people normally give vendors/suppliers a high ranking because they did a great job. same here ... but it is not so much because the Family fence company did a "perfect" job and everything went smoothly just as planned, it is actually because the project went quite the contrary, but nevertheless i was very impressed how the staff handled the mistake and hiccups with such professionalism that is rarely seen in such line of work. old saying goes "people shows true color in difficult times". i have to say, if everything goes smoothly with a project, sure i would be pleased and happy. but i would not be as impressed by a scenario where everything did not go smoothly, but the people are willing to work with you, and get it right no matter how many tries it requires.
i had an existing fence that was fallling sideways. so i hired Family Fence Company to take the old ones out and put new ones in. it was a straightforward job and the crew sure knew what they were doing with the fence ... they finished the fence very quickly. however, part of my fence is butted against the edge of my pool patio which is made of concrete pavers. for those of you who are familiar with how pacers are installed, you'll know it is individual pavers laid one next to each other tightly on a bed of packed down sand. in order to prevent paver arrangement from moving around, pool company will always put down a concrete border all the way around to secure the structure. since my pool was put in after the fence was built, the border of my patio is literally against the existing the fence. also due to the fact that my lot was naturally slanted toward to the storm drain next to my property, the entire patio was actually built on top of an elevated bed of sand and paver base (it is significantly higher than the ground level of the storm drain area). and the existing fence actually served as a pseudo retaining wall that held everything together. i specifically pointed out this structure to the estimator (Matt) because i sensed this could present a potential challenge when they take the existing posts out. matt told me it was a problem and they could just "work around it". when the crew came, i also specifically told the crew lead (jonathan) that when he puts the new fence back on, the fence must go all the way to the natural ground level of the storm drain (exactly how the old fence was) so the foundation of my patio (which is essentially loose sand) can be contained and secured by the fence .... so the sand/dirt/soil would not just slowly but surely leak out. (and eventually the patio will just collapse!) but for whatever the reason, that specific instruction got completely lost on the crew who nailed the fence together. they went so fast, before i knew it, the entire fence was up and it was installed 8 inches above the ground completely exposing the foundation of my patio. technically, they could take down all the planks, and re-do the 5 8-foot sections (the whole project is much longer than that but these 5 sections are the ones have to be all the way to the ground to hold my foundation in) but that was not a doable solution. long story short, i called the office and talked to daniel who is always the one that picks up the calls, and who is always very patient, and does his best to relay the message for me; then eventually, i talked to greg who is the master scheduler and handles the various crews directly. i explained the situation to him and what i think would be an easy, very economical and solid solution. he immediately understood what i was trying to say (mind you: i am not the best articulate when it comes to describe a "construction" problem") greg immediately told me that he could do and he would dispatch a crew to come back and fix it right after the new year. what i am most impressed is this: it took two more days and two more trips to finally get it fixed because the first time the crew brought the wrong material. and if you ever handled any project like this, you know communication is the key. by the time when a message from me goes through daniel, who paraphrased to the best of his ability to greg (who is really the person that knows about fence installation and such), then greg has to "baby sit" and crew and give them very specific instructions as what to do and how to do it, mis-understanding is almost inevitable. i made so many phone calls to the office and spoke to daniel and greg so many times, not once they lost their patience or tried to brush me off or stonewall me. and i must say, THIS part is the most impressive of all! they are willing to listen and work on the issue with you! and i have hired and dealt with so many suppliers, i cannot say this about too many of them.
and for me, one good lesson learned when dealing such project (that may have an impact on your existing structure)? make sure that you have a crystal clear understanding with the person who comes and does the estimate and that you and he are on the same page what the project truely entails. greg was caught by surprise too with this hiccup because in Matt's proposal, no where was it mentioned that the patio's structure will be inevitably compromised when the old posts come out. and no one likes to be surprised. and throughout the project, communicate, and communicate, esp with the right person. in the end, both greg and i agree that it is so much easier that we speak to each other directly as opposed to going through multiple other people when the msg always gets lost or mis-represented.
but bottom line is this: this company are people who will work with you to make sure all is done right! and despite all the hiccups, i will use them again! last but not the least, they are also fast (the other company could not get me in their schedule till the end of january) and much cheaper! so, if you need a new fence, call them! i hope this helps!