Dreamers, Fence install pricing

Hi all

would be great full of some help with this

i went to quote a 30ft fence and gate install that needs to be in place before rspca let the client have the dog.

told the lady it would be £300 plus as an estimate as she was asking. I am new to this so I was half guessing and put on the spot but had an idea, she the Said I was hoping it would be under £200 I said I’ll see what I can do thinking to myself no way can I do that we have a dreamer

i then said for around £270 I could install steaks and pet mesh if this is suitable,

she spoke to her husband and cam back to me saying they want a 6ft fence that will let light through and a gate at the end with stone steps that have to be moved and put back to go over a stone wall through the gate

I come to a price of £575 which was lower than I’d like and I got the old

“I’ll have to speak with my partner”

am I too cheap, too exspensive? Or is she a dreamer

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      • PRO

        Whether you drop the price to win this job is a personal and very specific descision that I'm not sure anyone can answer for you.

        However, 3 Scenarios exist.

        1/ you end up at below costs

        2/ you end up breaking even

        3/ you end up making a profit (where % of profit is 'under' your control)

        If you know your costs, then you'll know how low you can go....but 1/ is not viable


  • She’s definitely dreaming! The only way I could even get close to £300 would be to install stock fencing with round posts driven in with a post bumper.

  • In my experience customers genrally haven't got a clue when it come to the cost of fencing materials or the work that is involved.  I put up some feather edged fencing in the Autumn for a couple who where shocked at the price of the Quote and it was only £520 ish.  As someone else said half that was Materials.  Also you want to make it clear to them that you may have to charge more if the ground is full of concrete or you discover a disused well!!

    Don't chase unprofitable work is my advice, spring is around the corner and then you will be rushed of your feet!

  • PRO

    Bad news just tell them your too busy. But near me 120/140 seems to be the going rate per bay supplied and installed with allowances for extra prep ie digger in to pul out old concrete post or digging out a very mature beach hedge. 

    The grass will be growing soon and it makes us all feel better

    • PRO

      How badly and how soon do they want to adopt the dog ? , perhaps they need to re consider their position on this and decide if they want to make proper provision . 

      Would they even get a fence built if the RSPCA was not making this a condition , Would they just get the dog and take a risk on it wandering off  ?

    • PRO

      Amen to the grass growing.

  • PRO

    You will always get dreamers, but it’s never helped by situations like this...

    I recently quoted around £1800 for a run of fence with the materials and waste totalling c.£945. She text me to thank me but tell me she was getting someone else to do the job. I asked her if she would mind telling me the cost she went with... £650!!! Who knows how it was possible?!?

  • PRO

    You have to remember, people lie.

  • PRO

    some times people will have a figure in mind only because they have no idea on the requirments to do the job, already you have been devalued and this is where you need to sell yourself as gary said before,

    i had at the front of my portfolio copies of all my qualifications / insurance (public liability / van etc etc) / waste cert and anything else like referance letters etc, then photos and scetches of work i had done seperated into sections so fencing / wooden construction / stone & paving etc etc, this let me show off everything i could do as i was letting the customer go through it, you are a sales man first selling yourself and this is hard to do as most of us know our abilitys yet seem to be reserved is shouting from the roof how good we all are.

    years back i had a paving job over 2 weekends for a family friend and there nabour asked me to price for there fence at the same time i was pricing the patio, £1700 was the total price and the guy nearly fell over and said he would do it himself because he knows the materials were only £1000 so i said ok and walked away as i don't do getting knocked down etc because i know what im worth and i charge a fair price for non family etc.

    3 weeks later i started the paving and was told his nabour had been out every weekend for 3 weeks doing his fence and still had not got a panel up yet as he was digging out the old post's etc still,

    i had the biggest smile on my face the whole time especialy when he asked to borrow my kango to brake the concreate and i just had to say no, i explained to him at that point that i had priced the job over 2 days with me and a labourer including all my nice powerfull and profesional tools i own to be on site and do the job, not only that but my knowlege and skills were also thrown into that price for labour as well.

    i found out that by the time he had filled in the creaters he had dug with quick setting post mix he was only a couple 100 off my price and took him 6 weekends to compleate and i was going to be 2 days.

    who do you think ended up with the lesson ????

    i worked out quotes using retail on all materials that never gets knowcked down and it can be there for all to see (i get trade price even now so its 10 - 20% almost as an in the bank float) and thats part 1.

     then work out what you need to meet a minium wage required for your outgoings rent / insurance's / food / phone etc etc (this part should already be done for your yearly cost and then worked out to a price per day needed which can then break down per hour etc however you then work things)

    then add a set % for a profit margine and this added % is your flexibility in the price, at this point only you know what your wanting to make on a job in profit but another thing i used to do (still do sometimes) is if i need a new tool and i can use it on that job to be made quicker i price that as my profit or part of depending on cost so even though cash is not in your hand you have just increased you tools and reduced your effort / time so now each job becomes quicker and more profitable.


    for those jobs like above i just walked away knowing that unles you seriously comprimise on quality etc you will never get to the price in there head, that 1 person who can is going to either bodge the job badly or rip them off never to be seen again (there is the 3rd one of a new guy just starting out who thinks £10 an hour is good money until he works out his costings to find he hasn't even made what the paper boy/girl makes )

    both of them situations are nothing to do with yourself and on occasion you might end up being called back anyway to redo the job right.

    just remeber a single good paying job done well is better than 2 under paying jobs done badly and having bills and family to think about is stressfull but try not to let that devalue you even more into dropping the pricing to nothing because there is only 1 winner there and its not you.

    • some good words there from you all nice one, she dosent need the fence now so on to the next job i may put a post up as its a new one for me and may need advice but should be straight foward. 


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