How much does it cost to build a wood fence?
Get free estimates from fence contractors near you
Wood Fence Installation Cost Guide
Updated: October 17, 2022
Installing a wood fence can add more privacy to your home and improve its overall appearance and curb appeal. They can also 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 $3,500 to $6,500, with the average customer paying $4,500 to construct a new 209 linear foot dog ear fence made of cedar with a gate. This project’s low cost is $2,000 for a 209 linear foot pine picket fence without a gate. The high cost is $10,000 for 209 linear feet of a 6’ high privacy wood fence made of black locust with multiple gates.
Wood Fence Cost
|Wood Fence Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$4,500|
Wood Fence Cost per Foot
The cost of fencing materials ranges between $5 and $15 per foot, with labor averaging $10 to $20 a foot, for an average cost range of $15 to $35 a linear foot installed. The overall cost of a new wood fence is often measured per foot, but the final project bill will be based on the specific type of wood and any extra features you include. Style, wood species, height, and the overall project size dictate your final costs. The most common installation size is around 200 linear feet, which is close to a ¼ acre in size. Below are the average costs for wood fences of varying sizes both for the materials and the cost of the project installed.
|Size||Average Costs (Material Only)||Average Costs (Installed)|
|25 Linear Feet||$125 - $375||$375 - $875|
|50 Linear Feet||$250 - $750||$750 - $1,750|
|75 Linear Feet||$375 - $1,125||$1,125 - $2,625|
|100 Linear Feet||$500 - $1,500||$1,500 - $3,500|
|150 Linear Feet||$750 - $2,250||$2,250 - $5,250|
|200 Linear Feet||$1,000 - $3,000||$3,000 - $7,000|
|300 Linear Feet||$1,500 - $4,500||$4,500 - $10,500|
|400 Linear Feet||$2,000 - $6,000||$6,000 - $14,000|
Wood Fence Cost by Type
When installing a wood fence, consumers have various options ranging between $3 and $35 per linear foot for the materials only. While most fencing materials won't set you back more than $20 per linear foot, some types, such as the privacy fence, can cost $20 to $45 per linear foot. Know that the type impacts the overall cost of your project. For instance, it is cheaper to install a split rail style than a picket. The type of fencing you opt for dictates the amount of materials and labor involved in completion. Consider the following choices:
|Type||Average Costs per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Average Costs per Linear Foot (Installed)|
|Ranch Style / Split Rail||$3 - $6||$8 - $16|
|Wooden Picket||$3 - $8||$10 - $18|
|Stockade||$5 - $10||$15 - $20|
|Horizontal||$5 - $12||$15 - $22|
|Shadowbox||$7 - $15||$17 - $35|
|Privacy||$7 - $17||$17 - $37|
Split Rail Wood Fence
The average split rail fence price per foot is $3 to $6 for an attractive and affordable ranch style option. The cost is $8 to $16 a linear foot, installed. Many homeowners opt for a ranch-style with wide gaps and a rustic appearance. Many wood choices are available to choose from for this style with an organic appearance. This type offers less privacy and protection for children or pets.
This type has the lowest barrier of all types. Ranch style fencing is 2.5’ to 3’ tall, meaning minimal security. This is often used in more rural and spacious areas rather than tight residential subdivisions. Due to the shorter height and fewer materials needed, a split rail fence is often the most cost-effective option.
Wooden Picket Fence
The average cost of a wood picket fence per foot is $3 to $8, depending on the supplier and the demand in your area. The cost averages $10 to $18 a linear foot, installed. Homeowners who want some privacy and attractive curb appeal without breaking the bank appreciate the budget-friendly picket fence option. It features the signature pointed tops made famous in colonial times that remain popular in neighborhoods and the front of cottages today.
Prices are slightly more expensive than split rail but are still relatively affordable for a semi-private fencing solution, offering more security than one with a ranch style. Plus, they are easier to install than privacy fences with a 3’ to 4’ height, although they are not as secure for pets or children.
Some people prefer to pay a little more for enhanced privacy from a stockade fence, particularly families with young children or pets who like to spend time outside and entertain. Expect to pay $5 to $10 per linear foot for the material. Installed, it averages $15 to $20 a linear foot. This type has wood boards placed next to each other for a tight finish with no gaps. This arrangement creates a solid wood panel for each fencing section. The tops of the pickets are usually pointed for a stylish finish.
Stockade fences can be made from pine, spruce, or cedar and provide an extra layer of security not offered by split rail or picket fencing. Also, stockade fencing is usually easy to repair. You can fix just one section without replacing the entire fence. The main drawback of stockade fencing is that it requires regular painting and staining to maintain its appearance and keep the fence in tip-top shape.
Horizontal Wood Fence
On average, homeowners pay around $5 to $12 per linear foot for a horizontal wood fence for the material. The cost for this fence installed averages $15 to $22 a linear foot. While most types have a vertical composition, you can also have wood panels installed horizontally. This style has become more common in modern homebuilding and is often selected to create a distinguished, high-end look that shows off the natural wood grain. Wood boards can be placed tightly together for more privacy or with slight gaps in between.
Proponents of this horizontal style say it makes yards look longer and bigger and offers decent privacy. However, you have to pay more for a taller fence considering the horizontal layout requires more materials to reach the same height as other fences. Horizontal fencing also requires careful installation and a reputable professional who has experience with this style.
Shadowbox Wood Fence
The cost of material for shadowbox wood fences ranges between $7 and $15 per linear foot for material. The cost averages $17 to $35 a linear foot, installed. They are popular for their aesthetic value, so they are considered a decorative type rather than a standard privacy fence. They are mostly made of red cedar and treated pine wood that gives a natural look on both sides.
Shadowbox wood fences have a lot of advantages. They are not only a cost-efficient solution but are also easy to work with and are environmentally-friendly. Homeowners can customize their look and provide full or partial privacy. However, the wood must be treated regularly to retain that same look. Another downside is that they can start to dry, decompose, and last only around five to ten years.
Wood Privacy Fence
Most residential fences are under six feet. When you decide to go with a taller option, expect to pay a privacy fence pricing per foot of $7 to $17 per linear foot for the material. The cost averages $17 to $37 a linear foot, installed. The price could be a lot more, depending on the features and fixtures you choose. There are lots of reasons, but privacy and security are the main factors behind taller privacy fencing. A six-foot or taller fence can obscure the view of your property by outsiders, though these types require permission from zoning boards and a permit. The taller it is, the more it will cost to construct.
Wood Fence Prices by Type of Wood
You have many options for the type of wood for your fence, with the price per linear foot going between $10 and $60 for the materials only. Cedar and redwood are the most popular choices currently for wood fencing as they are considered higher-quality woods. The overall material cost for them is higher by around 20% to 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 just for the materials:
|Type of Wood||Average Costs per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Average Costs per Linear Foot (Installed)|
|Spruce||$3 - $10||$10 - $25|
|Pine||$3 - $10||$10 - $25|
|Cedar||$5 - $15||$15 - $30|
|Western Red Cedar||$5 - $15||$15 - $30|
|Ipe||$5 - $20||$15 - $35|
|Bamboo||$10 - $15||$20 - $30|
|Cypress||$10 - $15||$20 - $30|
|Douglas Fir||$15 - $20||$25 - $40|
|Redwood||$15 - $30||$25 - $40|
|Composite||$15 - $35||$25 - $55|
|White Oak||$15 - $40||$25 - $60|
|Tropical Hardwood||$20 - $30||$30 - $50|
|Black Locust||$20 - $40||$30 - $60|
Spruce Wood Fence
Spruce fencing is a good budget-conscious option that costs only $3 to $10 a linear foot for the material or $10 to $25 per linear foot installed. This wood is considerably cheaper than some other materials. It’s relatively durable and lasts for up to a decade when sealed and resealed to protect against the elements. The white-gray color can be painted if you want to update the appearance. Spruce has a wider grain pattern than cedar, although it is not as durable and may warp in damp climates. The material is also sensitive to weather, so if it gets wet, the pickets can start shrinking as they dry.
Whitewood or spruce wood fence is a very cost-efficient type of wood for fencing. It costs only $3 to $7 per linear foot for the lumber. It’s one of the cheapest wood types out there, which is its biggest advantage. However, you get what you pay for. They decay over ten years at most and start turning gray during this time.
The average cost per linear foot of pine fencing is $3 to $10 a linear foot for the material or $10 to $25 per foot installed. Pine is one of the most popular types of wood used for trim products such as baseboards, cabinets, railings, windows, doors, and, in many cases, fencing. Pine fencing is widely available and durable when treated. Even though pine is the cheapest option on the market, it is susceptible to warping and buckling if left without proper maintenance.
The average cost for a cedar fence cost per foot is $5 to $15 for the material or $15 to $30 installed. Often compared to pine fencing, cedar wood has a more natural reddish appearance and is eco-friendly with less maintenance. This lightweight fencing has a pleasant smell and is ideal for dry climates. Naturally, insect-repellant cedar is typically used for decking and siding with moderate pricing and impressive weather resistance. Prices are higher than pine due to less availability of this wood. Besides the extra expense, cedar fencing may be weaker in humid areas and less resistant to damage from the surrounding soil.
Western Red Cedar Fence
Homeowners normally pay around $5 to $15 per foot for the material or $15 to $30 per linear foot for installed western red cedar fencing. With a warm, rich fall color, western red cedar is a common choice for homeowners interested in the aesthetic appeal. Many believe it has better resistance than pine, with red cedar standing up to insects, moisture, and rot. Tannin oils protect the wood’s integrity for years, even in areas with lots of wind and rain. It’s also less likely to shrink, warp, or twist, making it a good choice for roofing and decking. The better you maintain western red cedar, the stronger the lovely red color will be.
Ipe Wood Fence
The average price of ipe wood fencing is $5 to $20 per foot for the material or $15 to $35 per foot installed, depending on the availability and the supplier you select. Ipe is the most common tropical hardwood with tight grains and a high density for a dynamic, durable fencing solution. Sometimes referred to as Brazilian Walnut, ipe wood has a rich, deep brown color that fades to silver-gray over time unless it’s treated. You can always restore its renowned color with an oil and stain routine or just enjoy the low maintenance and let nature take its course. With a high rating for resisting termites and other insects, ipe wood doesn’t decay quickly and may last 75 years or more when cared for properly.
The average cost of bamboo fencing per linear foot is $10 to $15 a linear foot for the material or $20 to $30 per foot installed. Bamboo is another environmentally friendly option becoming more popular in residential fencing. It’s sustainable and stylish, available in both light and dark colors. The bamboo sticks are typically placed close together for a tight, private fencing solution. Bamboo works well in tropical areas and can be used with other fencing materials or features to complete the look. Some homeowners opt for live bamboo fences that continue to grow, requiring more maintenance, such as regular pruning.
Plan to pay slightly more for cypress fencing, around $10 to $15 a linear foot for the material or $20 to $30 per linear foot installed. Cypress is a pricey, durable, and dense wood similar to pine and produces a lovely natural look with many hidden benefits. Besides the nice wood appearance for neighborhoods and rural properties, cypress fencing contains cypretine, a natural chemical that deters insects and other pests. It’s rot-resistant and lasts for a long time in areas with extreme weather like wind, rain, and snow.
Douglas Fir Fence
The average cost for Douglas fir fencing is $15 to $20 a linear foot for the material or $25 to $40 per linear foot installed. Douglas fir Christmas tree isn’t the only common use for this natural lumber. Douglas fir fencing is one of the strongest softwood options and is often preferred over pine for that reason. This wood can be left with its natural yellow look before eventually taking on a gray hue. Treating is not required, but sealing helps to prolong the natural color and maintain the lovely aesthetic. Douglas fir does not warp or bend much either.
The average redwood fence cost per foot is $15 to $30 for the material or $25 to $50 installed. Redwood fencing boasts a deep, rich red color for a beautiful appearance. Redwood resists rotting, insects, and UV rays for excellent protection against pests and natural elements. Plus, redwood fencing can survive in humid environments with durable composition and inherent resistance to decay. Redwood fencing must be treated to last and keep up a nice color with a wood stain. This treatment prevents it from turning gray over time and taking on a dry, damaged look. Prices are slightly higher than other varieties due to the demand for this gorgeous color.
The average cost for composite wood fencing is $15 to $35 a linear foot for the material or $25 to $55 per linear foot installed. Composite wood fencing is a relatively new alternative to traditional wood fencing. This combination of natural wood and plastic allows for a cost-effective and eco-friendly fence that mimics the appearance of a wood. Composite fencing can withstand environmental factors like rain, wind, UV rays, pests, and mold better than other types of wood fencing. The maintenance is different. Composite fencing usually requires minimal repainting and repairs. Instead, composite fencing needs to be washed down with water every once in a while.
White Oak Fence
White oak is $15 to $40 a linear foot for the material or $25 to $60 a linear foot installed. It can last for a long time, especially if you use treated wood. With a beautiful light finish, this is a popular choice for fencing widely available from fencing suppliers. White oak is typically hardy even in harsh weather conditions, although it can warp and bow in extremely damp or humid environments. It's commonly used on farms where horses like to chew on pine. White oak is resistant to rotting, making the average cost worthwhile for many homeowners.
Tropical Hardwood Fence
The average cost per linear foot is $20 to $30 for the material or $30 to $50 for tropical hardwood fencing installed. For a more exotic appearance, homeowners turn to tropical hardwood like Batu and Cumaru. These woods naturally last for a long time in hot, humid climates and boast rich red colors that enhance curb appeal and add a level of luxury to many backyards. Tigerwood is another option that lasts upwards of 25 years. Tropical hardwoods can be a bit of a splurge as some flooring supply companies only offer pricing upon request. Special drilling tools are required for installation. The minimal maintenance required for tropical hardwoods raises the price tag.
Black Locust Fence
Black locust costs $20 to $40 per linear foot for the material or $30 to $60 a linear foot installed. Another alternative for wood fencing is black locust, which is very durable and requires little maintenance, making it ideal for agricultural settings where it may not be attended to all the time. As one of the most structurally sound wood types available, black locust posts can last for up to 80 years in some cases when maintained properly. This wood may not be as readily available as pine, cedar, and oak, which explains the slightly higher average price.
Wood Fence Post Price
Posts are typically made from wood, concrete, or metal, grounded in cement, gravel, or simply soil, depending on your distinct fence. On their own, fence posts without installation cost between $5 and $75 each. One way to prolong the lifespan is to just replace the posts when required instead of taking out the entire fence and installing a new one.
The price depends largely on the materials. Many homeowners choose wood posts for their wood fence to complete the look, but you can also have metal posts or concrete wooden fence posts.
|Post Material||Average Costs (Materials Only)||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Wood||$5 - $20||$10 - $50|
|Metal||$5 - $30||$10 - $60|
|Concrete||$10 - $50||$30 - $100|
|Brick / Stone||$25 - $75||$50 - $150|
Wood Fence Post
The cost of a wooden fence post is $5 to $20 for the material or $10 to $50 installed. To support the fence and maintain proper privacy, you need sturdy posts. Many homeowners opt for a cohesive look with wooden posts. These come in a wide range of materials, just like wood fencing itself. Deciding between cedar, pine, spruce, or other wood varieties often comes down to price and aesthetic appeal.
Wood Fence With Metal Posts
The cost of a metal fence post is $5 to $30 for the material or $10 to $60 installed. Metal posts can be more durable and offer greater support for a wooden fence, making the posts slightly more expensive. These posts are unlikely to rot and can withstand strong winds and protect it from damage even in heavy storms. Termites are also no match for metal posts. Plus, metal posts last for a long time, especially when made from galvanized steel and concealed with timber coverings for an attractive facade.
Concrete Wooden Fence Posts
The cost of a concrete fence post is $10 to $50 for the material or $30 to $100 installed. Wood fence on concrete posts is another idea some homeowners opt for depending on where they live and the elements to which their fencing is exposed. Not only can posts be made out of solid concrete and attached to a wood fence, but they are also often secured in concrete for greater strength and protection. Setting your posts in concrete instead of just earth and gravel costs more, but a wood fence in concrete provides much more stability in all kinds of weather.
Brick or Stone Wood Fence Post
The cost of a brick or stone fence post is $25 to $75 for the material or $50 to $150 installed. Brick or stone posts for a wood fence are another option. These posts made from a column of bricks or natural stone come in various colors and offer substantial sturdiness and protection for home fencing. Many people enjoy the contrast of the brick or stone with the natural wood. Plus, the density of brick and stone blocks out noise from neighbors and busy roads nearby. As with many brick or stone materials for other house projects, these are more expensive.
Wood Fence Post Cost by Shape
The shape, size, and material determine the overall cost of the fence posts, which typically ranges between $5 and $50 for the materials only. Several post shapes are available to choose from, such as square, pointed, or round wood posts. Here are some of the most common costs to keep in mind based on which type of fence post you choose.
|Post Shape||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Round||$5 - $10|
|Pointed||$5 - $15|
|Square||$10 - $20|
Round Wood Fence Posts
Round fence posts are affordably priced at around $5 to $10 each. They are relatively easy to install and maintain and have been very popular in the fencing industry for decades. Fencing companies recommend round posts for a neat, classic look that stands strong against wild animals. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other creatures are less likely to disturb round wood fence posts, which is another reason why many opt to install these posts.
Pointed Wooden Fence Posts
Pointed wooden fence posts are priced at around $5 to $15 each. The sharper end on makes them easier to drive into the ground, especially in tough soil conditions where the climate is cool and dry, or there’s lots of snow. They may not have the same polished appearance as square posts but can be easily touched up to match the wood fencing and serve as a budget-friendly fencing solution.
Square Wood Fence Post
The average cost of building a fence post is $10 to $20. They are another particularly popular option because of their supreme stability at the base. The square shape offers a sophisticated, polished look for residential fencing and is easy to measure and cut. These are slightly more exposed to the elements and potential pests than round posts. But, they are still a worthwhile option for homeowners looking to add a nice touch to their fencing project with adequate support.
Labor Cost of Installing a Wood Fence
To build an average-size fence (209 linear feet), you can expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,500 for the whole project. Of this, labor costs make up $1,700 to $3,125, or roughly half the cost of the project in most cases. This varies depending on material. Some exotic hardwoods are very expensive and difficult to work with, which can throw off the ratio. Some are made of very inexpensive material, so the labor ratio is higher.
The professional starts by setting up the corner posts of the fence and connecting them with a string line to ensure that it will be installed in a straight line. Once they do this, they will measure, mark, and dig holes for the post locations installed using a concrete mixture. The top and bottom rails will then be attached along with the face boards that are the fence’s appearance. Based on your preferences, the material, and the climate where you live, the professional will seal, stain, or paint it.
When you install a fence, it makes the most sense to hire a pro, with the typical wood fence labor cost per foot being $10 to $20 depending on the selected materials and installation difficulty. Many fencing contractors offer flat rate quotes that include labor and materials–everything to see the job to fruition. This complete package makes it far easier for homeowners to budget and plan for their construction projects. However, fencing laborers can also charge an hourly rate, typically $25 to $60 per hour.
If your property is rough and rocky, installation can cost an average of 20% to 40% more than the normal labor costs. One of the modifications you might need to do to your terrain includes grading. Grading rough terrain and replacing the dirt costs around $19.59 to $43.20 per square foot. Also, if the site of your fence has tree growth that needs to be removed, you 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.
Wood Fence Replacement Cost
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. Keeping it clean by pressure washing and making sure any minor repairs are completed sooner rather than later protects the fencing for longer. Those who live in areas prone to extreme weather conditions such as high winds and heavy rains may need to replace their fencing sooner than others. To replace it entirely, you will have similar costs to a new fence installation, plus removal and disposal costs for the existing one.
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 $420 to $1,500 for removal and disposal, depending on the job’s complexity and the company you choose. This makes the total cost of a new fence replacement $3,920 to $8,000 if it is entirely is replaced. Sometimes, the posts can be left in place, and only the panels or fencing between them is replaced. In this case, your costs can be lower - around $3,000 to $7,000 for the replacement.
Wood Fence Gate Cost by Size
The cost to install a gate on your wood fence depends mostly on its size. The cost of a wooden gate averages $13 to $25 a linear foot installed, which translates to $52 to $300 per gate installed, depending on the size and material. A gate is not only necessary for entering and exiting the premises, but it adds flair to your home’s exterior. While it’s up to you which size you will install, here are the most common gate sizes and the cost to add them to your fence:
|Gate Size||Average Costs (Installed)|
|4 Feet||$52 - $100|
|5 Feet||$65 - $125|
|6 Feet||$78 - $150|
|8 Feet||$104 - $200|
|10 Feet||$130 - $250|
|12 Feet||$156 - $300|
Wood Fence Post Caps
Post caps top each of your fence posts and are quite often ornamental, creating a finial accent to an otherwise ordinary wood fence. These are found in vinyl, wood, metal, and resin varieties. Decorative post caps can cost between $5 and $50 each, depending on what they are made of, i.e. vinyl or metal. The post cap material affects the overall price. Vinyl can be priced a little bit more than metal or wood depending on the supplier. Talk to your contractor about upgrading your post caps with lighting features; prices will vary.
The typical measurements for post caps are 4” x 4” and 6” x 6”. It’s important to get the right size to protect the post tops appropriately from the elements. It’s better to get one that’s just slightly larger so that it covers the entire top, rather than one that is too small and leaves the top exposed in some areas. The correct measurement for your fencing project depends on the size of your post caps. Remember, it may be $50 to $200 to replace a post cap depending on the material and the condition.
Pros and Cons
Many reasons may be noted for installing a wooden fence on your property. For one, it provides privacy from the prying eyes of passersby and nosy neighbors and reduces the noise. It adds to the sense of safety and security everyone needs. By installing it, you’re preventing insects and pests from entering your premises and damaging your garden and landscape.
If you have children or pets, it keeps them safely contained in your yard while marking the border between you and your neighbors’ yards. Finally, no one can deny that a decorative wood fence improves the curb appeal of a home, increasing its overall market value.
While they are a great addition to a home, they come with their fair share of disadvantages you need to keep in mind. The major disadvantage is that it’s not as durable as other fencing materials. The typical lifespan is 8 to 20 years at most, compared to other fencing types that last 40 to 50 years.
Wood is also an unpredictable material, so it can split, crack, and change color under the influence of various weather conditions. In addition to this, wood is an active material that can shrink around 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch as it dries after installation. The shrinkage leaves minor gaps in the fence. On the other hand, during rainy and snowy months, the wood expands due to wet conditions, making the gates and doors difficult to open.
Cost of Land Survey for a Wood Fence
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 $70-$400. 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. 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.
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 $1,500 to paint or stain an average-size fence. Protecting the wood with a petroleum-based stain also curbs termite activity, reduces the risk of mold or fungus, and lengthens the life of your fence. Treating the wood helps prevent warping during temperature fluctuations.
Use automotive grease to lubricate locks, hinges, or other hardware. Use a small paintbrush to apply precisely. Get rid of leaves or foliage near or abutting your fence, as these can trap moisture and cause rot. Pressure-wash it periodically to remove contaminants and pollutants. Proper pressure-treated maintenance ensures that keeps its new, fresh look and lasts longer.
Treated vs Untreated Wood Fence
You can choose either a treated or untreated wood fence. The less expensive option is untreated, which means the wood is installed in its natural condition. This is fine and normal for some woods, including cedar, western red cedar, and redwood. These materials are naturally insect and moisture-resistant and do not require chemical treatments. Woods that may require treatment include fir, pine, and some hardwoods like oak. A treated wood fence has been covered in chemicals to offer greater protection for the wood. A treated fence needs less maintenance than an untreated one of the same material as it will be better protected against sunlight, rain, wind, snow, pests, and decay. A treated fence holds its color for longer than an untreated one. Most older fences that look a bit worn, like they’ve lost their color, are untreated. Whereas older fences with a rich, vibrant color may be treated. Some homeowners are concerned about chemically treated wood fencing if they have pets or kids running around the yard. A treated wood fence typically costs $2 to $10 more per linear foot than an untreated one of the same material.
|Type||Average Costs per Linear Foot (Installed)|
|Untreated||$15 - $35|
|Treated||$17 - $45|
Vinyl Fence Cost vs Wood
Vinyl fences are often considered a lower maintenance alternative to wood. Vinyl is a type of lightweight plastic that can be molded to mimic the look of other materials like wood. A vinyl fence can come in the same shapes, sizes, and styles of wood, including post and rail, picket, and privacy. Vinyl does not rot and does not need to be painted or stained, so it can be lower in maintenance than wood. However, vinyl does not do well in extreme temperatures. It can crack in cold weather and melt in hot weather, while wood can withstand both more easily. Vinyl fences are also more prone to damage from minor impacts and are not as strong as wood fences in general.
The two materials can have very similar costs, although wood has a greater range of different materials, which means you could find fences that are both much less and more expensive in wood than in vinyl. Below are the average costs for installing a 209 linear foot fence of both materials.
|Material||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Vinyl||$3,135 - $7,315|
|Wood||$3,500 - $6,500|
Corrugated Metal Fence Cost vs Wood
Many homeowners choose metal for longevity. Metal fences last 50 to 100 years when properly maintained. A corrugated metal fence can give you a rustic, modern appearance and is often mixed with wood posts for a more rustic look. These are privacy fence panels that are solid, heavy, and very durable. They can offer better security and longevity than wood fences. However, they are much more costly than wood, averaging $34 to $90 a linear foot installed. For this reason, a corrugated metal fence is more likely to be found in small areas in the backyard where privacy is key, while a wood one may be used in other areas. Below is the average cost for each type in a 209 linear foot installation.
|Material||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Wood||$3,500 - $6,500|
|Corrugated Metal||$7,106 - $18,810|
Chain Link vs Wood Fence Cost
Comparing wood fence and 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. Depending on the metal type used in the chain link, it may be lower in maintenance and longer-lasting than a wood fence of similar quality. Chain link comes in several colors and finishes, as well as heights and link sizes. It is a more affordable fencing option than wood and many other types of metal fence. Below is the average cost for installing 209 linear feet of both wood and chain link fencing.
|Material||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Chain Link||$2,450 - $4,000|
|Wood||$3,500 - $6,500|
Wrought Iron Fence Cost vs Wood
A wrought iron fence is strong and durable. However, because of the noticeable gaps, it offers less privacy than some wood varieties. Wrought iron fences have a classic, traditional appearance and are more often installed for both decorative and security purposes. Wood may be installed for either of these purposes as well, but can also offer options such as privacy. Both materials can come in several different sizes as well as different styles. Wrought iron is easier to maintain than wood and requires painting once every few years. Wrought iron averages $22 to $40 per linear foot, making it slightly more expensive than some wood fences, but less expensive than many privacy or exotic wood options. Below are the average costs of both types installed in a 209 linear foot project.
|Material||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Wood||$3,500 - $6,500|
|Wrought Iron||$4,598 - $8,360|
Cedar vs Redwood Fence Cost
Cedar and redwood are two of the most popular wood fencing materials. Both are a type of softwood that is naturally resistant to insects, moisture, and rot. This makes both materials a good choice for fencing because they do not require special treatments or as much maintenance as other materials. Both materials require a primer if you paint them. This is due to a phenomenon known as “cedar bleed” that affects both woods. The oils in the sap will seep out and stain the paint if a primer is not used. Both options are environmentally friendly and have nearly identical maintenance requirements.
Of the two, redwood tends to be a more expensive material. It has a slightly finer grain as well, resulting in a smoother-looking fence. Below are the average costs to install both materials in a 209 linear foot project.
|Material||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Cedar||$3,135 - $6,270|
|Redwood||$5,225 - $10,450|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Fence Post Cap Lights
Lighting can be added to your post caps 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.
Wood Lattice Fence
Lattice panels are a great temporary fencing 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 to $50 per hour. Temporary fencing is needed when you’re managing a construction site, undergoing a home remodel, or hosting an event. They are commonly used to control crowds, keep unauthorized personnel from entering a specific area, maintain privacy, and ensure safe work conditions.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. A permit will likely be needed for adding a wood fence to your residential property, at around $70 - $200. If you are building one 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 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, 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 or prefabricated options.
- Alternative. For an inexpensive, though temporary, alternative to a wood, consider installing bamboo. 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 to $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.
- Buried utilities. Before you install a fence, ensure you do not have any plumbing, electrical, or other utilities buried beneath the fence line. Check with your local utility companies first, before you begin digging for posts.
- How much does it cost to build a wood fence?
The cost to build a wood fence averages between $3,500 and $6,500 and is determined by the type, selected materials, additional features, property conditions, and the individual fencing company.
- How much does it cost to replace a wood fence?
On average, replacing a wood fence costs around $3,920 to $8,000 if you replace the entire fence and posts. If you do not need to replace the posts, your costs will be closer to $3,000 to $7,000.
- How much does a wood privacy fence cost?
A wood privacy fence averages around $17 to $37 per linear foot or $3,553 to $7,733 for a 209 linear foot fence. The price goes up for extra features or larger measurements.
- How much does a wood fence cost per foot?
The cost to install a wood fence per foot is around $15 to $30, although it varies based on the type of wood and fencing style.
- How much does Lowes charge to install a wooden fence?
Lowe’s charges $12 per linear foot for the wood material for a fence and an additional $12 per linear foot for labor costs.
- Is it cheaper to build your own fence?
As the labor costs are around half of the overall price of a wood fence, installing one yourself will be significantly cheaper. However, as fencing projects are quite expensive and complex, it’s always advisable to hire a professional that has the knowledge and experience to do the job properly.