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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I'm a newbie here and this is my first post.

That said, I've been looking at cedar fences here in CT and at about $275 for an 8 foot panel, post and post cap my standard comment is 'for those prices I could build them myself for a lot less!', so I started looking around.

My material estimate/ 8 foot panel is:
16 - 6 foot 1X6 pickets
1 - 9 foot 5X5 end post
1 - 8 foot 1X2 top cap that sits over the pickets

and I'm not sure about the cross pieces. I could use 2X4s, but the nicer fences have them rounded and they look much classier...

I know I can get the pickets for around $6 each, but that feels high
No luck anywhere with 5X5s

I'm just wondering if
- anybody ever done this themselves? would you do it again?
- anyone knows some good wood sources (probably mills) in the CT area?
- or even further if they have the right prices and can ship at a resonable price
- how about 5X5s? 4X4s don't look as good, but perhaps I should go with 6X6s?

all comments welcome

-mark
 

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Building your fence should be problem if you are at all handy.

Do not know about prices in your part of the world.

It is unusual to see a "cap" on the top of the pickets. At least where I have lived.

You do not need a 5x5. A 4x4 is the standard post, in the middle and at the ends. Yes, 2x4 are the standard "cross pieces" that are known as rails. Rounded is a matter of taste/design. You can do that with a router. Using two or three rails is a matter of design.

You also need concrete to set the post into for stability. You can mix your own or buy ready mix.

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am pretty handy and feel building a fence should be pretty easy - the challenge right now is just finding the materials at a reasonable price. I agree and always set my posts with concrete even though it can cause problems long term if you ever need to replace one. I'd post a picture but when I tried was told my message was too long. Any tips on how to do that? Am I allowed to post a link to a company's website? Don't want to get in trouble over that.

When you compare the 5X5 posts with 4X4s, you can see they make a big difference (if you can find a picture). As for the cross pieces, I think rounded ones also look a lot nicer too and clearly one of the reasons these panels are so expensive. I could skip the top-cap and go with 2X4 cross pieces and save time/money and just buy them at home depot or lowes, but I'd really like to go for what I think is the 'classier' look, if the price is right. After all, the labor is free

-mark
 

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$6 for a cedar picket? are these grade A flawless cedar pickets? lol

I put up a cedar fence this past summer.

Only the pickets were cedar, I used treated lumber for the posts(4x4) and cross members(2x4, 3 per span)

These pickets
http://www.lowes.com/pd_5447-14963-5447_0__?productId=4746391&Ntt=

you might get better quality or cheaper prices from a lumber yard, but I was a bit picky choosing and convenience won the battle for me.

anything over maybe $100/8' and you should seriously consider the acrylic options IMO. Ive had them in the past, and man... they are just awesome for 0 upkeep.
 

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I am pretty handy and feel building a fence should be pretty easy - the challenge right now is just finding the materials at a reasonable price. I agree and always set my posts with concrete even though it can cause problems long term if you ever need to replace one. I'd post a picture but when I tried was told my message was too long. Any tips on how to do that? Am I allowed to post a link to a company's website? Don't want to get in trouble over that.

When you compare the 5X5 posts with 4X4s, you can see they make a big difference (if you can find a picture). As for the cross pieces, I think rounded ones also look a lot nicer too and clearly one of the reasons these panels are so expensive. I could skip the top-cap and go with 2X4 cross pieces and save time/money and just buy them at home depot or lowes, but I'd really like to go for what I think is the 'classier' look, if the price is right. After all, the labor is free

-mark
What do the 5x5's make a big difference in other than cost? They are certainly not needed for strength.

George
 

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aesthetics, I saw some fence designs with a more prominent post.

Maybe stemming from the acrylic styles that put a 5" sleeve over a 4" post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think this is clear white cedar. The fences are really high end and look it, but my wallet isn't convinced they're worth it. My thinking is if I could get the materials for ~$100 or maybe even a little more and end up with a high-class fence it would be worth it. Especially as it would also help justify a power nailer. ;)

I have put up the cedar fences from lowes and was very happy with them for more like $75 by the time you include the posts and concrete. And they last for many years. Just watch out for their cheaper pine ones that don't last more than a couple of years. Cedar is the only way to go.

-mark
 

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Just a thought about the fence posts- Why not just use plain old PT 4x4 posts, with cedar picket facings to build out to 5x5 equivalent?

BTW, out here in the Evergreen State, HD has 5/8" 6 ft (western) red cedar pickets for $1.25.:smile:
 

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I think this is clear white cedar. The fences are really high end and look it, but my wallet isn't convinced they're worth it. My thinking is if I could get the materials for ~$100 or maybe even a little more and end up with a high-class fence it would be worth it. Especially as it would also help justify a power nailer. ;)

I have put up the cedar fences from lowes and was very happy with them for more like $75 by the time you include the posts and concrete. And they last for many years. Just watch out for their cheaper pine ones that don't last more than a couple of years. Cedar is the only way to go.

-mark
I screwed my fence, which I meant to mention as a cost to include in the workup. Though I guess it was only a few bucks per section in total.

I did about 80' though, if I was doing 200' I might have taken a different tact.

The obscene cost that I did NOT anticipate was stain... 5g to do the 80', was like 30% of the cost...
 

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Last year I built a similar fence. Cedar pickets, 2x4 rails (3), PT 4x4 posts with 6x6 on the corners and at the gates. Two sidewalk gates. One 12' utility gate. Fence was about 180'. Total cost for everything was just over $1800. Aside from the digging, 5 of us set the posts and raised fence in 9 hours. Little more time in the gates.
 

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I've built a number of fences. Doing it yourself isn't so much going to save you a lot of money, but you can spend the same amount of money and have twice the quality. That's really the main reason to do it. And I do not use concrete anymore. The posts have a tendency to rot more quickly with concrete. Run them a little deeper, and use gravel, tamped down every 5"-6", and it will be as solid as concrete, but will offer better drainage. Of course, it takes more time and muscle than concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you're talking about the cedar fences you can get at a lowes or home depot, I totally agree with you as I have installed those. I've always used concrete but have been rethinking that strategy and am leaning more towards a crushed stone solution, though maybe I'd still put the corners in concrete for the extra strength. Still not sure on that one.

However, from what I can tell, for the kind of fence I want I could save a bundle. As an example, have you ever looked at Cape Cod Fences, which are pretty high end and sold here in New England? They go for over $250/panel, including 1 5X5 post and I think they look great. The end caps are something like another $30-$40, which I've seen on line for more like $15 or so.

I did some very rough calculations and if a panel takes about 16 1X6s, which I've seen around for about $3-$6 depending on the grade and how close to the north woods you go, that comes to about $50-$100/panel plus the cost of the end posts which I do realize aren't all that cheap, and the 3 cross pieces.

It just feels like I should be able to build one of these for about $100 which would easily justify the cost of a new power nailer. Or am I missing something?

-mark
 

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I've built a number of fences. Doing it yourself isn't so much going to save you a lot of money, but you can spend the same amount of money and have twice the quality. That's really the main reason to do it. And I do not use concrete anymore. The posts have a tendency to rot more quickly with concrete. Run them a little deeper, and use gravel, tamped down every 5"-6", and it will be as solid as concrete, but will offer better drainage. Of course, it takes more time and muscle than concrete.
Also takes longer posts which may be harder to find and more expensive. Around here the gravel will cost more than bags of readymix.

George
 

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GeorgeC, you have a point. Different climates and soil conditions definitely affect things, as do the regional costs. Here in western Oregon, the ground is saturated for 7 months of the year. But PT posts are readily available in many lengths, and fairly inexpensive. A yard of 3/4 minus crushed rock costs about $27, while 1 60# bag of Readymix is $3.
 

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I did this one for less than the $35 a foot you are being quoted.

My "posts" are actually steel posts wrapped in a cedar "6x6" sleeve that I made.



The other side:



The remaining 300+ feet of fence is standard 1x3x6 cedar pickets from the box stores, hand picked, (3) 2x4 stringers, and steel posts. The pickets were installed with an air nailer, can't imagine how long it would have taken to screw them up, even with my Duraspin gun...
 

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My opinion on the matter.

I have always liked using the 6x6 rough sawn cedar posts, or you could use the green treated. 6x6 posts will last longer and the fence will be a lot stronger. The fence slats should be at least 3/4 thick but try to find the rough sawn S1/s2 1x6x6' which is rough on one side and smooth on the other...which can be 7/8 thick. I would highly suggest NOT using any slats from lowes/Home Depot... Get them from a building supplier... The thicker material again will make the fence last longer and be stronger.

Here on the west you can find the 1x6x6' 7/8 slat for about $2.75 a board. 6x6 8' will run about $18. Dip the end of the posts in a good stain, put about 6" of gravel in the bottom of a 2.5' hole to set the post on to prevent rot from the inside... Use concreat, about 2.3 bags per hole.

Rough estimate per 8' panel
17- 1x6x6' slat $2.75
1- 6x6 rough sawn cedar $18
2 bags 80lb concreat $6
2- 2x4x8' rough sawn for bracing $5.20
4- Simpson strong tie $4
Coated screws $3
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
shoot summ: very nice!

pcride: those prices are more in line with the types of prices I was hoping to find, but unfortunately I've been having a hellova time trying to find posts larger than 4X4 even at all the lumber yards I've called. Even if I had to pay 50% more I think it's still relatively inexpensive and I'm thinking these higher end fence companies have a pretty high profit margin! Since CT isn't exactly in the middle of major lumber producers, one thought is to contact someone in new hampshire or even maine who ships and if the prices are right, maybe take a long drive up there and have a closer look as buying this in the blind scares me.

-mark
 
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