& Retaining Walls
Layout, Design and Construction Techniques for Wood, Masonry
and Chain Link Fences as well as Retaining and Rock Walls
By William McElroy
Everything you need to know to run a profitable business in
fence and retaining wall contracting.
Takes you through layout and design,
construction techniques for wood, masonry, and chain link
fences, gates and entries, including finishing and electrical
How to build retaining and rock walls.
How to get your business off to the right start, keep the
books, and estimate accurately. The book even includes a
chapter on contractor's math.
matter what type of fence you plan to build, this practical
manual has the information you need to do professional quality
work, from selecting the right materials to laying out each
post and applying the right finish. Anyone who builds fences
and retaining walls can use the simplified designs and
construction methods, time- and money-saving tips, and
practical advice in this manual. It's the most complete, most
useful, most up-to-date reference available for every fence,
railing and retaining wall job.
Thumb through the pages of this book.
You'll notice right away the detailed, easy-to-follow
explanations, hundreds of photos and diagrams and step-by-step
instructions - for every common type of fence, rail and
- Board, rail and picket fences
- Construction details and tips
- Welded metal fences and rails
- Plywood panel fences
- Concrete block & brick walls
- Retaining walls & rock walls
- Chain link & wire fences
- Troubleshooting & repairs
- Gates & entrances
- Wiring & plumbing in walls
If you're handling your first fence job,
you'll appreciate the clear explanation of basic fence and
wall building principles. But even experienced professional
fence and wall builders can use the tips and tricks explained
here: setting up a fence contracting company, selling fence
work, contracts, bookkeeping, and a complete chapter on
estimating (with manhour tables covering every part of just
about any job you'll handle). Includes blank forms you can
copy and use when planning and bidding jobs.
Bill McElroy has been in
the construction industry nearly thirty years. Most of what's
in this book he had to learn the hard way - by doing it. He
knows how to do professional quality work, spot potential
problems before they become major headaches and what to do
when "surprises" come along. He compiled this manual so others
just learning the trade will have at their fingertips all the
information it took him years to discover.
400 pages - 8-1/2 x 11in.
1 Fence & Wall
- Modern Fence Building, 6
- Get Your License, 16
- Laws Governing Employers, 22
2 Layout & Design, 25
- The Finer Points of Design, 26
- Drawing the Plans, 35
- Build a Model, 58
3 Wood Fences, 59
- Rough Cut vs. Milled Lumber, 60
- Moisture Content, 60
- Grading, 61
- Chemically-Treated Alternatives, 63
- Fasteners, 65
- Setting Fence Posts, 67
- Installing the Rails, 69
- Mounting the Board Stock, 70
- Wood Fence Designs and Variations,
- Construction Details, 79
4 Block Walls & Brick Walls, 84
- Materials, 84
- Types of Block, 89
- Estimating Foundation Concrete, 95
- Pouring and Leveling the Concrete,
- Laying the Block, 97
- Top Treatments, 98
- Allowing for Drainage, 100
- Putting It All Together, 100
- Brick Walls, 106
5 Chain Link & Wire Fences, 113
- Posts, 113
- Top Rails, 114
- Tension Bars and Bands, 114
- Carriage Bolts, 115
- Post Caps, 116
- How Much Should You Charge? 121
- Construction Techniques, 121
- Wire Fences and Barbed Wire, 126
- Stretching Wire Fences, 131
- Electrical Grounding, 134
6 Metal Fences, 138
- Use Prefab Fencing? 139
- Welding Safety, 140
- General Information, 153
7 Gates & Entrances, 155
- Gate Design and Location, 155
- Wooden Gates, 158
- Metal Gates, 164
- Gates of All Kinds, 170
8 Finishing Fences & Walls, 174
- Protective Coatings, 175
- When to Apply Coatings, 184
- Painting Tools of the Trade, 184
- Color, 186
- Keeping Coatings on the Fence, 187
9 Troubleshooting and Repairs, 188
- Maintenance Contracts, 188
- Is It Worth Fixing? 189
- Maintaining Wood Fences, 191
- Maintaining Walls, 197
- Repairing Chain Link, 202
10 Wiring & Plumbing, 205
- Electric Power, 207
- Converting AC to DC, 207
- Switches, 208
- Invisible Fences, 209
- Electrician's Primer, 209
- Conduit, 216
- Choosing the Right Fixtures, 220
- Plumbing, 221
- Fire Sprinklers, 223
- Maintaining Electrical & Plumbing
11 Retaining Walls & Rock Walls, 228
- Natural Earth Barriers, 228
- Building Retaining Walls, 235
- Building Rock Walls, 243
12 Get Your Business Started Right,
- You Supply Startup
- Find a Customer or Two, 255
13 The Books You Keep, 270
- The Chart of Accounts, 271
- The Spreadsheet, 271
- Asset Records, 276
- Markups and Overhead, 280
- How Much Do You Want to Make? 282
- Budgeting Business Expenses, 285
- Paperwork Controls, 288
14 Sales & Contractor's Law, 291
- The Presentation Booklet, 292
- Special Selling Situations, 294
15 Safety on theJob, 314
- General Safety Regulations, 315
- Risks, Hazards, and Accident
16 Estimating, 323
- The Rules of Good Estimating, 323
- Account for All Your Time, 331
- Can You Assign Unit Costs? 334
- When You Lose a Bid, 334
- The Take-off Forms, 335
- Manhour Tables, 351
17 Contractor's Math, 367
- Mathematical Terms, 367
- Areas of Flat Surfaces, 369
- Measuring Curved Shapes, 371
- Converting Units of Measurement,
- Square Root, 376
- Degrees, Minutes, Seconds, 381
- Metric Conversion Table, 382
400 pages - 8-1/2 x 11in.
Fence and Wall Specialties
It's hard to imagine a world without
fences. We need them to keep some things in and other things
out. We need them to preserve our privacy. A world without
fences? Not likely. And that's why fence building is good
business for construction contractors. Nearly every
significant new construction project includes a fence or wall.
If you're qualified to build fences and retaining walls, there
will be work to bid on nearly every job. That can help build a
nice extra profit into every project you handle.
This book is written for professional
fence and retaining wall builders. Maybe you're already a
licensed contractor. Maybe you're working in the trade on the
payroll of a contractor. Maybe you're building your first
fence. Or maybe you're a student who wants to learn fence and
wall building. It doesn't matter, this manual has the
information you need.
Established contractors will learn the
fine points of fence building - including suggestions on
dealing with customers, employees and the I.R.S. After reading
this book, you'll probably want to pass it along to a friend,
apprentice, or new employee.
If you're new to fence building, you
should have no trouble following my explanations. I'll take it
step by step and include all the pictures you could want. That
should make it easier to learn the essentials of fence
If you're an apprentice studying for
your license, this book is for you. I wrote it with the
California C-13 Fence Contractor's license exam in mind.
Between the covers of this manual you'll find answers to
nearly all the questions on the exam. The business chapters
will help you set up your own contracting business and keep
you from making expensive mistakes.
For the homeowner building a first
fence, I've provided simplified designs and construction
techniques. The section on fence and retaining wall problems
can help you avoid mistakes others have made. You'll also
learn to fix existing fences and walls. I've included a
glossary of terms, so when you talk to suppliers and
contractors, you'll be speaking their language.
Teachers can use this book as a course
manual. It covers everything from setting up a business,
selling and preparing legal contracts, to building fences and
walls. Throughout this manual I've tried to use plain
conversational English that's easy for students to follow.
All readers will benefit from the
chapter on safety.
You'll learn about all kinds of fences,
gates, retaining walls, sea walls, and railings. We'll cover
the most familiar types and styles of fences and walls, and
several uncommon types. I'll describe all the common
construction methods and dozens of materials. You'll see what
kinds of equipment you need to build each type of fence. And
I've included a section on estimating costs and manhours.
With all this in mind, let's start with:
History of Fences
The first true fences were probably
barriers to animals. For protection, primitive people probably
used piles of rocks or logs to protect their possessions and
families from other tribes. Rocks were laid in horizontal
courses and held in place with mud. The first mortars were
dried mud or earth. Even at this early time, fence building
must have become a skill to be learned and passed from
generation to generation.
Early tribes were nomad hunters who
traveled from place to place. Fences didn't have to be any
more than temporary. As time passed, people learned to grow
crops and domesticate animals. At this point, they needed more
permanent ways to mark off their fields and corral their
livestock. They made fences from rocks or trees cleared from
their planting fields. They made corrals by suspending vines
and rope between logs and trees the forerunner of the barbed
In areas of the world where trees and
rocks aren't readily available, people had to make fences out
of soil. Ordinary dirt mixed with water can be molded into a
building block. But dry blocks of dirt erode very easily in
the rain. Some earth materials hold up better when wet. Clay
from river banks, ponds, and mines, for example, was used to
make more durable adobe block. Then someone discovered that
heating clay fire-hardened and waterproofed the blocks.
Centuries later we learned to draw
heated metal through a small hole, turning it into wire.
That's a fine material to fence in animals and fence out
People are very adaptable. In their
search for homes near food, entertainment, work and riches,
they sometimes built homes on the edges of mountains, oceans,
and rivers. But nature is an unpredictable adversary.
Mountains fall, oceans rise, and rivers flood. That's why man
invented retaining walls, sea walls, and dikes. Cement made
all that possible. Mix cement with sand, gravel and water.
Then form and cure the mix to hold back that mountain, ocean,
Even though people are independent by
nature, they need each other. They formed groups that
developed into towns and cities. As people moved closer
together, the urge to maintain privacy increased. An industry
matured and prospered - the fence building industry.
Modern Fence Building
To compete effectively as a fence
builder, you need a wholesale materials supplier who will sell
to you at a discount. You'll also need a vehicle and certain
tools. You need to know how to construct a sound, legal wall
and how to make money doing it. That's what this manual is
going to teach.
Later in this chapter, I'll tell you how
much it costs to set up a fence contracting business and what
you'll need to know. For now, let's begin with a discussion of
the various types of fence contracting specialties and the
equipment you'll need for each.
Block walls are very common in the
southwestern United States because the materials are readily
available there. The principal materials are adobe or cement
blocks, steel reinforcing bars (rebar), mortar and lumber.
Figure 1-1 shows a typical block wall in a residential
development. Here's an equipment list - what you'll need to
get started in block wall construction:
- vehicle, 3/4 to 1 ton truck
- transit for laying out wall
- motor-driven cement mixer
- chisels for cutting block
- circular saw for cutting forming
- trowels for spreading mortar
- rebar cutter
- sledge hammer
- claw hammer
- chalk line
- cord and line blocks
- assortment of screwdrivers and
- levels, 18 inch and 6 foot
- wire cutters to tie rebar
- drill and assortment of masonry bits
- protective clothing and glasses
It will cost you about $20,000 to buy
everything on the list. I'm assuming your supplier will
deliver materials to the job site and will provide a forklift.
I'm also assuming that you'll subcontract the trenching work
to someone with a backhoe. You'll also need a cement
contractor to lay the foundation.
Sometimes you won't be able to get a
concrete truck close to the job site. Then you'll have to pump
cement through a large hose (about 4 inches in diameter) from
the truck to the wall location. Pumping also works very well
when pouring into narrow, formed-out foundations or wall
Most transit mix concrete trucks hold
about 9 cubic yards of concrete. You'll be charged by the
cubic yard, of course. But if you order less than 9 yards,
you'll probably have to pay a surcharge for the short load.
Still, I order transit mix concrete for any job that needs
more than 3 cubic yards at once. Less than that and you're
probably better off mixing it yourself on site.
These require about the same equipment
as block walls. You'll be working with more but smaller
building units. Brick work is popular nationwide, but more
common in the Northeast.
Brick is also used extensively in the
Southeast where Georgia clay abounds. Once again, the cost of
basic equipment needed by a brick contractor would be about
$20,000. Figure 1-2 is an attractive brick wall with some
interesting design detail.
These fall into two categories, natural
rock and manmade rock. Natural rock walls are common in rural
areas where rock is the waste product when land is cleared.
Rock wall builders don't need any special tools except a
tractor, a wagon to cart the rock, and a strong back. When
rock walls are laid in mortar, mortar mixing equipment is
needed. You'll usually have to lay a foundation and will need
a cement contractor. Figure 1-3 shows a wall of natural rock.
Manmade rock veneer is popular with some
architectural styles. It's usually applied over wood frame or
concrete block walls. The contractor who frames the wall or
lays the block may also apply the veneer. The tools required
for applying veneer are the same as for building block walls.
Poured Concrete Walls
These are reasonably inexpensive
compared with other types of walls. They're very strong and
can be used in most areas. You'll need forms, usually made of
wood, fiberglass, or sheet metal. They come in sections that
you can assemble and remove easily. You'll need a concrete
pumping service to pump concrete from the truck to the forms.
You'll also need a source for rebar to reinforce the concrete.
For some jobs it's cheaper to use prefab
wall sections. If this is your choice, you'll need a crane or
hoist to place these sections in position. The other equipment
and tools are about the same as for wall building, with the
addition of the forms. Forms for a job can cost anywhere from
a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Figure 1-4 shows a
poured concrete wall that's part of a storm channel.
Wire Mesh Fences
This is an easy type of fence
contracting to get into. Wire mesh fencing is common in rural
and semi-rural areas where ranchers have to enclose animals
and fowl rather than restrict access to people. These are the
materials you'll need to build wire fences:
- a truck, 1/2 ton, 8-foot bed or
- a hand truck for moving rolls of mesh
- gas-powered post hole digger
- a block and tackle or stretcher
- wire cutters
- gas-powered cement mixer
- long tape measure, 100 feet minimum
- level, 6 foot
- transit for layout and leveling long
- string line and batten
- shovel, pick, hoe and manual post
- assortment of screwdrivers and
This setup will cost about $15,000.
Unless there’s a high demand for wire mesh fencing, I suggest
you handle barbed wire and chain link fencing as well as wire
Barbed Wire Fences
In rural areas ranchers use barbed wire
to contain cattle on rangeland. It’s also used to mark off
fields, though any hunter can climb through it. Sometimes
you’ll find barbed wire along the top of chain link fences to
discourage people from climbing over. See Figure 1-5.
The equipment is the same as you’d need
for wire mesh fence contracting. The wire stretcher is a
different design, and you’ll need a hammer or two. The cost to
get started is the same.
Chain Link Fences
You'll find chain link fences mostly in
urban commercial areas. They're very effective for keeping
intruders out of storage areas, off factory grounds, and out
of streams and lakes. They may be used inside factories to
fence off equipment or inventory. These fences are usually 8
to 10 feet high. Lower chain link fences, in the 4 to 6 foot
range, are used to define residential lots.
Chain link is very versatile. It’s used
to pen animals, form baseball fields; surround swimming pools,
tennis courts, and parking lots. You’ll need about the same
equipment as for wire mesh fencing. For work inside industrial
buildings you'll need some concrete drilling equipment, since
most warehouse floors are poured concrete. Your truck should
have a rack for carrying 2O-foot sections of pipe. Cost of
equipment will be about $15,000.
Here is where style takes over. There
are about as many types of wood fences as there are sizes of
lumber. The equipment is similar for all kinds of wood fences.
- a truck, 1/2,ton, 8'-footbed or
- gas-powered post hole digger
- power saws and hand saws
- electrical generator for working in
- assortment of screwdrivers and
- string line and batten
- shovel, axe, pick, hoe, and manual
post hole digger
- hammers, claw and sledge
- drill and bits
- transit (optional)
- levels, 6 foot and 2 foot
- gas-powered cement mixer
- assortment of woodworking chisels
Once again, your cost for equipment is
about $15,000. You can build these fences from scratch, or buy
and install prefab fencing. You'll usually buy materials, but
on some rural jobs you might use timber cut on the site. For
this type of work you'll need a chain saw, log splitter, and
possibly a bulldozer. The chain saw and log splitter will cost
about $1,500. You can rent the dozer.
Constructed Metal Fences
These fences include those made from
ornamental iron or pipe. Ornamental iron is very popular with
homeowners, and most of this work will be residential. Figure
1-6 shows some typical ornamental iron fencing.
Metal security fences and gates are
common in commercial buildings. Pipe fences usually restrain
animals, horses and cattle. They're also used as safety
railings where there's danger of people falling: balconies and
scenic lookouts along highways. A third type of metal fencing
is highway guardrail.
What do you need in the way of equipment
- a truck, 1 ton or better
- a gas or gas-powered electric welder
- gas-powered post hole digger
- metal cutting saws
- drills for wood, concrete, and metal
- gas-powered cement mixer
- assortment of screwdrivers and
- hammer and mallet
- shovel, pick, hoe, and manual hole
- transit (optional)
- string line
- levels, 2 foot and 6 foot
- metal grinder or drill attachment
- paint and brushes for touch-up
Equipment and tools will cost about
$20,000. If you're doing highway work, you may also need a
Plastic and Glass Fences
These are usually combined with one of
the other types of fences. For instance, Figure 1-7 shows
fiberglass panels installed on top of a block wall. This
offers extra privacy without blocking so much sunlight. Clear
plastic and glass fences are windscreens used to surround
patios and swimming pools without reducing the view. Many
homes built on high ground use glass or plastic fences.
Indoor plastic screens are common in
banks and savings offices. One- to 2-inch-thick clear
Plexiglas is designed to be bulletproof and is used to screen
teller booths. These screens are very expensive. Bulletproof
glass is usually sold by the square inch. You'll need a good
supplier of shatterproof glass, Plexiglas, or Lexan. Lexan is a highly shatterproof polycarbonate material. Many
stores now use it for their display windows. It’s also used
for windows on boats because of its high resistance to wind
Besides the basic equipment kit for wood
or block walls, you'll need the following:
- glass cutters
- saber saw to cut plastic sheet
- a torch to fire-edge the plastic
- hacksaw to cut aluminum channel
- metal, glass and wood drills and bits
- vertical rack in truck for carrying
sheets of material
- cleaners for removing adhesive paper
- suction cup glass transporters
- These items will cost you about $350.
Fire-edging removes burrs and rounds the
cut edges of plastics. You use a low heat torch to just
slightly soften the plastic. Fire-edging helps prevent
cracking. You should also fire the edges of all mounting holes
Glass and plastic screen is usually
mounted in aluminum channel. Use either a rubber gasket or
caulking, or use epoxy to hold the material in the channels.
Siding and Stucco
You can use any kind of siding material
to build fences: aluminum, steel, vinyl or stucco. First you
build a conventional wall frame from 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 lumber.
Then you use the siding material as a facing. The equipment
and tools you need are basic saws, drills, and hand tools.
You can use trees and other plants, or
combine these with most other types of walls and fences, to
form barriers. You have to know what plants work best in your
climate. A trip to a local nursery, or the library, will help
here. Cost for tools and equipment is usually very low.
Later chapters cover each of these fence
and wall specialties in detail. For now I'll cover things that
are common to all types of fence and wall construction.
These walls are used to keep soil or
falling rock from intruding on occupied area. They're also
built to reduce wind and noise in some places. Many retaining
walls are built under government contracts. If you plan to bid
on public works jobs, you'll probably find plenty of retaining
wall work available in your area.
Equipment needed to build retaining
walls tend to be more expensive. You don't need many hand
tools, but for most work you'll probably need a bulldozer and
a dump truck. The investment would probably be more than
$150,000. You're generally better off renting these unless you
intend to specialize in this type of work.
In most cities and counties, retaining
walls have to be approved by the building department. The
inspector wants to be sure the wall is strong enough to
support the load. Except for small retaining walls, the
building department isn't going to determine what's safe and
what isn't. Instead, they rely on the opinion of the civil
engineer you hire to prepare the plans. The engineer's
stamp on the plans certifies that the wall meets accepted
engineering standards. That's important. Dirt's cheap. But
lives aren't. You can't afford to have your wall collapse.
Once the wall is finished, the slope
above the wall should be landscaped to help hold the soil in
place. You should be ready to suggest landscaping materials
that will hold your manmade hills together.
If you're near the ocean, a lake or
river, you'll probably have the opportunity to bid on these
walls intended to prevent damage from rising water. Sea walls
are made from rock, dirt, cement, wood piles, sheet metal,
asphalt, or old tires. Figure your minimum startup costs at
Every Job Begins With a Sale
There won't be much work to do until you
start selling jobs. Selling is an all important part of the
business. Consider two questions: Can you afford to hire a
full-time sales person? If not, can you afford to spend time
selling jobs rather than building or supervising a crew?
My advice is to let the builders build
and the salespeople sell. Unless you've got a special talent
for making sales, find someone who likes meeting the public
and knows (or is willing to learn) something about fence
building and retaining walls. Many people can learn to be good
salespeople and enjoy selling. Favor someone who can make a
sketch of what they’re trying to sell. Some training in
drafting or architecture is an advantage.
Your salesperson (or salespeople) should
work on commission, earning more when they close more jobs.
Commissions range from 5 to 15 percent of the contract price,
often with a weekly draw. In Chapter 14, I suggest sales
techniques that can keep your company busy and prosperous.
Fence Maintenance Contracting
This is a good starter or add-on
business. As a starter business, it’s a way to get established
while you learn the ins and outs of the fence contracting
business. You need to be a good handyman, proficient in the
use of hand tools.
Some fence maintenance contractors offer
fence maintenance contracts to customers with existing fences
and walls. You offer to come by on a regular basis to inspect
and repair any minor damage. You’ll oil hinges, tighten screws
and bolts, and renail loose boards. You can also offer limited
emergency service. You’d do this on a per-call basis when
severe damage has occurred. This could be necessary after a
wind storm, or when someone has run their car through a fence.
Your service would include periodic painting or waterproofing
on customers’ fences.
Your startup cost for this type of
service is small: a few basic hand tools, a small inventory of
materials, and a pickup truck or van. Who do you sell to?
Mostly business and local governments, buy many homeowners
will also hire you. They either can’t or don’t want to bother
doing it themselves. There is a market for this. I took
hundreds of pictures of fences for this book. Close to 90
percent of those fences needed repair. Start by looking for
work in older neighborhoods.
On fence repair jobs, I recommend that
you charge by the hour and add the cost of materials. Charging
a fixed fee for this kind of work is usually a mistake. You’ll
often find hidden damage. Chapter 9 has more information on
fence repairs and maintenance.
Design and Architecture
Anyone who’s making a living in the
fence business should see the difference between a fence that
adds beauty to a home or neighborhood and a fence that’s an
eyesore. In many cases, you’re going to be the designer, the
person who recommends the fence material and design. I’ve seen
too many fences and walls that just didn’t complement the
property. Don’t make that mistake.
I’ve seen many others that fell apart
way too soon due to poor design. The designer didn’t consider
how the fence would be used and problems that came with the
site. Don’t make that mistake either. The chapters that follow
will help you select designs and materials to make an
attractive, well-engineered walls and fences.
Drafting and Layout
When you prepare plans for a fence or
wall, your focus should be on technical accuracy. You have to
take the ideas and sketches of the designer and turn them into
working blueprints that show in detail how all parts fit
together. A year or two of drafting experience and familiarity
with fence building are essential.
Fence rental is good business in areas
where many commercial or industrial buildings are under
construction. Construction contractors rent fences to protect
their equipment and tools on a job site. Insurance companies
and local governments like fenced construction sites because
fencing helps keep kids off the site at night and on weekends.
Farmers and ranchers use temporary fence
to hold livestock during roundup. Businesses use it when they
have to secure inventory outside temporarily.
Most rental fences are chain link. You
install them the same way you do permanent chain link fences,
but you usually don’t cement the posts into the ground. If you
cement them in, you’re going to have a lot of fun when it’s
time to return the fence to the rental yard.
Here’s how to charge for rental fencing:
- Charge from a third to a seventh of
your cost for the materials - the mesh, posts, and gates.
This is based on the expectation that you can rent the same
materials at least seven times, and perhaps as many as 20
- Charge your regular rate for delivery
and installation. Add a charge for removal.
In the Los Angeles area, at the time of
this writing, temporary fences rent for from $250 to $450 for
100 linear feet of 6-foot-high fence with one gate. The
variation in price depends on soil conditions and how level
the site is. Some companies charge the same whether you rent
the fence for a week or a year.
If this sideline interests you, check
with some of your local competitors for prices. Use them as a
guide to see whether you can make money renting fences.
If you're in the fence building
business, consider renting your unused equipment. Other
contractors, subcontractors, and property owners may need a
good source of specialized equipment. Require a deposit, good
identification, and a rental contract from your customers. In
some states your customers will need special operator licenses
to use heavy equipment such as backhoes or bulldozers.
Here are some examples of the equipment
that's usually in demand:
- power post hole diggers
- outdoor heaters
- cement mixers
- electrical generators
- airless sprayers
- power washers
- specialized small hand and powertools
The daily rental rate for most smaller
pieces of equipment is usually about 5 percent of the purchase
price. That means you can recover the purchase price once
equipment is rented about 20 times. But some equipment may
only rent out a few times a year: So it may take several years
to earn a decent payback. Some operators of rental businesses
give discounts for weekly and monthly rental terms. For
example, a cable puller may rent for $15 for one day, $45 for
a week and only $90 for a month.
Insurance will be very important if you
rent fence building equipment. You should be protected from
loss due to equipment damage, liability, and theft. To be
competitive in this business, you'll probably need to invest
several hundred thousand dollars in equipment. After the
initial payback, you'll keep from 40 to 60 percent of each
rental dollar after expenses. It's a good business if you can
afford to get into it.