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Wood Fence Installation Cost

Wood Fence Installation Cost

National average
$3,500-$6,500
(¼ acre 3’-4’ picket fence with a medium quality wood and a gate)
Low: $2,000-$3,000

(¼ acre basic ranch style fence with no gate)

High: $7,000-$10,000

(high quality wood fence with a gate, concrete posts and old fence removal)

Cost to install a wood fence varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from fence contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing a wood fence is $3,000 - $6,500​.

In this guide

Cost factors
Why install a wood fence?
Prep-work
Types of wood fences
Height
Types of wood
Fence posts and post caps
Labor
Maintenance​
Other materials vs. wood fencing
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs

How much does it cost to install a wood fence?

Installing a wood fence can add more privacy to your home and improve its overall appearance and curb appeal. Fences also can provide protection, like a wind break, for a garden or green space. You may be choosing to upgrade an existing fence or starting from scratch with new construction, and a wood fence is a pragmatic and popular option.

The average size of a residential yard is around 209 linear feet, or a quarter-acre. The average cost to install a wood fence is around $3,000 - $6,500, with the average customer paying $4,500 to construct a new, quarter-acre 3’-4’-tall picket fence 6 with a medium quality wood and a gate.

Wood fence costs

Wood fence installation
National average cost$4,500
Average range$3,000 - $6,500
Minimum cost$2,000
Maximum cost$10,000

Cost factors

The process of installing a wood fence requires estimates, obtaining permits, planning, preparing, post-setting, and installation of the railings and boards. Many things can occur during these steps that influence and impact the cost.

If your property is rough and rocky, fence installation can cost an average of 20%-40% more than the normal labor costs. One of the modifications you might need to do to your terrain includes grading. Grading 1 rough terrain and replacing the dirt costs around $19.59-$43.20 per square foot. Also, if the site of your fence has tree growth that needs to be removed, you will need to figure in the costs of tree removal services. This typically averages $200 for a small tree, $700 for a medium-sized tree, and around $1,000 for a large tree.

The type of fence that you choose also influences the cost of the project. For example, a basic ranch-style wood fence for an average size yard for (¼-acre, around 209 linear feet) costs around $2,000-$3,200 to install, while the same length in a 3’-4’-tall wood picket fence 2 costs between $2,500 and $5,000 to construct. Height is another factor; building a privacy fence of 6’ or higher for a quarter-acre size yard costs around $3,500-$6,000 to build.

The type of wood that you choose also impacts what you will pay to install a fence. Some of your choices include pressure-treated pine, spruce, white oak, western red cedar, tropical hardwoods, and other varieties, depending on accessibility where you live. Western red cedar 3 is popular and considered to be priced in the mid-range at around $15-$30 per linear foot, while redwood is one of the more expensive varieties, often found at $50 per foot and up. Pressure treated pine is cheap and has longevity; it is priced around $10-$25 per linear foot.

Why install a wood fence?

There are many reasons why you may want to install a wooden fence on your property, including the following:

  • Privacy. Homeowners seeking privacy will benefit from the installation of wood fencing. An average wood fence, 6’ high, can provide privacy from the prying eyes of passersby and nosy neighbors.
  • Safety and security. Create a safe and secure haven for your family by installing an extra layer of protection to your home with a sturdy wood fence. When seeking security fencing, metal may be more pragmatic, for example chain link fencing is another option.
  • Pests. If you are tired of being bitten by garden pests in warm weather, a wood fence may help naturally repel summer pests. Cedar is particularly effective at keeping insects at bay.
  • Preservation. Preserve your landscaping and gardens with a wood fence. Squirrels and raccoons can wreak havoc on an unprotected green space; work to prevent them from entering your property in the first place with a fence.
  • Containment. If you are trying to keep pets or children safe in your yard, a fence is a viable solution. While wood fencing works for both, the better option for your pets may be found in an electric dog fence; talk to your fencing contractor to learn more.
  • Noise. You can cut down on road noise with fencing that acts as a noise barrier and buffer to the street and world beyond your property.
  • Borders. A fence makes a polite and precise border between you and your neighbors.
  • Curb appeal. Choose fences that are compatible and cohesive with your landscape, natural surroundings, and your home’s appearance. You can enhance and complement your current curb appeal with the right wood fence, creating visual interest that captures attention.
  • Property value. A well-constructed fence may contribute favorably to your property’s overall valuation. This further reinforces why it makes sense to hire a professional and go with a high-quality fence.

Prep-work

There is prep-work to be completed prior to constructing a wood fence on your property, including obtaining building permits from your local municipal offices at an average cost of $75-$200. It is likely that you will need a current land survey, which also helps to establish property lines when using the fence as a border between neighbors. A land survey typically costs around $575. Additionally, you may need to have the property graded, filled, re-sloped, or otherwise excavated to create a smooth, level foundation for your fence. These services typically cost around $1,000, depending on the condition of your land. Is your site overgrown with brush or foliage? You will need to pay an average of $200-$600 to remove and haul away brush and debris before construction can commence.

Types of wood fences

Consumers have various options when it comes to installing a wood fence on their property. Know that the type of fence impacts overall cost of your project. For instance, it is cheaper to install a split rail fence than a picket. The type of fencing you opt for dictates the amount of materials and labor involved in completion. Consider the following choices:

Fence TypeProsCons

Ranch Style/Split Rail

$3-$6 per linear foot

The lowest cost option

Easy and fast to install

Wide range of wood choices

Organic appearance

Offers minimal privacy and security

Lowest barrier (2.5’-3’ tall)

Not a good protection for children or pets.

3’-4’ Wooden Picket

$5-$13 per linear foot

Offers more security than a ranch style fence

Easier to install than taller privacy fences

Not very secure for pets nor children

More expensive than other styles

Semi-private

6’ Privacy Fence 4

$8-$18 per linear foot

The best option in terms of privacy and security

Most pets won’t be able to jump it

Young children should be safe

Highest installation and material costs

Permit required


Height

When comparing the costs of fences, why would a homeowner pay more for a higher fence? There are lots of reasons, but privacy and security are the main factors behind taller privacy fencing. Also, a 6’ or taller fence can obscure the view of your property by outsiders, though these fences require permission from zoning boards and a permit. Know that the taller the fence, the more it will cost to construct.

Most residential fences are under 6’, but when you decide to go with a taller privacy fence 4, expect to pay around $18-$45 per linear foot, though it could be a lot more, depending on the features and fixtures you choose.

Types of wood

You have a lot of options when it comes to the type of wood for your fence, though cedar and redwood are the most popular choices currently for wood fencing. Higher-quality woods like red cedar or white oak, will increase the overall material cost by around 20%-50%. Availability and price will vary depending on where you live, but here are a few of your choices, including the average cost per linear foot, including installation:

Type of woodCharacteristicsPrice
Pine

Cheapest option

Widely Available

Durable when treated

$10-$25 per linear foot
Cedar

Moderately priced

Weather Resistant

Naturally pest-repellent

$15-$30 per linear foot
Cypress

Pricey

Durable

Dense wood

$20-$30 per linear foot
Redwood 5

Expensive

Must be treated to last

Beautiful and durable

$25-$50 per linear foot
White Oak 6

Beautiful finish

Widely found

Can warp or bow in damp or humid environments

$25-$60 per linear foot
Black Locust 7

Very durable

Low maintenance

Often used in agricultural settings

$30-$60 per linear foot


Fence posts and post caps

Another style choice to make relates to your fence posts and post caps. Posts are typically made from wood, concrete, or metal, grounded in cement, gravel, or simply soil, depending on your distinct fence. Setting your fence posts in concrete instead of just earth and gravel costs more, but provides much more stability in all kinds of weather. It is estimated that this will cost an extra $2-$4 per linear foot.

Post caps top each of your fence posts 8 and are quite often ornamental, creating a finial 9 accent to an otherwise ordinary wood fence. These are found in vinyl, wood, metal, and resin varieties. Decorative fence post caps can cost between $5 and $50 each, depending on what they are made of, i.e. vinyl or metal. Talk to your contractor about upgrading your post caps with lighting features; prices will vary.

Wooden lattice fence with post caps

Labor

When it comes to installing a wood fence, it makes the most sense to hire a pro. A new wood fence will be well-grounded to withstand the elements, as well as usually backed by the contractor in the event of an issue. Typically, fencing laborers charge from $25-$50 per hour, but you may be able to obtain a flat-rate quote from a contractor for the completed job.

Many fencing contractors offer flat rate quotes, which makes it far easier for homeowners to budget and plan for their fence construction projects. Typically, these rates include labor and materials–everything to see the job to fruition. To build an average-size fence (209 linear feet) could cost between $2,000 and $10,000, around half of which is labor costs, depending on many factors and features including height and quality of wood used.

Maintenance​

Wood fencing requires regular maintenance, otherwise the condition will deteriorate rapidly. Staining, painting, and sealing are all parts of routine tasks that preserve your wood fence. It costs around $200 to paint or stain an average-size wood fence. Protecting the wood with a petroleum-based stain also curbs termite activity and reduces the risk of mold or fungus, lengthening the life of your fence. Treating the wood can also help prevent warping during temperature fluctuations.

Use automotive grease to lubricate locks, hinges 10, or other hardware. Use a small paint brush to apply precisely. Get rid of leaves or foliage that are near or abutting your fence, as these can also trap moisture and cause rot. Pressure-wash your fence periodically to remove contaminants and pollutants.

Other materials vs. wood fencing

So, you need a new fence, but why wood? Wood fencing is the most popular, but you do have other options besides wood.

When comparing wood with vinyl, wooden fences are traditional and popular, due to their cost-efficiency. They usually cost significantly less than installing the same-sized vinyl fences. Vinyl is more resilient to the elements, but wood fences can be just as resilient with proper maintenance and adequate sealant.

As for wood versus metal, many homeowners choose metal for the longevity; they can last 50-100 years when treated. Metal costs a lot more and is not found in as many choices and options as wood fencing. When it comes to security, metal can’t be beat. Chain-link is a slightly different story; chain link is effective at providing containment and security around a property, but is cheaper than other metal fencing. Chain-link is also quick to install, though it is less attractive than more aesthetically-appealing wood fences are.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Sealing, staining or painting

Pay a laborer or contractor approximately $200 to seal, stain, or paint your wood fence and protect it from premature deterioration and rot. Simply sealing the wood can make your fence last years and years longer–saving you money in long-term home maintenance.

Lighting to the post caps

Lighting can be added to your fence’s post caps 11 and brings a combination of functionality, security, and safety to your entire property. The lighted caps are widely found in both electric, from $20-$60 per cap, or solar styles, which average around $30 per cap. When implementing electric caps, you may find that you need to hire an electrician once the fence is installed to wire in your caps, at an average cost of $65-$85 per hour.

Adding gates to the fence

Add convenience and access with a gate for your new wood fence. Gates cost between $200 and $600 for materials and installation when added to your existing fence, depending on size.

Lattice fence

Lattice panels are a great temporary fencing 12 solution that typically cost between $2 and $12 per linear foot to purchase at most home improvement stores. Installing these panels may fall to a laborer who typically charges between $25-$50 per hour.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Permits. A zoning permit will likely be needed for adding a wood fence to your residential property, at around $75-$200. If you are building a fence that is 6’ or higher, you will need a permit that often costs from $200-$400 for a contractor to obtain.
  • DIY. Do-it-yourself fence installation is feasible, but requires several steps which involve a variety of skill-sets. First, you must plan the spacing and prepare the post holes. Next, you set the posts, attach rails, and finally install the fence boards. Depending on the size of your fence, you will need to recruit helpers for a DIY project.
  • Warranty. Professional installation of your new fence may come with a warranty on materials, so ask your contractor before you begin to build. Typically, warranties are more common with vinyl 13 or prefabricated fences.
  • Fence replacement. Professionals suggest that a well-built wooden fence from quality materials will last for about 20 years with routine maintenance. A less-expensive pressure-treated pine fence will last between 10-15 years, on average, before needing to be replaced.
  • Alternative. For an inexpensive, though temporary, alternative to a wood fence, consider installing a bamboo fence. Another option is to choose to purchase removable wood fence panels, such as lattice, at a home improvement store at a cost of anywhere from $2-$12 per linear foot.
  • Surveys. It is critical that you locate utility lines before digging or excavating for new fence construction. Call your local municipality to come and identify the location of your water, electric, and gas lines before you commence construction, or have your surveyor identify these lines when surveying your property.
  • Removal. Removing existing fencing and hauling it away can cost between $2 and $5 per linear foot. For an existing 209-foot fence, the cost would be $418-$1,045 for removal and disposal.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Grading: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
2 Picket fence: A barrier or railing made out of pointed, spaced, vertical uprights (referred to as pickets), connected by at least two horizontal rails, used primarily for decorative purposes
glossary term picture Western Red Cedar 3 Western red cedar: A very large tree native to the pacific northwest, whose wood is used primarily for outdoor applications such as roofing shakes and shingles, decks, posts, and siding
glossary term picture Privacy Fence 4 Privacy fence: A barrier or railing, typically composed of solid material, used to form a blockade around a yard, field, or other expanse of land to prevent encroachments from the outside
5 Redwood: Tree with reddish colored timber
glossary term picture White Oak 6 White oak: A higher-quality hardwood commonly found in eastern North America. It is used for construction, fencing, flooring, shipbuilding, making wine barrels, and in home interiors
7 Black locust: A type of wood that is commonly used for fences. It can also be used for furniture, flooring, decking, and other applications. It is hard, heavy, and very durable.
glossary term picture Fence Post 8 Fence posts: A sturdy pole set securely in the ground, that is used to support a fence. Fence posts are placed at regular intervals, and the other parts of the fence are attached to them
9 Finial: It is a metal rod with a pointed or round tip that allows the lightning to be caught and safely diffused through conductor cables to ground rods buried in a safe place. All three components together make up a complete lightning protection system
glossary term picture Hinge 10 Hinges: A type of joint that attaches two items together but allows one of them to swing back and forth, such as a door attached to a door frame
glossary term picture Post Cap 11 Post caps: An optional fence design detail, positioned on top of each fence post, used to give the fence a "finished" look and to prevent water from entering the posts
12 Temporary fencing: A non-permanent barrier or railing, made of removable panels, used to enclose a pool, garden area, patio, or other outdoor space
glossary term picture Vinyl 13 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others

Cost to install a wood fence varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Wood Fence next to some vegetation

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Bellevue, NE
-19%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bixby, OK
-17%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Brick, NJ
+3%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Burlington, NC
-17%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clarksville, TN
-13%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Erie, PA
-17%
Escondido, CA
+9%
Fairfield, CA
+5%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Gastonia, NC
-18%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Greenfield, IN
-12%
Hawthorne, FL
-40%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Henderson, KY
-10%
Hialeah, FL
-2%
High Point, NC
-9%
Hopatcong, NJ
+31%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lawtey, FL
-46%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Macon, GA
+20%
Madison, WI
+13%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources