Get Quotes from Top Fencing Contractors in Boston, MA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Fence Company in Boston

Given that about 2,000 incidents of burglary are recorded every year in Boston, having a fence around your property gives a degree of security that is much needed. Fencing can help keep dangerous animals away from your family as well as give your family more privacy from the outside world. It can also improve the curb appeal of your home.

Make it a point to confirm that anyone you are considering for your project is licensed, insured, and aware of the city's building laws regarding fence operations if you want to obtain the finest value a fencing contractor can provide in the area. Any fence firm you select should always be able to respond to the following questions satisfactorily:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Fence Contractor in Boston?

To operate as a fencer in Boston, contractors need to obtain a Construction Supervisor License from the Office of Public Safety and Inspections (OPSI). For the majority of fencing projects, an Unrestricted CSL—which covers the building, alteration, and repair of extra accessories and walls under 10 feet—would be sufficient. Applicants must print and finish an exam registration form before mailing it to the exam administrators in order to apply for this licensure. After the documentation has been processed for 10 days, applicants may schedule an exam.

To be eligible for the exam, applicants must provide evidence of three years of expertise in building construction or design. Work experience must have been full-time (40 hours per week) within the previous 10 years, though it need not have been continuous. In addition, applicants must supply one of the following—but not both:

  • Tax Form: W-2s, IRS Schedule Cs, and 1099 forms are all valid tax documents. Applicants are to provide the necessary paperwork for three years of full-time experience. If they are substituting education for experience, applicants should include a copy of their diploma or degree.
  • Letter of Attestation: In lieu of tax records, a notarized letter of attestation from an individual stating that the applicant has at least three years of construction and/or design experience is acceptable. Individuals who can make this attestation include engineers, architects, employers, military supervisors, licensed contractors, and others.

Boston places high importance on registration and licensing. Working without one may result in a defaulter paying fines of up to $5,000 and receiving a two-year prison sentence. Use the Office of Public Safety and Inspections License Verification Site to check the validity of a Construction Supervisor License.

Contact the Office of Public Safety and Inspections, Division of Occupational Licensure at (617) 727-3200 for further details on licensing requirements for construction supervisors in Boston, or stop by their office at:

1000 Washington Street
Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Fencing Companies in the City?

Boston residents use fencing professionals to install new fences on their properties for a plethora of reasons. These consist of the following:

  • For artistic and decorative purposes
  • To conceal and keep trespassers out of their swimming pool areas
  • To discourage trespassers like burglars from breaking in and entering
  • To ensure that mice and other vermin cannot enter their property
  • To ensure that pets and young children cannot leave.
  • To improve privacy and block prying eyes
  • To increase their sense of security
  • To make their gardens more aesthetically pleasing

The price to install a new fence on your property in Boston can be between $2,452 and $3,029, but the final price will depend on a variety of factors, like the style of fencing you choose. In Boston, those who own homes and other properties most frequently construct fences out of the following materials:

  • Aluminum: Fences made of aluminum are sturdy, rust- and corrosion-resistant, and low maintenance. Although they can be costly to construct and are not the best solution for security and privacy, these fences give homes and other buildings a more modern appearance. They might cost between $29.05 and $36.98 per linear foot.
  • Chain Link: Despite not being the most trendy kind of fencing, chain link fences are renowned for their security. Each linear foot might cost anywhere from $14.53 to $19.81. Despite being suitable for use in backyards, these fences are prone to rust.
  • Composite: Composite fences resemble wood fences in appearance but come in a broader range of colors and need little to no maintenance. A significant disadvantage of this fencing material is its price, which ranges from $24 to $44 per linear foot.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl fencing ranges in price from $22.45 to $30.37 for a linear foot. These fences are easy to erect, durable, require little maintenance, and are environmentally beneficial. They might not be the ideal choice because they can be harmed by severe weather.
  • Wood: Popular due to their ability to provide privacy, wood fences cost between $18.49 and $22.45 per linear foot. The lifespan of this attractive and adaptable type of fencing is just five to ten years before it requires maintenance, i.e., it only lasts for five to ten years before needing repair.
  • Wrought Iron: Wrought iron fences are known to be durable and long-lasting and are the most aesthetically pleasing type of fence. But the cost to construct these barriers might be between $29.05 and $36.98 per linear foot. Wrought iron fences also need a lot of maintenance and are prone to dents and rust.

Labor rates, the anticipated fence's length, as well as the fencing materials and tools, are additional factors that could affect the cost of installing a fence in Boston.

It is typically a wise move to ask for and compare quotes from several fencing companies in the city when seeking a qualified fence builder for your job. This gives you a fair idea of the market price for the project you have selected, preventing you from being fooled by an unethical fence contractor or company. When estimating these costs, be cautious of estimates that are different from the others and take caution if the contractor cannot adequately justify a price difference. The following fence design types are used by Boston fence companies:

  • Picket Fence: Picket fences are a somewhat popular style of the fence because they make for aesthetically pleasing home boundaries. You may identify them by their vertical planks, which are consistently spaced and frequently have pointed tops. Picket fences are typically modest-sized fences. But more robust adaptations of this architecture can be built to provide some defense, including the exclusion of rats and other medium-sized pests.
  • Gothic Fence: Gothic fencing is characterized by its numerous holes. Wrought iron and aluminum are frequently used to make this kind of metal fencing. Mansions are usually where you'll find this nicely constructed fence.
  • Lattice Top Fence: In this design, an ordinary fence has a decorative lattice top added. It can be made of metal, vinyl, or wood.
  • Scallop Fence: A scallop fence has a top that rises somewhat curvedly from one end to the other as opposed to the typical picket fence's straight horizontal top.
  • Split Rail Fence: Rather than the more typical vertical installation technique, this design uses a horizontal one. Farms and ranches frequently employ split rail fences because they are more economical to construct than other fence types.
  • Flat-top Fence: As the name suggests, the top of this simple fence design is flat. It could be made of metal or wood.
  • Dog-Ear Fence: The top ends of the hardwood fence boards on either edge are chopped off to form a hexagonal end for the dog-ear fence design. Wood and composite are the most common fence materials for this group. They are reasonably priced, simple to assemble, and beautiful.
  • Shadow-box Fence: Wood fencing must be alternately affixed to each side of the fence construction for the shadow-box fence design.
  • Electric Fence: By electrifying both people and animals, electric fences create a barrier that deters access.
  • Garden Fence: To keep out small animals and for aesthetic purposes, low fences often referred to as "garden fences" are frequently built around gardens. They can be crafted from wire or wood in a variety of shapes.
  • Custom Fence: A custom fence, as the name implies, is created specifically for a particular piece of land and can be tailored to your tastes. Although wood and metal are the most common materials used to construct these fences, any material of your choice may be used. However, it should be kept in mind that installing various fence types and designs is frequently less expensive than building custom fences.

Fence installers in Boston make an average of $73,030 annually. The following list compares the average hourly pay of these contractors with that of fence contractors in other locations across Massachusetts and the rest of the United States:

Boston Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Springfield Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Cambridge Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New Bedford Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Worcester Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New York City Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Philadelphia Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Fencing Services Do You Offer?

While looking for authorized fence businesses in Boston, it's crucial to learn what kinds of fencing services your possible fence contractors are willing to offer and make sure that these services meet your specific requirements. The following are just a few of the many services that certified fence installers in the city frequently offer:

  • Caring and repairing a fence
  • Constructing and creating unique fences
  • Erecting fresh fences
  • Modernizing or replacing an outdated fence
  • Putting up fence gates

Depending on the details of your contract, the fencing contractor may also provide other services including expert advise on fence design and construction, utility line and property boundary marking, and procurement of the required permits for the project. Therefore, it is usually in your best interest to confirm the precise services they offer and to agree on the extent of those services before signing any contract with a fence contractor. You have a better chance of avoiding disputes and inferior service by doing this.

When Am I Required to Have a Fence in Boston?

It is typically a good idea to find out in advance whether there are any state or local regulations that might affect or limit the form and extent of your Boston fence project. Chapter 49 of the General Laws of Massachusetts provides information about fencing regulations in Boston. These are some of this ordinance's requirements:

  • A fence or other structure resembling a fence that is purposefully built or maintained to irritate the owners or inhabitants of adjacent land and that unreasonably exceeds six feet in height is considered a private nuisance. Any such owner or occupant who is harmed in the comfort or pleasure of his estate may bring a tort claim for damages
  • Fences that are four feet high, in good condition, made of rails, lumber, boards, iron, or stone, as well as brooks, rivers, ponds, creeks, ditches, hedges, or other objects that the viewers of the fence perceive to be equivalent to such fences, must be regarded as legal and sufficient fences.
  • Unless they mutually agree differently, the occupants of adjacent properties surrounded by fences shall maintain partition fences in equal shares between their enclosures so long as both of them upgrade the same.
  • Anyone who feels wronged may file a complaint with the fence observers, who will handle it if someone refuses or neglects to repair or rebuild the portion of a partition fence that they are obligated to maintain.

Hiring a professional fence company for your fencing projects has a number of advantages, including the fact that they are frequently informed about pertinent fencing legislation and can help confirm that your installed fence complies with it. Call the city's Office of Public Safety and Inspections (OPSI) at (617) 727-3200 to find out more about relevant fence laws and regulations in Boston.

Will You Get the Necessary Permits as Required as per the City Code?

Boston's Inspectional Services are in charge of issuing building permits in the city. The permitting procedure in Boston is typically based on whether you are changing a building's use or its physical appearance. Permits for major modifications like new fence construction can only be started online and completed in person, whereas minor changes can be allowed either in person or online.

Homeowners or fencing contractors can submit an online or in-person application for a short-form permit, which covers minor changes like repairs. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before applying:

  • A thorough explanation of the work you'll be performing
  • An estimate of the project's overall cost
  • All contractors' identification, including trade licenses
  • A duplicate of your contract
  • A homeowner waiver, if you want to perform the work on your own property,

Long-form permits are necessary for a variety of projects, including new construction, additions, and structural work. Create an online application with the following required files to apply for a long-form permit:

  • A duplicate of the contractor agreement
  • A nominal fee  letter if it applies
  • A waiver if you are undertaking the roofing work on your own property,
  • Proof of Workers' Compensation

After submitting an online application, you must also deliver the following materials in person to Inspectional Services:

  • A breakdown of the tasks you'll be doing
  • A certified plot plan showing the location of the structure on the lot and the property lines.
  • A layout plan
  • Proof of the owner's consent if the property is not yours
  • The signature of an engineer or a qualified contractor on your application.

Contact Inspectional Services at (617) 635-5300 to submit an application or for further details about permits in Boston, or stop by the office at:

Building Division
1010 Massachusetts Avenue,
Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02118

Will You Contact the City's Utility Companies to Verify the Path of Underground Lines?

The benefit of having your fence installed by a competent fence contractor or firm is that they will accurately locate and designate any utility lines on your property, especially any subterranean, unmarked gas, water, and power lines. This is important since cutting any of these lines while working on your renovation could cause deadly accidents and stop the delivery of vital services to your home. Professionals frequently erect fences by carrying out the procedures described below:

  • Estimating the Length of the Fence: Here, an estimator calculates the planned fence's length and confirms information such as its design, construction material, placement with respect to the property line, and any easements you may have granted.
  • Marking the Utility Lines: Utility lines are marked by the fence company so that while workers are digging, they may avoid them. The fence firm accomplishes this by requesting that your property's yard be marked by the city's utility marking agency.
  • Getting a Fence Permit: The person that installs your fence gets the necessary permits for the building process.
  • Digging the Post Hole and Setting the Post Brackets: For simple works, the diggers may use a hand-held post-hole digger for excavating the post hole and installing the post brackets. They use a motorized post-hole digger with an auger configuration for most of the remaining duties. The holes are filled with galvanized post brackets, which are subsequently straightened until they are absolutely upright.
  • Fence Construction: The fence is put up in the way it was intended.
  • Finishing and Cleanup: At this point, the group collects all construction-related trash. You can now assess the barrier to see if you like it.

Although many fence companies provide such services, you should always confirm that your selected fence contractor actually verifies utility lines before signing any contracts with them. Many expert fence builders in Boston may also request a copy of your survey records when generating project designs for obtaining the required fence permits to determine precisely where these utility lines are located on your project.

By calling Boston's Dig Safe at 811 or (888) 344-7233, you can also find these utility lines on your own. To avoid damaging any of these lines, it is always a good idea to do this before digging on your property. You can contact the nearby service providers listed below if you have questions about the utility lines in Boston:

  • Boston Gas Company (National Grid) - (781) 907-1000
  • Boston Community Choice Electricity - (833) 930-3161
  • Boston Water Commission - (617) 989-7800

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Fence Contractors in Boston?

Working with contractors who are insured is essential. In Massachusetts, there were 69 fatal workplace cases in 2015. You could be held liable if one of these situations involves an uninsured contractor who works for you. You will be responsible for paying for any property damage caused by an uninsured contractor.

Every business operating in Boston is required to maintain workers' compensation insurance for both themselves and their employees, even if they are employed by the same business. Additionally, confirm that your fence contractor has other sufficient insurance coverage like business auto insurance and liability insurance.

Ask for proof of insurance and bonding before hiring a fence contractor. After that, verify this information with the relevant authority. Make that the contractor is covered by general liability insurance, which will pay for any accidents or property damage caused by your project that affects third parties.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Fence Contractor in Boston

The primary center for consumer complaints about unfair or deceptive acts or practices employed by fence contractors in Boston is the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). Additionally, you could bring up these concerns with the Boston Department of Consumer Affairs and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

According to a news report by WWLP in February 2022, a fraudulent home improvement contractor was prohibited from conducting business in Massachusetts as a result of a settlement with the Attorney General's Office. Due to allegations that the contractor misled a number of homeowners, the contractor in question was ordered to pay $150,000 in reparations and was barred from owning or managing a construction company.

Untrustworthy contractors are constantly coming up with new tricks to take advantage of customers who need fence construction and other home renovation services yet are trusting. These strategies include:

  • The contractor insists that permits are not required for your fencing work.
  • The contractor raises the cost of particular services.
  • The contract provided by the contractor is defective and insufficient.
  • The contractor offers multiple contracts in a ploy to confuse you.
  • The contractor wants a sizable upfront payment.
  • The contractor arranges with external high-rate financiers for your project.
  • The contractor's credentials are either insufficient or simply false.

When searching for fencing companies in Boston, be alert for red flags to avoid hiring a dishonest fence contractor. These red flags include the following:

  • Failure to Provide Licensing Proof: Use the Office of Public Safety and Inspections License Verification Site to check the fence contractor's license status. Inform the OPSI as soon as possible if you are unable to locate the relevant contractor.
  • Avoiding Written Contracts: Before beginning any task, a written contract must be in place. Additionally, before agreeing to the contract, carefully read it.
  • Lack of Physical Office: Avoid working with contractors who can't provide a confirmed genuine address. Ask the contractor for local references as well, and check their recommendations.
  • Large Upfront Payments: Avoid cash payments and never advance more than $1,000, or 10% of the total project cost.
  • Attractive Low Bids: To avoid falling victim to con artists who use this tactic, evaluate at least three contractor proposals before accepting a price that is absurdly low.
  • Unsolicited Contracting: Don't hire any contractor who unexpectedly knocks on your door and offers any kind of fencing services.

You can report dishonest or incompetent fencing companies or contractors in Boston to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) by calling (617) 973-8787 or submitting an email. In addition, you can go to their office at:

501 Boylston Street,
Suite 5100,
Boston, MA 02116

You can also report similar fencing frauds to the Boston Department of Consumers by calling (617) 635-3834 or via email.

Additionally, you can complain to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office by reaching the office at (617) 727-8400 or sending an online complaint.