Before working with any ornamental iron company for your next iron fence, gate or railing you need to make sure that you are making the right decision on whether or not this company is a good fit for you, as well as if they are company that anyone should be working with at all. As you may know, in the home improvement industry there are often issues with quality, timelines and even licensing/insurance, so to be sure that you get a company that can do everything you need, we have put together a list of questions that you should be sure to get answered before making the final decision on a fencing contractor.
1.Do You Fabricate and Install?
Interestingly, in our industry, not every ornamental iron company creates the piece AND installs it. Some companies will only create it and it is your job to get someone to install it. There are even some companies that will ship the piece to you, but won’t install it. As a result, before you sign a contract with a company, make sure that you are clear about whether they will design and install your project, or just design it and it is your job to find someone to install it. It is really up to you if you would like to install it yourself, but it is always best to be prepared and know exactly what you are getting for the price, we have had customers tell us of previous work they had done where they paid the same price that we were giving them, only to realize that the company wasn't even installing it, in which case they had to hire another contractor to get it installed, which can be difficult in and of itself. Often times with ornamental iron you have to weld and bend pieces to the exact specifications of the installation space, so it best to work with a company that is familiar with installing wrought iron.
2.Do you Powder Coat It?
On the same thread of whether or not they install the piece, you also need to ask them whether they powder coat it, if it is included in the price they quoted you, or if you have to do it yourself. You need to know this is because you need to get your project powder coated one way or another as this is what ultimately seals it and prevents it from rusting, therefore increasing its lifespan and maintaining its look for as long as possible. The best case scenario is to have a company that will powder coat it for you as this reduces expenses and makes your life a lot easier as you don't have to transport it, don't have to pay another company to do it and ultimately just don’t have to worry about the process. All you would have to do is make sure that someone is at your home on installation day.
3.Are you Insured?
Another issue that often arises is that you come to find out that the company you are working with isn't insured which can lead to liabilities on your part, as well as issues with the company. You need to make sure that whatever company you choose is completely licensed and insured to maintain a safe and effective project, as well as protect yourself and your property should any damages occur during installation.
4.What is the Timeline?/ How long will the job take
Before you sign any contract with a company, you need to make sure that you have agreed upon a mutually understood timeline so that the project actually gets done when it needs to be as long as everything goes to plan. If you sign a contract with a company that is inundated with work then your project may not get done within the time or up to the quality that you are expecting. The best thing to do would be to get an agreed upon timeline, as well as a list of what could cause a slow down (ie. shipping of materials being slowed) in writing and mutually signed off on as part of the contract.
5.Will You Clean up supplies after the job?/ Will you discard of the previous fence/gate?
This is more of a service quality question than a requirement, however, it is best to ask if the company you are trying to decide on will clean up debris caused as a result of their work to get your home back in working order and looking beautiful with your new gate/fence or railing. You would be surprised about how many companies don’t clean up after they are done and leave you to get everything back in order.
These questions should be a benchmark by which you measure whether or not you actually want to work with the company that you are looking at or if they may actually not be the best fit after all. Ultimately, you do need to choose the company that is the best fit for your unique situation, however, I hope these question can help you find out some information you may not have otherwise known and make the best decision possible!