12 Questions to Ask Expert Fence Contractors Prior to Fence Installation

Whether you are installing a new fence or replacing a worn-out one, there are several important questions you will want to ask expert fence contractors . The first thing you will want to do is arrange a consultation with the contractors at your home. The reason you want to host the meeting is so that the contractors can see your property and help gain a better understanding of your needs.

Expert-Fence-Contractors

  1. What types of fencing materials do you install?

There are different types of fencing materials, from wood and composites to aluminum and iron. You want to choose a material that will best meet your needs.

  1. Do you have a list of references I can contact?

Reputable contractors will have a list of reference you can contact to get feedback about the contractor and their workmanship.

  1. Do you have a portfolio of completed projects I can see?

Expert contractors will take pictures, with the homeowner’s permission, of their finished projects and share these with prospective customers.

  1. Are you licensed and insured, and can you provide proof?

You want to make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. They should be willing to provide you a copy of their license and insurance coverage.

  1. Do you obtain any necessary building permits or do I?

Experienced fence installers will normally obtain any necessary permits, but, sometimes, they may require you to do so.

  1. Do you provide a written itemized quote?

Trustworthy contractors will be happy to provide a written itemized quote for your fence installation project.

  1. Are there any hidden or additional charges I need to be aware of?

It is recommended you require the contractor to include these in the itemized quote so everything is clear and concise.

  1. What type of warranty is offered for the fence?

Fence-Contractors

Certain fencing materials will include a limited warranty against defects, and you need to know what is and is not covered.

  1. What type of warranty is there on workmanship?

Most contractors will offer a warranty on workmanship because they want their customers to be happy with the finished fence.

  1. Do you offer finishing services?

Some people want their fence painted or stained after it is installed. If you do, then you will want to know if your contractor can do this work, too.

  1. Will you haul my old fence away?

If you are having an old fence replaced, you need to know if you’ll have to make arrangements to dispose of the old fence.

  1. Do you contact local utilities or do I?

Your utility companies will need to be contacted prior to installing a fence so they can mark water lines and electrical and cable lines.
By asking these and any other questions you might have during your consultation, you can find the best Austin fence installers and contractors, like us at Barrier Fence. We invite you to contact us at (512) 354-4409 to schedule a consultation appointment today

How to Choose the Right Fence Company in Austin

Professional fence installation

Investing in your property is costly. You want to ensure that your thousands of dollars go to good use. With the right fencing contractor, you can rely on having a fence that protects and amplifies the look of your home. Even better, the fence will last for years to come!

Looking for commercial or residential fencing Austin Texas? If so, here are 4 tips to finding the best fencing contractor.

1. Online Research

The internet is a goldmine of information. If you’re looking for fence installation in Austin , the best place to start your search is online.

Chances are you’ll find dozens of local fencing companies. To narrow down your options:

  • Learn about the company’s history
  • Look at the quality of the website
  • Ensure contact information is available

If you want the best service, you’ll want to choose a company that’s well-known in the area. Reputable companies likely have years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers. A quality company will also take the time to create a well-designed website that provides company information, such as an About Us page and contact information.

2. Read Customer Testimonials

Any company can give itself a positive face, but the real proof is always found in customer testimonials. Online sites such as Google Reviews and Yelp are ideal for finding reviews. Highly satisfied customers are likely to speak highly of the company and recommend them.

On the other hand, if you find nothing but negative reviews, steer clear!

Aside from customer reviews, you can also check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Here you can see the company’s BBB rating as well as any open claims and complaints.

3. Look at Before & After Photos

A fencing company that is proud of its work will post before and after photos. Browse through the company’s website and look at any images that have been posted.

Does the work look high quality? Does the company install a variety of fencing types?

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Choosing fence company

4. Schedule an In-Person Estimate

You’ll get the best feel for a company after speaking to one of its employees in person. A quality fencing company will provide a free or low-cost estimate. Avoid companies that have set rates or offer prices without first seeing your property. During the consultation, ask any questions or concerns you have. The estimator should be knowledgeable and courteous.

Barrier Fence: A Trusted Fencing Contractor

No matter if you’re looking for a chain link or ornamental iron fence in Austin , you can count on our company. The team at Barrier Fence has more than 125 years of combined experience. You can depend on us for fast quality service, all while staying within your budget.

Ready to schedule an estimate? Contact us at (512) 709-8467. We look forward to securing your home!

Signs It Is Time for a New Fence

Fences add beauty and charm to your property and provide privacy but, eventually, fences need more than annual TLC and will need to be replaced. If you are on the “fence” about whether it is time for new fence installation in Austin, TX or the surrounding area, or whether you can get a few more years out of the fencing with some repairs, take some time to review the following.

Fence Installation Austin, TX Wood Fences

If you notice rotting boards or sections where boards are coming off, it is probably time to get a new fence. If the fence is leaning and will no longer stand up straight, this is also a sign you should invest in a new fence. Typically, this is caused by the wood support posts rotting underground. Other indications wood fencing is nearing the end of its life include:

  • Cracks and Splits in the Wood – This often indicates the wood is drying out and weakening and will only continue to get worse.
  • Grayish and/or Yellowish Colored Stains – These types of stains signify the wood is starting to rot.
  • Mold, Mildew, or Moss Growth – In damp and humid areas, this is a common problem with older fences.
  • Small Holes in the Wood – If you start noticing small holes in the wood, this is a sign of wood-eating pests. By the time you notice these, it is almost impossible to save the wood.

Barrier Fence uses Wester Red Cedar, which contains a natural repellent against rot, decay, and bugs. A new wood fence from Barrier Fence will be sure to last through the wear and tear of Texas weather and bugs, so you won’t have to replace your fence for a good while!

Fence Contractor Austin Chain Link Fences

Chain link fences are prone to rusting after the protective galvanized coatings wear off. If there are only a few sections or locations where rust is evident, you could sand the area and paint the fence to extend its usability. However, if support posts, gates, and specific links have rusted all the way through, then it is time for a new fence.

Ornamental Iron Fences

Just like chain link fences, ornamental iron fences are prone to rust if the paint and finish protecting the underlying iron wear off. If rust has gotten out of hand or sections are completely rusted through, it is better to get a new fence.

A Word About Fence Repairs

With fence repairs, the thing you need to remember is you are only replacing specific sections of the fence. The other materials will continue to age, and your fence could get to the point where repairs can start to be more costly than investing in a new fence. So, even though repairs might seem cheaper initially, you do need to consider the long-term costs.

If your fence is showing signs of wear and tear and age, and you are not sure whether it is better to repair or replace the fence, please feel free to contact Barrier Fence at (512) 354-4409 to arrange an in-home consultation to discuss your needs today!

Tips to Prevent Wood Rot

Prevent Wood Rot Wood is an organic material, and will, with exposure to the elements, eventually rot if not properly protected . Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent the wood fencing around your home in Austin, TX from this fate.

Dampness and Airflow

Dampness is what causes wood to rot. The condition can spread throughout a fence or any other wooden structure, compromising its overall integrity. Dampness also creates an ideal environment for termites, which can make the issue that much more complex and expensive to fix.

The way to eliminate dampness is to give your fence every opportunity to dry out completely. Creating opportunities for airflow will ensure that dampness never takes hold in your fence.

Creating Airflow

There are several ways to create airflow in and around your fence. Ensuring that gaps exist between the boards and between the tops of boards and any lattice or other feature can be very effective. Your fence should not contact masonry or cement directly, nor should it contact the ground.

The material you choose for your wood fence in Austin can also make a big difference. For example, many tropical hardwoods are resistant to rot. However, these can be expensive. It is possible to invest less but still get rot resistance from other woods like Cypress and Western Red Cedar.

Eliminate Water Pathways

Water can enter fencing via unprotected fasteners. Any fasteners used for fencing should be galvanized or made of stainless steel and be countersunk and plugged in order to prevent water pooling and the fasteners from rusting.

Plugging fasteners requires only that you pre-drill a hole that’s slightly larger than the head of your fastener before driving it in, injecting wood glue, placing a wood plug in the hole, and then gently hammering it in.

Eliminate Water Pathways

Inspect Yearly

One of the most effective ways to prevent wood rot is to inspect your cedar fencing in Austin every year for signs of existing rot, or of conditions which can encourage rot to form.

Trees and Shrubbery

Check for and then eliminate any tree branches or shrubbery that are two feet or closer to your fence to improve airflow and eliminate the formation of rot.

Cracked and Peeling Paint

Painted fences should be checked for cracked and peeling paint. If these are found, old paint should be scraped off and the fence sanded. An oil-based primer can then be applied on all sides of the wood, including on any end grains.

Check for Hidden Rot

Many spaces in your fencing in Austin, Texas could be harboring wood rot but may not be readily visible. The following areas may be suffering from wood rot if you press on them and they feel soft or the wood crumbles easily:

  • Support posts
  • Horizontal areas of the fence
  • Areas where fence pieces meet
  • Areas around fasteners which have not been countersunk, glued, and then sealed with a plug

Barrier Fence builds and installs new fences and can also repair your existing fence. Learn more by calling (512) 354-4409.

Keeping Your Home Safe: Our Tips & Tricks

Living in any neighborhood today means protecting your property from intruders. There are many ways to accomplish this and help keep your property and its residents safe and sound. This post contains some simple tips and tricks to burglar-proof your home.

Change Your Habits

Burglars may watch your home over several days, making note of when you leave and return home so that they know the best times to strike. Unfortunately, certain habits may make it easier for break-ins to occur. For example, you may enjoy posting on social media about an upcoming vacation, but should this information get into the hands of a burglar, they can use it to their advantage.

Instead of providing all of the details of your vacation online, consider leaving them out or simply don’t post anything about your vacation online until you’ve returned.

Keeping Your Home Safe

Make It Difficult for Burglars

Another way to keep your home safe is to make it a difficult home to break into. You can do this in many ways. Motion-sensitive lighting installed in your yard will deter burglars by washing them in a beam of light when they trespass on your property. Interior light timers will make it look as though someone is home all the time by turning lights on and off randomly.

The presence of a guard dog can also be a great burglar deterrent, as many burglars would rather leave a property than risk being caught because of a barking dog. Finally, most burglars will check for the installation of a quality alarm system before attempting to break into a home, so this may also be a wise investment for you to make.

Lock Up Outbuildings

Burglars will find your unlocked sheds or outbuildings appealing because this is often where expensive tools are stored. That being said, it’s important to invest in quality locks and ensure they are in place when not using these buildings.

Home security tips

Fencing Can Secure Your Home

Installing security fencing around your property can stop burglars before they even set foot on your property. To do this, you’ll need to hire qualified fence contractors. They will be able to match your needs with the right security fencing options for your budget. Security fencing offers a very efficient means of protecting your property and family, while at the same time adding curb appeal.

Properly Fencing a Property

Many homeowners wonder whether they need to fence off their entire property. This depends on how much of an issue security is in your location. It may be that only a part of your property requires fencing, such as where pets or children play. However, if you live in an area where the crime rate is higher, then fencing your entire property may be more feasible.

Whether you choose to install fencing on your entire property or not, one of the benefits of doing so is that it only requires a one-time investment. Barrier Fence offers a wide range of options for security fencing. To learn more, contact us at (512) 709-8467.

Know Your History: What Were the Texas Fence Cutting Wars?

Due to the scarcity of rocks and lumber, Texas’s landscape in the Old West was vast and uninterrupted by fencing of any kind. However, in 1883, a clash between stockmen occurred that came to be known as the Texas Fence Cutting Wars. It was this conflict that led to the many types of modern privacy fence seen in Texas today.

Fence cutting wars

Barbed Wire

Barbed wire had been available in Texas since the 1870s, but it wasn’t considered to be a durable form of fencing by stockmen, who considered barbed wire to be as useless as the smooth wire fencing which failed to hold their stock.

However, other stockmen realized that this new product could give them the ability to prevent the stock from landless cowmen from wandering in to graze on their property. Knowing this, they purchased grass and water-rich land and placed barbed wire around these plots to protect them.

Stockmen who couldn’t afford money for barbed wire or better grazing land were forced to send herds to graze on the state-owned open range. Because of the increasing number of fenced-in properties, these smaller stock owners often found it difficult to feed and water their herds.

Barbed wire fencing would also cause stock to become injured. These unattended injuries would lead to screwworm infestations, which led to the death of many cattle and lost revenue for stockmen.

Texas Fence Cutting Wars

How the Wars Began

A severe drought in 1883 was especially hard on stock owners. Not only did several creeks, rivers, and watering holes dry up almost completely in the summer and fall of that year, but grass was withering all over the open range. This gave landless stock owners no choice but to move west. Unfortunately, when they did so, they were only faced with more fences.

However, they also met homesteaders, who also disliked the fences because they crossed public roads and prevented travel. Together, they began to protest against the growing number of barbed wire fences. Soon, their protests would reach the Texas Greenback Party, which would also lend its voice to the outcry.

After several unsuccessful meetings, protests, and unanswered letters, landless stock owners decided that the only option left was to cut the fences. Well-organized groups were formed, and the cutting began. As the drought worsened, even legally-installed fencing was cut. Pastures were set on fire, and landowners were threatened.

Lobbying and Mabel Doss Day

The most influential anti-nipping protester was widowed and debt-ridden Mabel Doss Day, whose protests led to the passing of legislation which would punish the act of fence cutting and pasture burning by up to five years in state prison. Unfortunately, the fence-cutting wars would continue until 1889, when Texas Rangers were called to assist.

Effect on Modern Fencing

Today, fencing is everywhere, in several different forms, and stock owners are no longer battling as they used to over land ownership. However, fencing remains one of the most effective means to assert property rights and boundaries. Barrier Fence offers a wide range of products for your agricultural fencing needs; call (512) 709-8467 today to discover your Austin fencing options.

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Fence

With so many fencing options available, it’s difficult to choose the best fence possible. You need to consider a plethora of aspects before you can settle on a single choice. From features to safety, it can all quickly become overwhelming when you’re interested in installing a new fence at your home or commercial property. This beginner’s guide to choosing the perfect fence, whether you install with fence contractors or as a DIY project, will help you make the right decision for your property.

Choosing the Perfect Fence

Material, Design, and Color

The material, design, and color of your fence should be one of the first aspects you consider. You need to decide how you want your fence to look. Do you want a light wooden rustic look, or do you prefer dark wood with a unique design that makes your home stand out? Maybe the white picket fence look is more your style. Consider which options work best with your home’s standard design.

Height

The height of the fence is also important. A low fence will allow others to still see inside your yard and provide more light, and this is fine if you simply need to set up a perimeter around your land, but it won’t give you any privacy. If you have pets, you will naturally need a taller fence to prevent them from jumping over or escaping.

Maintenance

The maintenance and upkeep of your fence are also important. You will spend at least minimal time cleaning off your posts or performing other cleaning tasks that will keep the wood free from rot. If you don’t mind the extra maintenance duties, you can pick the option with more upkeep. If you don’t have the time for regular maintenance, a fence with less upkeep, such as vinyl fencing, will prove ideal.

Safety

The safety of everyone in your home is of the utmost importance. If you have kids or pets, you need to consider the level of safety your new fence provides. Having a lock on your fence will ensure that kids can’t slip out, while a tall fence will ensure that your dog cannot climb out of the yard and venture forth on an adventure across town. High-tech fence options with passcodes provide an even greater layer of security against intrusions.

Privacy

The privacy of your family is one of the most important reasons for getting a fence in the first place. A short style that doesn’t block your neighbor’s view isn’t going to give you the privacy you desire. A taller fence with added security is the best way to ensure your family gets their privacy and that you are able to better enjoy the outdoors, free from prying eyes.

Home Value

The home value of your house usually rises a bit after a fence is installed. If you want your home value to increase dramatically, install a fancier fence. A short wood fence around the perimeter will only increase your home’s value by a tiny amount. A more complex cast iron fence with filigrees, in contrast, will raise the value significantly higher. The more money you spend on adding the enclosure, the more the value of your house can potentially rise.

With decisions like these made well in advance, you can finally settle on the right barrier fence for your yard. Need help with installation or ordering? Contact Barrier Fence today for guidance.

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