Home renovation projects are one of the best ways to add value to your property and many of them are easy enough to handle on your own. In fact, more than 90 percent of American homeowners plan to renovate their house and property in the future to make the house more livable or more marketable to prospective buyers.
One of the best improvements you can make is to build a fence around your yard. It boosts privacy and security while adding depth to your landscaping.
If you’re considering this great home improvement project, you have two choices: build your own fence or hire a pro. For most people, it all comes down to money.
So, is it really cheaper to build your own fence or should you leave it to a pro? Here’s what you need to know.
You’ll Have to Deal With Getting a Permit
Before you can install a fence on your property, you’ll need to get a building permit from your local government. This process isn’t expensive, but it is time-consuming.
You’ll need to map out exactly where your fence will go and make sure the fence will sit within your property line. If it doesn’t, the county may not be willing to issue the permit.
You’ll also need to make sure that the fence will satisfy the local building codes in place. If the fence isn’t up to code, the county may ask you to remove it at your own expense. This can make it more expensive to install the fence on your own than it would be to hire an experienced fence contractor.
Fencing Materials Cost More at Stores
High-quality fence materials are available at most local hardware stores. However, when you choose to buy those materials, you’re stuck paying full retail price.
Fence contractors purchase materials at such large volumes that they’re often able to get them at a discount. In most cases, contractors pass those savings onto you, charging you less for materials than you’d pay at a store.
While you won’t end up paying for labor when you build your own fence, you’ll pay a premium for the materials. Depending on the size of your fence, this could add thousands of dollars to the overall cost.
If you’re determined to learn how to build your own fence, make sure you factor in the cost of the materials when comparing estimates you receive from builders.
There’s a High Risk of Mistakes
If you’ve never tried to build a fence before, you need to be ready for a learning curve. There’s a lot more involved in figuring out how to build your own privacy fence than just choosing the materials. You need to make sure it’s anchored the right way.
If you’re not careful, the fence can end up getting blown down when the winds kick up. Once this happens, you risk damaging both your property and that of your neighbors’.
Unfortunately, those minor mistakes can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs and potential liability claims.
Fence contractors know how to install a fence correctly the first time. This means you won’t have to deal with costly mistakes or have to pay for premature and preventable repairs.
It Takes Time to Build Your Own Fence
If you’ve ever tried to take care of home renovation projects on your own, you know that it takes time. That’s time that you could otherwise spend relaxing, gardening, or enjoying your days off.
You won’t get paid for the time you spend building the fence, but you will be able to save yourself the cost of labor you’d incur by hiring a professional. Keep in mind that this may not be enough to justify tackling the project on your own.
Think about what matters most to you. If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, building a fence on your own will certainly save you on labor costs. However, it will force you to sacrifice your time in exchange for those savings.
You Won’t Be Able to Use the Materials’ Warranties
Most modern fencing materials come with manufacturer warranties that protect you from unexpected repair costs. Anytime the fence gets damaged due to a manufacturer defect, the warranty will cover the cost of the repairs or replacements.
However, those warranties might not be valid if you install the fence on your own.
Most manufacturers require that you hire an experienced professional to handle the installation if you want the warranties to stay valid. If you do things on your own, you’ll end up voiding the warranties before you have a chance to use them. This means you’ll have to pay for the full cost of repairs or replacements out-of-pocket.
The Tools Aren’t Cheap
When you decide to start learning how to build your own wood fence, you’re going to need to take a long, hard look at your tool shed. If you’re like most homeowners, you have a few basics on hand, but you won’t have the necessary industry-specific tools to make the job easy.
These could include post hole diggers, nail guns, drills, and a whole host of other equipment.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to build the fence without those tools. This means you’ll either have to rent them from your local hardware store or buy them outright, adding hundreds to your already costly home improvement project.
When you work with a professional, you won’t have to worry about paying for those tools. Instead, they’ll already have the right equipment and can get to work immediately.
When in Doubt, Hire a Pro
While it’s possible to build your own fence, it’s not always in your best interest. Taking on the project often means you’ll end up spending more money to build the same fence than you would if you hire a professional.
If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, consider hiring an experienced fence builder and let them handle the project for you. You’ll get a higher quality fence at an affordable price.
Looking for more helpful tips and tricks to help you stay on-budget when handling your own home renovations? Check out our latest posts.