The Importance Of Hiring Fence Contractors Who Are Certified With The American Fence Association
Despite the recent contraction in the fencing market, reliable fence contractors continue to be in high demand. Recent studies show the market hit brought on by COVID-19 will quickly recover and enjoy an upward trend through 2024.
Residential is driving most of the growth. That means homeowners need to do their homework when it comes to hiring. In the following article, we’ll discuss how to do this by focusing on certification through the American Fence Association trade organization. First, however, let’s examine the risks of hiring upstarts, friends-of-friends, and wannabe business owner family members.
You Get Shoddier Work
Neglecting the AFA Certification will put you at a much higher risk of shoddier work. That’s because you have no credentialed evidence that the tradesperson knows anything about fence installation beyond having watched a couple of YouTube videos.
Sure, he or she might be able to “wing it” for a few thousand dollars. Is that something you really want to roll the dice on, though, only to have to redo it in short order?
You Risk Unprofessional Behavior
AFA-certified fencing contractors understand they’re not just showing off a skill. They’re running a business. When you hire rogue, you’re again rolling the dice and paying a large amount of money on the “hope” that the contractor will do what he or she says they are going to do.
You Leave Yourself With Little Recourse
AFA fencing contractors have a record of competence that you can look up and verify for yourself. Hiring someone who hasn’t certified leaves you at the mercy of their honesty, and every field of contracting comes with its share of bad apples. Fencing is no exception.
You End up Alienating the Neighbors
Unprofessional contractors don’t respect their environment. They disturb the peace, fail to pick up after themselves, and use all kinds of unprofessional behavior regardless of who’s watching. Your neighbors may be most annoyed with bad contractors, but they’ll also be a little miffed at you for not doing the necessary homework before hiring them.
Now that you know what you’re risking when you hire “just anyone” to handle your fencing job, let’s look at the sunny side. Here’s what you can expect when you put in the time and research to make a good hire through AFA certification.
Every certified fence contractor through the AFA carries with it the guaranteed, provable experience you can count on. Don’t believe us? A review of members notes that the average contractor certified with the AFA has more than 22 years of experience.
2. Best Business Practices
Another perk of going with someone certified through the American Fence Association is that they know what it takes to run a successful business. They have the knowledge to bring together other skilled craftsmen to make sure a job gets done professionally, competently, and in a timely manner while still delivering on customer service.
3. Vetting and Accountability
The AFA puts all certified professionals through rigorous fence contractor exams designed to prove the contractor’s knowledge while weeding out the chaff. It’s tough to vet a contractor and hold them accountable if you’re going on your own knowledge unless you’re an expert contractor yourself.
4. Certification and Accreditation
Answering the question of how to hire the right fence contractor is simple when you follow the lead of an organization that’s already done the legwork. AFA will only certify that a contractor is accredited when he or she has proven they can do what they say.
This often involves testing them on different materials and installation techniques. They have to know the differences and nuances of every material, from aluminum and composite to chainlink or even Ozark Copperwood.
5. Working Within Covenants
Most certified fence professionals are going to know that when they take on a job, they are about to enter a new world of covenants and expectations that may differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. They are professional enough to not put all that pressure on you.
They investigate covenants ahead of time. They ensure their men and women are working within the adopted rules of the area. This can sometimes be tedious, but it’s worth it to make sure they’re not creating drama for the homeowner.
6. Respect for Neighbors and Environment
Fencing contractors should respect the peace and quiet of the area where they are working. They also should do their best to ensure they leave the neighborhood better than they found it, not only at the end of a job but at the end of a workday should the installation take longer than that to complete.
7. Ongoing Support
Last but not least, AFA fencing contractors understand the job isn’t complete until the customer is satisfied with it. They view customer service as something that’s just as important as the knowledge of materials and installation.
They also are good at communicating the scope of a project upfront. The same is true of any unforeseen complications that may arise along the way. The last thing a customer should ever experience at the end of the job is sticker-shock. That’s why it’s important to be clear about what work will be done, how long it will take, and each cost. It’s never a good idea to make customers play a guessing game or be on pins and needles.
Choosing the Best Fence Contractors Is Simple When You Trust the AFA
By now, we hope you understand the importance of credentialing and certification when it comes to hiring fence contractors. Anyone can open a fencing business, but far fewer will put in the time and investment to prove their worth. Taking another’s word for it is no way to protect yourself as a home or business owner. That’s why the AFA is formed and why reputable contractors have used it as a proving ground for their skills and abilities.
Best of all, you’ll actually save money doing it because there won’t be the need to redo a job for shoddy work. Ready to see the difference? Contact Rio Grande Fence Co. today to for an AFA-certified contractor with 60 years-and-counting in the business.