Estimating Building Wood Fence

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by kemco, May 5, 2010.

  1. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    I've a had a lot of lawn/landscaping customers ask me about building fences - so I have started to get into this a little but strictly "side" jobs whenever I have time which is next to never in the Summer. But anyway I have built a handful over the last few months. I have no clue as to what fence companies charge, I just came up with a price per linear foot for a standard 6' fence built with pt pine boards - $15 includes all materials and labor - shadow box a little more, a little more if 8' or capped, or anything fancier than standard. Demo of existing fence I charge extra. I use 60# concrete per interior 4x4 posts, 80# on corners and anything related to holding or latching gate(s). I run three stringers per length between the posts. So IMO I build a pretty sturdy fence... I have removed sheety jobs that didnt look like 5 lbs of concrete were on the posts if any.

    I have had a few people tell me my prices are great or at least very competitive, while others told me I was on the very high side. Is my pricing in line with others out there?
  2. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I guess that it all depends on the area. Several years ago I worked for a fence company in sales. After that I consulted for them on some of the bigger jobs that they were bidding on. For a 6' cedar fence we ran $43 to $48/ft. depending on style and digging. All posts were in the ground, in concrete minimum 42". Pine was a little less expensive, but harder to get quality boards. We were normally booked 4-6 weeks in advance running three crews.

  3. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I would never use a pressure treated board. Only the wood that is in contact with the ground needs to be treated. Posts are treated, but the boards will warp and shrink too much. Those are the fences that we were called in to fix.

    To be pressure treated properly and get proper chemical penetration, the wood has to be soaked in water for days before treatment begins. The wet wood fibers absorb the chemicals. When this wet wood goes on a fence it will warp, split, and shrink.

    I had a neighbor put up a fence himself a couple of years ago, all treated wood. He didn't want any advice because his buddy used to work for a fence company, and "knew what he was doing". There were many many summer nights that I couldn't sleep with the bedroom windows open because every few minutes one of his fence boards would shrink past the 2x4 stringers and hit the ground. The best was when the stringers shrunk right out of the nails and crashed down on the boards on the ground.

    I only used screws and dry wood


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