The Fence-Buying Process

Read our fence-buying guide for details about the process of buying a fence from Southland

The Fence Buying Process Overview

If you’re thinking about buying a fence, you might be overwhelmed about even starting the process. From the various designs, materials and the vast pool of contractors to choose from, it can be challenging knowing how to make the right decision.

With a Houston fence-buying guide detailing all of your options and providing some useful tips along the way, you can ease into the process with the knowledge you need to make educated decisions. At the end of the process, you’ll have a fence to be proud of.

Benefits of Buying a Fence

Benefits of Buying a Fence

As you may already know, there are many benefits to buying and building a fence on your property. Refer to these advantages and remind yourself all of the time you invest will reap many benefits down the road. Here are just some of the benefits of buying a fence:

  • Increased Protection: With a fence around your yard, your home will be protected from animals and intruders. You can feel safer in your home knowing you have an extra layer of defense around your property. If you’re fencing a pool, then a fence is crucial to this safety — except, this time, it protects children or pets from wandering into the area without supervision.
  • More Privacy: You’ll have more privacy with a fence around your yard, giving you space from neighbors and a barrier to sounds from a nearby road. You’ll be able to sit in your yard knowing you have the privacy of a fence protecting you. You can also choose how much privacy you want, designing the height of your fence to fit your needs.
  • Aesthetic Look: A fence also adds an aesthetic look to your home. You can aim for elegance with your fence, contributing to the unique design of your home. You could even match the theme of your fence to your house, blending the two to create something very appealing to you and your neighborhood.
  • A Rise in Home Value: Building a fence may also raise the price of your home. With increased protection, aesthetic value and more privacy, a fence is a great selling point for potential buyers, almost certainly making the price of your home grow.
Find a Trusted Company<br />

Select a Fence Company

One of the first things you should do when buying a fence is to find the right fence company. It’s better to start this search early, so you’re not rushing to find one at the last minute. There are a few steps to go through to help you find the right fencing company.

Find a Trusted Company

One of the main factors of choosing a fence company is determining whether you can trust them. There are thousands of fencing companies out there and probably plenty in your area. Your issue will likely not be finding a fence company but instead finding a legitimate one in good standing. To find a trusted fence company, add these factors to your checklist:

  • Accreditation: One of the best and easiest ways to find out if you can trust a company is if they’re accredited. You can usually find this on their website. See if they’re a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) — if they are, this will give you some more confidence you can trust them to do a good job. You can also look for other accreditations, awards or organizations they’re a part of. You can gain some more knowledge and trust by seeing what groups have accepted them into the fold.
  • Local Service: Fence companies often do business in your area and sometimes in your own neighborhood. If this is the case, check with some people who have had service done with them. Ask them how the process went and if they’re happy with the result. This will give you great information from a genuine source you can trust.
  • Track Record: Find out how long their business has been around. This is one of the most telling signs of a business. If they’ve only been around one or two years, this doesn’t mean that they’re a bad company — it simply means that they won’t have as much experience as a business that’s been around for a decade.
  • Reviews: You can also find company reviews online — many times, businesses have reviews posted on their website. Reading reviews is a great way to see how satisfied customers are with the service.

Ask Questions

Another simple way to gain some trust from a company is to ask questions. If a company is experienced and committed to doing the job well, it should be more than happy to answer all of your questions thoroughly.

Questions could be related to costs, installation length or type or general questions about the business itself, such as how long they’ve been in operation or whether they’re accredited. Here are some great questions for a fencing contractor:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Have you done any service in my local area or neighborhood?
  • Do you have any accreditations or certifications?

Answers to these questions will help you narrow down the search and build trust with the company.

Check for Rules and Regulations

Another important step in the fence-buying journey is to check the rules, regulations and laws in your area. Like the search for a trusted fence company, you should start this step early as well. Usually, this step won’t hold you up too long, but if there’s an unusual dispute or regulation, it could put a wrench in your plans. Get out ahead of that and plan using some easy tips:

  • Communicate With Neighbors: Let your neighbors know about your plans to build a fence. Communication will take some of the surprise out of seeing a fence go up right next to their yard and will also let you get ahead of any potential roadblocks. It’s a simple gesture that will ease any tension that the fence might cause.
  • Double-check Property Lines: Make sure you know exactly where your property lines are. You don’t want to build a fence and have to take out the whole thing because it goes a couple of inches past your property line. Take care of this step early and thoroughly so you can be confident knowing your fence isn’t crossing any lines.
  • Consult Local Zoning Laws: All local zoning codes are different. These codes dictate whether fences are allowed in yards, maximum heights and the distance they should be from property lines. These codes might be more stringent if you’re in a new neighborhood or a historic district. Contact your local municipality’s zoning department or homeowners association to check these codes and make sure you’re building a fence the right way.
  • Figure Out If You Need a Permit: Sometimes, you may need a permit to build your fence. In Houston, privacy fences do not typically require a permit unless over 8 feet tall. Consult with your contractor to figure out if you need a permit or not.

Work With Your Contractor to Create a Plan

After you find your trusted fence company and determine any codes or regulations you must abide by, it’s time to set your plan in motion. Communicate with your contractor about what you want in your fence. Define your specifications and be as thorough as possible, so you’re happy with the finished product.

Identify Why You’re Building the Fence

One of the first things you’ll want to do is identify why you’re building the fence. You might already know why, but it’s good to label the reason specifically so you and your contractor have a better frame of reference going forward. The reason for building the fence can impact its size, material and other factors. You may even be building a fence for several reasons, which is typical. Fences are versatile, and you can build them for many reasons, including:

  • Safety: Fences can be especially valuable if you have children — they can protect kids from neighbor pets, pool areas or any other areas you want to keep blocked off. Vinyl fences are great for safety, as they don’t splinter like wood and don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
  • Security: Building a fence means building an added layer of protection to your home. Your house becomes much safer with the installation of a fence, and for a home with a family, you can have more confidence your children are safe playing in your yard. Security fences should be tall — you could even consider adding spikes to the top to deter people from climbing over.
  • Curb Appeal: Another reason you may want to build is for sheer aesthetic. There are many different fence designs to improve the look of your yard and home. Match themes or make it something completely different, and all the while, you’ll be investing in your home’s resale value. For aesthetic fences, the size and height might not be as much of a deal. Instead, you could focus on the fence’s design and material and aim for something like iron or stained wood.
  • Privacy: Sometimes, all you’ll want in a fence is some space from neighbors or the surrounding area. In this case, a privacy fence is your ideal choice. These fences should be taller to give you the privacy level you need.

Choose Your Material

A significant decision in the fence-buying process is choosing the material you will use to build your fence. The ideal material is based on your situation alone — that’s why it’s essential to identify the reason you’re building a fence in the first place. Only then can you start looking into the benefits of each material and weighing one against another. Ultimately, your material will reflect the qualities you seek in your fence. Here are some different fence materials you can consider:

  • Wood: Wood is one of the most common materials used for fences. Its aesthetics, affordability and durability make it a solid choice for fence material. You can even stain it to extend its life. Wood offers a traditional, sturdy look and provides safety and security to your home. Wood is also a diverse choice — you can choose from various designs and style it endlessly.
  • Iron and Aluminum: Wrought-iron fences can offer beautiful, intricate designs for an aesthetic look, and they can also make tough, tall and secure fences for your property. Aluminum has similar benefits with the added advantage of being immune to rust, making it an excellent choice for those looking for minimal upkeep. These materials are tough and sturdy and great options for both aesthetics and security.
  • Brick and stone: Brick and stone offer various benefits as well. They’re excellent to match with other materials. For instance, brick pillars matched alongside wood gives a unique, dignified look that emphasizes security and curb appeal at the same time.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl requires minimal upkeep. It’s free from corrosion, chipping, peeling, rust, blistering, splitting and warping. It has strength and weather-resistant materials, making it a great pick for those looking for lasting durability. It also works well as a safety fence for children or pets, as the material doesn’t contain any sharp edges or harmful material.

Architectural Specifics

There are various architectural specifics you’ll want to look into as well before you build the fence:

  • Gates: In all the excitement of building a fence, you could lose sight of one of the most essential aspects — the gate. You’ll likely be opening and closing the gate daily, so it’s important to identify the location of your gate, as well as the size and the material you want to construct it. You may want a gate you can walk through, or you may want one you can drive your car through. You can even install operation and access controls to have your gate automatically open.
  • Cohesion: If you’re looking for curb appeal, you might want to match the theme of your gate to your house. A theme could mean similar colors or material — make sure to include this in your specific design.
  • Size: Determine where exactly you want your fence to go and how high it will be. Based on your security and aesthetic preferences, scale the fence to be precisely how you want.
Receive an Estimate First

Receive an Estimate First

Before you agree to anything, make sure you get an estimate for the installation. The estimate will help you gauge what you’ll be spending and give you time to decide on committing to the project.

Review Your Contract

Be sure to read your contract to know the intricacies of your installation. The contract will detail aspects like a down payment, financials and the warranty. For anything that looks unusual, don’t hesitate to contact the contractor and get clarification. When it comes to a contract, it’s always better to get clarity on something rather than proceeding and hoping for the best.

How Does the Contract Work?

The attached estimate becomes a binding contract when signed and executed by all parties. A down payment is required at that time unless otherwise agreed on by both parties. Verbal commitments are not valid. Final payments are due in full at the time of completion. Fence work is considered completed once the property is properly enclosed. Any adjustments requested by the customer after that are considered warranty or customer service work and do not entitle the customer to delay payments. No discounts or deductions shall be accepted unless authorized by Southland Fence, herein called “seller.”

Please note: The signed contract is also your invoice. Please contact our office if you need a detailed invoice. Any portion of the remaining balance not paid within ten (10) days of the due date shall be considered past due and subject to a finance charge of 1.5 % per month. Title to the materials used in the contract for improvements remains in the seller’s (Southland Fence & Supply Company) and its successors and assignees care until paid. The materials and improvements are subject to repossession without trespass.

If an attorney is engaged to sue or collect on past due accounts or accounts that are in probate, bankruptcy, or otherwise, purchaser and purchaser’s heirs, agents, successors, and assignees agree to pay all related expenses, including but not limited to, costs of court and reasonable attorney fees.

What About Warranty?

The seller makes no warranty as to the correctness or accuracy of property lines or surveys. The homeowner is responsible for HOA (Home Owners Association) approval and/or for obtaining any licenses which may be required by their local authorities (e.g. HOA, City, Township, etc.). The property owner/purchaser is responsible for clearing the fence lines unless stated otherwise in the contract. The purchaser expressly releases the seller from liability for damage to shrubs, appurtenances, and in-ground systems, and indemnifies the seller for injuries to individuals caused by improperly marked fence lines and systems.

Any changes to the original contract requested by the customer have to be accompanied by a change order and will be charged additionally if applicable. To defray additional trip charges, the seller will charge the purchaser $100.00 each time construction is suspended at the request of the purchaser. If the contract is canceled, a surcharge equal to 25 % of the total contract amount will be charged.

We at Southland Fence & Supply are confident that you will be satisfied with our final product and proudly offer a one-year limited warranty on the fence, including labor and materials.

Limitations to the warranty: Damage from improper or abnormal use or design, alteration, neglect, accident, abuse, abrasion, improper service and air pollutants are not covered by this limited warranty. Acts of God, flood and fire damage are also not covered.

Wood Fence Limitations: Soft rot fungi associated with the natural “weathering” of wood is not included. “Weathering” of wood is not decay, fungal decay or rot of any type of definition. Natural imperfections such as wood shrinking, warping, bowing, wood nodes, or other grade imperfections are excluded from the warranty. Chain-Link-, Aluminum-, Ornamental-Iron-Fence System Limitations: Use in harsh industrial, coastal or marine environments is not warranted.

Reach out to Southland Fence today

Gate Operator Warranty

Gate Operators are covered by a Manufacturer’s Warranty. Note: Gates have moving parts and it is the purchaser’s responsibility to properly maintain them (refer to the Operating Manual provided by the manufacturer). Lack of maintenance is not covered under the warranty, and voids any other implied warranties. Generally, damages caused by lightning or power surges cannot be warranted.

Underground Protection: If applicable for the particular fence work, the seller will only be responsible to repair damage caused to in-ground water, electrical, gas, TV cable, telephone or other systems on the owner’s/purchaser’s property if UNDERGROUND PROTECTION has been included on your contract and if the customer has reported the damage within 10 days of completion of the fence work.

Reach out to Southland Fence today with any questions about the fence-buying process!