How Is Fence Installation Cost Calculated?

How Is Fence Installation Cost Calculated?

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The best way to find out what your fence will cost is to ask three or four fence companies to give you a quote. However, many people want to have some information before they contact fence companies so they know what to expect.

One of the more common questions people ask is how fence cost is calculated. Here’s a breakdown of what goes into the process.

1. Measuring and Assessing Site Conditions

The first step in calculating fence installation costs is usually to visit your site. During this visit, the fence estimator will walk the fence line, take pictures, make sketches, and take measurements.

They will look at slopes, any obstacles on the fence line, access issues and anything else that could make the fence installation take longer than usual. This is because most fence companies and fence estimators will have a good idea of their production rate under ideal circumstances. So during the site visit, they’re really looking for anything that could slow those production rates down.

Most fence companies price their labor in hours and days, so the longer it will take to install your fence, the more it’s likely to cost you.

2. Calculating Fixed Costs

No matter how large or small a fence project is, there will always be some fixed costs to be calculated.

These might include things like delivering materials to site, delivery and collection of waste bins if removal is part of the fence, or the cost to do underground locates.

On commercial projects, this might also include things like on-site orientation for your crew or special protective clothing and equipment required by the site.

Fixed costs generally don’t increase or decrease with minor changes on the project, and this is one of the reasons why fence companies usually don’t want to price per meter or per foot of fence.This is also why smaller fence projects tend to cost more when priced per foot than longer projects - because the fixed costs are divided over a smaller fence line.

3. Calculating Actual Labor

The next step in calculating fence installation cost is to calculate the actual labor. This is usually done after the material take-off is completed because it is usually affected by the quantity of fence components. For instance, terminal posts take a certain amount of time to install, on average. Line posts are usually faster because there are fewer components involved. So you can calculate the total time required for all terminal posts if you know how many there are.

The same process is used to calculate all the other labor elements of the fence installation based on actual quantities.

Once your fence company estimator has calculated the labor costs based on their material calculation, it’s time to factor in all the things they noticed during the site visit. For instance, if access to the fence line is limited, they might factor in extra time for hand digging or carrying materials along the fence line by hand.

Labor calculations are one of the trickiest things fence estimators do because there are so many things to consider. It takes many years of experience to do this correctly!

4. concrete, Equipment, Freight, and Other Costs

The next part of the process of calculating fence installation cost is all the other things that are required to install the fence that is not direct labor or overhead costs. If your project is out of town, they might also have to charge you for accommodation and meals for their crews while they’re working on the job.

This includes things like concrete for footings, equipment, and tools that might be used on site (along with consumables like drill bits and cutting disks), material freight and customs costs if the fence uses an imported product, costs to create shop drawings, and so on.

5. Markup and Overheads

The last thing that your fence company might account for when calculating your fence installation cost is the markup on labor and their head office overheads.

Many fence companies build overhead costs into their daily or hourly rates, so they may already have added this in the labor calculations.

Differs Widely

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into calculating fence installation costs, and it’s definitely not a one size fits all situation!

The cost for fence installation will differ for every type of fence, and every site is a little different. There will always be unique costs to consider for every project. This is why no fence company can tell you what your fence installation cost will be without first going through the estimating process. At best, they might be able to give you a daily or hourly rate and an estimate of the time it will take.

Fence estimating is a complex process, and it’s a career that takes a lot of training and skill. So next time you wonder how fence installation costs are calculated, think about the estimators out there, crunching the numbers and trying to predict the unpredictable!

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