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Old 04-08-2013, 03:20 PM
 
7,114 posts, read 8,349,795 times
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i think it has all been said. Every situation is different, and many people don't have a clue. My yard is flat, i don't have any access problems to get machines in, the old posts are fine, i know exactly what i want and how much it costs at Home Depot, it's a real easy job, just a little of this and a little of that and you are done.....

When the contractor shows up, the permits haven't been issued because the survey is 30 years old, it's all flat except for that one place that has 7 steps, all but three of the posts are good...and they are set in concrete, the fence style you saw at Home Depot only comes in green, and you want brown, the space between lots is three feet, drowned in overgrown fosythia, and the neighbor is out there with a shotgun just waiting for someone to step over the line, and the gate hardare is rusted out, the post tops are gone, and the water is six inches deep across the yard in a summer rain.....

I am not saying YOU, but people sometimes are not accurate in their descriptions of what is, what they want, and what they expect it to look like.

Think of on-line dating.....sometimes that gorgeous person has a few warts here and there...homeowners are no different when they describe their 'easy' project. The answer is fence costs $10 a foot......ohhhhh...you want it installed? And the old fence disposed of......and on and on.....now it's $13 foot, and the contractor raped you cause he saw your Polo shirt! Right?

Smart contractors come, look, measure, talk, and give an estimate. If you don't like it, pick another contractor. After all, it is $5000 of YOUR money. YOU need to be happy!
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:06 PM
 
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 5,172,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberon_1 View Post
Even if the fence is on a slope, how does it change the cost?
Slope wouldn't change the cost of the materials, but it would for installation. Much more difficult to work on a steep slope than flat land.

I had a new 6-ft privacy fence installed. I knew the style, measured everything out, and got estimates to compare. I do agree, you should be able to get a materials estimate with no problem at all. At the two places I went to, the materials cost exactly the same. The one place estimated for installation, but the other one said they needed to come out. The guy the came out ended up being the one that did the installation. The installation estimates were pretty equal, but I figured that the one that saw the property would not have any "hidden" costs that came up later, and he made one or two suggestions that I ended up going with.

OP -- you may want to consider a cedar, pressure-treated fence. It should last many decades. Starts out as a beautiful orangey-gold, but in a year or two goes to a silvery grey. No staining or paint needed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
43,163 posts, read 53,804,523 times
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If I were a fencing contractor, or any other contractor, I would do the same thing for fear you would take his work and shop it and go with the guy who is $.25 a foot less. A lot is dependent upon your particular yard, the elevations, etc.
Just get a visit from 2 different fence reps from companies who have good reputations in your town. You probably don't even need to be home. What's the big deal?
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:56 PM
 
238 posts, read 556,638 times
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In our area of the Ozarks, they want to know exactly where your house is as most of this area is so rocky labor costs are quite high.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:13 AM
 
207 posts, read 474,974 times
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Be very very very careful when dealing with fence contractors. Same with roofers and concrete companies. Get multiple estimates from different contractors. Ask for references from past clients.

Again be careful.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:47 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,653,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberon_1 View Post
Yeah, but really, many are so expensive and if they post their prices, nobody would call. Simple like that.
Here in the US, labor is extremely expensive compared to other countries where materials are often the major expense. Even if the fence is on a slope, how does it change the cost? If there are wetlands, the contractor will not perform the job anyway, so what's the point? Above all, they want to have you in their database to spam you with "promotions". As I said, the public accepts it and so it goes.


Well, maybe if you ever found a good contractor, you would know that the better ones are not out to cheat you, spam you or take advantage in any way. Maybe the better contractors just want to do a good job at a fair price and leave a happy customer who refers him to friends and neighbors.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:31 AM
 
9,238 posts, read 21,112,632 times
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But it seems to me that a "good" fence contractor could at least publish: "This is our materials charge per foot____________, for each of these kinds of fences. Labor will be more, and can range from ____ to ____ per hour or per day."

How hard can that be?

And no, I wouldn't just go with the person who is 25 cents less per foot! I would then look at the customer reviews and ratings. I wouldn't care about saving a measily $35 if their reviews are bad or their customer service is terrible.

But again, I'm looking at spending an unknown amount, and I just wish I could get an idea if it'll be closer to $3,000, $5,000, or $15,000. If it's going to be under $5,000, then I can go ahead and start calling people now. But if I'm looking at more like $15,000, then I have to wait, several months, maybe until Fall. So there would be no point in going through the hassle of calling people now. Again, how hard can it be for them to give approximations on their websites? I'm not expecting an exact dollar amount.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:33 AM
 
9,238 posts, read 21,112,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx View Post

OP -- you may want to consider a cedar, pressure-treated fence. It should last many decades. Starts out as a beautiful orangey-gold, but in a year or two goes to a silvery grey. No staining or paint needed.
Thanks! See, why couldn't one of the fence companies even put something like that on their websites? All they seem to show is what the fences look like (the styles) not the different kinds of wood, how they deal with moisture, and how they change color over time. Now THAT would be a company I'd go with in a heartbeat!
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:22 AM
 
6,056 posts, read 6,774,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Well, maybe if you ever found a good contractor, you would know that the better ones are not out to cheat you, spam you or take advantage in any way. Maybe the better contractors just want to do a good job at a fair price and leave a happy customer who refers him to friends and neighbors.
I didn't say they are out to cheat me. I am happy with some contractors work and disappointing with others. It's a mixed bag. So far, I didn't find that someone who advertises his prices in advance is better or worse then others who want me to call before providing an estimate. However, contractors that I didn't hire, keep me in their database, continually sending emails and letters.
Either way, labor costs in the US far exceed those of other places (I lived in several countries before). In particular, the ratio between what contractors charge and what they actually pay their employees.

Last edited by oberon_1; 04-09-2013 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:25 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,567 posts, read 36,809,789 times
Reputation: 28490
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
But it seems to me that a "good" fence contractor could at least publish: "This is our materials charge per foot____________, for each of these kinds of fences. Labor will be more, and can range from ____ to ____ per hour or per day."

How hard can that be?

And no, I wouldn't just go with the person who is 25 cents less per foot! I would then look at the customer reviews and ratings. I wouldn't care about saving a measily $35 if their reviews are bad or their customer service is terrible.

But again, I'm looking at spending an unknown amount, and I just wish I could get an idea if it'll be closer to $3,000, $5,000, or $15,000. If it's going to be under $5,000, then I can go ahead and start calling people now. But if I'm looking at more like $15,000, then I have to wait, several months, maybe until Fall. So there would be no point in going through the hassle of calling people now. Again, how hard can it be for them to give approximations on their websites? I'm not expecting an exact dollar amount.
I share your frustration here; it's the same story in Texas. Being a single female who lives alone, I'm sure they size me up and think "KA-CHING!" as they try to rip me off. Some projects simply never get done because I have such a hard time getting multiple contractors out to even give quotes. It's like pulling teeth getting these people to do anything.
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