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Fence Quote taking us to the cleaners?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1501 posts
916 upvotes
ottawa

Fence Quote taking us to the cleaners?

Hey RFD,

Anyone in the Ottawa area have a reputable range on fence quotes? I've seen on this forum in posts years ago it ranged from $30-40/linear foot. We just got a quote back that's about $6500 taxes in for a basic 6 foot high 50 foot long privacy fence:
new panels for fence 1,000.00
Labour per post [email protected]=3,000.00
Material; Pressure treated lumber, concrete and sono tubes, fence brackets, misc hardware 1,518.30
Disposal Fee Disposal of old fence 225.00
Waiting on a couple more but just curious what's reasonable and if we're too late in the season it can be done next year if the quotes will be better than this.
22 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 22, 2012
651 posts
269 upvotes
Bradford
I honestly think a lot of companies are so busy they are jacking their prices. My parents got a quote for a fence last year that was $4200. Got a quote last week and it was $9000.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1501 posts
916 upvotes
ottawa
Topher86 wrote: I honestly think a lot of companies are so busy they are jacking their prices. My parents got a quote for a fence last year that was $4200. Got a quote last week and it was $9000.
Thanks Topher - that's what I was afraid of. The neighbors are pretty adamant on replacing the fence but I think we can afford to wait if the quotes are coming in unusually high this year.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11982 posts
7135 upvotes
Paris
My understanding is that PT is near impossible to find right now so that will factor in too. Anybody that gets material direct wont be getting discounts like they would have other years, plus some of the requirements for Covid are adding a lot of cost. For instance, employees needing to drive seperate to job sites adds gas and labour costs.
Sr. Member
Jan 22, 2012
651 posts
269 upvotes
Bradford
Jerico wrote: My understanding is that PT is near impossible to find right now so that will factor in too. Anybody that gets material direct wont be getting discounts like they would have other years, plus some of the requirements for Covid are adding a lot of cost. For instance, employees needing to drive seperate to job sites adds gas and labour costs.
So true. I can’t find 12’ deck boards anywhere. Almost no PT at my local Lowe’s and Home Depot.

If you can wait a year, it might be best.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1501 posts
916 upvotes
ottawa
Jerico wrote: My understanding is that PT is near impossible to find right now so that will factor in too. Anybody that gets material direct wont be getting discounts like they would have other years, plus some of the requirements for Covid are adding a lot of cost. For instance, employees needing to drive seperate to job sites adds gas and labour costs.
Topher86 wrote: So true. I can’t find 12’ deck boards anywhere. Almost no PT at my local Lowe’s and Home Depot.

If you can wait a year, it might be best.
Thank you both - I'll probably try and convince them to wait a year. Appreciate the insights.
Sr. Member
Jan 22, 2012
651 posts
269 upvotes
Bradford
Yep, just got back from going to 3 hardware stores. No one was 2x4x8 PT or any 4x4s that don’t look like liquorice.
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2010
802 posts
454 upvotes
toronto
We wanted to get our deck down last spring and got some quotes. Few things happened and didn't to do it.

Looked at getting it down this year but the quotes are crazy. Last year was on average 7k. This year on average 15 to 20k and this is the same guys I called last year!!!! Didn't call them out on the jacked up prices but chalked it up to covid pricing.

Talking to other ppl that wants to get any work done around the house, prices are crazy for anything right now
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18012 posts
9001 upvotes
I like the quote breaks it down - that's awesome and makes it easy to see where the money goes.

$3000 in labour is ridiculous though. You're paying over $100/hr for unskilled labour assuming it takes (2) people two days to do this one 50' length of fence.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 27, 2007
5632 posts
2988 upvotes
I've been getting quotes on something and the first company to provide a quote seemed very, very high and he said PT wood is in short supply but even the non-wood options seemed very high. I'm waiting to compare it to a couple other reputable companies but I may have started looking too late as a lot of them seem pretty busy. Might have to see if I can hold off until next year.

Like 60 feet of 6x6 posts to replace railway ties bordering an interlocked walkway/porch for 3,000 dollars seems pretty high, right?
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11982 posts
7135 upvotes
Paris
TrevorK wrote: $3000 in labour is ridiculous though. You're paying over $100/hr for unskilled labour assuming it takes (2) people two days to do this one 50' length of fence.
I wont comment specifically on if this labour number is too high, but I would assume the labour number includes WSIB at 8-10%, vehicles, insurance, annual inspections, post hole digger, tools, etc etc etc. All the labour number rarely goes into someone’s pocket as profit. Each of those guys (of which at least one better be skilled labour) would make $25/hour on their own, plus EI, CPP, WSIB. The hard labour cost alone for an employee making $25/hour is probably $60 between them.

There is never a doubt with stuff like fences and decks that it’s WAY cheaper to DIY.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18012 posts
9001 upvotes
Jerico wrote: I wont comment specifically on if this labour number is too high, but I would assume the labour number includes WSIB at 8-10%, vehicles, insurance, annual inspections, post hole digger, tools, etc etc etc. All the labour number rarely goes into someone’s pocket as profit. Each of those guys (of which at least one better be skilled labour) would make $25/hour on their own, plus EI, CPP, WSIB. The hard labour cost alone for an employee making $25/hour is probably $60 between them.

There is never a doubt with stuff like fences and decks that it’s WAY cheaper to DIY.
$100/hr is more than some tradesmen in my area charge (with the same overhead). 50 feet of fence, including removal, should be under a 15 hour job for two people.

I agree with you that these people are likely not making a high wage, even $30/hr would likely be more than they are making as employees. But we have to keep in mind that with jobs such as this you will likely have one individual with experience (the lead hand) and the other person is simply the equivalent of a day labourer who is there because they can follow direction and keep up. It's tough to find companies that will hire quality workers and pay them a decent wage - I'm all for that. But I don't like paying a company such a high hourly wage when their day labourer breaks their back for $20/hr and is tossed aside the minute work slows down.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11982 posts
7135 upvotes
Paris
TrevorK wrote: $100/hr is more than some tradesmen in my area charge (with the same overhead). 50 feet of fence, including removal, should be under a 15 hour job for two people.

I agree with you that these people are likely not making a high wage, even $30/hr would likely be more than they are making as employees. But we have to keep in mind that with jobs such as this you will likely have one individual with experience (the lead hand) and the other person is simply the equivalent of a day labourer who is there because they can follow direction and keep up. It's tough to find companies that will hire quality workers and pay them a decent wage - I'm all for that. But I don't like paying a company such a high hourly wage when their day labourer breaks their back for $20/hr and is tossed aside the minute work slows down.
I would assume my $50/hour to the workers breaks down at $30/$20. I don’t know much about how construction is raising prices during Covid as our prices in Windows and Doors have actually dropped a tiny tiny bit as the factories are hungry for business. We did not raise our labour rates despite some of the PITA issues we had to deal with (chief among them was having workers arrive in different vehicles for social distancing)
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Sep 8, 2007
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Way Out of GTA
When you consider these guys have to work in the heat plus the shortage of materials and labour. It’s hard to get day labour right now as it’s easier to collect CERB. Might be able to get some labourer type guys if they are collecting CERB plus some cash. The ugly truth.

Plus with many working from home and getting full pay, I don’t begrudge these guys for wanting a piece of the pie for having to do this type of labour in hot conditions.

And before anyone gets all snooty from the comfort of their air conditioned house, they could always DIY the fence or deck if they felt the quotes were outrageous. Get out there and swing a hammer. Lemme know how digging those fence post holes went.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2013
1597 posts
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We just had 68 feet done with 6ft chain link with privacy inserts for $2,600 here in Quebec.

But yeah often times fence guys are all in cohoots with the pricing in a given area.
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Oct 16, 2007
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$30-40/linear foot assumes that the neighbor is also paying the same. Double it if you don't have a neighbor their share.
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May 11, 2009
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If you and the neighbor have the time, it would be worthwhile to DIY and save thousands on labour. Better yet, have the neighbour put the fence on their side and carry the costs, after all, they wanted the new fence.

Since it's replacing a current fence you might have an easier time with the posts, depending on if they were driven on put in concrete.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1501 posts
916 upvotes
ottawa
cartfan123 wrote: When you consider these guys have to work in the heat plus the shortage of materials and labour. It’s hard to get day labour right now as it’s easier to collect CERB. Might be able to get some labourer type guys if they are collecting CERB plus some cash. The ugly truth.

Plus with many working from home and getting full pay, I don’t begrudge these guys for wanting a piece of the pie for having to do this type of labour in hot conditions.

And before anyone gets all snooty from the comfort of their air conditioned house, they could always DIY the fence or deck if they felt the quotes were outrageous. Get out there and swing a hammer. Lemme know how digging those fence post holes went.
I hear you! Not being snooty by asking, sounds like there's some valid reasons for higher quotes this year due to material shortages and shortage of labour. I could definitely diy it, but I've dealt with more rotten fences so if it's the difference of diy or wait a year I would 100% wait.
RaphaelG041 wrote: We just had 68 feet done with 6ft chain link with privacy inserts for $2,600 here in Quebec.

But yeah often times fence guys are all in cohoots with the pricing in a given area.
That's more like it - they're pretty private so I doubt they'd go for chain link, but hopefully it's another data point to show them it's worth it to wait for pressure treated prices to come down.
ziaa wrote: $30-40/linear foot assumes that the neighbor is also paying the same. Double it if you don't have a neighbor their share.
Really? I've never seen $60-80 quotes. Not for a basic 6 foot privacy fence anyways. It's just alternating boards. I'd diy anything but the posts.
M1K3Z0R wrote: If you and the neighbor have the time, it would be worthwhile to DIY and save thousands on labour. Better yet, have the neighbour put the fence on their side and carry the costs, after all, they wanted the new fence.

Since it's replacing a current fence you might have an easier time with the posts, depending on if they were driven on put in concrete.
Yeah that's true. I think if anything I'd pay for the posts and just diy the boards. It's a super simple fence I just wouldn't want to set the posts not 100% vertical.
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Nov 27, 2013
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barqers wrote: That's more like it - they're pretty private so I doubt they'd go for chain link, but hopefully it's another data point to show them it's worth it to wait for pressure treated prices to come down.


With the pvc insert, they're pretty private. Cheaper and lasts longer than PT

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