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  • Jim-TX
    replied
    There is a place in Fredericksburg, TX that sells "wrought iron" products. I've been in there and it's all mild steel or cast iron. I e-mailed him one time and asked what the difference is between wrought iron and mild steel. His response was "they are the same". I didn't want to get into a pi$$ing match with him about it but I know the difference. It seems that lots of people either don't know the difference, or they just use "wrought iron" as a generic term meaning ornamental metal work like people say Cat when talking about any track type tractor.

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  • burninbriar
    replied
    Originally posted by hankj View Post
    I doubt you'll find any "wrought iron". and if you do, it will be expensive. I'm sure you'll wind up with mild steel.

    Hank
    Good point. I think most people refer to wrought iron as a style rather than an actual material type. I would however, make sure the customer understands this so that they don't get caught bragging about their new "wrought iron" fence just to be corrected by someone who knows better leaving them with the impression of being ripped off by being sold mild steel instead of wrought iron.

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  • hankj
    replied
    I doubt you'll find any "wrought iron". and if you do, it will be expensive. I'm sure you'll wind up with mild steel.

    Hank

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  • mikeswelding
    replied
    Pricing

    Never underestimate the power of "perceived value." I have had customers argue that $70 is too much for a small repair that takes about an hour, yet they will gladly shell out big bucks for something like a gate or other ornamental piece that I am able to clear maybe $200 per hour on.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is price.

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  • metalguy22
    replied
    67 has the obvious method of getting a feel for price in your area with the quote method. I've done it myself and it works fine.

    Then there is the talent factor in pricing. As opposed to pipelining, ornamental ironwork has almost nothing to do with how good a welder you are. It's more about making something the customer has in his minds eye appear in three dimensions. Even if that is just chopping up bar stock and tacking in manufactured componants that still takes a lot of communication skills and imagination and it takes a really long time to convince people you can do it at a level that deserves a premium price. Starting out I found it tough to compete with the good old boy in my last town since I just didn't have the rep. I was giving it away and still struggled to get work. Now I'm the good old boy and my pricing has less to do with cost and competition and more to do with the proof of over 1000 completed jobs in the area.

    Oh well, probably a lot more psycology than the subject deserves. Good Luck anyway with your efforts.

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  • 67chevelle
    replied
    metalguy22,

    good comments..

    pipeline Dan,

    Another data point you could gather that would be specific to your area along the lines of metalguy22's points would be to call 3-4 fence/railing companies in your area and ask for a phone quote for a set quantity of something common. ( i.e. 100 foot of 4 foot tall fence ).

    Those quotes along with your information on the costs of materials would give you a good idea of the pricing in your area.

    Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • metalguy22
    replied
    it depends

    "I was wondering what the going price per foot would be for wrought iron?"

    As 67chevelle states, "It depends". I suspect one major factor is the area where you are located. I was getting the prices 67 gives 30 years ago in a ski area in California. I am currently in a boomtown in the West and get at least twice what he is getting. Shop rates here are $80-$100 per hour but then the overheads are outrageous too. I have a friend doing the same work up in a toney area of Washington State who gets at least half again what I get.

    Probably best just to stay with the typical contractor estimating formula;

    (material $ plus 40%) plus (local shop rate times estimated hours) plus profit (I use 20%).

    See how your acceptance rate runs. Too high and you will work yourself to death for nothing. Too low and you won't get enough work. I run about 40% and that has worked well over the years.

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  • pipeline Dan
    replied
    Originally posted by 67chevelle View Post
    Dan,

    It depends ( It always does, doesn't it)

    I do a fair bit of steel fencing fabrication and the factors I consider are..

    1) The cost of the steel on a per foot basis. There's obviously a difference in cost between 4' tall, 5', and 6'. Some recent jobs I've done required twice the pickets because the customers had very small dogs and the standard 4" picket spacing was too wide.

    I've built fences with 1", 1.25" and 1.5" horizontals, .5", .625" and .75" pickets, and 2", 2.5" and 3" posts. Cost increases with the increased sizes.

    2) Does the customer want ornamental accents added? Scrolls, diamonds, finials ?
    I have a scroll bender and can add decorative scrolls pretty cheaply ( my cost), but the customers place a lot of value on these types of accents.

    3) I build a value steel fence that has the pickets surfaced welded that competes with the stuff you can get off the shelf from the big box stores, and more complex builds that require scrolled or straight solid pickets that are inset welded to the horizontal bars.
    Inset welding requires more time, and costs more.
    4) quantity: I'll lower the price if the job is large vs. a small job. I did a couple of 1600+ foot jobs a couple of months ago and made less per foot than a 40 foot job I did last week.
    5) My powdercoater charges more for some colors / textures than others. Something to consider.
    I buy the common steel sizes that I use in bundle quantities since I know I'll use the extra and I get better prices from my steel supplier.
    An example: I did a 325 foot job 3 weeks ago that was 3' tall fence using 1" horizontals, .5" pickets, and 2" posts. The material cost was $12.46 per foot and I charged the customer $29.75 per foot installed.

    There were more gates in this job than normal and 50' of the 325' had to be angled due to the slope of the landscaping.

    Mark
    Thanks for the info Mark! if you dont mind I'd like to send you a e-mail/pm and I 'll send you a couple of pictures! Its nothing fancy, just a plain jane type of thing!

    Leave a comment:


  • 67chevelle
    replied
    Dan,

    It depends ( It always does, doesn't it)

    I do a fair bit of steel fencing fabrication and the factors I consider are..

    1) The cost of the steel on a per foot basis. There's obviously a difference in cost between 4' tall, 5', and 6'. Some recent jobs I've done required twice the pickets because the customers had very small dogs and the standard 4" picket spacing was too wide.

    I've built fences with 1", 1.25" and 1.5" horizontals, .5", .625" and .75" pickets, and 2", 2.5" and 3" posts. Cost increases with the increased sizes.

    2) Does the customer want ornamental accents added? Scrolls, diamonds, finials ?
    I have a scroll bender and can add decorative scrolls pretty cheaply ( my cost), but the customers place a lot of value on these types of accents.

    3) I build a value steel fence that has the pickets surfaced welded that competes with the stuff you can get off the shelf from the big box stores, and more complex builds that require scrolled or straight solid pickets that are inset welded to the horizontal bars.

    Inset welding requires more time, and costs more.

    4) quantity: I'll lower the price if the job is large vs. a small job. I did a couple of 1600+ foot jobs a couple of months ago and made less per foot than a 40 foot job I did last week.

    5) My powdercoater charges more for some colors / textures than others. Something to consider.


    I buy the common steel sizes that I use in bundle quantities since I know I'll use the extra and I get better prices from my steel supplier.

    An example: I did a 325 foot job 3 weeks ago that was 3' tall fence using 1" horizontals, .5" pickets, and 2" posts. The material cost was $12.46 per foot and I charged the customer $29.75 per foot installed.

    There were more gates in this job than normal and 50' of the 325' had to be angled due to the slope of the landscaping.

    Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • pipeline Dan
    started a topic wrought iron

    wrought iron

    I was wondering what the going price per foot would be for wrought iron? I picked up a small bread and butter job doing some gates/rails, nothing has to be bent, just cut and welded together. all straight runs. very very easy, more work in cutting the pieces and fitting everything togetherthen welding it together. I was just wondering what ball park price would/should be? I'll fine tune the price after hearing what some of you guys have to say.
    heck I'll even post the pictures for your trouble
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