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Three lists
2012 Ben Akridge of Athens Fence, 706-354-0893

There is already a positive review for Ben Akridge, of Athens Fence (706-354-0893) written by me in 2010 on the staff recommendations page. It is followed by another glowing recommendation written in 2012, by someone who had read what I posted and who hired Ben based on this. But I want to give a brief update on my experiences with Ben. I called Ben a week ago and asked him to come out and give me an estimate on a railing for our front steps, since I have difficulty walking up and down steps. I thought I might have to save up for a while to afford the railing, but the estimate was free, and I thought I would at least know then how much I had to save. Ben came to our house to take a look and said that although he doesn't normally do railings, he would do one for me. He added that he sometimes does railings for established customers. I had never told him about the recommendation I wrote in 2010, but others had and he could tell from what I wrote that it was me. He said that it had brought him more work, and in gratitude for that, and since he already had the materials on hand, he then said that he would do this totally for FREE! (Of course, the cost of the labor is almost always the highest part of a project like this, not only the materials. But Ben included the labor too for free.) He and his workman Mike came out last Saturday and Mike put in the rail, which meets ADA specifications. Ben even had Mike add another section extending it along the front porch up to our front door, when I told Ben that I have difficulty stepping off the ledge there too. Mike poured concrete, set up the rail to fit my height, painted the hardware black to match the rest of the rail, and swept the porch off afterwards. The railing is both functional and beautiful, with decorative balls above the posts. Ben noticed some vines climbing up the front of our house, and he asked Mike to pull those down too! We had a small problem a couple of months ago when our yard man ran over a short portion of a pole in our yard, a part of our old, broken-down fence that Ben's crew was supposed to have removed in 2010 when they installed the new fence. Our yard man broke the belt on his lawn mower. Ben had a workman come out that same day and remove the stray part, which had been hidden by underbrush. He also offered to pay to have the belt on the lawn mower replaced. Ben really stands behind his work! When Ben came over this past weekend, he asked how our 2010 fence was working out. (We had bought the fence from him at that time to keep our two newly-adopted poodles safe.) We assured Ben that the fence is still doing great and that our poodles, who are "diggers", have not been able to get out from under it. (The fence includes a tension wire underneath to prevent them from digging their way out.) Ben Akridge is a native Athenian, and he told us two years ago when he and his crew installed our fence, at $900 less than our previous estimates, that he would be our fence man for life. However, since I believe that my husband and I will be spending eternity with this amazing man I am calling him my fence man forever. Thank you, Ben! (and thank you Mike too!) Please add this to the staff recommendations page, as I want everyone to know what a wonderful experience they will have if they call Ben Akridge for their fence work.

  • Ben Akridge of Athens Fence -- I have to give this fence maker a wonderful recommendation:

    A section of my chain link fenced got crushed by a fallen tree, and many other areas of the fence needed repair after a decade of limbs falling on it. I selected Ben Akridge of Athens Fence, 706-354-0893 off the UGA recommendations list. I called him to get an estimate for the repair of the section crushed by the tree. Ben returned my call the same evening. He asked if he could come in my yard the next day for an estimate and I agreed. Ben called me the next day and gave me a (low) estimate to repair the crushed section. I was agreeable to the estimate, and Ben said he could work me in a week later. That same day I got home from work, and his crew was there, fixing my fence! Not only did he fix the area I requested him to fix (section crushed by tree), he worked me in a week early, and he also replaced all bent/crushed sections where other limbs had fallen on my entire fence for free! Ben was very courteous, friendly, and his crew provided excellent, speedy service! I will definitely call him again if I need my fence repaired in the future.

    The four foot chainlink fence is now in place, and the person we chose was Ben Akridge of Athens Fence, 706-354-0893. Ben's brother Greg (Akridge Fence Co.) had given us an estimate last week which was $900 less than our previous estimate and we had planned to have him put in the fence, but he could not start for another week. And one of our poodles decided last week that it was fun to escape through the holes in our old fence, so we needed to have something done as soon as possible. So I called several other places on Friday evening based on the list's recommendations. Ben Akridge called me back Saturday morning, and apologized for not having returned my call sooner (!). I asked him if he was related to Greg Akridge, and he said Greg is his brother. Although the two brothers compete for the same business, they do so on a friendly basis, and it was soon agreed between Greg, Ben and us that Ben would match Greg's price and could start the work this past Monday. Ben arrived right on time and gave us copies of his business license, insurance papers, our zoning permit and several references. He and his crew completed the job in only three days, after having cut down quite a lot of brush and privet and removed our old fence in the process. The new fence included a tension wire at the bottom, so the poodles cannot "dig" their way out. The crew also removed all of the trash and limbs from our property and hauled it off. They really earned their money! We got a call from Ben last night asking whether we were satisfied, which we were. He said he waited a day to make sure that all was well before asking for payment. I would highly recommend Ben Akridge for anyone who needs a fence.

    There were quite a few people who were also recommended by the list:

  • John Dellinger, Dellinger Fence Co., was recommended twice. 770-725-9290. He was said to do honest, fast work, has been in business over 20 years,
    and has low prices.
  • "The Fence Man", owner Roger Fulcher, also got two votes. 706-548-3776.
  • "Progressive Fence" was a place I called Friday evening, but they didn't return my call until Monday morning, too late. They did get several votes
    from the list though, and Ben Akridge also mentioned that they were a good, reputable company.
  • I used Brent David (Davis Landscaping & Design) to replace my old hurricane fence with a nice wood privacy fence. He and his crew did a stellar job and it looks awesome! Here's his contact information. I would ask him for a quote before you decide, and you'll probably find him both reasonable in cost and high in quality work. By the way, his spouse works here at UGA and he's a UGA alumnus.

    Brent Davis, "Davis Landscaping and Design", 404-422-9442

    A few people were also recommended by one person each:

  • Dusty Tiller, 706-340-6871
  • Don Henderson, 706-308-7122
  • Chris Chapman, 706-367-9511
  • Shane Daniel, 706-769-6917

    I hope that this is helpful for those people who contacted me and said they also need a fence for their dogs. Nobody had any "horror stories" to tell. Do make sure that whomever you pick is licensed and bonded. Also, we found out that a zoning permit is required in Athens-Clarke County before you have a fence put in. Ben Akridge knew all about that, and went and got the permit downtown before he began the job. But another company we contacted said we didn't need any permit. (wrong!) Also, be aware that having a fence installed may raise your property taxes. You have to fill out a form for the county by March of next year if you have a fence installed this year, to let them know that your property value has increased. (This is also true of any major renovations you have done to your outside property.)