Custom Cedar Fence Categories, Including Price Guidelines
Cedar fence installations typically fall into 3 categories, Basic Installations, Custom Installations and Premium Installations. Most of the fences we install are custom installations, but we also do a limited amount of work in the other two categories.
Basic Installations – Most fences installed by large fence companies are of this type. They are typically Split Rail fences, or fences made from Pre-fabricated panels that are mounted to posts on site, often without modifications to compensate for variables like ground clearance or trees. Most often these fences are mounted to the sides of posts, creating a “good side” and a “bad side”. These products are typically constructed of pine or pressure-treated pine.. Fences built to this standard generally lack enough strength and/or dimensional stability to last more than 5-10 years before suffering from moderate to severe structural failure.
At Custom Cedar Fences, we have a few style offerings in this arena, including cedar products. By using superior materials and construction techniques we can push the lifespan of these fences to 10 years and beyond, though products in this category still do not have enough structural and/or dimensional stability to offer any warranty other than guaranteeing our workmanship..
The differences that we provide in this category include:
Superior Materials - Our pre-fabricated products beat the quality of many of the more conventional low-end custom builders. Our cedar pre-fabricated products are are of higher quality than those available in stock at your local Lowe's and Home Depot stores.
Sturdier Construction Standards - We install the posts using 10 foot long posts vs the industry standard 8 ft long posts. We then set them in concrete that goes down nearly 4 ft to provide more natural resistance to leaning over, which eventually happens to all side-mounted designs. The posts are also set using our custom leveling process, which ensures original straightness within about an eighth of an inch.
Standard Customization - Most jobs have unique terrain or other natural deviations, which are ideally handled using customization. Since we are a custom builder, it is only natural for us to extend this practice to pre-fabricated fencing.
PRICING - Other than cedar split-rail fencing, which typically runs between $6 to $9/foot (depending on 2 or 3 rail and setting posts in concrete or not), Basic installations run in the range of $15 to $30 a foot for material and labor. If you have an existing fence that needs to be removed or you want the new fence stained or painted, it could cost a bit more. Our limited offerings in the basic installations category run from $16 to $23 a foot in pressure treated and from $18 to $26 a foot in cedar.
Custom Installations - These fences are made from lumber cut to fit on site, with the exception of purchased standard lattice or custom-built lattice requiring shop work. As with Basic Installations, it is very common throughout the fencing industry to use designs in the custom category that have “side-mounted” panels, where sections of fence are attached to the sides of the posts. This places the primary weight of the fence over 3” away from the center of the posts and creates a constant bending force working to make the fence lean. Over time, it is not uncommon for heavy side-mounted fences to experience broken posts or even blown down sections (taking out multiple posts) within 8-12 years. At Custom Cedar Fences our products in this category are 30+ year designs, triple the typical fence, and all of them carry a 10 year warranty on material and labor.
The CUSTOM CEDAR FENCES Difference:
Our standard custom cedar fences start with fence framing designs that ensure straightness and structure that will last as long as the other boards on the fence. This is accomplished by:
1) augmenting post spacing (posts 6 feet apart vs conventional 8 feet apart)
2) upsizing the size of frame runners (2x4 vs conventional 2x3)
3) centering the frame between posts (vs conventional side-mounting)
4) increasing the strength of the fence using all screw construction (vs conventional nailing) – this also significantly increases maintainability
5) our post setting process that ensures initial straightness within an eighth of an inch over the length of a fence run (with our centered designs and additional posts, they STAY that way longer) – Basically, all the posts are plumb and the top edges of the fences are level. We build them straight.
6) setting uniform ground clearances over any changes in terrain (no user-installed chicken-wire patches to make after you find out your dog can get under part of the fence)
7) making all corners of the lot and any interfaces to neighbor structures “sealed” as an integral extension of your fence design (your new fence will never create gap problems for your neighbor)
These standard features are far from free to produce in terms of material or labor. We modestly estimate them at $11-$15 per foot. This additional investment brings about the unparalleled longevity of our fences.
PRICING – Typical custom cedar installations run from $25 to $75 a foot.
Our Custom Cedar installations start at $36 per foot, for the reasons stated in the immediately preceding paragraph. We are custom ……. Really!
Premium Installations - These are custom designs with added costs due to variables like exotic woods (like brazilian teak) and hand-crafting. We will always suggest the most cost-effective ways to get what you are looking for, but some items simply cost more in materials and labor. All of our standard features are still there, of course, including the 10 year warranty on material and labor. We do our best to bring the costs of premium installs into the custom installs category.
PRICING – We are the local market for this type of work in Southeast Michigan, so our price is the market price. Premium Installs start at about $50 a foot and could run as high as $150 a foot, depending on the style and materials.