I have decided to start my own fence company in Fullerton. My reason for this is that I want to create jobs and opportunities for people who are looking for work here in California. After starting our fence company, over the last couple months, we have done jobs for redwood fence installation, chain link fence installs, small fence repair work, and vinyl fences. Here is what I learned about each of them.
Chain Link Fences
The first job we did was one of the easier ones. A customer saw our card at a neighbor’s and called us to do their fence. We went over to look at it, soon found that they had a really old chain link fence and there were only three good posts left in the ground. They wanted the black coated mesh on top for privacy, so we used 1-inch x 3-inch black coated steel mesh. We got the post supports from Home Depot, they didn’t have what I wanted but I like them anyway because they are strong and rust resistant even in salty seawater (because I’m from Hawaii). After digging out all the bad posts, which most of an afternoon, we replaced the bad posts by using 4×4 treated wood posts that are 3 feet long. This is very deep and not many companies go this far down. They look better after you put fence caps on them too. The job cost $1,400 but it had already been quoted at $2,500 from another company, so we did a really good job on price and customer service.
We got another chain link fence repair job next for Palos Verdes Estates which was a lot of fun to do because I worked with my cousin who just moved out here from Hawaii to work as a fisherman on a boat. We went up there to fix some bent sections they had done in their back yard with an ancient manual post hole digger when they had some parts of their fence replaced. They are having us come back next to do an estimate on a redwood fence installation for their front yard, which is pretty rare in CA because most companies only install vinyl or other types of fences and they don’t even have the manpower to do that right now.
I also got called out to fix up some broken wood posts at another job we did, this one was a Redwood Privacy Wood fence in Palos Verdes Estates. It was very nice work when it was done but it wasn’t all installed correctly so I fixed most of that up by adding some more support to hold up the top plates and bracing the loose sections with brackets. I also used cable wire to tie the sides together and added some extra support braces 3 feet long. That way I wouldn’t have to keep fixing it all the time. Redwood is really expensive but nice looking, especially for a high end home in Palos Verdes Estates because it’s like an old fashioned kind of wood fence which would look out of place on most houses here. The reason they don’t use it more often is because redwood needs to be replaced every 20 years or so, depending on where you are keeping the fence at, and that makes it a $8k job every time plus labor costs too..
The other type of customer I get calls from sometimes tend to want more basic wood fence work done. Mostly they want to save money and get only a basic wood fence for privacy, security or the dog in their yard because it’s better than nothing. They usually call me when they need paint touch ups, re-aligned boards replaced, post replacement or just a quick measure up for an estimate on something more custom that will fit their budget too. I’ve been doing this kind of work out of necessity since my fencing business started but it really isn’t what I prefer doing. It doesn’t look as good, not even after you paint it either, so I don’t think people should pay $3k for a job like this when other companies can do it faster and cheaper…
I’ve been noticing more and more vinyl fence companies popping up everywhere because it’s much cheaper to install than any other kind of fence. With the new technology, they can make vinyl look like wood or aluminum, like what you see on TV advertisements, but it won’t last a year in California’s salty air. The only thing that does last are chain link fences because they have to be replaced every 25 – 30 years depending on where you live (and how many storms/storms/high winds). But I don’t recommend getting those either unless your back yard is too steep for anything else.