The bids are in and Gate City Fence of Nashua, NH has my vote right now; I have to wait for Glop to weigh in before the decision is final. We are fencing the whole backyard, not just the back line, so this is a number in the thousands. And after seeing the prices for vinyl vs. wood, we are doing a traditional, 6 foot stockade. The biggest news, however, is that the neighbor behind my house called and is fine with all of this (installing the fence will require us to lean what remains of her fence back toward her property). I don’t know why I was so worried – my imagination was running wild with thoughts of legal action that could result if she got upset that we touched her rotting, infested sections of fence without her permission. Glop said I was delusional, but I feel better now.
And now on to the contractors visits. Like a good home owner, I got on-site quotes from three different companies. The first and most colorful visit was from a Home Depot salesperson I’ll call Mr. Shades. He arrived on time, which was promising, and introduced himself quite professionally. And then he killed it all with, “Man, I wish I were in bed right now.” He told me he’d caught the Red Sox game at Fenway the night before and had partied a little too hard. Ok, so that explains the oversize blackout sunglasses. He did not instill great confidence. As he ran his tape measure across my backyard, he continued to reiterate his wish to be in bed (and obviously not out winning my business). He left me with a little diagram of my yard and some “estimated” estimates, and said he could come back and give me a real quote another time. Really?
By contrast, the salesperson from Penney Fence in Londonderry was sweet, knowledgeable, and experienced. She was an original Penney, after all. I was further impressed when she whipped out not a common tape measure but a measuring wheel. I also felt respected after she told me that she began doing the outside sales after having too many issues with the salespeople on the front lines failing to communicate with and advise potential customers of the best products for their yards. I think Home Depot should take a page from her book. Unfortunately, her quote was the highest.
Gate City Fence of Nashua was the final quote and the man who came to see me was a seasoned fencing contractor. He was all business and provided me with a detailed quote within a few minutes of measuring my yard. He acknowledged that all the rocks on the hill in my yard might mean the job would take a little longer. I could totally understand that, as I feel the yard just grows rocks (never grass, of course). I have a little more research to do, but I think Gate City will be the one.
Once again, I confirmed that getting multiple quotes was a good idea. Even if prices come out about the same, you end the process feeling like you’ve learned a lot more than you would have if you just opened the Yellow Book and called one number. Yes, it takes a little time. But look how much I learned about Home Depot, for example. I’m guessing you get what you pay for. Mr. Shades has convinced me not to see if I’ll be pleasantly surprised.