Repair or Replace?

Ryan Sloop 3

Professional contractors are constantly faced with the decision to repair or replace. Ryan Sloop from Sloop Fence, an agricultural contractor based in Mt Ulla, North Carolina, bases his decision on whether to repair or replace on one key constant. “Priority number one is to assess short term versus long term goals for the fence,” he says. “Goals can be as far apart as containment, to animal flow, to curb appeal. The function of a fence is the single biggest deciding factor around repair versus new construction, and the type of construction.”

Once goals are identified, the budget follows close behind and that’s a balancing act.

“Not everyone has the financial means to take on a big project or complete a new build. Still, repairs can be expensive to do well. Every situation differs.”

Ryan says, in the current world market, getting ahold of new quality material is ideal, or if you can use existing materials that are in good shape, they can be worthwhile.

“Most of the time when fences need repair, they are coming to the end of their lifetime. On the flip side, good bones and good materials give something to work with.”

Equally, he cautions, “Labor is so valuable now that it is worthwhile starting on the right foot with good materials, and using quality fasteners and stapler or fastener tools.”

Bigger projects or replacement fencing require skilled labor. Ryan, like many operators, is always looking for the right people.

“We could grow our business exponentially if we could find the right people, so incorporating the most efficient tools provides an anchor for our business. We were fortunate to find Stockade’s professional contractors’ tools as soon as they were available in the U.S. For contractors struggling to find good labor, I say — go to your equipment dealer, that’s where your help is. I can’t stress this enough — the secret to retention and gaining good people is to put the absolute best professional fencing tools in their hands every single day. Our tools are non-negotiables for us.”

1. Short versus long-term goals
2. Budget, cash flow and other financial constraints
3. Reality check, the remaining lifetime of the existing fence
4. Access to quality labor/workmanship
5. Tools and equipment to build safely and efficiently