How much does a barbed wire fence cost?
$3 – $6 average cost per linear foot installed
$2,000 – $2,200 average cost per acre installed
Barbed wire fence cost
A barbed wire fence costs $3 to $6 per linear feet installed on average, depending on the property size, wire quality, and number of strands. Adding security barbed wire to an existing fence costs $0.65 to $3.25 per linear foot. Barbed wire costs $2,000 to $2,200 per acre total installed.
|Fence length (linear feet)||Average cost installed|
|50||$150 – $300|
|100||$300 – $600|
|150||$450 – $900|
|200||$600 – $1,200|
|300||$900 – $1,800|
|400||$1,200 – $2,400|
|500||$1,500 – $3,000|
Cost of a barbed wire fence by type
The cost of installing barbed wire depends on the type and if you're installing a new fence or adding a security wire on top of an existing fence.
|Type||Average cost per linear foot*|
|Livestock / cattle barbed wire
(Fences up to 500 feet long)
|$3.00 – $6.00|
|Security barbed wire||$2.00 – $3.25|
|Concertina razor wire||$0.65 – $2.20|
Livestock or cattle barbed fence
A standard livestock barbed wire fence costs $3 to $6 per linear foot installed. These cattle fences are typically 4 to 5 feet tall, have 4 to 6 strands of barbed wire, and use either wooden or metal posts. Discount pricing applies for miles of fencing across many acres.
Farmers use barbed wire on ranches to contain livestock and prevent wild animals from entering.
Barbed wire is common for perimeter and cross-fencing for cattle and large animals.
While 4 to 5 strands of wire are good for containing cattle, use 6 to 8 strands for smaller animals.
Security barbed wire
A barbed-wire arm extension costs $2.00 to $3.25 per linear foot installed and mounts on top of poles or posts for high-security fencing. This price includes add-on extender parts only, excluding the cost of building the fence supporting it. These extensions hold 3 to 6 strands of wire in V-shaped or half-V-shaped arms.
Concertina razor wire
Concertina razor wire costs $0.65 to $2.20 per linear feet installed. These easily expandable coils are typically installed at the top of an existing fence for high-security purposes and not for livestock.
Barbed wire fence cost per acre
Barbed wire fencing costs $2,000 to $2,200 per acre on average, depending on the total job size, property conditions, and fence type. Cheaper prices per acre apply to bigger properties.
One rectangular-shaped acre has 850 to 900 linear feet of boundary lines, but the length can be much longer depending on the total shape.
|Project size (acre)||Boundary (linear feet)||Average cost installed*|
|1||850 – 900||$2,000 – $2,200|
|2||1,200 – 1,300||$2,450 – $3,000|
|3||1,450 – 1,550||$2,900 – $3,500|
|5||1,900 – 2,000||$4,000 – $4,500|
|10||2,650 – 2,800||$5,000 – $6,000|
*For 4- to 6-strand livestock barbed wire fencing.
Barbed wire fence installation cost factors
The labor cost alone to install a barbed wire fence is $0.50 to $1.75 per linear foot, depending on the total project size.
|Factor||Average cost per linear foot installed|
|Barbed wire, posts, and hardware||$2.50 – $4.25|
|Labor cost||$0.50 – $1.75|
|Total cost to install||$3.00 – $6.00|
*For a standard 5- to 6-strand barbed wire fence.
Costs factors include:
Number of strands – Most fences need 3 to 5 strands. Each barbed-wire strand increases the total project cost.
Removal of old barbed-wire fence – Barbed wire fencing replacements cost more due to the extra work of disposing of old materials. Excavation with bulldozers costs $100 to $300 hourly with an operator for quickly removing the old fencing.
Coating – Higher-quality wire coatings to prevent rust will cost more but increase the longevity of the wire.
Points per barb – Most wires have 2 to 4 barbs spaced out at 4 to 5 inches apart. Adding more barbs for extra security will increase the total material price.
Thickness – Higher gauges are thinner and cheaper but may be weaker. Choosing between high- or low-tensile strength depends on the required wire tension.
Number of posts & gates – The number of posts needed depends on the fence size and landscape type. Adding more gates increases the overall project cost.
Property size – Larger spaces require more materials, and creating barriers between areas may increase costs.
Terrain & slope – Accessibility in sloping areas with rocky clay soil and obstructions will increase fencing costs and installation time.
Fence line survey – A property survey costs $200 to $1,200 to determine the exact location of the fence line.
Permit – A permit costs $50 to $300 minimum.
Material prices of barbed wire
Barbed wire material prices are $0.05 to $0.15 per linear foot. A roll of standard barbed wire costs $60 to $200 on average for 1,320 feet of fencing wire.
Prices vary depending on the gauge thickness and quality.
Prices of razor barbed wire can be 5 to 10 times more expensive depending on the type.
Barbed wire vs. other fence types
Barbed wire fence installation alternatives include:
A split rail fence costs $15 to $35 per linear foot.
A chain-link fence costs $9 to $30 per linear foot.
A wood fence costs $20 to $50 per linear foot.
A vinyl fence costs $30 to $60 per linear foot.
An aluminum fence costs $25 to $75 per linear foot.
A metal fence costs $20 to $85 per linear foot.
A wrought iron fence costs $50 to $85 per linear foot.
Barbed wire fence FAQs
What is barbed wire?
Barbed wire, also known as "barb wire", is a type of metal fencing wire with sharped edges or points at different intervals. Barbed wire prevents trespassers, contains livestock, and adds security when mounted on top of walls.
Different barbed wire types include plain galvanized steel, stainless steel, zinc-coated, and aluminum metal alloys. Coated barbed wire resists rust.
Can I put barbed wire on my fence?
Whether you can put barbed wire on a fence depends on the local regulations. Residential areas typically have the most restrictions as barbed wire injures people in the fire department or emergency medical services trying to access your home.
How long does a barbed wire fence last?
A well-maintained barbed wire fence lasts 20 to 50 years, depending on the wire type, installation quality, and environmental conditions. Barbed wire with protective coatings typically lasts longest. Metal and concrete posts typically outlast wooden posts.
How tall should a barbed wire fence be?
Most barbed wire fences are 3 to 5 feet tall, depending on the purpose and local regulations. Fences for cattle are typically up to 5' tall while keeping out deer may require 6' to 7' tall fences.
How do you calculate barbed wire for a fence?
To calculate how much barbed wire you need for a fence, measure the fence's perimeter and multiply that by the number of strands needed. Most rolls come with 1,320 feet of wire that covers 1/4 of a mile per line.
Where do I buy barbed wire?
You can buy barbed wire at home improvement centers, hardware stores, agricultural suppliers, ranch equipment outlets, and online retailers.
Getting estimates from barbed wire fence installers
Before hiring a barbed wire fence installer near you, be sure you:
Read their online reviews on Google and HomeGuide.
Confirm they have licenses, insurance, and have been in business for 5+ years.
Avoid choosing the cheapest bid that typically results in low-quality work.
Ask for a list of references.
Compare 3 to 5 in-person estimates.
Ask for a written contract and workmanship warranty before the work starts.
Don't make your last payment until after the job is complete.
Questions to ask
Evaluate potential fence installers by asking them:
How many years have you been installing barbed wire fences?
Can you show me photos of past projects with barbed wire fences?
What is the expected timeframe for installation?
How much maintenance will the fence require?
What type of barbed wire fence is best for my needs?
How many strands of barbed wire does my fence need?
Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work?
How many people will install the fence?
Are there any potential challenges with my property?
Can you handle necessary permits and inspections?
Are all materials, labor, delivery, and the cleanup fee listed in this estimate?
Do you have any references I can contact?