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Fences & Gates

Please note: this page contains reviews and opinions sent in by Berkeley Parents Network subscribers. Your own experience may be different. Please always check references first!

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > House & Garden > Fences & Gates


Reviews from BPN Subscribers Related Pages For more reviews see also:

2010 - 2013 Recommendations


Gate and stair railing

Nov 2012

Can someone recommend a company to make and install a gate and stair railing. I have contacted several and they sometimes come out and say they will provide a estimate but that is the last you hear. One company provided a good quote and I have attempted to have them do the job, but that was about three months ago and I have received no gate or railing.


we used Tony Marques, a contractor who was fantastic. once we had the bid and a work start date, everything went smoothly and on-budget. cell number is 510-812-3923, email marquestony2@aol.com anon

Fence Repair Person?

Oct 2012

we need someone to repair and replace parts of our aged back/side yard fences and retaining walls. It's rotted away in areas, gates are sagging and don't close anymore. We need someone who's not necessarily a craftsman (don't need anything fancy), just someone who can tell us which parts really need repair/replacement now or in the near future, and can pour concrete to do new posts, etc. We want sturdy and long-lasting, not fancy. heidi


Dagoberto Garcia (Dago's Gardening) has done numerous jobs for us over the past few years. He has replaced a fence (beautiful work) and repaired another one, skillfully trims our trees yearly, keeps our irrigation system operating, and is generally wonderful at troubleshooting problems we may be having in the yard. He also installs French drains. His rates are fair. He's honest and great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend his work. You can contact him for free estimates at garciaysna@sbcglobal.net or (510) 233-1569 or (510) 604-7555 (cell) lmac
I recently had a deck put in by H&H Landscaping. During the project they did some fence repair and were very upfront with me regarding the condition of my fence and what needed to be repaired. Contact Muneer Hassan 510.376.3019 Wayne

Fence builder

Oct 2012

The most recent archives are from 2008, so I'm hoping for more recent experience. We need a fence replaced on one side of our Albany backyard; about 40 feet or so. We don't want an expensive custom-built solution, but do want something that looks nice and is durable. There will also be the old (rotting wood) fence to responsibly dispose of. Prefer someone with experience, environmental sensitivity, and insurance (including for any workers). R.K.


We had out back fence replaced about a year and a half ago. The old one had deteriorated/been engulfed by ivy over the years. I hired Joshua Tomlinson (got his name from BPN). He did the design, which was very basic 6' with 2' lattice to match our side fence, but ended up subbing the work to Servando Leos (510- 334-1304) because of temporary health issues. Joshua was a nice guy, mostly responsive and I bet he would have constructed an equally solid fence. But due to circumstances, he didn't build it. Servando and his crew were terrific! They took apart and got rid of the old fence (that took almost a week because there was so much ivy/rat nests), built a great fence, cleaned up every day and were a pleasure to deal with. Servando lives in Albany, is involved in the community and was just a great guy. All of the financial dealings went through Joshua because that is who I originally contracted with, but next time I would work directly with Servando. Jennifer
Suggest you contact Alameda Fence Co. at 510-865-1100. They have been in business a long time and do a really good job. Roger

Looking for a fence builder

Aug 2012

I am looking for someone (or a team) to build a fence (less then 6ft high) on our (flat) property line. The area that needs to be covered is about 50ft long and will need some brush cleared before the posts can be sunk. Does anyone have (a) recommendations of easy-to-schedule and responsive/quick crews that do this? and (b) approx. how much $ should this cost? We aren't looking for anything fancy, but we would like it to be wood and look nice. Thanks! -wanting a fence soon


I have recommended Greg Watson, GF Watson Construction many times, and I believe that others who have used him have posted positive reviews also. GREAT contractor! Honest and competent. I am a widow, and he really has helped me out with my properties over the years. Greg Watson is at 510-223-1541 in El Sobrante. Good luck! dalberk

Fence post repair?

July 2012

My yard fence is about 20 years old. The fence boards and gates are in very good shape but about a quarter of the posts need repair/replacement. Fence builders don't seem to also do smaller repair jobs. Any recommendations for a person that repairs wooden fences? seeking fence help


Erwan Illian did a great job repairing a gate and a window for us, in addition to adding a beautiful handrail to our stairs in a tough iinstallation. Our gate is stronger than it has ever been and you can't even tell where he replaced wood on the wndow. He does do small jobs. I highly recommend him for your fence post repair. His phone number is 847-2898. Anonymous
Matt Whalley is the best.......honest, prompt, very reasonable, very skilled, personable. He does most of his own work which is highest quality. When he built our fence he warned me that the gate might sag, and if so he would come back to reinforce it. It did and he came back immediately to reinforce it. You will be lucky to have him. Whalley Construction.....925-366-6199 Anna

Fencer?

May 2012

We need our yard re fenced. Anyone have any current recommendations. W live on a hill and there's lots of tree roots to negotiate too..... Thanks Need a new fence


Tom Lutz did wonderful work for us on some big fence jobs that involved moving existing gates and building new ones. He was responsive, professional, charged reasonably, and was quite pleasant to be around. I was wishing I could hire him to do everything around our house. He can be reached at 237-5616 or tomlutz7@aol.com. Beautifully Fenced In
Hi I know 2 good fencers licensed one of then is Julian and he's phone is 510- 206-3550 and the other is Bob Lui the phone number is 510-504-7474. I have been working for these guys doing hauling and demolition for long time and they do fences and decks (new or repair) as well, I hope that information can help you. Take care Itamar
I already posted this recommendation under Handymen. I am also recommending him for fence building because in addition to doing plumbing and handyman work for me he also built a fence for me on a very challenging lot. The fence was built on an extremely steep, rocky area with trees and bushes in the way. Al Hugon is such a treasure of a handyman that I almost want to keep him a secret (he is already busy and might get too busy). He is competent (and will tell you if he does not feel qualified for certain projects), super nice, extremely reliable, dependable, respectful and very honest. Plus his rates are not just reasonable but low for the quality of his work. He will come up with creative solutions for problems, suggest ways to save money and and he cleans up the work area at the end of the day. The attribute that sets him apart from most is how caring and thoughtful he is. I highly recommend Al as an excellent handyman, plumber and fence builder and exceptional human being. The only thing is, he has no crew so not sure if he does big jobs. Contact him at 510-917-6415. Nancy

Gate - creative design and build

March 2012

I looked at the archives, but they are fairly old, and don't really address my particular need. We want an attractive, tall (to keep the deer out) custom-made gate for the end of our driveway into our backyard. Due to the steep slope of the driveway, a rather limited amount of space around the opening, and the need for both people/bikes and cars to go through at different times (I don't want to have to open and close a huge gate when I'm just walking through with my bike, but that needs to be an option for a car), I'm hoping to find someone who can come up with a creative solution, and build and install it. Ideally, we'd like to incorporate some of the wood and copper we happen to have left from previous projects, but at the very least the person must take an environmentally sensitive approach to design. R.K.


Carla Hall, redfrogmetaldesign.com, does beautiful custom metal work. She created a custom front screen security door for us, we're really pleased with the workmanship. She may be able to come up with a design for your situation. She works at The Crucible and has her own shop. She can be reached at carla@thecrucible.org. Jane
My friend is a wood and steel based artist and licensed contractor who may be a great fit for you. If you like his aesthetic (http://jesseososki.com/) I can attest to his skills as a contractor and a great listener who helps come up with workable solutions within a budget. He and his team did a great job reworking our shed and I've owned one of his custom chairs for many years with pleasure. Jesse Ososki #310-699-8684 Amanda
Thomas Banks is a builder and artist who has built several gates and fences using both new and recycled materials. He often uses google sketch-up so he can see how the design would work from multiple angles. Thomas has come up with highly creative solutions for a number of difficult projects. He's done a gate and studio at my house, and I've seen some of his other jobs that were pretty impressive. You can reach him at tommy.banks@sbcglobal.net or 978 5679 green and happy
We have really loved the work of Chris Romer. He is both skilled and creative. We have hired him for a couple of projects and both times were very happy with his work and felt he was very reasonable as well. His number is 917- 684-6807. Good luck! Dan
Check out Organic Ironworks. They do beautiful fences and gates as well as decorative panels for walls and fences. They are based in Santa Cruz, but they did some beautiful panels for our garden in Berkeley. Celise Clevenger is very creative and can surely design a completely unique and functional gate to meet your specifications. http://organicironworks.com/index.php cynthia cynthia
Hi, We had a similar gate built in our driveway around the first of the year. Our requirements were much the same: must allow for occasional car access, with frequent regular access for people/bikes/garbage cans, high enough for privacy, and deadbolted for security. The person that did the job was Matt Hornby. He built a double gate, with a three foot frequent access door on one side and a five foot door on the other side. The larger door was mostly fixed but by pulling up the anchor pin it can swing open as well. Matt bought a variety of hardware for me to choose from. Matt built the gate in a style that matches the neighboring fence so it really fits right in. My wife and I are really happy with it and we've gotten many compliments on it. As well, Matt was really easy to work with and we collaborated well together. Contact Matt at matthornby72 at yahoo dot com. happy with my driveway fence

Need fence replaced

Sept 2011

We need to have our fence replaced. Thanks! good neighbor


'Just Fencing' in San Pablo (510-235-2698) replaced several fence posts for us in May 2010. They had some useful suggestions and recommendations, which we appreciated, and they'll be on our list when we're ready to replace the whole thing. Don
Hi! I would give Bay Area Deck and Remodel a great recommendation for a fence repair! Wonderful job and good yelp reviews! 510-533-6131 or www.badar.org Sara

Someone to extend redwood fence

May 2011

I'm looking for recent recommendations for someone to extend our redwood fence to include some of our side yard. I think it would be a relatively small job. While we of course care about quality, competitive pricing is probably the most important consideration for us right now.


I can recommend Magela Vaz of Berkeley Fence. He has been building fences for many years in the Berkeley area. His prices are very reasonable and he builds high quality redwood fences and gates. Magela is easy to work with and can be reached at 559-8351 or magelavaz@gmail.com. Wilma
Hi! I think John Grivas and his crew of Bay Area Deck and Remodel are just great. They did our deck and I know they do fences too. Worth a call to John at 415-613-4460. check out his yelp reviews too! Sara
We used Just Fencing for a recent, small fencing job. We didn't need anything fancy - just good workmanship at a very competitive price. We got both with this family-owned business. You can check out their website at http://www.justfencing.com/ budget conscious
Gerald Avitia was recommended to us by JB Fence who did our backyard fence. When we needed the front yard fenced, he recommended Gerald since it was a small job. We are very happy with the result; we also really liked his approach of providing pictures similar to what we described wanting. He stuck to his estimate and timeline. All of our neighbors and people we have never met all stop by to comment on our great fence. Gerald has a solo business. His contact info is 510-334-0657 and email is geraldavitia@netzero​.net. Good luck with your project! Trish
Try Don at DD's Fences and Decks. He built a beautiful deck for us and recently completed our neighbor's fence and gate. he's at 510-207-2087 kiki
May 2011

I found Josh Tomlinson of Dialogue Design-Build through the Berkeley Parents Network. The side gate at my house desperately needed replacement. Josh submitted a well planned and elegant solution, whilst being sensitive to my budget. The removal and construction was done cleanly, effectively, and on time. I am still impressed by the high quality materials used and the artisanal approach to building a structure that will be here well after we move to another home. Is it frowned upon to take the gate with us when we move? Happy with new gate


Covering dangerous exposed nails on gate

April 2011

I rent a home and have a gate that has a number of nail heads (and even the sharp end of some nails) partially exposed on the board that runs across the bottom of the gate. They don't jut out far (probably a quarter inch or so, on average), but enough to be dangerous. The nails cannot be pounded in (I've tried). I'm worried that my toddler child will fall and hurt herself on the nails, so I want to cover them up somehow. I tried duct tape, but it simply peeled off after a day or so. Is there a weatherproof duct tape, or some other kind of material that I could wrap around the board to make it less of a hazard? -too many nails


I would get a long, narrow strip of wood (like lathing) and nail it over the exposed nails along the bottom, using a couple of good solid nails at both ends (careful not to split your wood cover, you may need to pre-drill). suzanne
Another option might be to saw/clip the nail heads completely off at the wood (you can use a dremel attachment, cutters, or a hacksaw) - eliminating them completely. I've done this, and it worked well! I Heart Jackalopes

Need a nice fence on a budget

March 2011

We are looking for someone to build a new fence on a budget. We need something to keep the kids safely out of the street that will look good with our pseudo-craftsmen style home. Unfortunately we are on a pretty tight budget but are open to creative solutions. Any suggestions for an excellent fence builder who can work within financial constraints? We are located in the Oakland hills/Montclair. Thank you in advance. Kim


I just had ~450 feet of fence and two gates replaced by Peter Keenan and his team at Alameda Fence Company. They were very reasonable price-wise and I'm sure they could come up with something nice within a limited budget. They were fast, tidy and very responsive to all of my questions. The fences look great! They do all the work themselves, they don't contract it out so you can know who is on your property by name (which you may find reassuring as you have small children). I appreciated the careful diagrams he drew up for the project (I share fences with a lot of neighbors so we had to deal with each section separately). Phone: 510-965-1100 ext 2 or go to their website for photos and email contact. http://www.alamedafence.com/ Suko
We have employed Tom to perform a myriad of tasks on our house, large and small, for years now, including replacing doors, electrical work, heating/duct work, installing a plasma TV, painting rooms, small carpentry work, grouting and plumbing, and many other areas. We are always impressed by TomC",b"s handiwork, knowledge, availability, and ease at creating cohesive teams of skilled contractors to once again recommend him. He has very reasonable rates and is perfect for customers on a budget or those who are trying to get big jobs done in an efficient timeframe. We even have Tom check on our house while weC",b"re away. His landline is 510-525-2123, cell 510-390-6455. Jason
Jose Maravilla (510) 381-0399 does great work and is, in my opinion, reasonably priced. He's my go to guy for any work I need done at my house. He pretty much a jack of all trades. Best of Luck Love my garden

Metal Gate

Feb 2011

I am looking for someone who can make a metal fence? I think that what I want. My wooden gate rotted. I was thinking of metal, less up keep? Thanks dianna


metal gates are great, more permanent that wood, but nothing is forever... i use Joe Karr for my craftsman level and utilitarian metal work. he is an awesome craftsman and artist. he can be found at bohemianblacksmith@gmail.com bohemianblacksmith.com oren
For a really nicely designed and welded gate talk to Robert Lavezzo, 510-428-2381. For inexpensive metal fence parts, visit Granite Expo, 510-595-7698. Andus

Recomendations for a fence builder

Nov 2010

Can anyone recommend a really good fence company or someone who builds fences. jm


A great fence builder - Tomas Guindon - (510) 520-0204. You will be very happy with his work. Happy Homeowner w/great fences! : )

Gate and fence builder recommendations

Oct 2010

We've been through the archives here looking for gate and fence builder recommendations, but most posts are older. I'm looking for current recommendations. We tried one guy from the previous recommendations and had personality conflicts. Our favorite gate builder is out of commission with a back injury. Any current recommendations? We are looking for high quality wood gate and fencing with style. Much appreciated! Keep the dog in and the deer out


For new/replacement fencing and gates and general handyman work, we strongly encourage you to call Juan Guzman, who has his own business in Richmond. He is licensed, punctual, careful and does very good work. Juan is also a genuinely nice person. You can see examples of his work on his website at www.goblessingconstr.com. Fan of Juan
The person who did our fence and custom gate is a design and build carpenter and artist. He was affordable, considerate, easy to work with, and did a great job. You can see pictures of his work atL www.jasondeantonis.com his email is: jasondeantonis@yahoo.com 510.717.3400 He can give you local references to talk to (including ours). happy with our fence and gate
In regards to your search for a good fence and gate builder: I am a property manager who at landlords request contacts fence companies to do everything from cheap chainlink repairs to perimeter fences and gates. I have built many, and have finally found someone good. His name is Greg Watson @ 510-223-1541. His crew came in and built a fence that literally had twice as much material and was more than twice as strong for the same price as my previous fence builder. The fence had 2x12's on the bottom in order to exceed the ridculous 6 foot legal limit of fence posts, overlapping boards for privacy and sound control, support beams top and bottom, trim peices for decoration and it was strait as an arrow, done with the proper equipment-not hand shoveled until they got tired and materials to last long time-and the gate will never sag because he screwed a full sheet of wood to the backside and stained it to match the rest. Truly great work. If you want to take to see his work feel free to contact me and I can give you the address.He even builds homes from the ground up! Hope this helps- Robert, Rena, Jayden and Bella
I want to recommend George Takash for building or repairing anything. He is a wonderful carpenter and has done a lot of work for us over the 14 years we have known him. This includes building stairs and fences, painting, and installing windows and doors. He is honest, easy to have in your home, very neat, and very reliable. I am happy to talk further with anyone who would like more questions answered. I have recommended him over the years to many of our friends and family and everyone has been very pleased with his work. George can be reached at 231-0558. Amy
Hi, In response to your hunt for a gate/fence builder, I have the perfect recommendation. His name is Tom Lutz. He designed and built a wonderful gate for me. He is an excellent listener; he wanted to know exactly what I wanted. Then he offered suggestions and I was able to think about the pros and cons and then we determined together what worked and looked the best. I can't give anyone a higher recommendation than Tom. He was referred to me by the head of a gardeners' club and I went to her yard to see all the wonderful things he had built for her which included fencing, a gate, a small gardener's shed, a patio, etc. You can reach Tom at 237-5616 or tomlutz7@aol.com. He's reliable and dependable and great to work with. He's also very fairly priced, well-worth every $. If you want to look at my gate, please contact me and I would be happy to have you come take a look at it. Sharon
I can recommend, without reservation, Wick Pancoast of Pancoast Builders (510-520-9346). He built our fence and gate, and it is still beautiful and functional after years of wear. Wick is creative, honest, a master craftsman, and a good communicator. He understands how to make the practical beautiful. Joe L

Fence builder recommendations?

Aug 2010

Can you recommend a good fence builder? Someone who has built some interesting fences and is affordable would be really great. Thanks for any suggestions! joyce


I'd like to recommend Jason Abbott owner of Abbott Improvements. He's a general contractor who can do complete remodels , but for years he exclusively did fences and decks. A few years ago he was actually on a few episodes of Landscape Smart, a show on HGTV. He built about 200' of fence around my yard last year and he did a great job and he's quite reasonably priced. My neighbors ended up hiring him to wrap up the rest of the fence around their yards after he did mine. He's in Oakland and works in the east bay (I'm in Berkeley). He's a super nice guy and someone you don't mind having working around your home. I'm a very picky former contractor myself (you can find my reviews on old posts of the BPN) and Jason is someone I feel confident about working on my 114 year old home. 510-517-6849 cell 510-638-0838 office Mason

Fence Contractor Needed

April 2010

We are loooking for a reasonably priced contractor to replace our fence. It's about 24 feet long and it's a bit tricky as it has to stand on the slope between the end of the concrete driveway and the front patio that slopes down from the driveway. We'd like to have something practical and will last for a long time. I would also like to get an idea of how much is ''reasonable'' for this size of a job. anon


Depends on access issues, materials quality, etc. I'd us redwood with conc. footings with column bases embedded. This will make the posts last for years. Posts embedded in soil or concrete directly will rot in a few years. ray
We have hired Juan Guzman (a licensed contractor in Richmond) to do a number of repairs, including fences. Juan is very reliable (shows up as promised, does quality work, cleans up the area) and is a nice guy to work with. As he replaced sections of our old falling-down fence, he explained the flaws that led to its failure and told us how he would improve the design. He is building his business and delivers quality work at a fair price. He can be reached at 510-381-0155 or juan@goblessingconstr.com Happy with our fences
Try JB Construction, License #908631 We used their services and happy with the service, results and pricing. E-mail: powerlabor@yahoo.com Cell: (510) 735-4052 Cristina
I highly recommend Ori Avital for this job, and for the request for responsive contractor. He is a carpenter and a general handyman. He has done several jobs for me and I always happy with the results. He is specialized in wood working but he is also proffesional in other areas such as tiling, ceiling, painting, repair, remodeling and more. He is very kind, reliable, communicative, and always keep the place neat. He always very happy to come over to look on the problem and to give a free estimate. His phone number is 510-6322666 oriavital@gmail.com John

Build a fence ourselves?

March 2010

We're getting a dog and are planning to fence in the yard. It's on a slope, already fenced on one side. The dog will go out for brief periods -- not all afternoon. We were planning on installing the fence ourselves. Is this inadvisable? How about installing all-but-the-gate? Generally, we're believers that weekend warriors who tackle a household task one time face a steep learning curve and often a not-worth the hassle and shoddy workmanship vs. just paying someone. But this seemed so straightforward. Advice? What supplies? Any tips? Not worth the savings? Thank you BPN community! anne


Don't do it unless you have some carpentry experience- it's not so easy as you might think to get everything straight and if it's not straight it's not strong and won't last! Besides, a funky looking fence can really ruin the whole appearance of your garden. Lumber is very expensive and you'll regret it if you spend all that money on materials and get a poor result. Much better to bite the bullet and get a good professional job. A tip I can offer as a dog owner is that if your dog is a digger who wants to get out, you can thwart him/her by installing some kind of barrier in the ground under the fence. In my own garden I have used pieces of scrounged broken concrete in some places and sections of landscape ties in other places. Cece
I encourage you to go ahead and do it yourself. I always try to empower my clients to tackle DIY projects around their homes as it creates a connection with the space you live in and teaches you how to take care of it. If you have the will and the time to do this project right there is no reason for you to fail. A fence is a great first time DIY project because it is pretty simple and straight forward construction, easy to have it come out looking good and the materials are not very expensive. Idan
If you don't feel comfortable taking on the fence job by yourselves, you might consider hiring a handyperson to do it with you. I am a very occasional ''weekend warrior'' who did build a fence mostly by myself. I did a lot of online research, used tools and books from the Tool Lending Library, and had a 15 minute consult with my contractor neighbor. Once you get the set up it is straightforward. I think it's worth it to have some experience help at least to set up the line, the holes' locations, etc. (Especially given that you're on a slope). Good Luck! Carey

2007 - 2009 Recommendations


Where to buy good quality gate hinges and latches

Oct 2009

We are first-time do-it-yourselfers who just built a beautiful front fence. Now we're ready to put up the gates but we want good hardware, not something that is going to loosen up soon. I'm assuming Home Depot is not the place, perhaps wrongly? On-line is difficult because we want to see what they look like in real life. Any fence-builders out there who can advise me?


Try Truitt and White. Or, if you're interested in reusing old stuff (potentially very cool), Urban Ore has some great finds for super cheap. Omega Salvage is good too: less digging around but a lot more expensive than Urban Ore. Bring gloves to both. CK

Repairing leaning fence

Oct 2009

The fence bordering our backyard and our next door neighbour is seriously leaned toward their side after the heavy rain. Our yard is horizontally higher than our neighbour's. Any referral of experienced fence workers are appreciated. Thanks Jen


I recently had a fence issue like yours - rotted posts causing the fence to lean and wobble. The repair was small and most fencing companies did not want to even give me a bid. After calling several repair places I found DD's Decks and Fences, in Berkeley, to do the repairs at a reasonable cost. The owner is Don Moats and his business number is 510.207.2087. He is very nice and does excellent work. Give him a call as he gives free written bids for his work. Happily Fenced In

Need someone to build wooden fence

Aug 2009

We're looking for someone who specializes in building quality wooden fences. We live in Albany. Deni


Wick Pancoast, owner of Pancoast Construction, is a superb and reliable craftsman. He recently built a fence, gate and arbor for us, as well as subcontracting cement, tiling and walkway construction. His attention to detail is exceptional. Wick is present on the job a large part of the time, and does an extensive part of the construction himself. He is licensed (License #: 935073) and insured. Pancoast Construction, Inc.; phone 510-520-9346; email dwickp@yahoo.com. Robert

Need someone to install an ornamental metal fence

June 2009

I'm looking to install an ornamental metal fence with a couple of entry gates(probably iron or aluminum) in our front yard and am looking for someone who can do the job. I've tried contacting some fencing companies, but for some reason haven't gotten calls back (maybe the job is too small?) and the one company that did get back to us wants $7500 which seems absurdly expensive. I was hoping that someone can recommend a handyman or gardener type person who would be willing to go purchase the parts and install it for us. Has anyone had a fence like this installed? Jua


I recommend Mark Phillips for architectural metal. http://www.markphilippsfabricator.com Sally

Need woodworker for custom gate

May 2009

We are seeking a fencebuilder/woodworker/contractor (not sure who is best for the job) to build a custom gate for the side entry to our property. I have had long good neighbor fences built on 2 sides of our home around our backyard garden, and although functional, I would like more attention to detail for our front gate. I am seeking a craftsperson who can manage joinery, design details and create a very fine and finished gate. It will have 2 wide doors that will require stabilization. And we will need concrete poured behind the gate as well, continuing from the driveway. I look forward to your recommendations. Jennifer


I would recommend Frank Ciccarelli at DecksbytheBay.com (510)759-8536. He will help you design just the right thing, and he is very thorough. cjrsks
Try Andrew Ilsley - (510) 502-4411. He's got a full wood shop for fabricating a custom gate to your specs, and he's a design genius (Berkeley Architecture grad and lots of years doing this work). Mr Hopkins
We just had a wonderful garden fence built by Hugh Globerson. Hugh is easy to work with and was able to build a beautiful fence we designed with him using a few photos of fences we liked. He's very careful, hardworking, and was able to suggest places we could save money without sacrificing the beauty of the fence. He does decks, fences, cement work, and has a solid background in landscaping techniques. His email is hughglo@pacbell.net--please feel free to email me if you want to come see the work he's done. jknk
If you are really looking for a fantastic custom gate, you must see Julian Hodges at www.julianhodges.com. He does amazing detail work in which everything is absolutely custom. His website shows some fantastic work. Very top quality. Sue
There is a great woodworker named David Fitch in Berkeley - his site is www.HeirloomWoodworks.com - he specializes in high-end, custom furniture, but I know he likes developing relationships with clients so he is willing to work on smaller projects with you and the caliber of his stuff is amazing. We were recommended to him by an interior designer and even though we only wanted a small coffee table at first, he was happy with that and then did everything from custom doors to a bedframe and armoire for us and various friends of ours. His number is 415-830-6280 or 808-864-9691 - he's by the Berkeley Aquatic Park. L R
We highly recommend Aron Lewandowski for this kind of work. He is a woodworker - his company is called Woodsoul Designs and he loves doing custom work. He also does kitchen/bath remodels and custom shelving. He does high quality work at affordable rates. His number is 510-435-5419 and email is woodsouldesign@yahoo.com. Hope this helps. Happy with shelves
Jennifer, I recommend Jason Stearns of kunstbau+kids 415-420-3185. He is a licensed contractor with great design sense and training in traditional Japanese joinery. He has installed some beautiful gates, several of which can be viewed on his website: kunstbaukdb.com His designs are beautiful and he is a certified green builder so uses care to select FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) lumber. His attention to detail includes installing designs that will hold up to use over time so you can enjoy the gate for many years. ilanala

Need recommendation to build fence and gates for new home

April 2009

We just recently moved into our home and the back yard is a jungle! We had someone clean up the poison oak and weeds, but now need a fence and possibly grass, etc. depending on cost. $$$ is a major factor. Any recommendations for someone who does work that is very reasonably priced? Thanks so much for your help. T.


I highly recommend Ariel Cabrera (510-393-1772). He's a great carpenter and handyman and has done numerous projects on our house and many of our friends' houses. He is meticulous, kind and very reasonable, and always gives great advice on how to fix a problem and/or save money. Lily
I have used the skills and services of Steve Rudy and Rare Earth Landscape for the last ten years. His bids have always been reasonable--and in the range of other contractors -- and he's really pleasant to work with. I've given his name to others who have been really happy with his work. His number is 510-524-8794. Rachel

Seeking fence contractor

Feb 2009

I am seeking an independent contractor who can help me put up (actually extend) a wooden fence and iron gate. I am hoping that this will cost less than the quoted price of $25-35 per foot that I got from a company near by. If anyone knows any very competent handymen who has experience in fence building, landscaping, etc, please let me know. I would appreciate some referrals. Thank you.


I would love to recommend Pete Whipple of Limescape Landscape and Construction for your landscaping help. 925 640 2036. He is timely, his pricing is reasonable, and he is very knowledgeable. He has done fencing, gates and our mailbox post for us. My neighbor saw his work and hired him to do their fence and gates as well. I love his attention to detail and he makes sure he understands your needs and gets your ideas before he jumps into the job. I was totally happy with his work in every aspect. He is also a general contractor and I've seen many of his remodels which are great and he has fixed many problems in our house that were done by not so great contractors! I'd give Pete and call. Good Luck! Tia Riebling tia

Economical Fence Repair?

Dec 2008

We live in the El Sobrante area and had some of our fence post blow down last winter. I want to find a good, inexpensive (don't we all) person to reapir them. Thanks. GaryB


Try Don at DD's Fences and Decks. He did an excellent fence repair and addition for us, at a very reasonable cost. His number is 510-207-2087. happy customer

Fence design and installation

Dec 2008

I need someone to help me design and install a long and tall metal fence along the front of our house. We have a large garden that is infested with deer and would like a way to keep them out but not be so cut off from seeing the street, hence the desire for an attractive metal fencing system. We live in the Berkeley Hills and would appreciate working with someone local. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.


I cannot commend highly enough the work of Wood Street Builders. WSB is a woman-owned company, run by Khaia McGill. I don't know if it's because she is a woman, or simply because she's a consummate professional, and perfectionist, but working with Khaia is a real pleasure. I hired her to install a gas fireplace in my small condominium. Khaia put together a very thoughtful and detailed plan utilizing an unused corner. The result was not only a fireplace that can be enjoyed from almost anywhere in the front of my unit because of its careful positioning, but it looks like it has been there all along. Khaia also had the foresight to figure out how to hang my flat screen tv above the fireplace, and integrate a''nook'' where the components are hidden away C3 all into this modest corner. I asked her in all seriousness to sign her work when she was done, but she humbly declined.

Don't let her laid back personality fool you, Khaia has a solid foundation of knowledge, and an artists eye. She will also patiently explain as much as you want to know about your project. While on the job she is completely professional, neat, and puts the toilet seat down after using (I consider this to be a bonus). She is licensed, and has a network of other sub-contractors she will use if deemed necessary. Her contact: Khaia McGill Tel: 510.734.8406 E-mail: khaia@woodstreetbuilders.com Polly


Haven Builders did a great job for us on our project--give the owner a call--Rick Patterson 510-978-1786 or E-mail him at rick@havenbuilders.net You can call me if you want more details-- Connie
We were thrilled with the beautiful work done for us by Jose Curiel. The fence between our house and our downhill neighbor needed to be replaced, and we'd been told by another contractor that simply replacing the fence on that side would be fine. I wasn't comfortable with that because the corner post seemed to be losing support from the earth eroding away under it. We didn't mention this to Mr. Curiel before he looked at the fence. He immediately saw the problem and suggested that a new corner post was needed. He gave us a fence with beauty for both us and our neighbor to appreciate, and I swear he built a foundation for the corner of our yard that completely eased my mind about any further erosion problems. And he did this in two days for the same price other folks were going to charge us for the replacement of the wooden part alone. I can't praise the quality of his work enough. He's an honest workman, and he really knows his craft. I recommend him VERY highly! Kate S.

Gate - wood craftsman style?

Nov 2008

Does anyone have a referral for someone who can build a craftsman style wooden gate? Jean


Joe Sampietro builds BEAUTIFUL craftsman style gates. He just finished a gorgeous redwood gate for the front side of our house, and we could not be happier with it. He's a true craftsman -- he carefully took into account the style of our particular house (1930s Mission bungalow) when creating a gate that would best complement it. I also think his rates are reasonable given the quality of the work -- from the top-rate construction and materials to the beautiful, striking, yet refined design. He's also a really nice guy, very easy to work with. You can check out his website at seaviewfencesandgates.com or call him at 510 526-1771. Megan
We recently had a gate custom made for our home in Berkeley and we adore it! Neighbors stop on the street to say how beautiful it is. I strongly recommend Joe Sampietro. You can reach him at 510 526-1771, and visit his website = www.seaviewfencesandgates.com Happy Client of Joe Sampietro

Re: Gate for our backyard

Sept 2008

I recommend Spencer Wolfe, of Wolfe Landscape Construction in Oakland. He is a landscaper who specializes in construction work--a few years back he made a lovely gate for the side entrance to our back yard. He is a great guy, on top of being quite talented. His website is http://www.wolfelandscapeconstruction.com/ Good luck. Amy


I would recommend Frank Ciccarelli at Decks By the Bay 510 759-8536. He built a lovely gate for us and a very sturdy fence and retaining wall. He has a good sense of design and will work with you to come up with ideas for your space if you want something unique. Christian

Need to replace part of a fence

Sept 2008

I need a portion of my fence replaced. Can someone recommend someone they've had a good experience with in the past. Thanks, leslie


I wanted to add a word of caution to the recommendations for Frank Ciccarelli. I read glowing praise about him in the archives, and after meeting with a number of people, hired him to build a deck based on his lovely portfolio and his personality. The project was complicated, granted (we had out of date plans, and Frank was very creative in helping to find a way to get the plans redone in an inexpensive way), but it was clear he was in way over his head. I made the mistake of giving Frank more and more money, even though he wasn't making progress beyond getting permits. After about a year, and when he stopped returning my phone calls and email messages, I started action to take him to small claims court. When he got the notice from the court, this got his attention, and we worked out a payment plan. I was satisfied in the end, but I could have been out many thousands of dollars.

Frank is not a licensed contractor, he is more of a craftsman. I think he trades a lot on his personality (he is very charming). He really wanted to do the job without a permit, even though it was a large deck on the front of a house (and there are contractors who live in the neighborhood). He never wrote up an agreement, even though I asked for one several times. Fortunately, I documented all of our conversations and transactions -- after each conversation, I would send him an email outlining what I thought we had agreed to.

I subsequently hired someone else (also not a contractor, Andres Jara) who did a great job. I managed the permitting process myself. Given all the problems that Frank had, I was expecting a complete nightmare, but I was surprised to find how completely straightforward it was and I never had any problems. The project was finished about 3 months after it started and was done at the same price as Frank had bid.

This was the first time I hired anyone to do anything on the house, and I learned a lot in the process. DO NOT pay more up front than you should (I think this is 10% of the job or $2K, whichever is less). GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Work with the city (of Oakland) yourself, they would rather deal with a homeowner than a someone who is not a contractor. Follow through matters more than personality. Trust your gut -- when someone stops returning calls, do something. Merrilee


I highly recommend Josh Tomlinson. He designed and built a redwood fence and 2 gates for our backyard (in addition to some stone work - granite patio and steps - and a small Trex deck). In addition to being an absolute craftsman with great design ideas, Josh is a very good communicator. He took the time to talk through what we wanted and presented a number of options we could decide among based on our budget (I thought his prices were quite reasonable compared to other bids we received and the tremendous quality of his work). He always kept us up to date on the progress of his work. Also, he was very thoughtful about ensuring for the longevity of the fence. The lower part of the fence serves as a retaining wall and he created a drainage system to guide ground water/runoff away from the fence. You can see some of Josh's work on his web site http://www.dialoguedesignbuild.com/ and can reach him at 510) 325-1917. Jeff
I wanted to second the previous recommendation for Josh Tomlinson. Not only is he ''an absolute craftsman'' who takes the time to ensure his solution is the best for your needs, he's also meticulous on the business side, always producing timely contracts and payment schedules and any amendments required by changes in the scope of work. Finally, he's extremely considerate of your scheduling needs. I had a toddler during construction, and he did his best to work around her nap time. I'll be glad to answer any specific questions you may have. Ana

New fence and gate for front yard

Sept 2008

We'd like to a replace our current gate and enclose our front yard with a new fence. We're in Oakland and would like to hear from the BPN community who's reputable and who to stay away from. Thanks! marie


I would recommend Frank Ciccarelli at Decks By the Bay 510 759-8536. He built a lovely gate for us and a very sturdy fence and retaining wall. He has a good sense of design and will work with you to come up with ideas for your space if you want something unique. Christian
Joe Sampietro - Seaview Fences and Gates. He has a website - google seaview fences and gates. I always refer Joe for fence and gate work. He does quality work and has a good eye for design. You sometimes might have to wait a few months as he's forever busy. Jeff
I highly, highly recommend Frank Ciccarelli. He does beautiful work and can craft any type of fencing. The fence he built for me 20 years ago is still in great shape and over the years I have used him for a number of projects (rebuilding stairs, new gate, and other sundry outdoor carpentry jobs). He specializes, though, in fences, gates, and decks. He's reliable, trustworthy, tremendously skilled, and a heck of a nice guy. You can view his work at www.decksbythebay.com. Frank can be reached at 510-759-8536. He's the best. Stacey

Need to repair shared fence

April 2008

Our neighbors and I are in search of a someone (or company) to fix our mutual fence that's on somewhat ''shaky ground'' since that big storm in January and is barely standing. It would entail clearing out a ton of ivy that surrounds and lives on the fence, and building up a new fence. If anyone has any recommendations for someone reliable and reasonably priced, can you let me know? We're in San Rafael. Thank you!! Molly


I highly recomend Marco Florian, he did the most fabulous job on our fence. He is very reasonably, very reliable and hard working man. He is very easy to work with. He also does any job from title, painting, sheet rock, etc. You can call him directly @ 510-301-5629

Fence and gate bukder needed

Feb 2008

Can anyone recommend an honest, knowledgable, skilled, professional, and punctual (in terms of time) fence and gate builder? Part of our back yard fence collasped during a new year eve storm, plus our three gates already have fallen appart before that. We also have little creek running by our property. We got soon-to-be toddlers at home, and we want to put up a fence so that they will not fall off to the creek.

We would like to have a simple in design, yet very sturdy 6 feet fence with good quality wood all around our back yard (applox. 100 feet or so), and three gates to replace our current ones. Our back yard is sloped, so we would like to make sure that the person is skilled to work with a sloped property.

What I do not like to have is a cheap fence which is ready to collapse again within 5 to 10 years.

I looked at UCB parent network recommendation, but it seems that the recommendation is either limited to only a few builders. I have called several of them, but only one person had returned my call. I need more recommendation. Thank you. mika


I highly recommend Peter Keenan, Alameda Fence Company. He is based in Alameda and has done great work -- fences, kid proof gates that our toddler ''rides'' on (ie, they are that strong) etc. He shows up, works hard & gets the job done. He has built us a beautiful arbor over one of the gates as well. He uses high quality redwood - if you are going to compare his bid to others, you need to find out if you comparing the same grade redwood. If you can't find his number, call Encinal Hardware in Alameda - that's where we got his info. great fences
I used Peter Keenan to build a cedar fence and gates in my backyard and I would recommend him. I originally got his name from BPN a couple of years ago. He gave me various options, suggested ways to lower the cost and was quick and responsive when there was a problem with the lock on one of the gates. His email address is daseinpek@sbcglobal.net. I don't have his phone number but it should be in earlier BPN posts. LT
I would like to recommend Matthew Whalley (his company is called Whalley Construction). He is a licensed general contractor and does high quality work at competitive prices.He does all the estimating and the actual work himself so you don't have to worry about who will show up to do the job. He completes his jobs on time and communicates with his clients thruout the whole process. I have recommended him to a lot of people I know and all have agreed that he is very reliable and easy to work with. There are a lot of photos of fences and his other projects on his website, whalleyconstruction.com and you can also call him on 925-366-6199. Hope this helps Eileen
I would like to recommend Celtic Homes Services 510-499-2828 for deck construction and repair. Imve used them on jobs around the house in the past and they are always punctual, neat and affordable. They are also fantastic about returning phone calls. You are welcome to email if you have questions.
Lazar Landscaping built a beautiful, high quality redwood fence for us last summer, with a lovely double-gated entrance and charming cut-outs, and a trellis on one section. Their business includes designers as well as skilled carpenters, and our fence blends in well with our 1912 Craftsman home, though it uses the basic components of most other redwood fences you see around. Visit their website to see examples. I highly recommend them! G.O.
July 2007

Just wanted to say that we just worked with Joe Sampietro of Gate Designs and we had a great experience. He came up with an attractive design for three gates and a small side fence that covered our driveway. He was easy to work with and flexible. We have received many compliments about the design and workmanship of the gates. He can be contacted at joesampietro[at]yahoo.com. LS


Would like to recommend woodworker, Joe Sampietro, of Gate Designs should you need a smart, beautiful gate and fence. Joe is a great guy with an eye for detail, uses quality products, and can creatively balance design asthetics with functionality. We wanted a nice, simple, clean, and elegant, yet modern gate that would compliment our 1920's bungalow. Joe is very creative and builds to compliment your homes architectural style. If you are looking for drop dead cheap, run of the mill stuff- this aint. But if you are looking for a custom, simple, creative, or even one of a kind design this is a guy that you should bring on your project. He specializes in old growth woods and will work with you to help achieve your design ideas within your budget. As far as pricing goes, he does have a range- I would say that he starts at the mid range to the sky's the limit. But again, this is for great craftsmanship and beautiful wood. Contact Joe at: joesampietro[at]yahoo.com or 510 526-1771. He can email photos of his work. glangc
April 2007

We wanted a unique fence that would compliment and add charm to our house while giving a ''pop'' to the curb appeal. We hired Joe Sampietro from Gate Designs who specializes in craftsman style gates, fences and doors. His work is exceptional and his attention to detail unsurpassed. Joe skillfully analyzed our home to determine the best choices for type, style and height of the fence and gates. Joe also incorporated our ideas so we definitely felt like the process was collaborative. The detailed work resulted in the fence taking longer to build than a typical fence, but we are more than happy with the results and the numerous compliments we get from neighbors is telling. If you're looking to add a unique new fence or gate to your home then I recommend Joe. Joe Sampietro - 510-526-1771 or joesampietro[at]yahoo.com. Kristin


We recently had a fence designed and built by Joe Sampietro at our Berkeley home. He did an outstanding job. Our project included 2 gates and a complete backyard fence. Joe created a fence that gave us privacy, security for our dog and the fence actually made our yard look better. He carefully chose the best redwood that fit our price range and matched the pieces well. You can reach Joe at Joe Sampietro - Gate Designs joesampietro[at]yahoo.com Cathy S.
Feb 2007

We recently had about 100 feet of 6' deer fence built on our property. I met with several fence builders who seemed affable and experienced, but ultimately chose Jose Curiel. Recommended on BPN, Jose was punctual, flexible, and generous with his time and suggestions. We are so pleased with the job. His number (510)821-4270. Cheers Hilary


2004 - 2006 Recommendations


June 2006

I can highly recommend Matthew Whalley for fence work. He has done several projects for me and I have referred to my family and friends and everyone has been very happy with his work. He is professional and reliable and does a great job. His number is: 925.366.6199 s.maher


I have to second the posting for Peter Keenan of K&S Fencing (Alameda). He was so wonderful to have around(with my young kids) and his fence and deck are beautiful. He has great suggestions, he's honest, reliable, quick, friendly and very reasonable. When we are ready to build our next fence(a long one 75ft one) on our property I will definately call him back. Maya
May 2006

For those looking for fences, decks and general handyman recommendations, I recommend DD's Fences and Decks. Don works by himself, so smaller jobs are his specialty. He does beautiful work, and is very reasonably priced. He can be reached at (510)207-2087. kiki


We recently replaced a fence and hired Peter Keenan of K&S Fences (865-1100). He did a fantastic job and was very nice to work with. He gave us a bid within two days as promised, showed up when he said he would, and did the job including hauling the old stuff away. I highly recommend him. Jennifer
April 2006

For the person looking for gate and/or fence builders, I'd like to recommend Joe Sampietro of Gate Designs for distinctive gates and fences. Specializing in reclaimed old-growth redwood and cedar, he'll work with you, the landscape, and your home's architecture to create elegant entryways and borders. You can phone or email him for a free consultation at your home or business and he has digital photos and references available on request. joesampietro[at]yahoo.com (510) 526-1771
Dianne


March 2006

Hired Kennedy (lic 029820) of Paradise Landscape, for a small but very easy fence and gate install and found him to be unreliable. He was referred by ______. Kennedy's work was sloppy (crooked fence boards), which he promised to correct but never did. Once he got paid, left the gate unfinished and did not return (repeated) calls. Besides, his work on the gate was so flimsy that it had to be completely taken out. Ultimately, we had to hire someone else to finish the gate and do it right. Anon


February 2006

My landscaper, Jose Curiel, just redid a fence in our backyard to match an exiting fence. He is not a licensed contractor, but I am much happier with the fence he built than with the other fence done by ________. Jose listens well and was on the job the whole time so that the fence turned out the way we discussed it. With the other company there was poor communication between Mr. Beckworth and the crew and I had to pay extra money to have them redo things that looked quite poorly and were not well thought out. Jose's number is 510-821-4270. Feel free to contact me with questions. Judy


Posting a message for quality fence work and gate. I went online to look for referrals. After an round around, I found Peter from K&S Wooden Fencecraft at 510 865 1100, who actually does the fence work with his nephew on site and does not send crews. He works with you on the design and works with the highest quality redwood. He was a delight to work with and brings experience and poetry. Please email me for any questions - susan
August 2005

After interviewing MANY people we chose Peter Keenan from Alameda to build our fence, gate and small garden deck. He mainly works in Alameda, Berkeley and Oakland, but came out to Orinda to do the job for me.

Peter is straight forward, no BS, no exorbitant prices (he buys his lumber wholesale), he completed a computer drawing of the fence and gate he was going to build for me and he completed the job on time. My children and I enjoyed having him around, and he allowed my boys to "help" him (at the end of the day he gave them a $1 for "working hard"!).

I believe I got the recommendation from this network!

K&S Fences, Peter Keenan (510) 865-1100
maya


April 2005

Someone asked for a recommendation regarding a fence. I've never posted before, and I usually read recommendations with skeptism because I assume they're posted by friends or family. But I just had a really great experience with a fence guy, and someone asked for a recommendation, so here it is. FYI, I have no connection to him other than the fact that we hired him to do the work. We had a fence that needed partial repair and partial rebuild. I tried to get a number of bids, but most people wouldn't show up or said the job was too small. Peter from K&S fencing not only showed up, he gave me a timely bid, did great work, and was wonderful to work with. He's at 510-865-1100. I didn't check his references before I hired him, but I'm happy to be a reference for him. I highly recommend him. Rebecca


We are in the process of having our fence and gate built right now by Peter Keenan of K&S Fencing (510) 865-1100. I looked at 7 bids for our fence, gate, a small garden deck and repairing a bench. I rcvd a bid from a very large fence company (Borg in Pleasant Hill), a mid-size landscaping company that specializes in fences and a number of single artisan type people. I knew from the moment I met Peter that he would be the one to build our fence! He's honest, straight forward about what the job entails, thorough(he does a computer drawing of your fence so you know exactly what it will look like), nice, and does great work. His quotes were very very reasonable, in fact a little cheaper than the large fence company. He also has access to very nice redwood lumber at a good price. My deck looks beautiful and the half of my fence and gate that is up is very nice. When I was interviewing fence people, I had one artisan type say, "You know, I don't do bids. You either like my work and hire me or you don't." Well, I do bids, and I'm glad I did! Peter is giving me exactly what I want at a reasonable price. Anon
August 2004

We just had our fence repaired by a really great guy. He was dependable, honest, reliable, relatively inexpensive, and did a very good job. He returned my phone calls and gave me a fair estimate in a reasonable time. His name is Tom; phone number: 601-5576. Toby


March 2004

Hi, David Ward at Sticks-n-Stones is really good. His number is 658-5863. anon


We had a great redwood fence built a year ago by Eric Manou. He was terrific to work with -- timely, professional and pleasant -- and the fence is handsome and well-built. His bid was also the lowest of the three we got. I would use him again. Eric Manou: 510-597-1790. tyche

2003 & Earlier


June 2003

I highly recommend Matthew Whalley (925) 366-6199 for deck, gate and fence work. He built a sturdy and beautiful picket fence, a backyard fence, awning, and a 6 Ft gate. His estimate was the lowest and reasonable. My deck architect was highly impressed with the quality of his work. He was efficient, punctual, great to work with, and cleaned up. Contrary to a previously posted messsage, he happily painted the picket fence and the awning, stained the back fence and did a superb job. His workmanship, rate and attitude are out of this world. I recommend him highly.


Jan 2003

Does anyone have experience with JV Fence? Also, any recommendations for deck cleaning and refinishing? Terri


JV Fence just completed a fencing job for us not more than 2 weeks ago. They built an approximately 75 foot ''good neighbor'' fence in 2 days (3-4 man crew)! They were clean, courteous and very competitive with regard to rates. The quality of work was far superior to the work a different company had done for us on the other side of our yard the previous year. We would not hesitate to recommend them.
We didn't have a great experience with JV Fence when they built a fence and deck for us about 2 years ago. They took a couple of shortcuts that let to some kludgy work. First, a step they built into our deck was wobbly and it took a lot of prodding to get them to fix it, which they did in a kind of half-a**ed way. The other was a fence post that they made too short and fixed by gluing another piece of post on top. Most people who see our fence and deck think it looks great. They used good quality wood and the angles are neat. But it really irks me knowing about these little shoddy details when we paid so much money. I saw that another person on this list was happy with their work; I don't know if they had a better experience or if they haven't scrutinized for the kinds of shortcuts that we found them doing. n Ilana
We recently did lots of fencing, and liked our fence builder, William Earl Roberts, 510-841-8830 Karen
June 2002

We're hoping to get a recommendation for a good company or person to put in a wooden fence for our front yard and do some other misc construction work, both indoors and out. Any good people/companies out there? - rsladekn


We recently hired Eric Manou to install a 100 foot section of fencing and also to do trenching/piping work to tie in our gutters to underground drains. We were very pleased with his work and recommend him wholeheartedly. - Vali

June 2002

In reponse to the postings re: deck builder/contractor Bill Roberts, the phone number is 510 841-8830. If it is busy in the evening, the teenage daughter is probably on-line. Best to leave a message during the day. Although he prefers to use the phone, e-mail messages can also be sent to me & I will give them to him: randice at uclink4.berkeley.edu (He will respond by telephone, so be sure to leave a phone number.) Randice


I have a close friend who owns a fencing company. I've never used her services, but knowing her personally I'm sure she's great and very reasonable. The company is called CVFENCE Co. Phone number is 581-6116 or 1-877-57-FENCE Good luck! Monica
We would like to recommend Eric Manou (Manou Restoration and Renovation). He rebuilt two sides of our backyard fence for us in less than 3 days, which was a necessity with two dogs. His price was very reasonable, and he was great to work with. He removed and hauled away the old fence, and cleaned up the area. My husband is a structural engineer and was very pleased with the quality workmanship.
2001

Matthew Whalley, whose name we got from this list, did a good job on our white picket fence for a reasonable price (925-366-6199). He painted the fence a bit unwillingly and the paint job was poor, but the fence structure and gate were fine.


I highly recommend Frank Ciccarelli (382-9179). He put in a fence for us 12 years ago which is still in great shape. He's dependable and honest, and helpful with suggestions. We've had him do some other basic carpentry work around our house this past year. You can tell him I recommended him. -Stacey
I recommend my brother-in-law Brian Zirkelbach. In addition to building fences, he has experience in a variety of construction/remodeling projects including stucco, framing, bath and kitchen remodels. He did the drywall for the ceilings and walls in our 1928 Oakland home. Last month, he replaced four single-pane windows in our home with new-construction, vinyl, double-paned, low-e windows. His most recent project was a lovely, elevated playhouse for a Lafayette family. You'll find his rates reasonable and his attitude exemplary. Contact Brian directly at bmzirk at hotmail.com. Stella
We just had a new fence built by Roger MacGreggor, (510) 562-2095. Roger does truly fine work. We have had any number of people stop and admire our fence and the neighbors love it. The design was largely my wife's (she's a woodworker too) and so the two of them got into the gorey details. Some of his design suggestions proved to be perfect, complimenting the style of our house.

Two snags: He's not super cheap (but waaay cheaper than some other bids we got!), and he can be a little hard to get moving. His passion appears to be building fences, not business. Having seen several examples of his work around North Berkeley, we were confident all along that the fence would be great and that it would get finished. I happen to know that business is slow for him right now (like the rest of us) so now would be a good time to talk. He has pictures of our fence in his portfolio, but if you'd like to see it in the flesh, as it were, drop me an email message (johnt at acm.org) and I'll give you the address.

Regarding permits: We did NOT need a permit. AFAIK, only fences taller than six feet need a permit. Beware of arbors or pagodas or the like: Berkeley (for weird historical reasons) discourages them, imposing a stiff permit fee. The folks at the one-stop permit office are very helpful, so best to check the facts with them. They are very good about cutting through red tape and will give you straight answers on the spot. Good luck! --John


I was very happy with Peter Keenan (865-1100) who built a fence for our dog a couple of years ago. His workmanship was good, he was showed up when planned and carried out the job efficiently, and he even composed a beautiful poem about our yard and dog as a parting gift. I'd recommend him highly.

Soundproof fence?

July 2005

We are in need of a fence to be put up ASAP. Any suggestions? We got one quote for a straight line of fence 45 feet long for $5,500. I just can't believe that is the going rate, I mean, it was a quote for a fence 6 feet high with an additional trellis on top, but can it really be so expensive? We need it to block out sound of unattended children in neighboring daycare and the director of said day care who is violent and verbally abusive. Having baby in August-Help! good fence, good neighbor


You mentioned the primary goal of the fence is to block out sound from voices next door. A wooden fence will attenuate, but not eliminate the sound of voices. Cinder block would be somewhat more effective, but neither is likley to render the voices inaudible. I'm a sound engineer, and I suggest you contact an acoustician for advice--you could easily spend the $5,000 and still have to listen to the folks nextdoor. rudy
Editor Note: JB Fence has asked not to be reviewed on the Berkeley Parents Network, so previous reviews have been removed and we cannot accept new requests for reviews. More info here.
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