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How Much Does A Barbed Wire Fence Cost To Install?

National Average Change Location | View National
$2,398
Typical Range
$1,217 - $3,639
Low End
$480
High End
$7,500

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The national average to install a barbed wire fence is $2,398. A homeowner can expect to pay between $1,217 and $3,639 for the project, but costs can be as little as $480 or as much as $7,500. It runs about $1.50 per linear foot, including installation.
Keeping property safe is one of the primary concerns that all homeowners have when choosing a fence design. Families who live in rural areas or own livestock may want to consider installing a barbed wire fence around their property to ensure animals are safe and reduce chances of escaping or meeting predators. They can also help keep unwanted trespassers away and mark property lines inside wooded areas.

Barbed Wire Prices Per Foot or Roll

Price ranges from $0.03 to $0.08 per foot, or between $60 and $110 per standard, 1,320-foot roll. Exact costs will depend on the type, thickness, and quality you choose, as well as the number of strands, or layers, you’ll need. When calculating the amount needed for the project, multiply the number of strands by the number of linear feet your fence will cover.

Cattle/Livestock Barbed vs. Security Razor Wire

There are essentially two distinct types of barbed wire fencing available: livestock and security. Livestock is available in standard rolls at the pricing listed above. Security is available in 50- or 60-foot rolls at a cost of $29 to $35 per roll ($0.50 to $0.70 per foot). While barbed and razor are not the same, either can designate property lines.
barbed wire fence in pasture
Livestock fencing is typically 3 to 5 strands with sharp or pointed barbs at regular intervals. Farmers use it on ranches to keep livestock such as cattle, horses, sheep, or goats where they need to be. It can help keep animals safe from wolves, foxes, coyotes, or bobcats.
livestock barbed fencing curled over chain link on gray day
Security fencing usually features 3 to 4 closely-spaced strands of razor wire affixed to the top of a different type of fence, such as one made of wood or metal. Unlike barbed varieties, machines crimp steel tape to a central strand of high-tension wire to make razor wire. They angle outward to keep intruders out or inward to keep people in. People place these short metal spikes atop walls and fences in high-security areas including prisons, warehouses, research laboratories, and nuclear facilities.

Concertina Wire

Concertina or Dannert wire is a razor variety formed in expandable coils. Price ranges from $0.03 to $0.08 per foot, or between $60 and $110 per standard, 1,320-foot roll. Commonly called “constantine wire” in error, it packs flat and deploys quickly, making it perfect for military operations or temporary enclosures.

Thickness

Thickness ranges from 12.5-gauge to 18-gauge. Price varies from $0.03 to $0.08 per foot. Higher gauges will be thinner, lighter, and less expensive than lower-gauges but, in some cases, not as strong.
Wire is also available in either high or low tensile strengths. Which option you choose will depend on how much tension you want your wire to withstand as it stretches. High tensile is stronger due to its higher carbon content. Replacing a heavier-gauge, more expensive, low tensile wire with a lighter-gauge, less expensive, high tensile version can save you money on your project.
Cost by Gauge and Tensile Strength
GaugeTensile TypePrice per FootStrength
12.5Low$.06 to $.08950 lbs.
14High$.05 to $.071,400 lbs.
15.5High$.05 to $.071,000 lbs.
18High$.03650 lbs.

Coating

In addition to gauge and tensile strength, coating can affect quality and price. From lowest to highest in quality and cost, the following coatings are available:
  • Commercial Galvanized - Minimum requirement. Lasts 3 months to 1 year before rusting.
  • Class 1 Galvanized - Basic coating. Lasts 2 to 11 years in non-coastal climates.
  • Class 3 Galvanized - Industry standard. 2.5 times thicker than class 1. Lasts 13 to 30 years in non-coastal climates.
  • Proprietary Coatings - Manufacturer-specific coatings. Claim to outperform galvanized. Longevity varies by brand.
Utilizing reputable brands can ensure proper zinc coatings and tensile strength. Quality brands include:
  • Red Brand
  • Bekaert
  • Farmgard
  • Deacero
  • OK Brand
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Calculating Costs to Install

The average cost to install is about $1.18 per foot, not including the wire itself. This estimate includes other materials like wooden or steel posts, staples, and clips, as well as labor and equipment.
Cost to Install a ¼-mile (1,320-ft.) Barbed Wire Fence
ItemQuantityCost PerTotal Cost
Wooden Corner Posts4$28 each$112
Wooden Posts57$9 each$513
Steel Posts55$5 each$275
Staples/Clips10 lb.$1.80 per pound$18
Labor/Equipment39 hrs.$16.25 per hour$634
TOTAL COST
$1,552
or $1.18 per foot

Materials Involved in Installation

During installation, a professional will need to calculate how much fencing wire you’ll need, as well as the number of wood or steel posts, corner posts, and braces needed for the job. Homeowners need to be sure that the materials they buy suit their environment. For example, wood posts will rot in damp soil while steel rods will last much longer. If you’re unsure about what you need, consult with a local expert or hire a professional contractor who can take care of the complex details. He/she will also provide everything for the project, often at a better price than a homeowner could find.

Cost Factors

Out of all the costs that go into running a successful farm filled with livestock, fencing costs tend to be one of the most expensive. Barbed wire is an affordable choice for property owners who need to enclose a large area. Even though it is one of the least expensive options when it comes to material, the total price will increase based on the quality and amount needed.

There are many factors that can affect the final price of installation, including:

  • Brand of material
  • Number of points per barb to increase security levels
  • Number of metal posts to increase security and stability
  • Coating
  • Thickness or gauge
  • Slope of the land
  • Any obstructions
  • Size of the area

Miles or Acres of Land

Combined, the cost of a standard, 5-strand fence with installation is about $1.50 per foot. Manufacturers make barbed wire in 1,320-foot (¼-mile) rolls. To calculate the amount, you’ll need to know how many linear feet or miles your fence will need to cover. Acreage alone does not account for changes in elevation and is therefore not an exact way to estimate costs.
Fence Cost Based on Length with $1.50 per Foot Installation
Length in MilesLength in FeetTotal Cost
1/41,320 ft.$1,980 each
1/22,640 ft.$3,960
3/43,960 ft.$5,940
15,280 ft.$7,290

Number of Strands

A 5-strand fence generally costs around $2,000 per quarter mile. Each extra strand will add about $80 to the project total.
Fence Cost Based on Number of Strands Per ¼ mile or 1,320 Feet
Number of StrandsInstallation Cost per FootApproximate Cost
3$1.38$1,820 each
4$1.44$1,900
5$1.50$1,980
6$1.56$2,060

Type of Livestock

Professionals recommend 5 strands in most cases, but that can vary based on what type and how much livestock you house. Horses need a 4- to 5-strand fence, while cattle require between 3 and 5 strands. Pigs, goats, and sheep tend to require one with page wire, or wire mesh, up to 3 to 5 feet tall or high-tensile electric fencing. Page or hog wire can be more expensive than barbed, but it can sometimes be more effective depending on the type of animal. For more effective security, barbed fencing can be use along with high- or low-tensile fencing with a strand running along the top to keep animals and predators from jumping or climbing over.

Security

The average cost to install an electric fence is $1,150. Adding electricity can make your property more secure by keeping intruders out and animals in.

Number & Type of Posts

Posts to anchor your fence and gates and support the wire will run between $5 and $40 each depending on the type.
  • Wooden corner posts: $30 to $40 each - Required at each corner.
  • Wooden support posts: $8 to $10 each - Placed at intervals. You’ll need approximately 57 wood posts for each ¼ mile, for a total of $456 to $570.
  • Steel support posts: $5 to $10 each - Placed at intervals. You’ll need approximately 55 metal posts for each ¼ mile, for a total of $275 to $550.

Land Slope & Obstructions

Sloped property will increase the linear feet of fencing needed for a job. Steep inclines may also make it more difficult for a professional to access the site. If the terrain requires extra time or effort, the cost of the project will increase accordingly.
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FAQs

What is Barbed Wire?

It is a form of fencing made of clusters of sharp spikes arranged in various intervals. It is used for rural properties and in high-security areas. It can be used:
  • Around pastures to keep livestock inside an area or to keep predators from entering in
  • On top of existing fences for added security measures so that no animals or people can jump or climb over
  • Near a barn or shed to provide livestock with a safe area to roam and graze
  • To deter criminals or trespassers from climbing over

What’s the Cost of a Hog Wire Fence?

Hog (or page) wire costs between $35 and $50 per foot to install, including materials. Eliminating the 1-foot stringer at the bottom can save about $10 per foot.

How Much Space Should There be Between Strands?

Distance from the ground to the first strand is between 12” and 15”. Space between strands depends on the number needed. The more strands, the closer they are together.
  • 3 Strands: 16” to 19”
  • 4 Strands: 10” to 12”
  • 5 Strands: 8” to 10”

How to Stretch Barbed Wire?

Tension is important to function and longevity. Once you run the wire and attach it to support posts, you should tighten it by cranking it with a hand-operated winch, or come-along, until it is tight, then secure it to the post with staples. Overtightening can lead to breakage and injury.

Is Barbed Wire Cheaper than Chain Link, Wood, or Vinyl Fencing?

On average, a barbed wire fence is less expensive to install than a wood or vinyl/PVC fence but more expensive than chain link. When determining which type is right for your property, cost will be a major factor.
Fence Pricing by Type
TypeEstimated Average
Barbed Wire$1,000 to $3,200
Wood$1,700 to $3,900
Vinyl or PVC$2,000 to $4,950
Chain Link$1,000 to $2,800

Should You Hire a Professional to Install?

One of the primary things to consider when it comes to installing a barbed wire fence on a property is whether the homeowner should do it on their own. It is important to remember that professional contractors can often buy all the materials at a much lower price than a homeowner can. When homeowners consider how much time and energy it will take to put up a secure fence, it may be in their best interest to hire a fencing professional, unless the homeowner is only planning on building in a very small area. Working with an experienced contractor may also increase the longevity of your investment and reduce the need to consider the price of barbed wire fence repairs in the long-run.
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