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stumbling goat

Fence query and a problem

What you would do in these circumstances?

My neighbour spoke to me about putting up a new fence on our boundary. Feather edge over gravel boards. Existing was only 1600 high and she asked about going higher, no problem with me.

Along that boundary I have a path of light Cotswold light colour paving slabs, edged both sides with Cotswold stone shingle. All bright and clean. There is another area of cotswold shingle at the front.

Th local general maintenance handyman arrives and takes down the old fence.

Its a muddy job. For some reason he does not bother to cover the slabbed path with a tarpaulin, or the shingle area.

At end of day 1, the old 16 metre fence is gone, all the new fence posts are in. A lot of work in a short space of time. How is it so quick I wonder?

The new fence height will be about 2 metres. 150mm gravel board and 1800 feather edge. The new posts are 75 x 75mm, about 2800 apart.

At end of day 2, the 2 new 3 x 2 treated rails are fitted. One about 150 from the top and one 150mm from the bottom of the fence. I don't think that 2 will be enough to prevent warping? Some feather edge is fitted. Galvanised nails were used, they are in an undulating line as no level used or measurement taken as to where they should be placed.

At end of day 3, the feather edge is completed.

So you stand back and look.

Instead of butting up 2 gravel boards at the dogleg in the fence, he has just cut one end off, not straight, so there is a chamfered edge showing, curving out, as the cut has gone wrong.

From my side, I can see that the 125mm feather edge has been fitted so that some show 95mm and others show 110 mm, some are at an angle one way, others an angle the other way, some straight, no level was used and no guide as to distance apart. Some slats are bowed or warped, instead of being put aside they have been fitted. It shows.

He ran out of galvanised nails, instead of going to the builders merchant 5 minutes away, he used clouts on one half of the fence. Some of these have gone in, others not quite, and the bent nail heads show on their own wavy line.

The paved slabs are filthy and the edging gravel will need to be replaced. I expected to replace some but thought that some care would be taken to protect the path and shingled garden area. A tarp would have done most of that.

Chatting with my neighbour, and seeing her side of the fence, it's worse. Some of her support rails are at an angle, fitted and levelled by eye apparently, such that at one point there is 150mm board above and at others 75mm above. Some posts are over 30m out of true in 2 directions. As an afterthought, he said that he would fit a 3rd middle rail for added support but as this was after the feather edge had been fitted the fixings are through the sides of the posts, visible and ugly.

The tops of the posts are at varying heights.

The fence flexes and can be pushed back and forth easily due to the thin posts. Its a bodge job. She is not happy at all, neither am I.

She is still having her pond filled in and a patio area laid by him, supposedly.

I know I can jet-wash the slabs and dig out and lay new shingle. And I can stain the new fence dark brown which will make the bodged fitting less obvious.

How was it so quick? Because it was not measured or levelled, it was mostly done by eye.

What would you do?

Oh, and a similar fence section I fitted a few weeks ago, with 3 rails started to warp after 3 days so I had to install a 4th rail.

Rant over. That certainly feels better.Smile

sg
Mistress Rose

First suggest to neighbour that she stops him doing any other work. If he is a member of any trade association complain to them. It is up to neighbour whether she pays him, insists he does the job properly, or whether she gets someone else to do it.

I can see why you needed a rant.
stumbling goat

Oops doubt;e post sorry.

sg
stumbling goat

Very Happy

Thanks MR.

My lovely Neighbour, her Hubby, and I have chatted. Her builder BIL came to view it last night.

His comment "It's not the best job". Then went on to say "He should have used 4 x 4 posts, shorter gaps between, proper arris rails, should have levelled the rails and used a spacer for the slats".

Basically done it properly.

Ah well, we'll see what happens today.

sg
Pilsbury

You could always suggest that you have a chat to the builder and ask why he did it as he did and not use a level, discard the wrapped boards and tarp your side of the fence, all politely and if he knows he has someone who knows how it should be done he might take a bit more care and effort about his work.
stumbling goat

All sorted,

Apparently he meant to cut the posts level and will do that today, he meant to straighten up the bent post and will do that today, the rails that are not level, no idea about them.

The change of nails was due to the fact that they were all he had, so well that's alright then!

He offered to build out the gravel board joint with some more gravel board to hide the uneven cut, but that would make it stick out even more.

I have taken them off and cut the edges true so that they now butt up and the joint is hidden.

The slats have only been up one day and are already staring to warp so that you can see daylight between them.

The nails are through both slats, so do not allow for timber shrinkage and expansion.

Will the clouts not give when the timber warps and starts to come away from the rails as they have no grip? I would have used annular ring shank nails, in a straight line, just for a laugh. Wink

I am not paying for the job, but he tells me my neighbour is happy now.

How long is it likely to last before the gaping between the slats becomes too much?

sg
onemanband

As it's not your fence I doubt there's anything 'you' can do about the fence unless it is unsafe. You appear to be on good terms with your neighbour so all you can do is what you have done and point out it's shortcomings.
Re the path - you would be justified in asking for it to be cleaned and the gravel re-instated. Ultimately you could bill the builder for cleaning the path and reinstating gravel - good luck with that.
Yes 75x75 is too small - should be 100x100. I bet only 8 foot posts have been used too.
Upto 10foot/3m spacing is acceptable for arris rail fencing (if it's done properly).
The fact that the work is scruffy would not justify non-payment-in-full. However, given that the posts are inadequate and all the other faults you mention, the fence is not 'fit for purpose' - I would not pay a penny - at most, the cost of any re-usable materials and disposal of old fence.
And I wouldn't let him touch the patio.
Nick


How long is it likely to last before the gaping between the slats becomes too much?

sg


I estimate they'l be fine until after he's been paid for the pond and patio, or whatever the other jobs were.

The cynical me wonders if she asked various people for a price and went for the cheapest.
onemanband


The cynical me wonders if she asked various people for a price and went for the cheapest.


Yeh, that or they could start tomorrow.
stumbling goat

He is the local "go to" handyman. Booking several weeks ahead. I have used him for painting before, he was fine, neat and tidy.

The job was to take 2 days, but he had to do it on his own, and it was gutty and hot work over 3 days and then some. No excuse though.

1200, plus 2 skips at 250.00.

Will work out the materials cost. I think it was cheap price for a good job, but will work out expensive for what has been done and how long it will last.

Shame, my neighbours are nice people, but have been talked round apparently.

sg
dpack

the last two posts (ED before yours ) are very relevant.

the post sizes are too small,if you have winds round your way chances are you will be getting a new fence.

the expansion/shrinkage/warping thing will be a wait and see but splitting and/or gaps are highly probable.

clouts last a good while but are usually too short for feather edge especially if not fully driven.

i dought you will get much joy with the cost of fixing path and gravel but try.

ruin the geezer's reputation with the locals is probably the best compensation.

i hate cowboys (unless im getting paid to rip it out and do it properly) Twisted Evil
dpack

no excuse for a poor job,if he was short handed he should have postponed, most clients prefer a reschedule to a mess.

he might be a good painter but he aint a good fencer ,if he was he would not have done it like that .

it seems harsh but for his sake as well as the clients he should not have done it like that. if he underquoted for a proper job he should have done one anyway and taken the hit of a few hundred quid rather than the hit to his reputation.
Nick

He is the local "go to" handyman. Booking several weeks ahead. I have used him for painting before, he was fine, neat and tidy.

The job was to take 2 days, but he had to do it on his own, and it was gutty and hot work over 3 days and then some. No excuse though.

1200, plus 2 skips at 250.00.

Will work out the materials cost. I think it was cheap price for a good job, but will work out expensive for what has been done and how long it will last.

Shame, my neighbours are nice people, but have been talked round apparently.

sg

I've had a similar fence done. I posted on here about it, including various prices, details and there was feedback from people. If you can find the thread, it might be a helpful comparison. I can't! Smile
onemanband

Nick - IIRC your post was for slotted concrete posts.
SG - I rarely do arris rail fencing from scratch, but from the few times I've priced it IIRC it is a bit more expensive per metre than slotted posts. Going on what I would charge for 16m of slotted, 1200 is in about the right region for a proper arris rail job. Skip price is about right too.
Re "it was gutty and hot work" - that is the nature of fencing and why you pay somebody else to do it - as you said tho no excuse for a shoddy job.
Nick

Nick - IIRC your post was for slotted concrete posts.
SG - I rarely do arris rail fencing from scratch, but from the few times I've priced it IIRC it is a bit more expensive per metre than slotted posts. Going on what I would charge for 16m of slotted, 1200 is in about the right region for a proper arris rail job. Skip price is about right too.
Re "it was gutty and hot work" - that is the nature of fencing and why you pay somebody else to do it - as you said tho no excuse for a shoddy job.

Honestly, I don't remember. It's at the rental house, and tho we chose a local guy, with the higher price, I've never even seen the job. Smile

But, at least you remember it, so I'm not going mad. Smile

ETA: AHA!

http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?p=1458049&highlight=#1458049
gregotyn

The only question-"Did the fencer have a pistol in his holster and with a rifle tucked in the saddle?"
I ran a fencing company for my inlaws a long time ago and for a feather edge fence we would only have used 4inch square posts. and arris rails, and because of the height it would have probably gone up to 5 inch square a bit of over kill but would want to be safe!
stumbling goat

Thank you very much for the thoughts and comments, shows me I am not being Mr Picky from Pickysville.

Caught up with neighbour this evening.

He has straightened up the wonky post. He says the jaunty angle horizontal rails are straight/level, and she has said that she has put a level on them and they are not.

Long story short, she has said there will be a discount on price and she will cover the wonky rails with trellis.

I have explained about the problems with screwing through both sides of one slat, expansion and shrinkage not allowed for, and suggested that she take photos weekly to show the splitting and warping developing. She has already seen problems on her side. I have gaps appearing on my side already.

Not a lot more I can do. Sad really.

Thanks for all the views and opinions.

sg
stumbling goat

A final note.

The "fencer" has said the fence will last 10 years. Probably longer than me.

He has also had health issues, apparently.

It's only a shit fence. At the end of the day. Just a shiftily put up fence.

I am very grateful for the support here, thank you. Thank you all very much.

x

Smile
stumbling goat

A final note.

The "fencer" has said the fence will last 10 years. Probably longer than me.

He has also had health issues, apparently.

It's only a shit fence. At the end of the day. Just a shiftily put up fence.

I am very grateful for the support here, thank you. Thank you all very much.

x

Smile
love154

Hi take a look at a video i made this is how it should be done

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crjw_-gdLIc
stumbling goat

Interesting video on "how it should be done".

If you had put that up my neighbour would not have been happy. She had asked for and agreed on feather edge on rails, different process and product to what you showed.

Of interest to me was the apparent lack of PPE used by either of you. I did not see use of eye protection or ear defenders when grinding the, what looked like, concrete gravel boards.

But a useful advert if you can put up with the jerkiness of time lapse.

I can't.

Cool

sg
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