Steps To Take Before Getting A New Fence

Old Fence

So You Want A New Fence?

I know in a recent article I showed you guys how I had bleached my fence.   I have been bleaching my fence for several years now, but have decided that now it is time to actually invest a little money and put up a new fence.  It not only will help raise the value of my home, but my neighbors will stop hating me as well.   Not that I really care what they think anyway, but it is getting to be time for a new fence.

Getting Bids

I would suggest that you shop around before you just go with a fence company that you find.  I ended up choosing Fence Builders Dallas to do the work for my fence.  They have the best prices around, and the customer service seemed to be one of the best out of the other companies that I spoke with on the phone.

When you call for a bid, be sure you ask all the questions necessary to make sure you have a great experience with your builder.   Unfortunately there are some bad apples in the group that have caused a bad name for many legitimate fence builders.  You know people that take your money and run type scenarios, so be sure you are working with a reputable company.

Things to ask:

  • When can you come out to provide a bid?
  • When can you start the work?
  • How long will the work take once you start?
  • Do you get the work permit for the job, or do I get it myself?
  • Do you have references I can call?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do your workers all have background checks?
  • Get the specifics on what their bid includes
    • How tall will the fence be?
    • What type of wood will be used?
    • Will there be foot boards used?
    • Will there be top boards used?
    • What type of posts will be used?

There are so many things you can ask about all the materials used, and get as specific as you want to be.  It is an investment so make sure they are using the materials that you prefer so your fence lasts a long time.  Don’t try to be a jerk with them though, they are the professionals and build fences for a living, and should know what they are doing.   You simply want to be informed, not tell them what to do.

Getting A Permit          

Every city is different in regards to the permits that are required to build a new fence.   I would suggest that you do a simple google search for your city, along with the words fence permit.  Look at the results and find the best match for your city and you will find the requirements for what is needed for your city.

google search

DISCLAIMER:  I am not suggesting you do this, so use the next bit of information as knowledge only.  I would also suggest you speak with your fence builder to find out what they require.  Any good fence builder will tell you to follow the rules of your city.

Basically you can “most likely” get by without getting a permit.  If a city employee, or law enforcement happens to drive by while your fence is being built, they may stop and ask to see your permit.  If you did not go get the permit then you face receiving a small fine, and are forced to halt the construction until a permit is obtained.   So you do risk spending more money by having to pay for the permit anyway along with a fine.   So my real advice is to go get the permit, but I know some people like to live on the edge and not pay for permits.   Also read the next section, you could be in deep trouble if while digging your fence contractor hits a utility line…so do the right thing and get all permits.


Find Out What Is Under The Ground

Another great tip is to call the number 811 at least 48 hours in advance of the fence company building your fence.   I know this is the number for Texas, but it may be different for other states, I really do not know, so again my advice is to google it to find out.

Before you start any project around your house that requires digging you need to know the location of utility lines may be under the ground in the easements around your home.   When you dial 811, it is a FREE call, and they will notify the utility providers in your area that you are about to start a digging project.  The utility companies will send out professional locators to mark the approximate locations of the utility lines.   This allows your fence company to dig with confidence when setting the fence posts in place.   In the event a line is hit and you did not call 811, you will be responsible for paying to have the lines repaired, along with fines, and that can be very costly.   If you call 811, you are covered in the event something happens to a line that was not clearly marked.   Also calling 811 is required by law for any excavation type project in Texas.  Click here to learn more

More information about 811 that shows you the importance of calling.  Again it is the law so make sure you follow the law.