Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kennel Expansion

Another topic on last week's agenda was to get quotes for getting more kennels. We originally only built out half of the kennels to start small. We currently have 20 - 24 kennels (4 of them being designed to split into 2 smaller kennels), for a total of 240 sqft of kennels. Phase 2 calls for 26 - 29 kennels, all Medium to much larger than what we have now, for a total of 364 added sqft of kennels. We've decided we really have plenty of the 'small' sized kennels already -- they are limited in the dogs we can put in them, though we do use them regularly. But really they are a pain to clean since they are difficult to manoever in. All told with a max of 53 kennels we should easily be able to house up to the 60 dog limit the county placed upon us.

What with the big holidays coming up, though, we know it would be to our advantage to have as much capacity as possible to take advantage of those very busy pet-boarding times. Since every other kennel looking to expand is doing exactly at this same time, we knew we'd need to have a fair amount of lead time on our order.

A few months ago we were contacted out of the blue by a kennel manufacturer who said he'd happened upon our website, and just wondered why we hadn't used his product. I replyed... because we didn't know about you? I do remember having a heck of a time finding kennel manufacturers on the web when we were first looking. Who knows why, but the one we ordered from seemed to be about the only game around. Well then the shocker -- this guy says well, we're just over in Greely 30 miles from you! Aarg! We ordered from a company in Ohio and the freight was considerable not to mention a bit of a hassle.

So we got a tour of a local facility that has this new mfg's kennels installed, and then managed to wrangle of tour of their shop where they had some show samples of their other kennel styles. Liked them alot, but it would REALLY bug me to have different looking kennels on either side of the building. I really dislike inconsistency. BUT, if it were a matter of saving a considerable amount of money, I decided I'd have to live with it. Ultimately they have white sided kennels with chain link gates, so they shouldn't be soooo noticeably different.

I sent off our request for a quote to both this new place as well as our original mfg on Sunday. Got a response from the local guy on Monday because he was expecting it. And we were dismayed to see it come back at $21K - $28K for our different options. Yikes. We orignally only spent $13K on the first set, and hoped the second would still be in the $15K range, particularly if we didn't have to pay shipping.

The other mfg didn't get us a quote until late Friday, and I feared opening that one up thinking their prices may well have increased since a year ago. But NO! Our entire order was quoted at only $16K -- including shipping! So - HUH. I guess that makes it a no brainer, but now I feel badly for not going with the local guy who has given us some great service in the past few months. Even if I could convince him to drop his price 25% to match that of the other mfg -- we still have the issue of putting in inconsistent products.

So, I suppose we'll be placing our order with Mason Kennels here any day now.



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