Fence Cost Calculator for 2018

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Person building a fence in the backyard



Use our free online fence cost calculator below to calculate the approximate cost for your fence based on many variables including length, materials, DIY vs. contractor and additional optional costs.

Fence cost calculator

More fence pricing information

Adding a fence to your property is a great way to add aesthetic beauty, privacy, and resale value to your home. When budgeting for a fence, you should take into consideration a few different factors:

  • Materials of the fence
  • Height of the fence
  • Size of the property to fence in
  • Options for the fencing

To get a true cost you will need to decide on each of these and more. This guide will cover each option and feature to help you make the best decision and budget planning for your new fence.

1. Costs of a Fence

Before you can put your first post in the ground, you will need to budget for every possible aspect of building and installing a fence. The first thing you need to do is check with your local regulations and homeowners association (if applicable) to see if you are required to obtain any permits and if there are any limitations on things such as size or ornamentation.

A permit, which costs will vary by state and region, will run you about $100 to $1000. Another cost factor to think about are land surveyors, contractors, and DIY options. Having uneven ground will cause installation difficulty and may be worth the extra space in your budget to have the land properly prepared.

The average fence is wooden and six foot tall. While many other options may make it into your fence plan, the average cost is between $1,600 and $4,000.

2. Materials

Your fence has the opportunity to be built from a myriad of materials. You can choose the most common materials such as wood and chain link, or even odd and rare materials such as stone or brick.

The materials will be one of the largest costs in your entire project, and you should take the time to consider all of your options and decide which is best for your property and your budget. If you decide to do the installation yourself, you can save quite a bit of money over hiring a contractor.

Hiring a contractor will add quite a bit to your overall costs. When looking at professional installation, you should get a minimum of three bids. Those bids should all include any permits, the materials labor and an expected time frame of completion.

When you are looking at labor costs, labor and materials will usually be combined into one factor by the linear foot. A linear foot will cover the amount of material to fence one foot of area plus the labor to accomplish that foot.

A. Wood

Wooden fences are among the most popular fence materials. However, it is difficult to offer a price range to budget for because of the many options available. You can choose from any wood you can find in plank form. The most popular are cedar and redwood.

Costs will also vary if the planks are treated or untreated, stained or natural and if you decide to paint after installation or not. Cedar can be purchased for about $2 per plank, and the range increases to the top end woods like treated redwood for $19 per plank.

One downside is that wood fences aren’t great regarding durability. While they are more attractive than some of the other options, they don’t tend to last as long.

Treating the wood planks and applying coats of paint as needed will help the look and the lifespan, but weather, including rain and excessive sun, can shorten wood plank lifetimes.

Depending on your choices in wood, treated or untreated and pre-stained or not you can expect to pay between $7 and $15 per linear foot for DIY options. $14 to $30 for professional installation.

B. Chain Link Fencing

Another popular option is chain link fencing. Chain link is one of the most affordable fencing options and is considered very DIY friendly for its ease of installation.

One major benefit is that it is virtually maintenance free. Once the fencing is set, there is nothing else you need to do to keep it functioning properly. It will also not deteriorate due to harsh weather or time.

The major drawback is that chain link, and wire fencing do not offer very good security or privacy. You can purchase vinyl or plastic slats to slide in the links for added privacy. However, these will need replacing quite regularly and can become expensive over time.

Because of the ease of installation, many homeowners opting to go with chain link will do the install themselves saving even more money. If you do hire a professional, you can expect to pay about $9 to $35 per linear foot.

C. Aluminum Fencing

Aluminum is one of the most durable and sturdy fencing solutions around. For the cost, you will have a fence that can withstand weather and will not rust.

You also have the ability to have the fencing powder coated for added color and durability, which can add to curb appeal and longevity of the fence.

The downside to aluminum fencing is that installation is not easy to install and professional installation will more than double the material linear foot cost.

If a professional installation is not an issue, you can get aluminum fencing installed for between $15 and $45 per linear foot.

D. Iron Fencing

The most durable fencing material around is wrought iron. Wrought iron fences are very sturdy, extremely stylish and add instant aesthetic appeal to your property.

Not without its drawbacks, wrought iron fencing is highly susceptible to rust. On top of that, it is very prone to denting and damage and is the most expensive fencing option.

If you live in a dominant rain area, wrought iron may not be the best option for you. However, you can seal the iron against the elements but will have to vigilant in the maintenance and upkeep.

The installation will cost between $20 and $100 per linear foot, and you still have to add in the cost of the material. On average a wrought iron fence will run in the range of $2,000 to $4,000.

E. Other Materials

You are not limited to the above options. Vinyl is a popular option that will cost you, on average, about $30 per linear foot for installation and materials.

You can also have concrete, which is usually mixed in with the wrought iron option for added stability and curb appeal. Stone and natural rock are other popular options when security isn’t an issue or expected job of the fence.

Depending on the material you want your fence built from, your costs will range from $15 to $100 per linear foot. It is advised that you make your decision on materials after you know how much area you are going to need to fence. The larger the area, the more cost to you.

3. Height of Your Fence

One often overlooked aspect of a fence is the height of the fence itself, after installation. The most common height is 6 feet, which will offer medium privacy and block out unwanted views.

There are other options as well and each will depend on the materials and can increase the cost of the project.

A. 5-Foot Fencing

Generally, short fences in the four to five-foot range will be left to chain link and wire fences. These fence options offer little in privacy and security and aren’t meant to keep things in or out.

Instead, they offer a barrier between property lines and to allow kids and pets to play in the yard without fear of running into the street.

If you opt for another fencing option and select a five-foot height, you may end up paying more. Wooden fences usually start at six feet and go higher, which means the slats would have to be cut, and the posts dug deeper.

If you aren’t using chain or wire fencing, it is advised for both privacy and budget that you choose a taller option.

B. 6-Foot Fencing

The most common fencing size if six feet. This size will offer medium to high privacy depending on materials and is not easily scaled, or seen over.

Pets, for the most part, won’t be able to jump a six-foot fence with ease, and if you have a wooden fence, not many people will be able to see over into your home or yard.

Most fencing materials will have a six-foot option just because of its popularity. This will save money in your budget because you won’t have to make extra cuts to accommodate the fence line.

C. 8-Foot Fencing

Eight-foot fences, also known as privacy fences and used to provide maximum privacy from the outside world and your property.

The cost of an eight-foot fence over a six-foot fence will vary depending on your location and material choices, but you can expect to pay an average of $2 to $5 more per linear foot.

4. Property Size.

Aside from the materials, one of the more significant factors in your budget will be the size of your property. Larger properties will need more linear feet of fence and will, obviously pay more for their fencing materials and labor.

You should consider hiring a land surveyor to get an estimate of your property size if you do not know it. Most contractors will come and measure the fence line when making their bid and will include these measurements for you to see.

5. Options

A fence can also be a decorative and eye-catching option if you use add-ons to the functionality or aesthetics. There are many options to choose from depending on your fence materials, and some will cost a lot more than others.

A. Gates

If you install a gate, you will have to budget for it. There is going to be more labor for installing a gate as well as hardware and materials that aren’t included in a plain fencing bid.

Gates add functionality as well as beauty to all fence types and can be simple, as in a chain link gate or extravagant regarding wrought iron.

B. Ornamentation

Adding ornaments to your fencing is a purely eye-pleasing detail. Post toppers will hide the bare end of the posts and add style to the fence.

Some fence toppers will also add safety as well. Chain link and wire fences are often secured to metal or aluminum poles with an open end. These ends can become sharp and adding toppers will prevent injury if you were to get snagged on a fence post.

C. Patterns

You can also use special fencing materials to create patterns in your fence. Wrought iron is bendable and can be made into very beautiful patterns and designs.

You will pay extra for the details, but it will be balanced by the joy you get from the fence as well as the added value of your home for resale.

Wood fences can also have patterns applied, and if you aren’t painting the slats, it may be an option worth looking into. Depending on the fence material and the patterns involved you can pay dollars per linear foot up to hundreds.

6. Conclusion

When you decide it’s time to build a fence you have a lot of planning to do. Your budget needs to include all the options you need and the ability to forego on some of the things you want.

You need to decide if you will do the installation yourself or if you will hire a contractor to do the installation for you. You also need to check if you are required to obtain any permits.

As a safety factor, you should call the power and phone companies to make sure there are no buried cables where you will be placing the fence. You could cause injury or worse if you break ground over a power line.

You also need to decide what type of material you want your fence to be, how tall and what purpose the fence will serve.

When all is said and done, you will have a fence you can be proud of and the added security, privacy and resale value increase that they offer.

Disclaimer

Thank you for your interest in our deck cost calculator.

The results of this calculator are NOT a professional quote. This is a free online fence cost calculator that provides an APPROXIMATE cost of a fence. There are many variables that go into a fence, including expansive price ranges for every material as well as labor costs by region. This calculator is intended to be used merely as a guideline to give you an idea of how much a fence may cost according to select variables, materials and sizes.

For example, we set the cost of obtaining a permit at $800 USD which not only may not be needed, but if needed, the cost can vary significantly municipality to municipality.







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