The two questions that we at Gido Electric Fencing are asked most frequently are:
"What does the average fence cost?” and,
“How much is your electric fencing per metre?"
To their detriment, the average property owner is under the misconception that he/she can request a price on the average electric fence and/or a price per metre and then extrapolate it back to their own property, thereby getting an idea of what it will cost them.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
By means of an example, asking what the average fence costs, equates to calling a car dealership and asking the sales person what their average car costs. Which also begs the question, average for whom?
The fact of the matter is that no two properties are the same. Nor are any two property owners’ viewpoints and expectations of their security measures or budgets the same! The questions are: What will suit your requirements in terms of your property? And, what will your budget allow you?
In a domestic / residential installation, some of these cost factors are:
- Where will we be installing the energiser and how far is that to the nearest point on the fence? The further away you install the energiser, the more expensive it becomes.
- That there is either a flower bed, or grass, or a pickable soil area between the energizer and the fence for the fitment of the energizer earthing spikes. The legislation is very specific about this.
- Is there a power point (electricity) at or near the place where the energizer is to be installed?
- If the energiser is to be installed in a garage, is the garage attached to the house or not?
- If the garage is attached to the house, do you wish to make your way through the house to the garage at night to reset the energizer after the siren has been activated or would you prefer the convenience of a keypad near your main bedroom?
- Similarly, if the garage is not attached to the house, are you willing to compromise your safety by leaving the safety of your house at night to reset the energizer, or would you prefer the convenience and safety of a remote on/off? Not to mention going out on a cold night or during a rain storm!
- The same applies if the energiser has to be installed against the front boundary wall. (Home owners who want to secure the front wall only.) The energiser is water resistant, not water proof, and must be installed in an enclosure.
- One of the most critical factors affecting pricing is the type and design of your boundary wall. The most cost effective wall to secure is one that is absolutely straight and level. (Straight as in the wall is built in a straight line and level as in the top of the wall is absolutely level.)
- Walls that have pillars, steps and or zigzags, result in “tie-offs”, and the use of substantially more brackets and support stays. A 'tie-off' is when we run wiring a certain distance without stopping the continuity. (We then tie-off and strain a new section of fence.) The costs for these walls escalate dramatically. The same applies to properties that have garages, outbuildings and / or where the house itself built is built on the boundary line. Is the electric fence to follow the contour of these buildings or just cut straight across?
- What type of bracket, i.e. design, would effectively secure your wall? It is definitely not a case of one size fits all.
- Minimum bracket height, What number of strands will effectively secure your wall? Six strand brackets are simply not effective. The norm is 8, 10, 12 and higher. The bracket chosen must provide an effective physical barrier, not something that you can just climb over!
- Bracket spacing. Brackets spaced at 3m intervals on a 90m fence, e.g. a straight and level pre-cast fence, equates to 31 brackets. Spaced at 5m, you use 19 brackets. The difference, besides the installation cost of the 13 brackets, is the level of security. Brackets spaced at 3m intervals are infinitely more secure than brackets spaced at 5m. Note: in terms of legislation, brackets spacing is specified at 3m intervals.
- What about fence zoning? Property owners get this one wrong all the time. On any perimeter longer than 200m, zoning is not an option, but a necessity.
On shorter distances it becomes a critical issue where it is not possible to walk around the inside of the perimeter freely or unhindered. The reasons are quite simple:
- In the event of alarm activation, it becomes extremely difficult to identify the breached area;
- However, the most important reason is, fault finding, maintenance and repairs on such a system. Companies cannot have technicians walking around and around a fence, trying to locate a fault. Repair costs then become disproportionate to the problem, all because the client tried to save some money at the outset. Just not practical!
- How many gates do we need to conduit under to ensure current continuity, etc, etc.
In any freestanding fence, some additional cost factors are:
- Is the electricity supplied by your local Council, Eskom or is it a case of going for solar power?
- In terms of a freestanding fence, what are your requirements?
- Are you looking at a basic dual-purpose fence that controls animals and offers some security, or an all out high security fence to protect your family?
- What fence height would serve your needs best? There are two standard fencing sizes in the industry, 1.8m and 2.4m. Animal control is normally either 1.8m or 2.4m, and security fencing minimum 2.4m.
- Similarly, the type and spacing of intermediaries, the “posts” between the corner / straining posts are a critical factor, depending on your requirements. There are numerous types of posts on the market used as intermediaries.
The two main options are:
1. Y-standards: insulators either get clipped on with a little plastic clip or are attached with some binding wire, good for animal control;
2. “Securilecs”: a patented product by Acelor Mittal. Securilecs have pre-punched designated spaced slots for the attachment of patented “Pop-em” “UV” resistant insulators. The wires run through the intermediary. Wires cannot be unclipped or removed. Excellent for high security.
- If the premises is in a high risk area, there are further options, e.g.:
- Anti dig brackets: extends the bottom of the fence so that transgressors can’t easily dig under the fence. See photographs under “Portfolio”.
- Security Inserts: Secures the bottom 10 strands of the fence. Gets installed between the “Securilecs”. This prevents the separating of the bottom 10 strands, which is becoming more and more common these days.
- What about fence zoning? See notes under residential.
- One of the most critical factors affecting the price is the installation terrain. It is far easier, and cheaper, to install on level terrain in soft soil than on uneven terrain with rock. On bad / rough terrain, costs can escalate dramatically to double and in some cases to even triple the normal rates.
- Another all-important factor is fence layout. The average property owner is under the impression that by saying the property is 5 hectares; one can deduce a certain boundary length. Nonsense. A round property is the shortest circumference, followed by a square, then a rectangle, then a triangle. These distances can vary dramatically. This is then exacerbated by the topography, the route and layout of the fence, the number of corners, etc, etc.
- In addition, the number of gates to be allowed for and the number of gates that we need to conduit under to ensure current continuity.
- Who will be clearing the firebreaks and levelling the area where the fence is to be installed?
- Is there water for mixing concrete or do we have to cart it in with water tanks?
- Travelling time is another important factor. Where is the site located? If it is further than 100km from our offices, it does not make sense to drive up and down. Our teams will need to stay over. Is accommodation, ablution available? Etc, etc.
These are just some of the basic reasons why it is not possible to give a price. For any company to quote you in the absence of legislative compliant installation specifications, without physically seeing / inspecting the site, borders on the ludicrous.
The reason is quite simple; your installation / upgrade / repair will have to be in compliance with said Legislation for which Gido, or whoever is contracted, will have to issue an EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate Of Compliance).
No matter what estimate we, or any company for that matter give, it will be wrong.