May 13 2016 0comment

Recommendations When Hiring a Fence Builder

In the world of construction, it’s unfortunate to find people who are not always the most honorable in the services they promise to their customers.  Whether you decide to hire Dakota Unlimited or another fencing company, here are some recommendations to consider during your research process!

  1. Research their track record. Contact BBB to obtain free Business Reviews on any company you are considering hiring. Visit bbb.org or, in Minnesota and North Dakota, call toll-free at 1-800-646-6222. A link to our BBB accreditation is here: Dakota Unlimited BBB
  2. Solicit multiple estimates. Shop around and get at least three estimates in writing. Use BBB’s Online Directory of Accredited Businesses. Beware of companies that seem too good to be true or make grand promises. Being upfront and honest about our capabilities has allowed us to build lasting relationships with customers.
  3. Verify license and insurance. Ensure companies are properly licensed. In Minnesota, contractors should be licensed or registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor (doli.state.mn.us), You should also make sure they are fully insured. When requested, we are happy to provide a certificate of insurance.
  4. Ask for references. Get references from three recent projects and verify them before signing a contract. References can come in many forms; Angie’s List, Facebook, checkbook.org. We are happy to provide addresses for you to go look at completed jobs in your area, but would never give out a customer’s name or phone number. We want all of our customers to enjoy their fence without disruption. Many customers share their experiences online.
  5. Inquire about a lien waiver. A lien waiver is a statement from the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work. Be sure to ask whether the contractor will provide you with a lien waiver upon completion of the work. Dakota Unlimited is happy to provide a lien waiver when requested, but it is not common practice in residential settings.
  6. Don’t forget building permits. Permits are for your protection and help ensure that work will meet local building codes. Check with your contractor before starting your project. Homeowners bear the cost of building permits, but companies should be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits. In most cases, Dakota Unlimited will pull your permit for you, depending on the city and the requirements.
  7. Consider future service issues. If you choose to do business with a company that isn’t local, you might have difficulty resolving any warranty or service needs that may arise after the project is completed. We have a shop in Rosemount, MN that allows us quick access to the entire metro area. We regularly get calls from people we worked with 20+ years ago.
  8. Get everything in writing. Do not allow work to begin without a signed contract that includes: estimated start and completion dates; a detailed description of services to be provided; any costs or allowances; a payment schedule and warranty information. Be aware that anything you sign is a contract. And be sure to read any fine print. All of the provisions are on the back of the estimate you receive. You aren’t asked to sign anything unless you agree to the terms
  9. Don’t rely on verbal promises. Any promises made orally should be written into the contract, including warranty information.
  10. Arrange a payment schedule. Never pay in full in advance of a project. Stagger your payments according to agreed-upon stages of work completion and make a final payment only when work is finished. Your down payment with us secures your spot in the queue and allows us to order materials. No more money is exchanged until the project starts and final payment is due upon completion.

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