How Much Does a Wood Fence Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,737 - $4,364

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 16,038 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 4, 2022

Reviewed by Jenny Halasz, CMO, Artisan Construction Services, Inc.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing a wooden fence is a big project, with the average cost to build a typical 150-linear-foot wood fence being $3,048. Most people account for the expense of posts, pickets, and rails, but they may fail to consider the additional cost of gates, hardware, and paint or stain. Expect the total price to range between $1,737 and $4,364, with the most significant cost factors including the fence length, height, and wood type. Choose a local fence contractor to give you an accurate quote and ensure you have suitable materials for a fence that'll last.

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

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National Average $3,048
Typical Range $1,737 - $4,364
Low End - High End $800 - $7,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 16,038 HomeAdvisor members.

Wood Fence per Linear Foot

On average, wooden fencing costs $17 to $45 per linear foot, including labor and materials. In metropolitan areas or new developments, standard yard sizes are about one-fifth of an acre and require 150 linear feet of fencing.

The fence height affects the price as well. The average residential fence is 6 feet tall, and increasing your fence to 8 feet high can add 25% to 35% to the overall cost. Depending on your neighborhood, you could find fences from 3 feet to 12 feet tall.

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Wood Fence

The two biggest price determinants are the type of wood you choose and the fence style you install. 

Wood Type

Wood fences are often made from treated pine, redwood, cedar, or other water-resistant lumber. Spruce and pine tend to be on the less expensive end of the spectrum, whereas redwood and tropical hardwoods generally price out on the higher end. Pricing for cedar options tends to fall in the middle. 

Wood prices will fluctuate with the market price of raw lumber, but these figures represent typical ranges. Check with your local lumber yard or pro for current pricing.

Wood Type Average Price per 6-Foot-Tall Picket
Pressure-treated pine $1 – $5
Cedar $2 – $3
Cypress $2
Spruce $5
White oak $5 – $10
Black locust $5 – $10
Western red cedar $6 – $8
Composite $6 – $10
Redwood $8
Tropical hardwood $8 – $15

Pine, Cedar, and Cypress 

Pine, cedar, and cypress are common choices for wood fencing and are often combined in one fence. Cedar and cypress cost about $2 to $3 per 6-foot picket. Pine ranges in quality and price, falling between $1 and $5 per 6-foot picket. Some builders might suggest using pine for the fence posts and cedar for the pickets to maximize durability and overall longevity. This is primarily because of how the materials differ, with treated, decay-resistant pine performing much better in the ground. 

On the other hand, cedar is more resistant to the effects of sun and rain. From a cost standpoint, using pine can make a big difference in your budget without compromising quality because cedar typically costs twice as much as pine.

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Spruce

An economical choice at $5 per 6-foot picket, the whitish-gray color of spruce is attractive without paint or stain. However, it's not as durable as other varieties and is prone to warping and insect infestation without treatment.

White Oak

White oak is priced in the middle to high end of the range at $5 to $10 for a 6-foot picket, but it's also a more weather-resistant wood. However, if exposed daily to the elements, it'll likely warp or bow with time.

Black Locust

Black locust wood averages between $5 and $10 per 6-foot picket and is a very hardy wood. Because it requires very little maintenance, many horse owners use it for paddocks and fencing around training rings.

Western Red Cedar 

Western red cedar is a good, mid-priced option at $6 to $8 per 6-foot picket. It's also resistant to weather damage, moisture, and rot. This wood weathers naturally without the need for stain.

Composite

While the cost of composite generally ranges from $6 to $10 per 6-foot picket, it doesn’t need to be sealed, painted, or stained. Other than some color fading over time, the material will typically last 20 years or longer. Composite fencing consists of recycled plastics and wood fibers, making it durable, versatile, and environmentally friendly. Most brands even come with warranties.

Redwood

More expensive than other choices at $8 per 6-foot picket, redwood is one of the most attractive materials. To preserve the color and beauty of the natural wood, stain or seal it before installation.

Tropical Hardwood

Tropical hardwoods are among the highest-priced options, ranging between $8 and $15 per 6-foot picket. Budget 20% to 50% more for this fence type. Tropical hardwoods are the most durable type of wood for outdoor projects. Because they're harvested from the rainforest, they withstand the elements better than any other variety of wood. They're also beautiful in their grain and color and durable, dense, and heavy.

Fence Style

There are many different styles of wooden fencing, and the kind of fencing you decide upon can greatly impact your project cost. Some fencing styles use more or less lumber and require more or less labor to install. Here, we'll look at popular fence styles.

Privacy 

Full privacy fences feature boards with no space in between, prohibiting both visual and physical access to your yard. In semi-private fencing, pickets are spaced about 2 inches apart on both sides. A 4- to 6-foot-tall privacy fence costs between $27 and $60 per linear foot, including labor. Depending on the wood type you choose and the type of structure you need, materials alone can range from $7 to $15 per linear foot.

Picket 

Wood picket fences tend to be shorter, averaging around 3 to 4 feet tall, but they require more time and skill to install correctly. Expect to pay $10 to $75 per linear foot for a 3- to 4-foot-tall fence, including professional installation. Depending on the wood type, structure height, and options, materials alone cost between $3 and $30 per linear foot

Split-Rail (2, 3, or 4 Rails) 

Split-rail fences are also known as a post and rail, slip beam, or post and beam. They're traditionally used on ranches or farms to mark boundaries or decorative purposes. A two- to four-rail split-rail fence costs about $12 to $30 per linear foot, including materials and installation. Materials typically run between $4 and $12 per linear foot.

The exact price will depend on factors like the lumber type, number of rails, and type of terrain. For example, less expensive pine will require treatment, while more expensive cedar or redwood is naturally insect-resistant. Structures on sloping or difficult-to-access properties will likely take more time to install as well.

Lattice and Other Styles

Latticework, post caps, and toppers are popular add-on items to give fences more personality and style. Out of these, fence panels with latticework are the costliest, with the benefit being that they add height and flair. The unwritten rule is that the more complex the design, the more expensive the panel. This is why it isn't entirely uncommon for latticework to double the price per panel. Lattice toppers are also available as an alternative to pre-assembled panels.

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Cost of Other Fence Materials

Diagram of the parts of a wooden fence, including the caps, pickets, rails, and posts
Photo: pyzata/iStock / Getty Images

When calculating the cost of materials, don’t forget to consider the additional cost of posts, gates, hardware, and paint or stain.

Fence Material Average Price Range
Post base concrete  $0.10 – $0.50 per pound
Posts (4x4-inch pressure-treated) $10 – $12 each
Post caps $5 – $50
Gate (walk-through) $150 – $600
Paint or stain $1 – 3 per square foot

Posts

A 4-by-4-inch post will cost $10 to 12 each on average. You could spend $5 to $150 per post for materials and installation. Check your local requirements for post depth, setting, and spacing to determine how many posts your fence will require.

Post Caps or Fence Toppers 

At $5 to $50 each, post caps and toppers can be an expensive addition, depending on the type and number used in the project. But they do create a nice finished fence. Post caps made of low-end materials such as vinyl or wood will be less expensive. At the top of the range, you’ll find high-end versions made of copper and solar-powered models used for illumination. As with everything else on your fence, the exact price depends on the material, size, and features.

Gate

Gates run anywhere from $150 to $600 or more. However, your costs will depend on whether you choose something basic or a higher-end, drive-through variety. In short, the more ornate your gate, the more you’ll pay.

Staining or Painting

Staining runs from $1 to $2.25 per square foot, while painting a fence costs from $1.50 to $3 per square foot. A homeowner can buy fence paint by the gallon for $15 to $30.

When choosing your paint or stain, buy a formula that includes a waterproof sealer to protect your fence from the elements. In general, reapply stain or paint every six to 24 months, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations and weather elements.

Wood Fence Installation 

The average labor cost to install a wood fence ranges from $17 to $45 per linear foot. Labor rates will vary by the type of materials you choose, site prep, and your location. In addition to labor, you’ll also want to plan for permits, a land surveyor, and the cost of lawn regrading.

  • Fence building permit cost: $200–$600. You’ll have to contact your local municipality to see if a permit is required.

  • Land survey cost: Plan on $375–$750 for a land surveyor to mark your property lines and ensure you build in the right place.

  • Lawn regrading cost: Expect to pay $1,000–$3,200 but plan for higher fees if the land is sloped because installation will be more complex and time-consuming.

DIY Fence Installation vs. Hiring a Pro 

Installing your own fence can make a great DIY project if you have about 30 to 50-plus hours of free time. Remember that it's a physically demanding job requiring specialized equipment like post hole diggers or power augers.

"Beware of hidden costs in any construction project,” says Jenny Halasz, CMO of Artisan Construction Services, Inc. in Raleigh, NC. “You'll need to call 811 to have your utilities marked, and you may need to apply for permits, HOA approval, or even pay for a survey of your land before you can build your fence." If you'd rather not deal with a possibly complicated process or want the job done correctly the first time, contact a local wood fencer installer.

Steps to Take Before Building a Wood Fence

  • Get a building permit for your fence.

  • Always check with your homeowners association or local code enforcement office for front and backyard fence height requirements.

  • Check the code requirements for post depth, setting, and spacing.

  • Depth: The code varies by location but usually requires the depth to exceed the frost line to avoid upheavals. This can increase both the post length and amount of concrete needed.

  • Setting: The code dictates if a corner post or all posts require a concrete setting.

  • Spacing: Find out if the posts need to be placed 4, 6, or 8 feet apart.

  • Consider hiring a land surveyor to properly measure the property size and location of the property lines. You'll avoid the legal consequences of building in the wrong place and help limit store trips to pick up additional materials mid-project.

  • Consider matching your neighbors' fence style, height, and material to maintain property values.

  • Check with neighbors about splitting costs when a fence runs along a shared property line.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I calculate how much fencing I will need?

To find how much fencing you need, it’s essential to either contact a pro or follow these general steps:

  1. Determine code restrictions like the height, post spacing, etc.

  2. Find your property lines, utility lines, and where you’d like the fence located.

  3. Measure the distance where the fence will be.

  4. Divide that measure by the post spacing, then add two. This is how many posts you’ll need.

  5. Multiply that figure by two or three for rails.

  6. Divide the total length by the width of your pickets when calculating how much wood you’ll need.

How long can I expect my wood fence to last?

Wood fences can last about 15 to 20 years, depending on the type of wood, weather conditions, and level of maintenance. Pine is one of the most popular choices for wood fences and lasts around 10 to 15 years. Composite fences last even longer, typically 20 to 30 years or more.

What kind of maintenance does a wood fence require?

To prolong the life of your wood fence and keep it in peak condition, do the following:

  • Inspect the perimeter of your fence annually to catch any problems that might arise early on. 

  • Be on the lookout for any loose nails and screws.

  • Replace any rotting boards as soon as you notice them.

  • Check gate hinges. 

  • Consider applying a fresh coat of paint or stain every two to three years.

  • Clean it regularly unless a problem presents itself sooner. 

  • Hire a wood fence repair pro near you to handle any issues before they damage your wooden fencing.

How far apart should fence posts be?

Fence posts are typically placed 4 to 8 feet apart. But you’ll need to check with your local code requirements to ensure the correct spacing, depth, and setting. In addition, the placement of your fence posts depends on the fence height and material. Generally speaking, it’s better for the fence if your posts are closer together.

How deep should I bury my fence post?

To avoid upheavals or other issues, bury your fence post so the depth exceeds the frost line, or about one-third to one-half of the aboveground height of your post. But like with the placement of the fence post, check with your local code requirements to determine the right depth for your home since it varies by location.