Factors Affecting Fencing Costs
The cost of fencing materials varies directly according to three factors. These are the type of fence, the terrain and the fence length. In addition, you must budget for gates, whose style can vary depending on your selection. A fourth factor would be decoration. With metal fencing you can go simple or extremely decorative with optional add-ons like rings, finials, scrolls, puppy pickets, gate arches and inlays. Since most of our customers erect their own fences, labor doesn’t enter into the aluminum fence cost.
If you choose to use a contractor to install your fence, ask for separate estimates for materials and labor. This ensures you can make valid comparisons between contractors. It also helps you to spot less costly materials that may not be top quality. Ideally, you want to compare estimates for the same brand and quality of fencing.
Remember that a more complex design is going to increase your costs. This is true of materials and labor alike. Curved fences can present problems, as can slopes that require racking. This is one area where aluminum fence panels shine. It’s not easy to build a steel or wooden fence in a curved configuration. You have to cut dense materials, for one thing. However, aluminum fence panels are easy to cut, and our swivel mounts enable you to install fencing at almost any angle. Similarly, you can easily rack our fence panels for slopes. Keep in mind that a contractor is going to charge for more labor in either case, and if you self-install your aluminum fence panels, that labor is free.
Factors to Keep in Mind
The site where you install a fence will affect the cost of installation. Here are some factors to consider.
If you don’t know the property boundary, you may need to hire a surveyor to identify it. Skipping this step invites some serious problems. First, you risk building part or all of your fence on someone else’s property. Also, local codes sometimes require fences to be offset a minimum distance from the property line. Remember to contact local utilities to be sure you don’t build your fence above a buried utility line.
Labor costs will go up if the worksite is not easily accessible because workers will have to carry all materials to the site by hand. You may have to prepare the site if it contains structures, rocks, brush or trees that will impede progress.
You will be digging holes for posts, and the type of earth involved can increase the time it takes to do this. Rocky ground is an issue, and so is heavy, wet clay or shallow groundwater. A local contractor is probably familiar with the area, but an out-of-town contractor may not have this knowledge. Optionally, you can surface mount metal posts with a welded flange on top of an existing hard surface; however, there is an additional material cost for this type of application.
Trees can be problematic for a few reasons. They are obstacles that require either removal or accommodation in the fence design. Either way, they will require additional labor and perhaps materials. Older trees can place roots that cause lots of problems digging post holes. Be sure to tell contractors if they will face these issues.
Installing a fence on a sloped surface can drive up costs. It’s harder to work on a slope, for one thing. Also, the fence must be built to accommodate the surface. However, your aluminum fence cost will basically be the same if you install it yourself. We sell fence panels that are designed for racking for slight, medium and steep slopes, so you will just have to possibly invest a small amount of extra time.