Melbourne Fencing & Retaining Walls since 1964

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Questions to Ask Your ContractorThere are topics that the Taylor Fencing team believes should be brought to the top of the blog and keep top of mind for our valued community of customers on a regular basis. They bear giving reminder, and often, the answers have changed. That’s assumed in the home renovation and construction industry. If we remained complacent or in one place, we wouldn’t be the best-in-class company we are, ahead of the curve of our competitors. While we value them deeply and learn from them on a daily basis, our edge is based on interactions with you – and an assumption that we will always continue to grow and change.

One of these topics is questions. Questions can be really hard when you’re dealing with a home renovation. There are so many of them and you don’t even know where to start. Conversations with questions may be between members of your household – who wants what? What’s the vision? How fast do we need the work to be done, so that our day to day lives aren’t interrupted? These conversations can be tough, especially with differing points of view, but if you’re looking at the bigger picture – there’s no way you can go into conversations with contractors unless you have a united front. Not only would that stress you out far more significantly, but it’s also the best way for a contractor to take advantage of you, by selling you a few different visions and many different products.

Once you’re aligned on the home front, we really get into the nitty-gritty with your contractor and that’s where today’s topic comes in to play. Here’s a list of questions that you should always ask (and how) when building a fence. Caveat – a lot of these pertain to home renovation projects in general. But you came to us for a reason and that’s because you want a fence or gate like the premium products on our site. And we’re happy to oblige. Read on for more information:

The first question that you want to ask is ensuring that your contractor is accredited in the area in which the work is being performed. The easiest way to determine this is to ask directly. It’s unethical for them to lie, but you may run into contractors who contort the truth or don’t have all the necessary licenses to truly properly complete the work in the area in which you live. If you feel like you’re getting the run-around, it’s easy to call up your local council and check. How do you know if you’re being duped? They should have documentation of all of the training received by company members and these should be easy to share with all customers. In fact, it’s something that the company should be especially proud of, as it’s the best way for them to jack up the prices of whatever installation service they’re offering.

The next question you want to ask is with the goal of confirming that the company is actually completing the work themselves. Why? You may think. They’re obviously going to be completing the work that you’re contracting them to complete, right? Often, that’s not the case. Especially if you’re working with a larger company or firm, they may contract work out to freelancers or sub-contractors. This might not be a problem at all. In fact, given the breadth of talent in this industry, you may just end up with the most talented and hardworking contractors around. But you may not. You may end up with those who cut corners or provide shoddy workmanship. While a company should technically be responsible for whomever they send your way, we’ve definitely seen situations and examples where they find loopholes because sometimes the sub-contractors are not actually their direct employees. Either way, the big thing here is transparency, so that you can trust in the company you chose and the values that its brand stands for. Again, this should be as simple as asking the question directly, and if you feel so inclined, asking for documentation. The company that you’ve chosen should have nothing to hide. These are questions that you can’t be timid about. After all, it’s your home and you’re the one that will have to live there. You’re also completely in the right for asking, and if the person that you’re discussing these questions with gives you any sort of attitude, you’ll have a good heads up about what the road ahead may look like until the work is completed.

Now it’s time for logistics. You may notice a pattern here, but we’ll say it again – get everything down on paper. Timeline? Breakdown of costs? The schedule of when they’ll be on your property? Once you have that information, you’ll feel a load of stress off your shoulders. The caveat on this one is that buffer that we’ve discussed so frequently on this blog. They say two weeks to install a COLORBOND fence? Chalk it up in your head as three to four weeks. They give you a dollar amount in the two thousand range? Assume at least 150% of that due to unforeseen costs. Believe us, it’s much better to assume the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it’s not the case, than giving yourself chronic anxiety as you count down the days until you were told that the work would be completed. It’s also smart to assume positive intent here. For the most part (or at least we’d like to think), unforeseen costs are labeled as such for a reason. We’ll actually cover the most popular of these in one of our posts this month, but what you need to understand is that it’s tough to gauge the entire picture in one surveillance trip to your property. The exception here is if you work with thorough teams like Taylor Fencing, but that’s neither here nor there.

Ask these questions and you’ll be set for success. And as always, when in doubt, give us a call.