Bob Almeida has been fencing for over 16 years and is co-owner of Homestead Fence in Vermont. His vast fencing experience covers all types of fence, including picket, chain link, PVC, agricultural livestock containment, and equestrian fencing. Bob considers his employees to be partners in the business and chooses to invest in them with training and superior equipment and tools.
Why did you start building fence?
After 12 years in the corporate world I wanted to work more physically in the field. After years on the road with a young family at home, I wanted to stay local and be able to see my kids grow up.
What qualities make a great fencer?
A good fencer really needs to have multiple skills and think outside the box, understand different types of equipment, and always have an awareness of the big picture. Organization and mindset of getting to the job with all the right tools and material is key to success of any job. Execution of returning calls quickly, providing timely estimates with realistic installation dates, and good communication is critical for a satisfied customer.
What is your favorite tool to build a fence?
No clear answer here, as I truly love to find better ways to do something. Normal 3 days jobs can now be completed in half a day with today's technology and equipment. We used to run wheeled skid steers and a farmer grade post driver before transitioning to tracked skid steers and Kinghitters. Today we drive our posts with a Protech EVO 1 which is a one person install. Instead of hand stapling woven wire, we now run several Stockade ST400i Cordless Fence Staplers which result in less fatigue and many less man hours. We also use a Keystone Fence Supplies woven wire dispenser to dispense and tension our wire. This skid steer attachment saves physical lifting and allows us to install many rolls of wire per day.
What advice would you give to a newcomer starting out?
You have to bring in a lot of money to make a little. You pay a lot for insurance and equipment. Figure out your costs or else you just move a lot of money around. Invest in really good employees and premium equipment and become as well organized as possible.
What is your favorite type of fence to install, and why?
No particular favorite, but I really love when a plan comes together for a great end result and happy customer. I can drive down the road and see many fence jobs that we did and remember funny things that happened on each job.