How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Wood Fence?

Typical Range:

$323 - $998

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 11,164 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated October 28, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Homeowners nationwide pay an average of $643 to repair a wooden fence. Project costs are usually $323 and $998.

Staining, power washing, and maintaining your wood fence on a regular basis protects it from the elements and makes it last longer. You will also have to perform repairs in case of mold, termites, or climate destruction. Repairs depend on the extent of the damage and the type of wood, among other factors. A professional fencing contractor can figure out what fixes your fence needs and provide the materials to complete the job.

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National Average $643
Typical Range $323 - $998
Low End - High End $139 - $2,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 11,164 HomeAdvisor members.

How to Fix Wood Fences: Common Issues

The first step to mending your structure is identifying what's wrong. From structural damage to below-ground issues, some of the most common problems are also the easiest and least expensive to fix.

Rail Damage Repair & Wood Posts Replacement Costs

The cost to replace posts ranges from $135 to $400, depending on the level of damage. When the ground shifts, posts can move out of position. There are plenty of minor, less expensive repairs, such as resetting a post.

Weather deterioration, rot, or collision with an automobile will require replacement, which will cost significantly more. In some cases, you can use a steel spike, mender, or bracket to reinforce a damaged post or rail instead of replacing it at a cost of $12 to $20, excluding labor.

Wood fences consist of posts and rails. Posts run vertically, while rails run horizontally. A variety of damage can affect both types of support beams. For example, high winds can break posts. In certain parts of the United States, termites and beetles destroy the wood. Rails are also susceptible to rot and insect destruction.

Repair needs depend on the type of wood and the design, but homeowners should not try to do it themselves, especially with the rails. Rails help reinforce the posts, and if you repair them incorrectly, more posts could easily break off or fall backward in high wind conditions. In most cases, a professional can repair or replace the damage and leave the rest of the fence intact, saving the homeowner time and money.

Cost to Repair a Rotted Wood Post

Cost to repair rot ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the amount of damage. Steps may include chemical treatment, filling and patching holes, and/or staining or painting. In severe cases, you may need to replace the fence altogether.

Wood is naturally susceptible to rot because of exposure to the elements. Homeowners have the choice to repair by patching and supporting the rotted posts or rails. Depending on the extent of damage, homeowners may need to completely replace the support panels and boards, which will cost more but last longer against climate conditions.

Some species of wood handle moisture better than others, like cedar and redwood, but they are more expensive. You can also buy lumber that is not waterproof and treat it with a stain or paint to increase durability.

Cost to Repair Holes & Cracks in a Wood Fence

Repairing holes and cracks costs between $125 and $370. If your fence needs refinishing or repainting, the project price will increase.

Causes of holes and cracks can include:

  • Termites

  • Climate conditions

  • Damage from collision 

Termites and climate conditions can cause wood fences to develop holes and cracks over time. Structures do not always need replacement, though. If the hole or crack isn't too extensive, you can patch or refinish boards, panels, and slats instead.

When extreme damage compromises the fence's integrity, you will need to remove the piece and replace it. That's why homeowners should have extra pieces of the same kind of lumber on hand. You can use them for patchwork at any time and avoid having a mismatched piece.

Weather Damage

Price to repair weather damage ranges from $210 to $620, depending on the type of finish and the extent of the wear and tear. Preparation of the surface, including cleaning and removing old finishes, may need more time, materials, and equipment and could increase total project costs.

To maximize durability, homeowners should stain or paint the wood to protect it from the weather for as long as possible. The type of stain or paint you add will affect how long it lasts against elements other than wind or termite damage. Make sure to power-wash the surface before applying the stain or paint. Otherwise, the coating will not adhere properly due to dirt or dust buildup.

Leaning, Sagging, or Shifting Ground

Homeowners should expect to pay between $140 and $420 to repair a leaning or sagging fence due to damage or shifting ground. If the foundation and posts are sound, repairs to rails and panels may be enough. Major work on the foundation and support structure will be a more expensive fix.

Causes of a leaning or sagging fence can include:

  • Base rot

  • Failing parts 

  • Soil shifting

  • Weather conditions

Posts sometimes sag because their bases rot below the ground level, but that doesn't mean you have to replace them. Rather, you can dig out the ground around it, put it in the correct upright position, and pour concrete around the base to hold it correctly in place again. Basic concrete typically costs between $3 to $6 per square foot. Another way to correct the sag is to install a diagonal brace to prop it up, again using concrete for support.

Sagging gates can also occur, usually due to surrounding posts sagging in the ground or failing parts. A gate may also sag because its heaviness forced the frame out of alignment. To fix this, you can install a tension rod with a turnbuckle adjustment for $5 to $15, excluding labor. Another way to mend a misaligned gate is to remove it from the hinges and attach a new wood diagonal bracing kit for between $15 and $40, not including labor.

Soil can shift because of snow and rain, which can also cause shifting and sagging. This can compromise the entire structure. That's why installing posts at least three feet underground is best to ensure shifting soil doesn't affect them. If you did not install this deep, you can run a string across the top of the fence to check if it's level. If the string doesn't remain straight, it's a good sign you'll need to have the fence realigned and posts installed deeper to avoid future repairs.

In most cases, sagging or leaning is a complicated repair and not a DIY project. Homeowners should call a professional to diagnose the problem and give a quote to fix it.

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Average Wooden Gate Repair Costs

Gate repair work ranges from $115 to $340 and can include anything from replacing parts to mending structural damage. The type of damage and whether a homeowner has a wooden or metal gate will determine how much or little a homeowner will pay to fix it.

Problems with gates can include:

  • Loose or creaky hinges

  • Sagging due to weight

  • Misaligned latches

When gates are new, they are sturdy and capable of handling all the traffic from people going in and out of the backyard. Over time, hinges can become creaky, latches won't catch, and the gate loses its effectiveness.

A hinge can quit working if it sags. Even if the original installer set the posts in concrete, the gate can drag against the hinges because the posts give in to the gate’s weight over time. To fix this, a professional will put a small wheel underneath the moving part of the gate. The wheel will take the full support of the gate and allow its hinges to move smoothly again.

Some gates have latches that work with a push or pull handle. Sometimes when posts shift, latches no longer reach, and the gate won't close. Homeowners can fix this by nailing boards on both sides of the latch hole. Then the latch can go between the boards, catch, and close the gate without a problem.

Wood Fence Parts Replacement

Replacing missing boards or panels averages between $110 and $330. Prices can vary widely depending on two major factors: the type of wood you choose and the size of the replacement pieces.

Fence Pickets

Pickets come in a range of wood types and styles and range in price from $1 to $10 each. You should replace pickets when they warp or break. New units will need staining or painting to match the original fence and increase longevity. A standard picket is 6 feet high and about 6 inches wide.


Wood Type Estimate
Pressure-Treated Pine $1 – $5
Cedar $2 – $3
Cypress $2
Western Red Cedar $6 – $8
Redwood $8
Spruce $5
Composite $6 – $10
White Oak $5 – $10
Black Locust $5 – $10
Tropical Hardwoods $8 – $15

Replacement Cost of Wood Fence Panels

TypePrice for a 6 Foot by 8 Foot Panel
Pressure–Treated Pine$35 – $50
Western Red Cedar$90 – $100
Composite*$100 – $120

*Composite panel sizes vary. Check with your local hardware store or contractor for sizes and prices.

Missing panels occur because of wind, storms, or rot over time due to moisture. Cost factors to replace them include the type of wood and stain used at installation. If more than one panel is missing, the price will also increase depending on the number of panels and labor needed to install them. It's best to call a professional to reaffix the missing panels, especially if there is more than one that needs replacement.

Fence Posts & Lumber

Pressure-treated, 4-by-4-inch posts range from $20 to $25 each. You typically need four of these for a project for a total cost of $80 to $100. Pressure-treated, 2-by-4-inch lumber runs between $3 and $10 each, depending on exact sizes. Number and total cost of lumber varies per job.

Estimating Costs to Repair vs. Replace

A new structure averages about $2,600 and ranges from $1,700 to $3,850. In cases of extreme wear and tear, installing a new wood fence may be more cost-effective than repairing an old one.

A quote from a fencing professional will include the materials, labor, and equipment needed to install an entirely new structure. Total project price will depend on the size and height, type, and environmental factors like the slope of the ground. Removing an existing structure is usually an added charge at a rate of $2 to $5 per linear foot. Removing a typical, 200-foot unit would add between $400 and $1,000 to the total project budget.

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Factors that Affect Repair Costs

Factors include adherence to local codes and the extent of the damage, as well as the size, type, and style of fence that needs repairs. The job location, the structure’s size and nature, and its age and condition affect the price.

Permits and Codes

When it comes to repairs, it is the homeowner's responsibility to ensure the project stays within state, local, and community guidelines. The government does not usually require permits for repair and, when it does, your pro will usually gather permits for you and include costs in the quote. However, one should seek approval of homeowner's associations prior to starting work to avoid fines or conflicts.


Height will be different depending on local city codes and homeowner expectations. On average, local front yard codes for residential areas limit a fence to between 3 and 4 feet in height. Back or side yard structures can usually be around 6 feet tall. Those who need to make repairs will need to consider costs based on those heights.

Extent of Damage

The amount of damage will affect how much you pay. In most cases, the extent of damage depends on the type of wood. For example, pressure-treated lumber has many preservatives, so it will last indefinitely. Compared to other types, cedar and redwood stand up well underground and will not need much stain or paint to handle the elements. 

Those who invest in these kinds of materials are less likely to experience extensive amounts of harm. If they invest in less expensive materials, they might have a greater amount, which could mean more extensive repairs and a higher overall price.

Supporting Structure

Since posts support the rails and panels of the fence, they will be the main area needing repair should they ever break or rot. If an undamaged post moves out of its regular position, it will need resetting in a concrete foundation or deeper in the ground. 

You will need to patch, refinish, or replace worn posts, depending on the extent of wear and tear and how it affects the rest of the structure. The type of damage, labor, number of posts, and wood type will factor into the total cost to fix this supporting structure.

Cleaning & Maintaining Your Fence

Cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your structure. As a bonus, regular attention keeps it from becoming an eyesore. A homeowner can maintain a fence with just a little bit of time and a few inexpensive materials and pieces of equipment.


The cost of pressure washing varies based on the length of your fence and other local specifics. You can purchase an electric or gas-powered pressure washer for between $90 and $800, depending on the desired strength. You can also rent pressure washers for between $40 and $100 per day. Be sure to choose the right equipment, sprayer tip, and technique when cleaning and prepping the material. Too much pressure can cause damage, while too little pressure will not effectively prepare the surface.

Staining, Painting, & Sealing

Staining runs from $1 to $2.25 per square foot. Depending on how you'd like to calculate it, the price of painting a fence runs from $1.50 to $3 per square foot or about $5 per linear foot. A homeowner can buy fence paint for $15 to $30 per gallon. Waterproof, exterior stain sealant for up to ¼ of an acre of fencing ranges from $100 to $200 for 5 gallons.

Coating your fence will improve its overall look and enhance its durability. Reapply sealants according to manufacturer recommendations, usually every 6 to 24 months. Homeowners may also want to keep leftover or matching stain, paint, and sealant on hand for repairs and quick fixes.

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DIY Wood Fence Repair vs. Hiring a Pro

The average homeowner should hire a fencing pro. Repairing a wooden fence is a complicated job that requires at least two people, a variety of skills, and a wide range of materials and equipment. A professional can usually save you time and money by buying the materials at wholesale, completing the work more quickly, and avoiding expensive errors. Start by searching for pros in your area and then get quotes from at least two before making your choice.


How often should you replace your wood fence?

A well-maintained wooden fence can last nearly two decades. You should replace your fence when the cost to repair it becomes more than the cost to replace it or its older appearance impacts your home’s curb appeal. You can avoid replacement costs by staying on top of any repairs and maintenance.

How do you make an old fence look good?

Old fences can become damaged, dingy, or faded. To make an old fence look good, you should repair any damaged sections, pressure wash and clean the whole fence, and repaint any faded sections. If you live in a harsh or arid climate, you may need to implement a stricter treatment and maintenance routine. 

How do I stop my wood fence from rotting?

You can apply a protective seal to the entirety of your wooden fence to stop it from rotting. Leaving a wood fence untreated or unsealed will lead to the wood rotting and becoming weak as it is continually exposed to the elements, shortening its lifespan. 

Can you weatherproof a wood fence?

You can and should weatherproof your wooden fence. Weatherproofing your fence will prevent it from weakening and rotting. Talk with a pro about the best waterproofing options for your specific climate; rainy and arid climates impart different weatherproofing needs. No matter your location, your pro will know which weatherproofing solution is right for your fence.

How do you reinforce a leaning fence post?

You can use a steel wedge to reinforce a leaning fence post. You can drive the steel wedge between the post and the concrete to straighten and support the fence post and eliminate the leaning. While this should fix the lean, it may not be a long-term fix; your location has a lot to do with your fence’s and its posts’ longevity.