Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fence this!

Our side fence has been standing for almost 25 years. Pretty good for a wooden privacy fence that was probably built on the cheap back then. It is 85 feet long and a straight, flat run. Nothing special as far as fences go.

We have put off replacing the side fence since we moved here 7 years ago. Thanks to
the neighbor who did not like the way her fence looked, and a nasty thunderstorm 5 years ago, the rest of the fence has been replaced.

After the storm, I built our back fence and we split the cost with the neighbor on the other side. It took me a couple of weeks, because I worked on it when I got home from work each day. And I hand nailed the entire thing. No nail guns were involved in the making of that fence. But mainly it was a good chance to beat on something after working 10 hours a day with people I could not stand.

Then, the neighbor paid to have a new fence built surrounding her yard. 100 feet of that fence divides our yard from her driveway. But we hated the fence she chose, so we did not split the cost with her. So she is the proud owner of a wall of wood that towers 13 feet high over part of our side yard.

Our neighbor on the opposite side, where the old fence still stands, is a lot easier going. He and I have already agreed to build another plain wooden privacy fence and to split the costs. Originally I was thinking that we would built it ourselves. But I started calling around for estimates from fence companies to make sure that we would be saving enough money to make it worth the hassle.

The first company told me it would cost $1400 to fence that side of our yard. IF they hit no rock while digging post holes. (Not bloody likely around here). If they have to run the jackhammer, it would cost $1500 more! So they are charging at minimum $16 a foot for fence installed, with teardown and haul off of the old stuff. And if they play with the jackhammer, they get $34 a foot.

So, assuming that $16 a foot is close to what the other companies estimate, I guess I'll be building some fence pretty soon. But this time I think I'll bring a nail gun.

Second bid, almost as bad...

$13.50 a foot for a basic fence and up to $18 a foot for a "nicer" fence. AND $500 for the jackhammer that they won't even let me play with.


Darth Daddy said...

I'd at LEAST have to have it in the contract that I personally get to play with the jackhammer.

I'm so glad that I'm putting up my wodden fence by myself. It's been slow going, but it's been fun. The boys can help with their shovels, and pretend that they built the fence all by themselves.

A neighbor on one side installed a fence between us, and sold us enough fence sections (at about half the cost of a hardware store) to finish our yard all the way around. Sweet deal.

Margaret said...

We put in our own very easily. Especially if there is already a fence up that needs replacing.

You could rent a post digger or buy one for $29.99, even a rent a jackhammer for less. Home Depot has some awesome fence sections and posts at a reasonable prices. They'll even deliver.

If I remember correctly ours was 32 feet (4 8x8' sections and 8 12' posts) We even weather-treated the fencing and it cost us about $250 including post hole digger. Took us about 1 afternoon with BBQ and beer.

Anonymous said...

We may have to update our fence next spring (2007) since we'll be putting in a pool (finally) and we're not sure if the current fence will be up to code. I'm a hammer and nail kinda guy like you. I have to ask though.. how did you approach your neighbor to split the expense? The neighbor to the back of us will benefit from a new fense as well, but the man-of-the-house carries-over like a real stiff (el cheapo).