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Am I expecting too much with fencing pricing? Should I try a residential company?

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    #21
    We get a monthly magazine thru our State Farm insurance. Perhaps your state also prints a local version. It contains LOTS of farm related advertising. Fencing companies should be in there to call. Even if not local, they may be someone you could use. When we had fence installed, both times the companies were not close. Over an hour or 2 hours away. But they came, were here when they said they would be, installed things fast and did great work.

    So looking farther afield for an installer, may be worth doing. Check with farmers, horse farms, that have nice fences! Compliment them on their nice looking fences! See who they used. That is how we found our crews, with seeing one farms installed fences. The other installer was highly recommended by horse friends. My other friend hires an Amish crew who come and stay at a motel for the week of work she needs done. She has redone all her fencing, reroofed the arena and small barn over the last 5 years. They hire drivers to take them to the jobsites. Materials are delivered to your farm ahead of crew arrival. You do have to get in line for the Amish early, Jan, Feb, they are fully booked pretty fast. Not cheap, but great results.
    Last edited by goodhors; Jun. 29, 2020, 11:16 AM.

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      #22
      Just to add a recent cost quote for fencing (in MD)... I had fencing installed in late March. I was quoted $12.75/ft for no-climb with a top board. Decided to go with 3 board which was $7.50/ft. I was surprised at the cost difference between the two.

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        #23
        So: 6 gates, 1,150 linear feet of fencing, no climb with posts right? For 17k? Honestly, that isn't that crazy expensive. Not counting the gates it would be $15 to the linear ft which is high except lumber, labor, and metal prices are all going up due to inflation. But not totally insane. 14k would have been more reasonable perhaps, but now all the markets are so odd.
        Now, that doesn't excuse ghosting or poor communication!

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          #24
          Sorry, just reread, 17k is too high for the smaller amount (the 1.5 acres) but seems high but not unreasonable for the 2.3 acres.

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            Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by JumasMom View Post
            Just to add a recent cost quote for fencing (in MD)... I had fencing installed in late March. I was quoted $12.75/ft for no-climb with a top board. Decided to go with 3 board which was $7.50/ft. I was surprised at the cost difference between the two.
            We were told wood post and rail would in general, just be even more expensive, so we nixed that idea. I did try contacting someone an hour away, having a hard time getting him out here to do an estimate because of course, now that the first guy ghosted us right into the middle of prime fence installation season, we have have to wait for them to even find time between jobs to come out and estimate.

            I have no problem waiting (we actually had been waiting since march!) for the job to start, but we at least want to get on the books with someone to start. I have no problem waiting, and I would've been fine if the first guy was just honest and communicated the reality of the situation instead of just leaving without a word. I firmly believe if you're going to run your own company, communication is half of what you're doing. I thought we were pretty reasonable given almost 4 months of waiting on this guy despite him telling us he would start putting in posts in April. I get it's the busy season and realistically we probably wouldn't get fence until September or early October, I just want someone to give me a reasonable estimate to even do that!

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              #26
              Originally posted by horsegal301 View Post

              We were told wood post and rail would in general, just be even more expensive, so we nixed that idea. I did try contacting someone an hour away, having a hard time getting him out here to do an estimate because of course, now that the first guy ghosted us right into the middle of prime fence installation season, we have have to wait for them to even find time between jobs to come out and estimate.

              I have no problem waiting (we actually had been waiting since march!) for the job to start, but we at least want to get on the books with someone to start. I have no problem waiting, and I would've been fine if the first guy was just honest and communicated the reality of the situation instead of just leaving without a word. I firmly believe if you're going to run your own company, communication is half of what you're doing. I thought we were pretty reasonable given almost 4 months of waiting on this guy despite him telling us he would start putting in posts in April. I get it's the busy season and realistically we probably wouldn't get fence until September or early October, I just want someone to give me a reasonable estimate to even do that!
              I feel you. It's SO frustrating chasing people down to give them gobs of money.

              Do you have an overhead image with length of each run of fence, along with gate locations, that you can send to fence guys? Your county GIS site can be really useful for this, or that daft logic site linked earlier. A good image of what you need goes a long way to getting a bid, perhaps without even a visit, in my experience.

              Do you know exactly what you want re: posts and wire product and gate type/length? Do you want posts pounded or augered? Do you know what kind of no climb you want? Do you want them to paint/stain the wood parts of the fence? Communicating that can also help.

              In your shoes, I'd reach back out to the hour away guy via whatever method he prefers and send him *exactly* what you're looking for, if you have not already. From their perspective, it makes putting together a bid MUCH easier to have all the details.

              Unfortunately, being the squeaky wheel often does make a difference. I know it sucks.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                I feel you. It's SO frustrating chasing people down to give them gobs of money.

                Do you have an overhead image with length of each run of fence, along with gate locations, that you can send to fence guys? Your county GIS site can be really useful for this, or that daft logic site linked earlier. A good image of what you need goes a long way to getting a bid, perhaps without even a visit, in my experience.

                Do you know exactly what you want re: posts and wire product and gate type/length? Do you want posts pounded or augered? Do you know what kind of no climb you want? Do you want them to paint/stain the wood parts of the fence? Communicating that can also help.

                In your shoes, I'd reach back out to the hour away guy via whatever method he prefers and send him *exactly* what you're looking for, if you have not already. From their perspective, it makes putting together a bid MUCH easier to have all the details.

                Unfortunately, being the squeaky wheel often does make a difference. I know it sucks.
                Yup! Sent over that info and told him I'd be happy to count down the measurements by the foot for him. I sent him an extensive list of what we were looking for, I think he is just up to his neck in work. I did reach out to my acquaintance that had him do work for her and she actually let him know we were super serious and not just bumbling around for quotes, so I think he's going to try to get out here within the next two weeks. It's something!

                We did have to pull all of the t-posts and existing high tensile wire that was all over the place before we had someone brush hog the land, so we do at least have the opportunity to put up temporary electric, and we're working on it. We've got about 10 posts in with a manual post pounder, and it's been such a pain in the neck to do even with hosing the ground because we haven't had a strand of days of rain yet.

                I'm definitely feeling like I'm up everyone's butt lately, but it does seem to be the only way I hear back from anyone lately.

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                  #28
                  I just had fencing done last week. Almost 1400 ft of 3 board and replacing the boards only on my perimeter front no climb fence. Added two gates to the four I already had. I first got an estimate from a recommended company, and it was IMO really high. The add-ons (gates, removing the hot wire, etc) really cranked the price up. Then I found a guy through a recommendation whose estimate came in a full 20% below the first company, and he did a wonderful job. His posts and boards are high quality, too. And he only charged $20/gate to hang them....... MUCH less than the other company.

                  Have you asked at the local feed store? In the past I also got a number from the local farm equipment store secretary (the one you speak to to place an order). Those might be new avenues to explore. Have you posted an inquiry on your own facebook page, besides the local "word of mouth" page? What about asking at a big farm in the area who they use? ALso, how about your local riding club? They might have a company who gives discounts to members..... I know STRIDE here in FL does that sort of thing. I first asked on our local facebook page and got many recommendations for the expensive company.... . Then, a friend suggested Terry, and had actually worked with him for a while between gigs, AND he was doing a bunch of fencing at the Florida Horse Park.........

                  Comment


                    #29
                    Majority of the costs in a fencing job is the materials (and a fencing contractor will have access to better pricing than you). The labor is generally a small proportion of the total cost, because they have all the right tools and can erect the fence quickly. I strongly discourage DIY if you have to rely on 2-man post diggers -- the rental store equipment is often pretty crapped out, and no matter what they're a real bear to use. We put in about 20 posts with one, it was truly exhausting (and we're both fit and used to hard work). You're fighting it the whole time to keep it straight/plumb, and you have to lift it up and down multiple times as you dig each hole, to make sure you're clearing the dirt and not just drilling the thing into the ground (and then you have to dig it out). Add in the extra complication of NY's rocky soil, and I think it would be an exercise in frustration.

                    Did you actually sign anything with the original contractor? If not, it's almost unfathomable that he ordered materials on his dime, with no formal commitment from you for the job. If yes, check the terms of the agreement you signed. If not, then terminate the job in writing. Keep it brief and businesslike-- you hired him to do a fencing job and he committed to xx installation date. He has not met that date and has been unresponsive to your request for a revised date commitment. Therefore he will not be hired. If he repeats his claim that he's already ordered the materials: I'd bet he's bluffing. Ask for proof in the form of a copy of his invoice from the fencing supplier and proof that he's received the mat'ls.

                    If it checks out, I'm inclined to be sympathetic and offer to pay him that amount (with no markup) provided that the fencing materials were delivered to your site within 10 days. My thinking is that these are really, really hard times for small businesses these days and since you need these materials anyway, might as well make him whole. This would also mitigate the risk that he takes you to court -- for example he could claim you had a verbal contract. And, it may be easier to line up contractor #2 if the major materials are all already on site and they just have to come put it up.

                    While you wait on a gap in the schedule of some other contractor, put up a smaller enclosure with t-posts and hotwire. There are gas-powered pounders that are lots easier to use than the wood post diggers, and not super expensive. You still have the potential rock issues, but you have lots of flexibility to move the t-posts left or right (or in / out -- so what if the temp fence isn't perfectly straight) to get around it. Set the temp fence so there's plenty of room for equipment betw it and the permanent fenceline, so it doesn't hinder that installation.

                    Good luck!!!

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                      I have learned through experience not to deal with people who are unresponsive when you are standing there with a checkbook.
                      So true! I had a very weird experience trying to get the guy who did all my fencing in 2017 - and it was considerable and not cheap - to come back out two years later to do an arena, which he also does. I left several messages and never heard back, hell I was worried the guy died, but then he got back in touch with my neighbor about her fencing and some drainage issues in a sacrifice area he built after he did my fencing (at my recommendation to her because he really was quite good!), and he came right out and fixed her stuff... Not sure what I did to insult him, he was always friendly, we chatted when I was around and he was working, ditto him n my Dad. Took me another six months but finally found a guy willing to take my money to build an arena. Honestly tho, this is only his third one and he said he hates it already because horse people (horse women) are crazy and doesn't want me to give his name out. Yikes.

                      As for the original post regarding cost - it seems pretty spot on for what you want. I had 4' no climb on wood posts topped with insulated hot wire (black lightning), a bit more than you are getting (one 1/3 acre paddock, two 1 acre paddocks with shared fenceline of four strands of the black lightning), and four gates total, and ye gods When I was originally getting quotes, I called three companies: one came out and worked out a quote, one came out and then never sent a quote, and I went with the guy I went with because the cost was close, I liked him dammit, and he had done the fencing at my current boarding facility so I knew his work. I'm still hurt he ignored my calls about my arena
                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                      Comment


                        #31
                        If you do have to do the job yourselves, digging the post holes is the really tough part.

                        There is someone in our area that just does the post holes - which can be quite difficult in a lot of places around here - using the proper equipment; he advertises on craigslist. A close friend (a neighbor) hired him, and was very satisfied with the work. She and her husband were then able to install the fencing themselves. Perhaps it would be possible for you to find someone like this, if you think you'll be up to pulling the fence.

                        Our fencing contractors were both word-of-mouth recommendations from the good old boy network, and they wouldn't have been found on-line or in the phone book, and don't advertise. Did excellent work which has stood the test of time, although not inexpensive. At least in this area, there are capable people with a ranch hand type background who do this kind of work on the weekends, or during the slow times of year of their regular employment. Any way you can tap into this network?

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                          #32
                          Also, as you drive around and see anyone with ag fencing, don't hesitate to just knock on their door to ask who put it in. Or look at a corner post near the road--the fencing company will often tack their sign on the fence.

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Originally posted by TheJenners View Post

                            So true! I had a very weird experience trying to get the guy who did all my fencing in 2017 - and it was considerable and not cheap - to come back out two years later to do an arena, which he also does. I left several messages and never heard back, hell I was worried the guy died, but then he got back in touch with my neighbor about her fencing and some drainage issues in a sacrifice area he built after he did my fencing (at my recommendation to her because he really was quite good!), and he came right out and fixed her stuff... Not sure what I did to insult him, he was always friendly, we chatted when I was around and he was working, ditto him n my Dad. Took me another six months but finally found a guy willing to take my money to build an arena. Honestly tho, this is only his third one and he said he hates it already because horse people (horse women) are crazy and doesn't want me to give his name out. Yikes.

                            As for the original post regarding cost - it seems pretty spot on for what you want. I had 4' no climb on wood posts topped with insulated hot wire (black lightning), a bit more than you are getting (one 1/3 acre paddock, two 1 acre paddocks with shared fenceline of four strands of the black lightning), and four gates total, and ye gods When I was originally getting quotes, I called three companies: one came out and worked out a quote, one came out and then never sent a quote, and I went with the guy I went with because the cost was close, I liked him dammit, and he had done the fencing at my current boarding facility so I knew his work. I'm still hurt he ignored my calls about my arena
                            Yep. Having a similar experience right now as I try to get irrigation set up for my arena. I called the guy who did my neighbor's arena across the street. He made an appointment to come see the set up, blew me off and then - when against my own advice I called to follow up in case there had a misunderstanding - he reluctantly came out and then gave me a truly ridiculous number. When I expressed surprise (it was approx. 3x the price my neighbor paid, and my arena is considerably smaller) he just quit responding altogether. Buh bye.
                            **********
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                            -PaulaEdwina

                            Comment


                              #34
                              Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                              Yep. Having a similar experience right now as I try to get irrigation set up for my arena. I called the guy who did my neighbor's arena across the street. He made an appointment to come see the set up, blew me off and then - when against my own advice I called to follow up in case there had a misunderstanding - he reluctantly came out and then gave me a truly ridiculous number. When I expressed surprise (it was approx. 3x the price my neighbor paid, and my arena is considerably smaller) he just quit responding altogether. Buh bye.
                              I dont know where you are but I have had irrigation put in recently (Ocala) and the guy did a great job. Very professional. Pretty sure he travels around Florida. Same for my arena guy - I know he travels.

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                                #35
                                Lucassb it's so very weird, right?
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by lorilu View Post

                                  I dont know where you are but I have had irrigation put in recently (Ocala) and the guy did a great job. Very professional. Pretty sure he travels around Florida. Same for my arena guy - I know he travels.
                                  You are very fortunate! I'm just north of Atlanta, probably too far for your guy. Sob.
                                  **********
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                  -PaulaEdwina

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                    Lucassb it's so very weird, right?
                                    Absolutely bizarre...
                                    **********
                                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                    -PaulaEdwina

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      I had a similar experience trying to get someone to take my money to build my arena! This one local contractor kept telling me he could definitely do it next month....which went on for about 3 months. I eventually figured out that he was giving preference to the larger barns with bigger, more expensive jobs. Which is understandable, but don’t lead me on!! He was always really agreeable to my face but couldn’t actually do the dirty work of being honest.

                                      Thankfully I found an even better contractor to do it and I was so impressed with him that over the years he has done enough additional work to equal the value of the arena all over again, plus referred several other clients to him. So I guess sometimes things happen for a reason?
                                      Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                                        You are very fortunate! I'm just north of Atlanta, probably too far for your guy. Sob.
                                        Not so sure it's too far. I know he does arena work up in PA....And Miami is as far from us as Atlanta.. David Fry (440) 339-6049 He might know an irrigation guy, but here is who I had Brantley Irrigation brantleysm@gmail.com

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by lorilu View Post

                                          Not so sure it's too far. I know he does arena work up in PA....And Miami is as far from us as Atlanta.. David Fry (440) 339-6049 He might know an irrigation guy, but here is who I had Brantley Irrigation brantleysm@gmail.com
                                          Thanks so much!!!!!!
                                          **********
                                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                          -PaulaEdwina

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