Our latest Tradie of the Month is Steven Gebert from SG Fencing and Maintenance. Steven has been in the fencing industry for the past nine years and established SG Fencing and Maintenance in 2009. He is passionate about raising the quality and standing of the fencing trade and prides himself on being a highly-trained and skilled tradesman.
You can find out more about SG Fencing and Maintenance by visiting their listing page on Tradies SA or their Facebook page.
|Adelaide Tradie of the Month—Steven Gebert from SG Fencing|
Why is it so important to get a trained and skilled fence erector to take on your fencing job?
There is a perception, usually promoted by the big DIY stores, that fencing is a bit of a ‘backyard’ trade and that anyone can just buy a kit and put a fence up.
However, when you get a trade professional in to do the job, you’re not just getting a product, you’re getting a service as well. I’ve been trained to put up all different types of fences and retaining walls properly and safely, and so my work stands the test of time. If you attempt to do it yourself, or get someone in who isn’t a specialist, walls can fall down, they can let pets out, and they can compromise your home security.
And in some very specific areas, such as pool fencing, you have to make sure the work adheres to the new South Australian inspection guidelines, as well as the relevant Australian Standards, both in terms of the materials used and how it’s erected. So whoever you get to install your pool fence needs to understand these regulations and make sure they’re followed.
What should Adelaide homeowners choose SG Fencing and Maintenance over another fence erector?
Fences are what I specialise in and I don’t do other types of work. For me, fencing isn’t a sideline, or something that I do occasionally, it’s the focus of my business and I’m dedicated to doing the best job possible.
This means customers can be assured that I have the right training for the job, as well as the appropriate licensing and insurance. In the case of pool fencing, I’m qualified to be able to issue a certificate of compliance that shows your pool fence meets all the relevant regulations.
What sort of fencing work do you do for Adelaide homeowners?
We put up a lot of coulourbond fences around Adelaide and this is probably the most common sort of fencing work we do.
However, retaining walls are becoming more popular, and so this is an area where I have really been honing my skills. I’ve just finished a six-foot high retaining wall on a property at Salisbury Heights which has probably been my most challenging job to date.
Gabion walls, which are steel cages filled with rocks, are also growing in popularity and so I’m starting to do more of these. I’ve just finished a job at Burnside which is an excellent example of the look you can achieve with a gabion wall, and the quality of my workmanship.
And of course, we also do a lot of pool fencing—especially important with the summer coming up.
How do you go about producing quotes for prospective customers?
The first thing I always do when I meet a new client is to show them my Builder’s Licence, so they know straight away that they’re dealing with a reputable professional.
The next thing is to have chat so I can get a better idea about what they’re thinking of doing. This needs to take into account what they want to be achieved, and so sometimes part of my job is about informing and educating the client, not just selling them the first product that comes up.
After this, I’m always as quick as possible in getting a quote out to a client, as I really like to emphasise customer service and people appreciate a fast response, as it shows that you value them.
When you are about to start work for a new client, what can they do in preparation that would make the process starting and completing the job smoother and easier?
Communication is the key. Fencing is unusual in that it rarely involves just one client because a suburban fence has houses on each side. So if you’re getting a fence erector in to replace a fence or put up a new one, make sure you’ve discussed it with your neighbours first! About 80% of disputes between neighbours are over fences, so make sure you’ve talked it through with them beforehand and that they’re fully informed about what’s going on. It makes the homeowner’s life easier, and mine as well.
What are your goals and aims for SG Fencing and Maintenance?
For me, development is part of being in business and part of being a professional. I want to raise the profile and perception of fencing as a trade, and I want to help get rid of the tag of fencing being a backyard business, and so raise people’s expectations at the same time.