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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a returning customer that wants 13 4x4 fence posts set.

She will be building the fence herself, but wants me to set the 13 posts.

My question is:

What is a good rate to charge for a job like this?

$/hr or $/post? If I charged hourly I figure this job would bid out at $400.

Any feedback greatly appreciated!!
 

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What kind of soil do you have to dig through? What are you digging with? How deep does the customer want the post set? Just dirt for backfill or do they want them set with cement? Dont price the job by hour, just price the job as a whole. If I was using post hole diggers and it was pretty tough soil I would charge about $150 if it was someone I didnt know.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The soil is "regular dirt" with small rocks, I am digging holes with manual hole digger, I will be setting posts 24" into ground and I will be putting just a little cement at the bottom of each hole so it acts as a footing, but won't be barrying posts in cement like people tend to do.

The $150 you stated.....you would charge that for setting all 13 posts?
 

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YOu bet I would, right now you can barely drive a nail in the ground here in parts of Oklahoma, so if I had to dig a two foot hole in this hard stuff and then buy some ready mix to put around the post $150 sounds about right. A friend of mine bought some stockade fencing and it was around $30 a panel, the place where he bought it from wanted $60 a panel to install them.:w00t:
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That comes out to be roughly $11.50 per post. If I were to charge $150, am I crazy for thinking that that job isn't worth my time for all the work that has to go into setting the posts?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll refer this customer to an everday fence guy that I know since I can't bare the thought of installing 13 posts by hand for $150-$200.

I guess I'll leave this type of stuff up to other contractors that I deal with that have the tools to make this sort of job a breeze.

I appreciate your pricing input, Limiman!
 

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ProVolley9 said:
Ok, so I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll refer this customer to an everday fence guy that I know since I can't bare the thought of installing 13 posts by hand for $150-$200.
WTF?

When did whatever limiman charges become the standard pricing that all fence posts must be set at or you will go to jail if you charge more or less than that figure????????????????:rolleyes:

Limiman - what should I charge to set a 60" formica counter top? If I am charging more than what he comes up with I guess I will have to close the doors.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mr. Mike-

I'm not implying that whatever Limiman charges is what everyone else should charge.

I'm simplying passing up this small job b/c it's not worth my time to do anymore research on what a competitive, yet honest price would be for a job like this. Plus, I wanted to give my customer a prompt answer of if I'd do the job or if I'll be referring her to an everyday fence guy that I do business with.

I could easily charge her my day's worth of minimum job wage, which would be $500, but I don't feel comfortable stealing money from people.

I'd rather keep this returning customer than make her feel as if I'm insane for charging 3x more than other people around my area for such a dinky job that I don't even specialize in.

Settle down, turbo! :furious:
 

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ProVolley,

I don't think there's anything wrong with $30/post (labor only) . . .

Personally, - - I would charge $50/post . . . (at least in my area)

If you're worried about losing the customer for the future, - - simply explain that you have to charge your 'going rate' (the same amount you would be making if you were to go to some other job that day), - - and say you have no problem if they would like to 'shop it around' . . .

"Just do be careful not to get one of the many 'butchers or thieves' out there, M'am" !!
 

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Tom R said:
ProVolley,

I don't think there's anything wrong with $30/post (labor only) . . .

Personally, - - I would charge $50/post . . . (at least in my area)

If you're worried about losing the customer for the future, - - simply explain that you have to charge your 'going rate' (the same amount you would be making if you were to go to some other job that day), - - and say you have no problem if they would like to 'shop it around' . . .

"Just do be careful not to get one of the many 'butchers or thieves' out there, M'am" !!
Exactly :thumbsup:

It doesn't matter if limiman says he would do it for $150, $50, or $5000.


I'm simplying passing up this small job b/c it's not worth my time to do anymore research on what a competitive, yet honest price would be for a job like this.
How did you come to the conclusion that it isn't worth it to you? Based on a price you got from a stranger on the Internet? Is limiman at least based geographically close to you? Obviously you can see the futility and the lack of bearing of a price quoted from the out skirts of no-where for use for somebody who works in Orange County CA, right?

As someone else here has said before. Charge $400 and sub it out to limiman. :clap:

By the way -
I could easily charge her my day's worth of minimum job wage, which would be $500, but I don't feel comfortable stealing money from people.
This shouldn't be a days worth of work. Renting an auger in the type of soil you are describing and doing it the way you are describing is about 2 hours of work maybe 3 max.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so I got ahold of my fence guru friend in the nick of time (before declining job due to not being sure what to quote her at today)

Here in Kansas City the going rate, from what fence guy said, is $500 for setting 13 posts.

I thought about charging $500 at first, but then decided to do some research and left a message with my buddy inquiring him what he'd charge.

So, for this job I'll spend a few hours, hopefully at most, and walk away with $500 minus the $50'ish that I'll rent the Auger for.

I could have tacked on the price of the Auger rental, but decided not to since this is a job for a good, returning customer and figured, why split hairs on a little rental fee?

Plus, she is picking up all the materials, so that alone will save me a LOT of time and head ache since Home Depot tends to take about 2.5 hours just to check out one person. ha!

Thanks to all for your feedback!!
 

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you know that 11.50 per pole is not a bad figure if you were installing the fenceing with it cause around here i pay my guys 10.00 per post and so much per foot for fenceing on anything deemed not reasonable digging they get time and material for extra work always include root and rock clause in contract to protect against unforseen things lurking underground. and in my state we also need to call 1-800 -dig first to check for water lines gas lines electrical lines ect... just making sure you protect yourself cause 500 $ could cost you a bad name and 5000$ if not careful
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mike-

Since my fence buddy got back with me about what to charge before your input, I'll have to send him the consultation fee this time. ;)

Vinyl Guy-

Yes, I agree that $11.50 would be fine if I were constructing the fence as well, but since it's just for the 13 posts I had to charge a bit more.

I presented my customer with the $500 charge and she was pumped. Guess I could have gotten away with charging more. :eek: But, all is good b/c I think $500 is fair for the both of us.
 

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What is she a returning customer for? What do you do for your everyday work? If you do her taxes, for example, why would she want you to set posts? Is she single and good looking? All these are relevant questions. In these situations, especially when the customer is an acquaintance, they are usually looking for a huge discount...a next to nothing price. Just overprice it with a referral to someone else. If they still want you to do it, then good for you. If it's too much for them, they'll understand.
 

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ProVolley9 said:
Mike-

Since my fence buddy got back with me about what to charge before your input, I'll have to send him the consultation fee this time. ;)
Okay, but make sure he gets in, at least in the form of a cold one at least!:party:
 

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There is a lot left out here. Are the posts on site of do you have to P&D? How much travel do you have? The rental fee here would be $50 plus the ride to and from the rental store. We usually set fence posts on gravel for drainage and then set in a 60# bag of concrete, BTW the auger mixes concrete quite well in a 5 gal. pail. We're already up to $11.50 in material per post and haven't even broken ground of figured in travel costs. All of this running around plus actually setting the posts, cleanup, disposal will take you at least 4 hrs./1/2 day + the mileage on your vehicle. A permit might also be required here.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chillawatt-

No, I'm not her accountant. She is a returning customer of my remodeling company. I specialize in cosmetic work, but can and will do anything residential.....if the price is right.

Teetorbilt-

The customer is picking up all of the materials and they will be on site when I start the job, so I won't be doing any running around.

She has accepted my bid of $500 and we are both satisfied with that amount. Although, I'm probably more satisfied b/c I'll be pocketing $500 for maybe 4 hours of work from start to finish.

Do doctors even make that much? ha

Oh yeah, another reason why I was hoping we could agree on an amount for this small job b/c she has also accepted my $11,000 bid (11k just for labor) for the interior work she wants me to do.
Not to mention the $1,200 she just paid me for building an 8x8' shed for her in 3 days....she already had to materials waiting for me.

She's turning out to be a pretty darn good customer, so I'm glad I was able to work out this small project with her to keep the money comin'. :clap: :thumbup: :notworthy :w00t: ;) :thumbsup:
 

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Sounds like a good customer to keep around for a little bit... You might even want to just tell her to make the check out for $400 when your done. She will LOVE that. I think its kind of fair if you daily rate is close to $400 (based upon $1,200 for a 3 day shed) a half day rate should be the same as a full day UNLESS you can acctually go out and make the other half days pay at another job. Those small jobs never work out so a half day is a full day. Just with a little extra time for me to go and play pool.
 

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Good for you, ProVolley,

The best customers out there, - - in my opinion, - - are just like her, - - the one's that make you the GO-TO guy for every single job they've got, - - seems like every few months you're right back at her house again doin' something else . . .

She knows the work is always done right, - - and you know you're always getting paid . . . :thumbsup:
 
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