As fencing contractors, we’re probably a little biased, but we’re not stretching the truth when we say that installing a new fence is a smart move. Whether you are looking for enhanced security and privacy around your property, better protection for your children and pets, or to boost home value and curb appeal, a fence is a positive extension of your home or property. Successful fence installation takes careful planning and preparation before construction can begin. One of the first steps in the process is getting a professional fence estimate.
An estimate meeting with a reputable fence company like Montana Fence is a valuable learning opportunity for both the client and the fence builders. For the client, the meeting allows you to gain insight into how the fence installation process will work at your property. For the fence builder, the meeting helps determine whether they are the best fit for your project in terms of project scale, timing, and type of fence.
In the days leading up to a fence estimate meeting, you want to make sure you prepare accordingly. That way, you can ask the right questions and get all the information you need to make an informed decision about moving forward with your fence project. Here are our top tips for preparing for a fence estimate.
8 Tips for Preparing for a Fence Estimate
1. Identify the Needs of the Fence
To help make decisions about your fence, you should first consider why you want one in the first place. Is privacy your main concern or is decoration? Many homeowners like the idea of installing a fence for privacy. They look forward to enjoying time in their backyard without the chance of making eye contact with a neighbor. Do you have small children or pets? Installing a fence around your yard can allow them to explore freely and play without you worrying about losing track of them. Do you need walk-through or drive-through gates? Are you only concerned with aesthetic appeal? Whatever the case may be, determine precisely why you want a fence before making any other decisions.
2. Calculate Your Budget
Assess your finances and decide how much money you want to spend on a fence. Make sure to build in some variable costs, as unexpected changes are bound to occur. With this information, your fence builder can better offer insights into fence products and services that most align with your budget. Your fencing budget will most likely dictate each additional step in the process, so determining your budget is one of the first things you should do.
3. Know Your Property Line
While good fences make good neighbors, fences in the wrong location can cause serious problems. If you plan on installing a fence on your property, it is important to first determine the legal perimeter of your property. If you don’t have a copy of your deed or plot plan, we recommend hiring a land surveyor to complete a boundary survey and stake your property line. Not only will this help you better visualize where your fence will be and better communicate that to your neighbors, but it will also ensure that the fence is located just inside your property line. Not being knowledgeable of your property lines can lead to costly fixes in the future, boundary issues with your neighbors, and even potential municipal disputes.
4. Review Zoning Codes and HOA Regulations
Before investing a bunch of your time and money into a new fence installation, make sure to review your city’s zoning codes and any HOA covenants to verify that the style and height of the fence you’ve chosen is allowed in your neighborhood. Regulations tend to vary by location, meaning you may need to apply for a fence-building permit. If your neighborhood has an HOA or neighborhood association, be sure to find out their rules regarding things like fence height, color, and material. It’s much easier to address these issues in the beginning rather than having to tear down a completed fence after the fact.
5. Choose the Best Fence Material for Your Property
From chain link and vinyl to ornamental iron and wood, there are a wide variety of fencing styles and materials to choose from. In considering what material would be best for your property, remember to think about your fence goals and needs, how much maintenance time you want to invest, what your HOA regulations require, and the pros and cons of each fence type. At Montana Fence we know our fencing products like the back of our hand and will happily review the different fence materials with you during your estimate.
6. Consider Your Fence Maintenance Needs
Once the fence is up, you can’t just walk away. A fence is a structure that needs regular care. You should ask yourself how long you want to spend maintaining your fence. Wooden fences, for instance, involve the most maintenance because they require staining or sealing every few years. On the other hand, vinyl fences are comparable in strength and durability to wood fences and never need re-staining. This lack of ongoing maintenance makes vinyl a popular fencing choice. So before choosing your fence material, consider the upkeep that will go along with it.
7. Talk to Your Neighbors
If you are building a fence along your property line, your neighbor may have some partial ownership of the fence. Talk to them ahead of time to let them know your plans. This new fence will affect them as much as it will affect you, so give them a chance to comment on your plans. Also, if you have a decent relationship with your neighbor, you may even be able to split the cost of a new fence.
8. Plan Your Project Schedule
Once you’ve worked out the details of your fence, it’s time to plan for the installation. In reality, a fence can be installed at almost any time of year. However, some factors may make a certain time of year more favorable. Installing in the spring and summer means there are often few weather conditions to contend with but that’s also when builders get overloaded with new projects. Consider the season as well as your own personal urgency when planning your fence installation schedule.
Plan Ahead: Schedule Your Free Fence Estimate with Montana Fence
At Montana Fence, we understand that a fence installation is an investment and something that will serve you and your property well for years to come. From start to finish, we’re committed to delivering on your vision for your fencing project. We offer free on-site consultations and estimates at all our locations. During your consultation, our team of skilled professionals will walk the fence line, talk about your project, and provide an accurate quote. If you’re looking to get started on a new fence project, contact the Montana Fence experts at one of our Montana or Idaho locations today to schedule your free fence estimate.