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Ok so here I go on a rant. I know this covers a topic often touched on here on the forum.

I have recently quoted a job for a client, one my wife has worked for in the past helping him achieve his HLS scheme and the capital payment for this said fencing job. There was approximately 1500 metres that needed to be fence to the natural England spec. I don't know if any of you have seen the spec, but it is quite broad ranging. Anyway to cut a long story short we did not win the work, we did however receive a nice email,explains how good our quote was and the quality of our work was not in question, it's just he went witht the lower quote as it met with the spec required to get the payment. So how much did I quote. I priced it at 5.10 per metre to supply and fit, all with uc4 timber. 8 foot 6-7 inch strainers and 6 foot 3-4 inch posts. I am. To sure what the other contractor went in at. I imagine it was a fair bit cheaper, but that is only a guess.

So I can't get annoyed we didn't win the work, but it annoys me how in my opinion a sub standard spec is allowed to be installed on a job that is being given grant money. I know some of you talk about training and accreditation schemes for contractors, but surely the change could do to be, at what is specified. I haven't gone back to the customer with a revised quote for **** materials, as it is not what we want to do, but it does boil my **** when I know next time I drive past I will see a job that will annoy me and as it gets a couple of years of age to it, it will go saggy and look even worse and that will annoy me more. Because even if I was as much as £1.00 per metre more, 1500 quid over a long period is nothing.

Rant over for now I think. Don't even know what point I am trying to get across just annoys me.

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Know exactly what you are talking about, just missed an 1800 lm job for 20 pence plm we priced to use uc4 timber 1.8 /100 inters and 2.4 /200 strainer Ht80 wire 2 strand ht barb. Took samples of wire and timber explaining the difference and benefits and warenty A local guy useing daddy's equipement told the customer he had not heard of uc4 timber but that his Cundy pealed was as good if not better and you only need c80 wire. All for 20 pence plm ! !

Just priced 125 lm of feather edge, to be told that the gardener is going to do it.

And on another job 250 lm of post and rails that a landscaper is now going to do, both of these have been priced unbelievably cheap as these people have no regular work at this time of year. So much for professional fencing contractors

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We need to educate the customers,

For Grant fencing, there should be the requirement to repay the grant for any materials used not up to spec,

But to be fair the problem m at lie with the people dishing out grants,

 

I've done Grant work to a farmer, we reused mild steel barbed upon his request.which I always feel is better to get tight than new wire, I find it amazing how tight old ( dull grey in colour, not rusty, hope you know what I mean) can get,

 

Anyway upon inspection the sdrp, guy didn't realise that the wire and rads were recycled,

 

I've seen me do FC, work they couldn't give two hoots what materials are used they have no idea the difference between ms, and ht.

 

That's where the problem lies,

 

All grants should have materials inspected before using, upon validation the said Grant for cost of materials should be paid,

Then inspection again upon erection and labour Grant paid when approved,

There should be a further inspection at 5 years to ensure materials are still up to scratch.

 

The main point is I want us to have an accreditation body, i would be open to help set it up, I have ideas of who should be represented on this body, and it's remit,

But alas I doubt l will ever see it come to fruition.

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A lot of my grant work is for Glastir ( Welsh government environment scheme). The spec was copied from its predecessor Tir Gofal which ran for 15 years and that was copied from its predecessor. So it was written over twenty years ago by someone in an office that has never fenced.

What's annoying is that as an industry we have no power to improve the specs we work too.

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I've ranted on grants before, everyone of them is rubbish, don't get me started on green energy deals. It's all money going to money and not achieving real world PROPER results.

 

 

ABOLISH GRANTS GET A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD SORTED.

 

Then if a customer wants it on the cheap they can pay long term.

 

Yes I have done grant work.

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Think it a problem all us fencers contractors face . Don't think it matters if u are quoting for grant work our every day work if the coustomer does not give you a specification to work of I don't think it fare on the contractor and it leave the coustomer open to being ripped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it just the way it is people just think a fence is a fence and that why most of them

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Had a guy on the phone today wanting a price on 800lm of stock fencing, asked if I could look at the job he said no he just wanted a price per lm as he had other prices, asked him what spec he wanted he said why is there a difference !!!

So what you say Is 100% correct

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Yes I gett he same I've got so many acres, I ask what's the meterage, terrain, is it straight, etc, they want prices over phone or on email,

 

I give free quotes, we all know we have to look at work,

 

The amount of times they have overhanging branches,

 

They want gates in The most awkward places.

 

The ground conditions,

 

Access for materials,

 

All stuff they don't think of but we must consider and factor in,

 

I just don't know how we go about getting this sorted out,

 

We would need to be backed by material supplier, manufacturers, local land agents, owners , nfu, a lot of bodies each with their own agenda,

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Just tell them you will be in 5 years to replace the cheaper fence. Like you say the majority of landowners / farmers just look at the price. Especially Grant work, the majority of the time they are only carrying out the work because they've got a substantial grant on it and they see that money as theirs, the less the work costs the more the grant the covers, the less they spend; thats the farmers attitude. 

Im with you guys, I dont bother changing a quote for cheap mats, let them find out the hard way when the mild steel stretches and the posts rot off!

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I agree with everything everyone has said. Sometimes just got to let it go. Lost an FC contract to fence a load of mine shafts ( lot of hand work)and boundarys to a tree surgery firm. FC rang about 3 months later saying it's all going to tender again as the work they did was sub standard. Also we quoted for a 1.8m garden panel fence in our village. Don't normally do it but was asked. I quoted for heavy duty panels and 3m posts as its quite exposed. The gardener got the job with BandQ cheapy panels and 2.1m posts !! You guessed it 2 months later I had a call to repair the said fence. I said I thought you had the gardener going to do it. He did and it blew down. I said he's the best one to repair his **** up. You can explain to a potential customer the merits of the timber / wire that you use but some will only ever worry about the price. Just got to let it go and not compromise on your standards. If I lose a job on price when the spec is exactly the same I have no problem with that but when it's not I find that very annoying.

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I have to concur, never compromise on your workmanship,

 

The guy that did the **** job on the FC job, was unlucky, they never check up my way I did a job before Xmas for them and just finished one yesterday too,

 

Anyway before starting this one I met the FC forester, and asked about the job before Xmas, said he'd never been to look at it, yet I was paid, without them checking, I know the neighbouring farmer though and he would have reported if it was a rubbish job,

 

But that attitude from the FC means that anyone can do any standard of work for them then say to others I've done FC work,

 

Luckily up my way the paperwork required appears to put a lot of contractors off going for their work.

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Yes Rob FC has gone to pot. Some of the questions on the tenders were ridiculous. For example what percentage do you put on your materials ? Surely it's only relevant if everyone who is tendering sources their materials from the same place which they were not. The local FC wanted to use my method statement as a template as it was the most comprehensive one they had had so they could give it to the tree surgeons who won the tender !!!! I said the reason it was comprehensive is because I have been doing the job for over 25 years and no you can't use it as its my property. To be fair to them in recent years they are having to go for the cheapest quote no matter what. Whereas before they would have a few regular contractors who they could trust to do the job safely and properly. Then to top it all the recreation FC officer asked me to do some post and rail asap in one of their busy car park/trail areas. I said I haven't got the contract and call the tree surgeons. His reply was I could do it on the digger drivers framework and the tree surgeons were too busy to do it. I was pretty gobsmacked to say the least. I said I was too busy but if we had the contract we would of got it sorted. Tender went out again recently as tree surgeons weren't up to scratch. Surprise surprise. I didn't bother this time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I get this no end with work for developers. Had a brilliant spec come in a short while ago wanting "pair of 1.8m high fully boarded gates totaling 3.6m wide hung on 100x100 softwood posts" 

 

Main problem in all areas seems to be that people writing specs whether for stewardship schemes, new developments or for local authority have no experience or knowledge about what makes a good fence, the varying quality/grades of timber or what the letters and numbers relating to wire actually mean! They seem to all look at it a being "just a fence".

 

And dont even get me started on private customers, the best line i keep getting is that we are more expensive than Joe Blogs landscaping kitchen fitting and decorating services incorporated but they would rather we did the work - PAY THE EXTRA MONEY THEN! 

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I get this no end with work for developers. Had a brilliant spec come in a short while ago wanting "pair of 1.8m high fully boarded gates totaling 3.6m wide hung on 100x100 softwood posts"

 

Main problem in all areas seems to be that people writing specs whether for stewardship schemes, new developments or for local authority have no experience or knowledge about what makes a good fence, the varying quality/grades of timber or what the letters and numbers relating to wire actually mean! They seem to all look at it a being "just a fence".

 

And dont even get me started on private customers, the best line i keep getting is that we are more expensive than Joe Blogs landscaping kitchen fitting and decorating services incorporated but they would rather we did the work - PAY THE EXTRA MONEY THEN!

Brilliant! I bet you would have loved to see them dropping them onto the 100x100 posts and been ready with the "I told you so..."

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