers and other media outlets will highlight local businesses using community driven nominations.
We’re award winning fencing installers!
We’ve been recognized as the “Best Fence Installation Company” multiple times by our Iowa community!
2.) Verifying Fence Contractor Qualifications
Not all fence contractors are the same. In fact, not all “contractors” are licensed contractors! This is especially true during storm season when damaging winds and floods destroy property. Out of town crews and fly by night contractors will print off flyers or go door to door looking to drum up business.
Many of these contractors are merely looking to make a quick buck and aren’t licensed and insured. It’s not uncommon for any construction project to require at least some initial payment to cover materials, but failing to choose a reputable fence company could result in an individual running off with your deposit and never providing any service or materials in return.
Avoiding these situations isn’t difficult with a little bit of research, especially before payments exchange hands.
Is the contractor licensed and insured?
In Iowa, you can perform a public, statewide search by business name or registration number to verify that a company is licensed and registered as a contractor. Iowa law requires that all businesses performing construction related services operating within Iowa to register Iowa Division of Labor if earnings exceed $2,000 annually. Out of state contractors must also file a $25,000 surety bond.
Before hiring a contractor, be sure to verify that they meet a minimum qualification for your project of being licensed and insured.
Is our Cedar Rapids fencing business registered?
Absolutely! We even display our registration number (#C111229) directly in the footer. You can head over to the Iowa Contractor’s Search page, type in the number and verify the registration details.
Is the business BBB Accredited?
Another easy way to tell if a fence contractor is legitimate is to check whether they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB website includes a search of company name by city and state. Illegitimate businesses typically won’t go to the efforts or make the financial investment required to become accredited with the Better Business Bureau. By becoming accredited, businesses are able to use the BBB seal, but they must both pay a fee and maintain certain standards that the BBB requires.
Are we accredited with the Better Business Bureau?
Yes. Central Iowa Fencing has been accredited since 9/22/2014 and we’ve maintained an A+ rating.
Are they a member of the American Fence Association?
Professional fencing contractors that want to grow their business and stay ahead of the competition will choose to join the American Fence Association. Members of the AFA will be benefitted by access to fencing education, tradeshows, installation and design courses, and other tools to educate fencing companies. Member fencing companies of the AFA typically have greater access to new technology, trending materials, and other information that help them provide a better fence installation experience to customers.
Central Iowa Fencing is a proud member of the A.F.A.
We proudly display the American Fence Association badge on our website as an indicator of our commitment to be leaders in fencing. Our expert staff has also undergone a variety of certifications available through their educational programs.
Do they exhibit certifications?
You may be tempted to hire a general contractor to install your fence, but be forewarned that not there are many areas of fencing that is specialized. Many contractors may not understand the nuances involved involved in building a fence along a difficult slope, working with automated gates, or preventing posts from heaving.
Through highly focused educational courses, fence contractors can become certified in many areas of fencing to ensure you get the highest quality installation with the most recent advancements in install technology. Like other degrees and certifications, becoming certified in aspects of fence installation and gate automation requires hours of study, eligibility requirements, and passing exams.
We’re proudly accredited and certified.
Members of the Central Iowa Fencing team have successfully passed various certification programs related to fencing. We’ve been in the fencing business since 1997, so our years of experience coupled with our ongoing professional education means we bring a wealth of expertise from in the field over the years along with the latest advancements taught in the classroom.
3.) Consider What Questions You Have About Your Fence Project
When you reach out to a reputable fencing contractor, they’ll likely already have procedures in place to help gather the information they need for an accurate estimate and smooth installation process.
- What type of permits will be required? Many cities have local ordinances regarding construction projects and may require prior permits and city approval before construction can begin. Once the work is finished, an inspection may also be required by a municipality approved inspector.
- Is there a separate HOA agreement that needs to be followed?
- Are there utilities to avoid? Whose responsible for locating underground utilities?
- Do any easements exist that should be known about in advance?
- What height of fence are you looking for?
- What is the ground and installation area like? Are there slopes to account for?
- Do you have a preference on material?
- Can the fence company provide a timeline?
- Will the materials and installation be warranted?
- Is there a specific budget you’re looking to achieve?
- Would financing the fence be required?
- What payment options are available?
We can help you with all your concerns!
We’ve been in the fencing business since 1997 and have worked in cities all across the state. Our experts in fencing will help you navigate the entire process, answering your questions along the way.
We have a variety of fencing materials available and can work with you to determine what steps need to occur before installation can begin. In addition to installation questions, we’re happy to answer any financing questions you might have. We’ve partnered with Wells Fargo to offer fence financing solutions, ensuring that we’re the best fence contractor you can choose in Cedar Rapids.
4.) Contacting the Fence Company
At this point, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the company.
- Found them in search and perceived their online presence as legit.
- Read their customer reviews & verified them as real.
- Taken notice of local “Best of…” awards they’ve been nominated for.
- Verified they operate a licensed business.
- Checked their certifications, accreditations, and qualifications.
- Ensured they have operate out of a physical location nearby.
- And created a list of questions you want to ask.
Now, we’re ready to reach out to the fence company and inquire directly. You can tell a lot about a business by the way they respond (or don’t). As a professional business, you should expect a professional response.
Legitimate businesses make contacting them easy and typically have various methods of doing so to make it convenient for customers to reach them.
Take note of how the company responds.
Whether you call or email, when you reach out to a fence company, they should respond and answer your questions respectfully. Even if the company representative is kind and professional, you should be aware of common red flags.
Companies that place immediate pressure on your to make a decision should be met with apprehension. Quality companies have a steady stream of work and are able to let their product and installation techniques do the talking, allowing you as the customer time to think over your decision. Top companies, like Central Iowa Fencing, don’t resort to high pressure sales tactics because they’re confident that after ample consideration, customers will ultimately choose to work with them.
Up Front Payments
It’s common in the construction industry for deposits to be made up front to cover materials at the minimum. This protects the company from purchasing fencing inventory for a project that falls through and provides a good faith that the customer is intent on completing the project. However, if the company demands full payment upfront that could raise some concerns. If you have a gut feeling something is wrong in their request to get full payment in advance, especially with minimal paper trails, you should consult another company.
Failure to Provide Written Estimates
One of the ways shady contractors will pull a bait in switch is relying entirely on verbal estimates or failing to put their estimate in writing. While an estimate is merely an estimate and project costs are liable to change, if it seems like a company is unwilling to put confidence in their numbers, it’s likely they don’t actually have confidence in their numbers and may be attempting to lure you in with low cost promises that end up more costly at the end.
If The Company Insists on Cash Payment
Some businesses may offer a cash discount to avoid costly payment processing charges, but if a fence company in is intent on insisting they only accept cash, be careful! The vast majority of legitimate businesses don’t try to avoid paper trails and want to make payment easy and convenient.
Central Iowa Fencing holds ourselves to a higher standard.
We aim to give every customers an exemplary experience. When you reach out to us, we’ll answer your questions promptly and professionally, walking you through each stage of the fence installation process. We’re also happy to provide our customers with a free estimate!
Plus, we offer a variety of payments methods, including paying your invoice right here from a convenient link on the website.
5.) Follow Ups, Guarantees, & Warranties
Lastly, when you select a fence company, you should be sure of their after installation care. Don’t be left high and dry by a contractor that takes your money, does a rushed job, and then dashes never to be heard from again!
Selecting a fence contractor should also include heavy emphasis on the warranties and guarantees available.
We guarantee our work.
At Central Iowa Fencing, all of our products include limited manufacturer warranties that depend on the type of fence material. Some of our products, like vinyl composite and ornamental iron even include lifetime limited warranties.
Aside from the material warranties, we stand by our work and our proud to offer limited warranties on workmanship as well.