How I saved over 16,000 dollars

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Project by Dan P posted 03-27-2018 04:06 AM 4254 views 0 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch
How I saved over 16,000 dollars
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The fence along the neighbors driveway, which I share, and a fence along my property was old and falling down. Since I share the driveway we called a local fence installer for a quote on a new fence.

They came out, looked it over, and sent us a quote for over 12,000 dollars for the 140 ft of fence running down along the the driveway and 8,000 dollars for a separate fence running 100 ft along my property. That was if WE pulled out and got rid the old posts!

That got me off my duff and I spent about three weeks pulling posts, digging holes, and putting up the fence you see in the picture, and some you don’t see. It was cold and wet most of the time. The rocks got all coated with mud during the construction, so after finishing I pulled them all out, sprayed them off, laid some fabric and put them back. It was a lot off work.

My brother came out one day and helped me pull out a couple posts and dig a couple holes, and my neighbor hauled away the old fence material. Other than that, I did the entire thing alone.

Cost of materials; about 1500 dollars for the 140 ft section, which my neighbor paid half of, and around 900 dollars for the 100 ft section. Not a bad savings, eh? And I’m in better shape now, except for my numb foot and leg. (back related)

Now my brother and I have been working on putting up new siding on my house between rain storms. I expect the cost to retail price ratio savings to be about the same.

Being the uni-tasker that I am, I haven’t been working on any boxes lately. Hope to get back to that before long.

Have a nice day.

-- Daniel P

47 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


8543 posts in 3661 days

#1 posted 03-27-2018 06:05 AM

Looks like an excellent job you have both done and the attention to detail will distract from the missing gold plated nails the contractor was going to use! snicker snicker

-- Regards Rob



197 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 03-27-2018 06:15 AM

excellent job and what a savings from guys who virtually wanted to rip off your bank account.


View jeff's profile


1458 posts in 4922 days

#3 posted 03-27-2018 08:59 AM

Well done.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View EarlS's profile


5512 posts in 3805 days

#4 posted 03-27-2018 11:16 AM

Fence looks great. Are you planning to put sealer on it? That will also help keep it looking great for years to come.

Your story reminds me of one of the reasons I got into building furniture. I can make something as nice, or better for much less cost and I have the enjoyment of knowing that I did the work.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 3349 days

#5 posted 03-27-2018 12:37 PM

Thanks Robert, Alpha-Zee Creations, and Jeff. The price did seem like a rip-off, although it was the only quote we got. Earl, My neighbor will put sealant on it.

I do have somewhat of a sense of satisfaction for doing something worthwhile and adding value.

-- Daniel P

View builtinbkyn's profile


3036 posts in 2397 days

#6 posted 03-27-2018 01:08 PM

Nice work Dan. Is it going to age naturally or is it getting some stain and protection?

As for what some job is worth? Well I’ve never been one to beat up a contractor up over their price. They know their business and I’m sure they don’t want to price themselves out of a job. So I usually get a few and if in the end I feel I’d be better off doing it myself, that’s what I do. But it does take it’s toll in other ways, ie. back issues. Yeah hearing prices for things I need/want to get done around the house is always good incentive to DIY. But as I get older, I pick and choose the pain I’m willing to accept lol

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View jamsomito's profile


725 posts in 1883 days

#7 posted 03-27-2018 01:56 PM

I think you got the I-don’t-want-to-do-that price. I won’t beat a contractor up over his price either, but I would certainly shop around. Sometimes people are busy and they quote you what their time is worth, which if they have a lot going on, is higher than usual.

This is a big project. Congrats on a job well done!

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 3349 days

#8 posted 03-27-2018 02:08 PM

Thanks Bill, My neighbor will do the sealing, if the weather ever clears up. You’re right about the picking and choosing pain vs gain. As I get older the pain lasts longer for sure. :{
jamsomito, thanks, I think you might be right on the don’t want to do it price.

-- Daniel P

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12603 posts in 4885 days

#9 posted 03-27-2018 02:09 PM

Heckuva swell job.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 3349 days

#10 posted 03-27-2018 02:10 PM

Thanks Gene.

-- Daniel P

View johnstoneb's profile


3220 posts in 3630 days

#11 posted 03-27-2018 02:11 PM

You definitely got the I don’t want this job price.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5034 days

#12 posted 03-27-2018 02:35 PM

I agree with Bruce as a 30 year contractor, usually, bids fall somewhere inline of twice the material cost plus 20%,but even at that you still saved money as anyone will if they do the job themselves and have free labor. looks like a great job.


View doubleDD's profile


11282 posts in 3500 days

#13 posted 03-27-2018 02:40 PM

That fence sure looks great Dan. May have been a lot of work but for that price difference I’m with you. When labor exceeds 2/3’s of the material, I get suspicious. At least you’re posting the post you installed. Haha pun there

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View jimintx's profile


939 posts in 3041 days

#14 posted 03-27-2018 02:50 PM

I know it is a lot of tiring work, as I have built quite a few running feet of fence at my place and helping friends. You did a great job of it, it looks wonderful. And you and your “team” handled the daunting part of the demo and haul-off of the old fences.

The prices you got were $80 to $85 per linear foot. For cedar fencing, I would classify that as way beyond the “I don’t want to do it”, and fully outrageous price point. In the event I was asked to quote something that I was that dedicated to not doing, I believe I would simply decline to come out and make the bid.

At my local big box lumber store the standard’ 1×6 cedar pickets are just under 3 bucks each. It isn’t hard to work up a material cost number right in line with your actual material cost info.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 3349 days

#15 posted 03-27-2018 03:08 PM

Thanks for the comment Bruce, looks like you’re right about that.

Thanks Jim, So from what you’re saying, the 140 ft stretch should have been bid in around 3500/4000. Makes sense. Business must be good for the construction people.

Thanks Dave. Well, I’m glad it’s not posted posthumusly. P.S. humus, :) P.S. P.S. Post Script, :)

-- Daniel P

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