Guide to Fencing Prices & Estimating Costs

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Table of Contents

  1. Average Fencing Prices
  2. How to Estimate Your Fencing Costs
  3. Fencing Installation Considerations
  4. Conclusion
For some, the American Dream has a picket fence around it. For others, it's wrought iron. Most homes have some kind of fencing. Fences can serve as decoration, property line markers, security features, or all three. The cost for fencing depends on a number of factors, including the height and length needed, as well as the materials. Most fencing installation professionals charge a cost per linear foot that includes both their labor and the materials cost.

Since the cost for fencing can vary widely, it's important to estimate cost per project, keeping the specific materials and dimensions in mind. Nationally, costs range from about $1,500 to $4,000 for new fence installation. On average, homeowners spend $2,550, but prices can vary slightly by region.

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  • Install a Wood Fence Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $1,524 - $3,460
    Average cost:
    $2,489
    Low cost:
    $1,000
     
    High cost:
    $5,000
  • Repair a Wood Fence Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $276 - $713
    Average cost:
    $491
    Low cost:
    $150
     
    High cost:
    $1,100
  • Install a Fence Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $1,565 - $3,830
    Average cost:
    $2,653
    Low cost:
    $650
     
    High cost:
    $5,645

Select your Fencing project

Fencing
Install a Wood Fence
(5,308 projects)
Average National Cost:
$2,489
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Repair a Wood Fence
(3,488 projects)
Average National Cost:
$491
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Fencing
Install a Fence
(3,283 projects)
Average National Cost:
$2,653
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Fencing
Hire a Land Surveyor
(2,273 projects)
Average National Cost:
$476
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Fencing
Repair a Fence
(2,248 projects)
Average National Cost:
$490
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Fencing
Install a Vinyl or PVC Fence
(1,695 projects)
Average National Cost:
$3,463
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Fencing
Install a Chain Link Fence
(1,287 projects)
Average National Cost:
$1,797
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Install a Brick, Stone, or Block Wall
(752 projects)
Average National Cost:
$4,352
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Repair a Chain Link Fence
(377 projects)
Average National Cost:
$440
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Fencing
Install an Electric Fence
(299 projects)
Average National Cost:
$1,122
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence
(297 projects)
Average National Cost:
$3,257
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Install a Security Gate
(210 projects)
Average National Cost:
$1,948
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Repair a Vinyl or PVC Fence
(97 projects)
Average National Cost:
$409
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Repair an Electric Fence
(95 projects)
Average National Cost:
$204
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Fencing
Repair an Aluminum or Steel Fence
(68 projects)
Average National Cost:
$420
View Costs in Your Area
Fencing
Get a Building Permit
(29 projects)
Average National Cost:
$865
View Costs in Your Area

Average Fencing Prices

Fencing is priced by the linear foot. This cost should be relatively consistent for a certain material but may vary with different fencing heights. Typically, wood is the cheapest fencing material while wrought iron is the most expensive outright. In addition to price, each fencing type offers different positive and negative features.

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Wood

Wood is one of the most commonly used fencing materials, and it can last a long time if treated correctly. Wooden fences are often made from pine, redwood, cedar, or other woods that are resilient when wet. Though it usually has a natural look, wooden fencing can be stained or painted any color.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros: Inexpensive and can last for years with appropriate treatment.
  • Cons: Requires regular upkeep and staining.
Average price per foot: $5 to $10

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Metal or Chain Link

Steel is one of the most durable fencing types. It easily withstands abuse, but it may be susceptible to rust in certain environments. Chain link is one of the most affordable fencing types. Since it's made for function instead of form, it's great for delineating property lines or keeping in pets, but it doesn't make for a particularly attractive border.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros: Durable, affordable, and effective.
  • Cons: Generally the least attractive fencing type and may be susceptible to rust.
Average price per foot: $5 to $15

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Vinyl

Vinyl fencing is affordable, lightweight, durable and easy to install. It is not a good material for security fencing, however, as it can't withstand attempts to cut through the fence. Some homeowners also consider vinyl fencing to be unattractive. Some of this type of fencing mimics the look of wood, but most vinyl fences resemble plastic.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros: Easy installation.
  • Cons: Not appropriate for security fencing.
Average price per foot: $20

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Aluminum

Aluminum offers an attractive, lightweight alternative to other kinds of metal fencing, including the heavyweight wrought iron. Aluminum also tends to be one of the most affordable types of metal fencing, and it's also durable, which means you'll spend less on upkeep in the long run.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros: Won't rust, and requires little repair or upkeep.
  • Cons: Not the most secure type of fencing.
Average price per foot: $20 to $30

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Wrought Iron

Not only is wrought iron the most secure type of fencing, but it's also considered to be the most traditionally beautiful. This heavy-duty material also makes for a very effective fence that will keep your yard secure from unwanted human, animal, and other guests. Since wrought iron fencing is highly customized for each job, chances are that it will be a perfect fit.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros: Can last for a lifetime.
  • Cons: One of the most expensive types of fencing.
Average price per foot: $20 to $100

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Barbed Wire

Barbed wire fencing is usually used to keep livestock -- cows, horses, etc. -- confined in pastures or on ranches. It's sometimes used with woven wire fencing to prevent large animals from breaking it down when they get rowdy or excited. For smaller animals, it's good at keeping them from digging underneath to get out. For farming or crop areas, it protects against large animals from getting in and destroying the crops.

Pros and Cons:
  • Pros: Secure, inexpensive, good for farmland and ranches.
  • Cons: Potentially dangerous for kids and can be expensive if you use a lot of additional supplies.
Average price per foot: $15 to $20

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Electric/Invisible

Electric fences are great for containing your pets and it's more economical than erecting other fences. It's a great way to train your pet and protects them from getting hurt or potentially hurting someone. It's a good way to not compromise the beauty of your landscape with a fence and still keep your pet safe. It's considered a humane form of training as well.

Pros and Cons:
  • Pros: Affordable, allots flexibility in landscape, and still effective for pet training
  • Cons: Can be painful for the dog while they train, considered punishment for the pet, and some types of fencing involves digging up the yard.
Average price per foot: $1 to $3 per foot

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How to Estimate Your Fencing Costs

Most homeowners choose to work with a fencing contractor due to the level of skilled labor required for installing a fence. Before making first contact with a fencing professional, though, start to get an idea of the costs involved. Be sure to estimate the basic material costs in advance, and compare those calculations with the total project estimates from a professional.
  • Choose Look and Quality: These components are subject to the homeowner's preferences and the project budget. Determine the best fencing look for the site, whether it's basic chain link, smart wood or elegant wrought iron, and opt for a level of quality appropriate for the budget.
  • Measure Accurately: Only a legal survey can determine the precise property line around which to construct a fence. Refer to this official document when calculating fencing measurements and dimensions.
  • Find an Expert: Not all fencing experts are created equal, and some have more experience or better reviews than others. Be sure to read reviews from trusted resources (find local fencing contractors) or fellow homeowners to find the best contractor for the job.
  • Get Quotes: Most experts recommend getting three estimates for any fencing work you're considering. If you only solicit an estimate from one contractor, you'll have no way of knowing how that measures up against other local fencing contractors. Obtaining estimates from three different contractors, however, will give you a more accurate picture of the fencing materials and labor cost range in your area.
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Fencing Installation Considerations

Along with material costs, labor costs for fencing installation can also vary. Though some labor costs may depend on the particular contractor and his or her skill level, many considerations are more straightforward. The following are some of the most common factors that influence labor costs.
  • Permits: Installing a new fence almost always requires a permit from the local authorities due to the property modification. Determine what kinds of permits are necessary, which authority grants them and who will file for them. Some contractors will file themselves while others depend on the homeowner to complete this administrative task.
  • Utilities: Requesting that local utility companies locate their respective lines within the proposed fencing area is another administrative task to complete before installation begins. Be sure to ascertain whether the contractor will take the responsibility for contacting and scheduling appointments for gas, power and water utilities.
  • Grading: Uneven land or higher grade areas mean that contractors can mean tough working conditions for contractors. It also means that fence materials and installation won't be straightforward. Instead, contractors need to customize fencing components to fit the grade. Certain types of fencing are more or less suited to uneven land and high grades, so be sure to get an expert opinion.
  • Ground condition: Ground condition and type can vary even in the same yard area. Though fencing professionals can work with most ground conditions and experienced professionals may even be able to anticipate where challenging ground lies, some ground types may require more work or equipment than others. Rocky, wet or clay ground areas, for instance, may increase project costs.
  • Job complexity: Pre-existing structures, trees, and other materials on the project site can impact the complexity of the job and its final cost. Be sure to understand the job complexity and timeline before signing on with a fencing professional.
Other considerations and potential benefits or drawbacks to keep in mind when installing a fence are:
  • Property value: When determining whether or not to install a fence, think about your neighborhood. If all the other houses in your area have fences, then it's likely going to increase the value. If none of the other houses have a fence though, it's going to stand out and probably decrease the value.
  • HOA: Homeowner associations sometimes have specific outlines about what kind of fencing you can have. That's because it has to match the rest of the neighborhood. This includes materials, depth and height of the fence. You need to be ready to meet those standards and have a budget prepared.
  • Return on investment: Fencing usually provides a good return on investment, if you follow the above mentioned guides. You also shouldn't spend more on a fence than the value of your home. Akin to a bathroom remodel, you shouldn't spend more than 5% of your home's value on a fence -- probably lean more towards 1% of your home's value.
  • Neighboring fences: If the fences neighboring your property are made of wood, and you install a brick fence, your home is going to stand out -- and not in a good way. Try to have your fencing blend in as much as possible. It will appeal more to potential buyers.
  • Security: You want a fence that's secure, so think about making it at least 6-feet tall so it's not easy for people to climb over. Chain link is also not very secure versus wood planks or brick. Pick a material that complements your home while keeping your home safe.
  • Pets & children: Akin to security, you want to keep your pets and children safe. Enclosing your yard with a fence keeps them from wandering away. Make sure you plant the fence deep so animals can't easily dig out underneath it. You also don't want it too short so dogs can't jump over it, and children can't easily climb over, either.
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Conclusion

There's a lot to keep in mind when you install a fence. The material you choose will determine a lot about how your house and exterior look to potential buyers. It will also determine how safe your home is for children and pets, along with how secure it is against potential burglars. You have to keep all of this in mind, so consult with a fencing contractor and any HOAs so you don't end up installing the wrong fence. You want to make an investment that lasts with as little maintenance and repairs as needed.

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