To rent or buy construction fences? 5 recommendations to make the right choice

A recurring question for many contractors is am I going to rent or buy construction fences? Many contractors believe that renting is more expensive than buying. However, in many cases, renting is absolutely more attractive than buying when it comes to the bottom line.

There are several things to consider in order to make the right choice between renting or buying a construction fence. The following points are important when making a decision between buying or renting.

1. The price of construction fences in relation to the project duration

If the choice for renting or buying only depends on the price of construction fences, then the tipping point (when renting becomes more expensive than buying) is a construction project of 2.5 years on average. You may be surprised because many contractors think that renting up to a maximum of one year offers advantages in price. There are a few additional points here:

  •  The purchased fence must be comparable in price to how much the fence is rented for (in order to make the comparison between renting and buying in relation to the duration of a project). An average construction fence (of good quality) will last about 3 years.
  • Also take into account the quality (and therefore life span) of a construction fence when choosing between buying or renting. The lifespan of a construction fence of a lower quality is roughly 2 years. If the construction project takes longer than the life span of the construction fence, then ‘cheap’ becomes expensive of course.
  • Allow for additional freight costs for the supply. When buying, the delivery of construction fences is usually carriage paid. When renting, the transport of the delivery of the construction fences comes at the price.

M500 Anticlimb
2. Multiple construction projects with matching starting dates

Do you have an overview of the projects that will start after the current project? When the current project or the subsequent construction projects take longer than 2.5 years, buying becomes more interesting. Please take into account the start date of the next project.

For example, project A runs for one year, from March to March. You need 100 construction fences for this project. Project B starts in April and also takes a year. You need 100 construction fences for this project as well. When project A ends, a period must be bridged in which 200 construction fences are needed temporarily. When projects overlap in this way, temporarily renting – in this example – 100 construction fences can offer a solution. In this example, buying 100 construction fences and temporarily renting 100 construction fences is cheaper than investing in 200 construction fences.

3. Average life span and damage to construction fences

What is the average life span of construction fences? For those who are very economical with their own fencing, renting is perhaps less interesting. Nevertheless, experience has shown us that, in practice, considerably more construction fences are lost than is generally estimated.

There is also often the opinion that a lot has to be paid in case of possible damage while renting. This is a persistent misunderstanding: only the real damage caused by the lessee will be charged. This is damage where the construction fence, in cases with the own (purchased) fences, should also be replaced! The so-called ‘usage damage’ is not charged on when renting.

4. The occupancy rate

What is the occupancy rate of the current rental park? When the majority of the construction project requires fewer construction fences, it is a shame to buy construction fences that then disappear into storage for months.

The occupancy rate also has an effect on price in relation to the duration of the construction project. If the occupancy rate is temporarily lower, it could be that the turning point of 2.5 years (which we talked about earlier) is further extended in time and the construction fences can last longer.

5. Spreading out investments or costs

Do you suddenly want to invest money or do you want to spread out the costs? Sometimes making a larger investment is not feasible. Then spreading the costs out could be more advantageous. Renting is attractive in this case because you only pay for what you actually use (rent). It only becomes interesting to make a one-time investment for construction projects that last longer than 2 years.

rent or purchase mobile fencing heras

Renting construction fences is worth considering

The advantages of renting in a nutshell:

  • Phased investment

  • Always good quality

  • No storage costs

  • No handling costs

  • Sorting construction fences is not necessary

    In general, you can say that renting is more favorable than buying in many cases. It is always useful to have a small stock, but in case of peaks (needing more construction fences temporarily) or moments of overlap between different projects, renting is highly recommended.

    Good fencing is of great importance and contributes to the optimal security of your construction site. A well-secured construction site prevents delays and saves you costs. Want to know how good site security can help you save costs?


Topics: Fences,

Posted by Lou Spierings on 04 March 2019
Senior Account Manager at Heras Mobile Fencing & Security