A wrought iron gate or railing can transform the appearance of your property and give it a unique character. However, as both gates and railings are intended to be in place for years, you must choose a supplier with whom you are entirely satisfied with. Ideally, you would go on the personal recommendation of a friend or neighbour that has used the company before. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take a leap of faith, but you do need to do your research.
How can I research a wrought iron and gate railing supplier?
These days, when people are searching for any tradespeople, they will almost certainly refer to the internet, and indeed with a wrought iron gate and railing supplier, it is no different. Obviously, the first place you should look is their website, and it is a good idea to head to the “About Us” page. Does it tell you how long they have been in business or about the individuals within the company? Most reputable companies will be proud of their workmanship and happy to tell others about it. If they aren’t, why not?
Next, you want to see examples of their work, initially on their website. You must establish that any photos on the website are of work that they completed themselves and are not stock photos. Ask if you can visit their factory so that you can view their work in person. If you are spending a lot of money, it is worth making that extra effort. Companies that are reluctant to show examples should be treated with caution.
Naturally, just referring to a business’ website doesn’t necessarily give the complete picture. Ideally, you would like to read some independent reviews on a reputable website such as Trustpilot. In addition, we would recommend doing some further due diligence, such as checking the company’s track record or trading history. Have there been any CCJs brought against the company or anything else that could suggest cash flow or other issues?
What should you do once you have found a potential supplier?
Once you have found a prospective supplier or suppliers, you will, of course, want to make an appointment with them. It is something that should be straightforward with several different methods available. If they only have a contact form, this could be a concern, so you should be looking for a phone number, preferably a landline.
Most people will require bespoke wrought iron gates or railings, and all the best companies will be happy to do this. Naturally, this will take time, and the top manufacturers are likely to be busy, so it is essential to ask for an indication of lead times. If a supplier can make your gates or railings in a matter of days, you should be asking, why?
Wrought iron gates or railings should be built to last, so you should insist on a full specification of the materials. It should include:
- Thickness of steel
- Dimensions of components such as railheads
- If they comply with British Standards
- Types of coatings used
- You should also know the difference between spray on and hot-dip galvanised.
Finally, you should always insist on a fully itemised quote with a complete materials specification so you can compare like with like when shopping around.