Fencing

Moose's Mowing

LawnSite Senior Member
Does anyone here do any fencing installs? If so, what type do you do and what do you make the most profit on/ I'm talking like split rail, privacy, chain link, etc.....
 

materialmovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Nebraska
I started this year doing a few, first one in about 2 weeks. I have a local contractor that builds houses and that I help and he wanted me to start doing a few and he will help me do them until i see if they are profitable. No idea how to bid them so I wont know how profits are until I get a few done. I have 3 booked so far for this spring, 2 vinyl privacy and a chain link/wood privacy.
 
OP
M

Moose's Mowing

LawnSite Senior Member
cool, good luck with them. post back and let us know how it went. I'm thinking it'd be easy enough to figure out the price per foot. this could include materials, labor and equipment rental.

for example, split rail with 3 rails covers ~10 ft per section. So figure 100 linear feet of fencing would take 30 rails and 11 posts for a total of $Y. then Y / 10ft = price per foot.

(number of linear ft x Y) + equipment rental fees + delivery fees + (man hours x $ per man hour) + 1 million dollars = bid price....

I'm considering "thinking" about doing a few easy ones if they come along, but I don't have access to decent helpers unless I go in to town and pick up some illegals.

anywhoo, let us know how it goes.
 

justanotherlawnguy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
tampa, fl
Fencing is just like the lawn biz, you've got the guys who are actually professional fence installers who charge accordingly.

There's alot of bad fence installers out there,

Then you have every out of work contractor with a truck who can't afford to start a lawn biz doing installs.

If your a lawn guy, you've got no business doing fences or handyman stuff, or pool cleaning... Stick with what got you to the dance.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Fencing is just like the lawn biz, you've got the guys who are actually professional fence installers who charge accordingly.

There's alot of bad fence installers out there,

Then you have every out of work contractor with a truck who can't afford to start a lawn biz doing installs.

If your a lawn guy, you've got no business doing fences or handyman stuff, or pool cleaning... Stick with what got you to the dance.
Posted via Mobile Device
I disgaree to a point. If your not skilled in fencing you shouldn't be doing it. There is great potential for the person with the skills and equipment that can broaden their range of available services. However that can backfire for a solo op. Some areas consider fencing "structure" and require a contractors license, permits and inspection.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

materialmovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Nebraska
The contractor that that I am working with has done fence working for a fence company when he lived in a bigger city so I am not doing it totally blind. I do more of the construction side of landscaping/hardscaping anyways and not as much of the maintenance, so I already have most of the tools to do it. And when I said I had no idea how to bid them that wasn't totally true. I did the whole materials+labor+profit its just I don't have huge overhead so compared to the big fence company 30 miles away I am sure I am a little cheaper even buying products through them. Oh yea and I am not using home depot/menards quality material either, no different than trying to run commercial lawn service with resi equipment in my eyes.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
I did a split rail for a client one summer, but the chainlink thing at 10' high requires special equipment and strategies...
 
OP
M

Moose's Mowing

LawnSite Senior Member
Fencing is just like the lawn biz, you've got the guys who are actually professional fence installers who charge accordingly.

There's alot of bad fence installers out there,

Then you have every out of work contractor with a truck who can't afford to start a lawn biz doing installs.

If your a lawn guy, you've got no business doing fences or handyman stuff, or pool cleaning... Stick with what got you to the dance.
Posted via Mobile Device
I don't really think your thoughts are all that valid. At least not for everyone. I am getting out of construction and getting in to mowing. Mowing is less overhead and much less risky. In the past few summers, I did pole barns, decks, basements, and small additions. I did most of it solo unless I HAD to have help. I'm leaving construction for fear of getting stuck on jobs and the amount of manual labor I was shelling out, my body is starting to give out in certain areas. But It's much easier to swallow getting burned on a $35 dollar lawn when I only spend 5 bucks on fuel than it is to eat 5,000 worth of decking materials or whatever.

I'm not planning to try to get 10' high chain link....or any chain link for that matter it's a pain. But privacy fencing, split rail, and picket style fences are all about mindless to install. I certainly won't turn it down if I'm asked to do it, just like I'd still do a small pole building or deck when it comes around, I made great money in the past couple years. I'd just enjoy mowing grass a lot more. So I was wondering what some guys are doing as far as fencing goes and what gives the highest profit margins.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
Your highest profit margins have everything to do with the success of the individual deal... some people believe it is a big profit, when the client paid the full amount of the bid that was excessively high...
The big picture of 'profit margins' is everyone you work for is happy to pay higher prices than to the other guy...

High profit margins are built into your reputation... fencing vs. mowing has nothing to do with profit margins... :)
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
Fencing is just like the lawn biz, you've got the guys who are actually professional fence installers who charge accordingly.
Have to agree here, and that comes from having personally built miles upon miles of fences. Fencing is a cut throat business. Cheap materials, poor workmanship, and corner cutting are prevalent ..... anything to get the per foot cost down. When I see companies quoting $13/foot I cringe because I know exactly what that means.

Biggest difference between the good and bad (after price) is quality and longevity of the work. The saying you get what you pay for is most certainly applicable in fencing as it is with any construction type work.
 

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