According to our fence installation cost estimator, building a fence costs an average of $2,600, with most homeowners paying between $1,700 and $3,300. On average, expect to pay about $8 to $18 /per linear foot to build a residential privacy fence. Get free instant estimates from local patio builders near you.
According to our fence installation cost estimator, building a fence costs an average of $2,600, with most homeowners paying between $1,700 and $3,300. On average, expect to pay about $8 to $18 /per linear foot to build a residential privacy fence.
You have a wide range of possible material choices and options to fit your budget, and their individual attributes will help you determine which makes the most sense for your fencing project. While your fencing contractor will be in a position to advise you with great specifics, it is a good idea to be as informed as possible before engaging with one. We're going to discuss the factors that will help you make the best purchasing decision.
It is most common to see the taller 6-foot privacy fence for the back and a portion of the sides of the home, while the smaller picket-style fence is often the fence of choice at the front of the home. As you might imagine, it is generally the case that the taller 6-foot fence will be a more expensive project because there are more materials used when compared to a shorter fence.
Most suburban residential lots are a rectangular shape of 10,890 square feet — approx. 65’ x 167.5’, leaving 77.5 feet from the back of your house to the rear property line. This gives a total of 220 feet of fence for the two sides and the fence at the rear. If you were to fence the entire property line, your total perimeter is 416 feet minus 24 feet for a gate at the front for vehicles, and possibly a second gate to access a path to your front door.
|Fence Types||Cost Per Linear Foot||Labor Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Privacy Fence Cost||$10||$10|
|Chain Link Fence Cost||$5||$10|
|Vinyl Fence Cost||$20||$12|
|Wood Fence Cost||$12||$10|
|Electric Fence Cost||$3||$8|
|Ranch Fence Cost||$8||$8|
The typical reason behind installing a privacy fence is either to make the property more secluded from the view of neighbors or to add another layer of security. The common thread to accomplish either task is the height of the fence. While a height of 6 feet is common, some homeowners elect to go as high as 8 feet for extra security or privacy. A burglar is less likely to want to scale a 6- to 8-foot fence when entering or leaving with stolen goods in tow.
The cost per linear foot and for individual pickets to build a 6-foot privacy fence (not including labor costs):
Available in a range of heights of 3–12 feet, and on rolls of 20–50 feet, the most common gauges sold are 9”, 11”, and 11.5”. While not chosen as a privacy fence option, it can be used to create a barrier aimed at keeping animals, pets, or children within property boundaries and uninvited guests out. It does nothing to block wind or sunlight from your yard. Posts to mount a chain link fence are generally set in concrete no more than 10 feet apart, with another bar installed to run along the top of the fence to secure the top edge of the chain link.
Options available as chain link fence material include galvanized steel and vinyl coated galvanized steel, with the most typical installation being unfinished galvanized steel. A fence professional will charge $13 to $20 per linear foot for the average chain link fence. Costs for fencing materials, minus the posts or top bar, generally cost an average of between:
For vinyl coated fencing, the costs start at:
Gates to put in a chain link fence start at:
When considering fence options, homeowners want something that isn’t just functional, like a metal chain link fence, but also aesthetically pleasing; and the top two choices are wood and vinyl. While there will be differences in cost based on geography, the styles chosen, and the amount of fencing needed, the final price for vinyl fencing is between $25 – $40 /per linear foot which totals around $6,000 at the high end for 150 linear feet.
Historically, nothing has been more associated with a traditional American home than a wood picket fence, and more specifically, a white picket fence. Picket fences are available in a few styles that range from plain to a more ornate style like PVC and metal. The easiest and quickest picket fence installation job is done using preconstructed fence panels and mounting them to posts that are already set in concrete in the ground.
Picket fence materials are typically wood, metal, or PVC; and of the two, wood is the cheaper option. Even though PVC costs more, the upside from your higher initial investment with metal or PVC is that it requires little to no maintenance requirements—like reapplying sealant or repainting—and it also has a longer life before it needs to be replaced. When purchased separately:
Installation is extra for all the above.
Labor for staining a picket fence is based on the area (the fence length x the fence height x 2). Pay more for surface preparation, protecting adjacent surfaces, mobilization, cleanup, and callbacks.
Electric fences are often seen as a fence solution for farms and ranches. If you elect to install the fence yourself, your costs could range from:
An option chosen for its appearance or to keep horses on the property. These fences are installed with either two, three, or four rails depending on your preference. A ranch-style fence or split-rail fence has historically always been built using wood, but PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic plastic polymer) has become really popular because of its longer life and little to no maintenance.
Given the size of ranches, the cost from a materials perspective, as well as the degree of effort required to do the maintenance or to repaint a wooden fence of that size, is a significant consideration when deciding between wood and PVC. Aluminum fencing is another option and is installed like PVC. For a ranch-style fence, the materials cost is approx.
|Fence Material||Avg Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Aluminum Fence Cost||$22|
|Bamboo Fence Cost||$4|
|Composite Wood Fence Cost||$18–$60|
|Wood Fence Cost||$22|
|PVC Fence Cost||$20–$40|
|Iron Fence Cost||$24–$30|
At $22/sqft, this makes for a great choice as a fence material because it is metal, so it won’t have to be treated over the course of its lifetime to prevent decay or deterioration from exposure to the elements. Aluminum doesn’t develop rust, so it is more of an install and forget solution. As a fencing material, aluminum is available in a range of colors thanks to a process called powder coating.
Bamboo fencing is not useful as a security option, but it’s affordable at $4/sqft, lightweight, and easy to install. It’s also very environmentally friendly because bamboo grows very fast, making it a renewable resource. Available in a range of thicknesses from ¾”–2” thick, the bamboo is sold in rolls of 3, 6 and 8 feet tall. Being packaged in rolls makes it easy to install.
Wood costs between $1–$10 per picket of 6-foot length. Wood has been the construction material of choice for thousands of years for all types of projects, including fencing. In general, the cheaper you go with the wood, the less structural integrity it will deliver in any application. It is less likely to stand up to rot and deterioration than the mid- to higher-priced options.
You can change the appearance by either staining it to achieve different looks or paint it. If the wood has been stained, it will usually need to be resealed each 6 to 8 months. Wood suppliers can tell you exactly what the maintenance schedule for protecting the wood should look like, and what products work best with their wood.
Expect to pay $24–$33/gallon for wood preservative that protects against wood rot, warping, swelling, termite damage, mildew and moisture.
Depending on style of finish selected, composite wood costs around $18–$60/sqft. Composite wood can be created to make it look like different wood types, and even like a brick wall. Being a manufactured wood that combines plastic, sawdust, and scrap wood fibers, it is topped off with a finish that leaves it resistant to insects, scratches, fading, mold, and staining; and it never rots or cracks.
PVC or vinyl fencing costs $20–$40 per linear foot and makes for a great choice because it doesn’t rot, decay, isn’t subject to damage from insects, doesn’t grow mold or mildew, and doesn’t need to be repainted. Without any of the negatives associated with wood, PVC continues to rise in popularity in many outdoor construction projects for homeowners. Most PVC fences that are installed professionally should last as many as 15 years or longer.
Unmatched for its strength, an iron fence can both allow an unrestricted view of your landscaped front yard as well as provide a secure property boundary. Despite the strength that an iron fence delivers, it will still need maintenance that includes the need to sand and repaint every 24 to 36 months, to ensure corrosion is kept at bay. An iron fence will cost between $24–$30 per foot
One visual element that sets an iron fence apart is the design work possible—custom designs can be created for your property. It is common to see a fence that has both iron posts and brick columns to add additional strength. The fence will either go all the way to the ground or be set in a raised brick or stone wall.
|Additional Fencing Costs||Average Cost|
Sometimes neighbors will argue over where the fence can go. To best protect yourself from the possibility of a lawsuit over a property line dispute, it is highly recommended that you enlist the services of a surveyor. This is even more important for a larger property.
In addition to the legal benefits of having a surveyor stake out your property lines, the resulting survey of your land will have a map with detailed measurements clearly entered on it with perimeter lines for the fence. This will help you give accurate numbers to your fencing contractor for both the purposes of quoting for the work and for ordering supplies for your project.
If you are putting in a fence for the first time, or have just finished constructing a home on raw land that hasn’t been landscaped before, you could have terrain issues that will mean the ground needs to be leveled or flattened before a fence can be properly installed. An average cost for grading or resloping is around $125 per cubic foot.
Check with your local building department, and also with your homeowner’s association or property owner’s association if there is one in your subdivision. Most good contractors will be on top of the regulatory compliance issues in the area and will be able to tell you if one is required.
Some contractors will, for a fee, take care of securing all permits needed for the fence installation so you don’t have to go down to city hall to deal with it. If there are some required, it is likely that there will be some language in there that stipulates the type of materials, height of the fence, and possibly the design of the fence.
Once your permits are secured and construction has started, you are still at the mercy of local inspectors who will come out to your property as the work is progressing and for a final inspection after the work has been finished. Proceeding with your fence project without the right paperwork could prove to not only be very upsetting if you have to stop, but also very expensive if you have to rip out a fence after it is already finished and you have already paid your contractor.
Unless this is already included in your quote from your contractor, there will be an additional charge of around $100–$1,000 to have an existing fence removed. The cost will cover the time and effort to dismantle or knock down the existing fence, load up the materials onto a truck, and drive them to a designated location for appropriate disposal in accordance with local laws.
National Estimator Magazine quotes $2.99–$3.59/foot to "remove chain link or board fence and cemented posts to 6’ high for disposal. These figures assume fencing is removed by cutting ties at posts and rails and rolling the fabric. These rolls can be heavy. A larger crew will be needed on larger jobs."
Here are some popular fence additions to consider. We'll cover each one in detail with pricing:
If fencing your backyard, you will need at least one gate on one of the sides of your house, and if you are fencing the front of your property line at the street, you will need either a single or double gate for your driveway, and possibly one more for foot traffic to get to your front door. If you have a picket fence along the front, you may need stronger posts to hang the gates from. For the materials alone:
Putting a lock on the gate into the security-fenced backyard is a logical step. To save having another key on your keyring, and to make it convenient for guests and visitors to gain access to your property when you are not home, you can install an electronic combination lock with a keypad. This can be mounted to a post in the fence next to the gate. For a driveway gate, set up a drive-through type of post if there’s room to enter the combination code through the car window—like those at apartment complexes. Another option is to install a wired or wireless two-way intercom connecting the gate lock to your house. You can also add an electric gate opener for the ultimate in luxury.
Solar-powered solutions are available to power gate openers and prevent the need to run power lines underground. These units use solar power to charge a battery located at the gate. Keypad pricing:
Lighting your fence adds a landscaped feel to your fence. The options in this field include small sconce-style units that can be mounted to the front of a fence post and post cap lights, which are mounted to the top of each fence post or at intervals along your fence. The smaller sconce-style units are generally solar-powered lights, but in locations where there is more cloud coverage and longer, darker days, the homeowner may need to run power to an AC adapter which then powers the lights.
These wired lights mostly come with a wiring configuration like that of modern Christmas tree lights, called parallel, where if one unit fails, power is still delivered to ensure the lights past that unit are still lit. More and more solutions are available with LED bulbs because of their average lifespan and lower power consumption.
Further enhance your street appeal by adding flower boxes or pots. Available in a range of sizes and materials including wood, metal, and plastic, these posts and boxes are generally in a sconce style for smaller units and wider, rectangular boxes of 36” or more.
Since your contractor will have to dig holes in the ground to secure the fence posts, you will need to make sure the locations of any buried utilities are known and clearly indicated to avoid damage and interrupted service for you and or your neighbors. From anywhere in the country, you can call 811 and talk to an operator to begin the process.
If there are utility lines underground where the proposed work is going to take place, the utility locator will mark the locations with metal spikes that have some color-coded flags on top, as well as some spray paint to indicate the line direction so your contractor is fully informed of where they are and what direction the lines go in. From the time you contact 811, the locator visit will happen within a week, and usually within the 2- to 3-day timeframe.
In order to pick the best contractor, you will need to identify contenders who can make it onto your shortlist of 3 to 5 contractors. Look for contractors that:
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