Wondering how much a fence cost for different materials?
Depending on what type of fence and materials you use, as well as the length and height of the fencing, you could be spending anywhere between $5 to $25 a linear foot for fencing material and $10-35 for labor, resulting in a total end cost of about $1,500 to $14,000 per yard.
In this article we’ll break down how much a fence cost and we’ll share five examples of different fence materials to use.
With national average of lumber prices surging during the pandemic, prices have surged 3-4 times from the ones listed in this article.
Of course, these numbers are based on if you are building a new fence and purchasing all brand-new materials. The rest of this article will discuss the top five most popular fencing materials, how much they will cost to install, and a few ways you can cut costs with repurposed materials.
You can also look at the cheapest fence to build if you need to keep your budget low.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Fencing Materials with Average Cost
Determining what fence material to use and how much you will be spending comes down to what you are trying to achieve with the fence.
Do you want to block the nosey neighbor? Or are you needing to keep your livestock and/or children safe and on your property? Do you just want a simple picket fence? How long do you want the fence to last before you have to replace it? How often do you want to maintain the fence to keep it in good condition?
These questions and the average cost of materials will help you make your decision much simpler.
Most of these calculations are for a new fence project. If you have to worry about old fence removal or taking out old fence posts, then most fence contractors will add a removal section in their quote.
How Much Does a Wood Fence Cost
Wood privacy fences are the most attractive option and a great option for privacy. Wooden fences will not have to be replaced for at least 20 years if properly cared for.
The average price of a wood fence costs between $13 to $19 per foot. Most homeowners spend anywhere from $1,950 to $2,850 in total. The cost is greatly affected by the species of wood you choose to use; the most popular are pine, cedar, and redwood. It also depends on if you hire fence contractors or diy the project.
Cedar is the best wood to build a fence from due to the cedar oil in the wood. Cedar oil is naturally resistant to moisture, insect infestation, and decay. If you choose a cheaper wood, you’ll have to treat it with a waterproofing sealant yearly.
Most people prefer the wood fence type because it adds a nice curb appeal and the project cost is more manageable with many homeowners.
How Much Does a Chain Link Fence Cost
A chain-link fence can be the cheapest fencing material to choose from. Even with all the metal stakes, posts, gates, brackets, and tie wires, the cost will be less than any other fencing materials.
The average cost for a chain link fence is $10 to $20 per linear foot. Most homeowners end up paying around $2,083 on average, or between $1,153 – $3,008 in total.
The cost can drastically change if you want taller, thicker gauge fencing. As well as what material the chain link fence is made of. Chain link fencing is rather unattractive but does a great job at keeping children and pets safe.
A great cheap way to make your chain link fence look better is to add a great smelling vine, like star jasmine. The jasmine will cover the entire fence for more privacy and smell intoxicating when it blooms.
How Much Does a Vinyl Fence Cost
Vinyl fencing is made from PVC that is combined with special ingredients that make it strong, durable, and weatherproof. Compared to wood, a vinyl fence is non-porous and easy to clean, allowing it to last a lot longer with little to no maintenance.
Installing a vinyl fence costs about $20 per linear foot on average. Depending on the size of the yard, a typical household would spend $2,800 to $5,500 in total for a vinyl fence.
The style of vinyl fence you choose, and there are quite a few options, will also impact the cost. But overall, its increased longevity and low maintenance will pay for itself in the long run.
How Much Does a Composite Fence Cost
Composite fencing combines recycled wood and plastic designed to resemble wood. It is similar to vinyl, being a great low-maintenance and durable option but can warp, expand, or shrink in extreme weather.
On average composite fencing costs $23 to $37 per linear foot, making end costs for an average household about $3,450 to $5,550.
The cost for a composite fence is definitely on the high end. Even so, it can last over 20 years, requires little to no maintenance, and comes in various colors and styles, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.
How Much Does Wire Fencing Cost
Wire fencing, like barbed wire, hog wire, or welded wire fencing, is more utilitarian than privacy fencing. Its use is more common for households on large properties with livestock.
Installation of a wire fence can range between $1 to $7 per linear foot, with end costs around $1,254 to $5,852 per acre.
If you are looking for more functionality rather than privacy, then wire fencing is a good way to cut some of the costs of installing a fence.
- Hog wire fencing ranges in price, from $0.75 to $3.25 per foot, and is becoming more popular due to its affordability and attractive wood frame.
- Welded wire fencing costs, on average, about $1.48 to $1.58 per foot. It is commonly used around farms and is much safer but more expensive than barbed wire fencing. It is also harder to install and maintain.
- Barbed wire costs $1.25 to $1.48 to install and is great for fencing long distances and keeping animals in or out. The downsides are it’s unattractive, can easily be cut, and can be dangerous to children.
Other Fence Materials and Their Costs
There are many more fencing options to choose from than just the ones listed here. The ones listed above are the most common and budget-friendly.
You could also do the following:
- An electrical fence
- A board on board fence
- Aluminum fence
- A wrought iron fence
- A steel security or metal fence
- Even a stone or concrete fence
Other Privacy Fence Cost Considerations for a Backyard Fence
Figuring out what style of fence to use for your fence project is not even the first step to building your fence. You’ll want to know where your property lines are. Before you even start, the first step would be to get a fence permit. You usually don’t need a permit if you are building a fence that is 6 feet or under, but it is still good to check with your local planning and zoning office or your HOA (if you have one). A fence permit can cost between $25 to $50.
Other things to consider that will affect the overall cost are:
- Hole digging labor and post hole diggers
- Slope leveling labor and equipment
- Additional equipment if the ground is soggy
- Job complexity (corners and post caps add labor and material costs.)
- How much does it cost to install a gate? Gates add anywhere between $150 to $500 per gate.
- Do you want an extra-long or extra-high fence? That could add 20%-30% to your installation costs.
- Warranty professional fence installers will add a warranty to the fence project.
Like with most projects, always consider the project’s full scope and don’t just go off of a quick napkin calculation of length/price.
How to Cut Fencing Cost with Repurposed Materials
No matter what fence style you choose for your landscaping project, using repurposed materials to build your fence is a great way to do both. In this day and age, ingenuity around creating something new with something old is highly encouraged.
There are countless examples of people doing so across the internet. Some examples are an old door fence, wine bottle fence, ceiling tin fence, shipping pallet fence, or even a fence made of old bicycle frames. The possibilities are endless.
Fencing Materials: Cost VS Function VS Aesthetics
Overall, building a fence can be an expensive endeavor between materials, labor costs, and any other fence installation costs costs that may arise during the build. It may be in your best interest to hire a licensed professional to help make the hard decisions and make sure that you are building your fence to last. Be sure to know what side of the fence is yours vs your neighbors, as it could result in you having to pay if its considered their side!
Is it cheaper to DIY and build your own fence?
Yes, it’s cheaper to build your own fence. If you have the tools and purchase the materials, you can save between 40-60% by building the fence yourself. This also depends on a few things like how many feet of fencing you need, if you choose to use fence panels to save money or go with board on board.
How long does it take to build a fence?
It will take between 2-5 days to build a fence yourself. This includes planning your fence, buying the materials and getting them delivered. Then adding the posts, rails and pickets. For most homeowners it can be done in a weekend.