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Fence install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by kbacon3231, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. kbacon3231

    kbacon3231 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 37

    Ok here we go. I normally do not do fence but my brother has worked for a fence co. for years. So when some one asks me to do a fence i ask him if he need a little extra cash to do it with me. Im going to try and make this short.
    A woman buys a house and has dogs.
    Needs a fence ASAP.
    Dosent want to spend alot.
    We decide material wise a 4ft. picket with one gate will look the best for the money she wants to spend.
    She wants to buy material on a credit card at Lowes then pay us cash for the labor. Which is fine we werent marking up the material anyway.
    She wants use to start right away (as in the next day)
    I say i still need to get the permit and call the "call before you dig" folks (48hr. notice)
    Oh and one more thang labor will be $1800
    She wigs out about that i tell her to get another estimate now she said she has to think about it.
    Its only 275ft of fence but about 80ft of it right through the trees.(pain in the a$$ to dig post holes.)
    I second guessed my brother on his labor price but he said it we right on maybe a little cheap what so you guys think?
  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    "I second guessed my brother on his labor price but he said it we right on maybe a little cheap what so you guys think?"


    Why tell the customer to get a second estimate? Do you not want to do the work or can't so soon............read my post, get the utilities marked.

    Why does she want to buy with a credit card and pay you cash labor? If your price is too low convince her to let you get material then add a little to make up for your believed loss.

    What about an auger for the posts? There is another way to make more $.

    "I gave you an estimate, after looking at the site further it is necessary that we rent an auger."

    Say it costs you $150 to rent.........you can charge $300 for it and you made another $150 on the job + less work = finish faster = greater profit.......say 2 days vs 3.

    Also, tell you her you have to push back your current work with other customers and if she has to have it done now...........charge her more for HER convienence.

    + Watch for the future. If she sees you dropping everything to come to her aid she may expect it again in the future.........thats fine, again charge her more for HER convienence.
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Generally on a fence project labor and materials $15 to $18 a foot is what I charge.

    Make sure you do a ultility locate. Also might want to be aware of irrigation as well. Last fence three of the holes I managed to find the irrigation. As least I didn't break any lines.
  4. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 574

    let her get the other estimate you will probally still be cheaper Don't budge on your price if possible and as others have stated CALL THE ONE CALL(FOR OHIO IT IS 1-800-362-2764)
    I would actually go ahead and call them it is a free service and when she calls you back that is one step you will have already taken care of
  5. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    That's a pretty good stretch of fence to install, expect to run into a ton of roots not only where the tree's are but through out the entire job. I assume you are using an auger ?
  6. kbacon3231

    kbacon3231 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 37

    This lady we gave the estimate for is my fiance's boss. I should have said no at that point but im not that busy and neither is my bro. Yes we have an auger and i am definately calling before i dig. She wants to buy the material on a credit card because she doesnt have the cash to pay us all at once. I'm not doing this as my lawn company. Just a couple guys that can put up a fence. I second guessed my bro because the lady is acting like i my as well be asking a million dollars to do it. I i have no idea how to bid fence or how long it takes. Eventually i would like to add fence as one of my services but i do lawncare parttime for now and enough of my weekends are already taken doing other jobs. Thanks for the replys.

    In my first post: "I second guessed my brother on his labor price but he said it we right on maybe a little cheap what so you guys think?"

    I second guessed my brother on his labor price but he said it WAS right on maybe a little cheap. Sorry i can type for sheet.
  7. sunray

    sunray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Sounds like your going to do alot of work and get stiffed in the end.
    I would say if your going to do it, get your money up front or you may never see all of it.
    Remember she needs the fence not you.
    Like alot of these guys say working for nothing is worse than no work.
  8. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    Without knowing the exact blueprint of the yard its hard to say what you have going on there other then 275 ft of fence with a good portion going into trees. just with that sq ft you will be looking at roughly 35 posts to be installed (more if you have gates) Whats the code for how deep the holes have to be? (42" here) that will then tell you how much bagged concrete is needed per post. Are you putting up sections or custom building the fence?
  9. Mountain Gardener

    Mountain Gardener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    A few questions come to mind here.

    Why do you sell price only? Why do you not sell value?
    Do you not know your cost of operation?
    Why do you let someone kill your time that you know is interested only in cheapest price?
    Why do you not charge a refundable minimum fee (say $25.00) to burn $2.40 per gal gas, wear out your vehicle, give your knowledge and time away to give a free estimate to someone that has called 29 other people looking for but nothing the cheapest price? Answer: I don't know!
    If they won't pay a refundable charge for your time, and expenses, why would you go for free?

    I have been self employed almost all of my adult life and in this businees for over 20 years. I've never knowingly given my time away to a "Walmart Shopper" and I stay busy. I respect and appreciate my clients but at the same time expect the same from them.
  10. kbacon3231

    kbacon3231 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 37

    Well she found someone to do it for $600. More power to them. I hope they find every root on the property. Thanks for all the replys!

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