Fences are the first line of defense to protect you from trespassers, burglars, intruders, and even give you some privacy from nosy neighbors. Some people hire professionals to build their fences, while others prefer to build one themselves.
One of the greatest advantages of installing a fence by yourself is that you don’t have to pay for labor, which can be very expensive, especially if you have a large area to fence. Typically, a fence costs from $1,330 to $5,550 depending on the materials used, height, and size of your yard, among other factors. Labor costs can also be high, which is why some homeowners prefer building their own fences.
In this article, you will learn whether building a backyard fence by yourself is cheaper. We will also tackle the factors that could affect your budget when building a fence and the estimated cost of building a wooden one.
DIY Fence: Will I save Money?
We build fences to protect our homes from burglars, nosy neighbors, and intruders. You can build different kinds of fences to protect your residence, whether made of steel, wood, or concrete. Homeowners also have their own preferences when it comes to fences. Some want high ones with no spaces in between for their privacy, while others want lower ones, and some prefer fences with big gaps.
Some pre-made fences come ready to be installed, but you could also build your own based on your preferences. But, is it cheaper to do so?
Typically, a fence costs from $1,330 to $5,550 depending on the materials used, the height of your fence, and other factors. If you are building or installing your own, you don’t have to pay for labor. Labor costs, the materials, and the style you want can be expensive, so building your own fence is typically cheaper. It’s one of the reasons why most homeowners prefer to build their own.
Fences are more than just boundaries between lots. They provide protection against animals and trespassers, secure your privacy, and improve the overall look of your property. If you are planning to sell your house, your fences are a part of your property that should not be ignored. Read our article to find out what you need to know about backyard fences and property value.
Factors that Affects a Fence’s Cost
Depending on its type, the price of a fence ranges from $1,330 to $5,550. Every linear foot costs approximately $8 to $46. A low-end fence costs about $400, while a high-end one costs about $10,000. This cost estimate, which is the typical cost for a backyard fence in the U.S., includes the materials, style, and labor costs.
Many factors could affect the cost of a fence. For larger properties, considering you’ll be using premium materials, will build a fence taller than average, and might have uneven terrain, the cost can rise up to $10,000. For small backyards, you can use cheap yet quality materials and hire inexpensive laborers, which could cost as low as $400.
When building a fence, one of the most crucial factors that could determine the cost is its size. The bigger the area, the costlier it will get, and vice versa. Indeed, the larger the area you have to fence, the more materials you will need, and the more hours of labor you have to pay for.
The overall cost for an average fence is $27 per linear foott. A fencing project could cost as low as $8 linear foot and as high as $46 depending on the materials used. Here is the estimated price for a fencing project depending on your area size only:
- Small yard (500 square feet) – $1,500
- Medium yard (2,000 square feet) – $3,500
- Large yard (3,500 square feet) – $4,500
For the following area sizes, the total cost for the materials and labor would be:
- Small yard (500 square feet) – $1,782
- Medium yard (2,000 square feet) – $3,564
- Large yard (3,500 square feet) – $4,779
The materials you’ll be using for your fencing project are another factor that could affect your budget for building a fence. Each material has its own quality and price range. A wire fence is the most inexpensive option and costs $1 to $4 per linear foot, including the labor cost. A composite fence is an expensive option that costs around $26 to $57 per linear foot.
A wood fence is the most popular type of fence, and it is cheaper than a composite one. Depending on the type of wood used, the price for a wooden fence varies from $14 to $31 per linear foot. Here is the estimated price for the materials commonly used to build a fence:
|Materials||Costs (per linear foot)|
|Chain-like Fence||$12 – $33|
|Vinyl Fence||$17 – $38|
|Aluminum Fence||$27 – $55|
|Wrought Iron Fence||$28 – $56|
|Wired Fence||$1 – $4|
|Wood Fence||$14 – $31|
|Composite Fence||$26 – $57|
|Treated Pine Fence||$12 – $19|
|Barbed Wire Fence||$1.50 – $2|
|Hog Wire Fence||$3 – $5|
|Electric Fence||$1 – $6|
|Split Rail Fence||$10 – $20|
|Picket Fence||$5 – $10|
|Dog Ear Fence||$15 – $20|
|Lattice Top Fence||$15 – $20|
Choosing the material you want to use for your fencing project is the first step to get an accurate budget plan for your project. When making your budget plan, make sure to allocate an extra amount, just in case the price in the store changes.
Fences also come in different styles, making this another factor that could affect your budget. Some styles require more materials, and some require some skills to install which could increase the cost. There also are simple styles that cost less than complicated and extravagant ones. Here are the most common fence styles and their estimated prices:
|Fence Style||Cost (cost per linear foot)|
|Rail or Ranch Fence||$11 – $24|
|Privacy Fence||$14 – $36|
|Shadowbox Fence||$16 – $24|
|Picket Fence||$18 – $33|
The height of the fence is another factor that could affect your budget. The standard height for a backyard fence is 6 feet. Other common heights for a fence include 8 feet for the backyard and 4 feet for front decorative fences.
To determine the perfect height for your fence, first figure out the approximate budget for a standard 6 feet height. For example, for an 8-foot fence, add an extra 25 to 35% of your budget, and for a 4-foot fence, subtract the same amount.
If you are planning on adding a gate to your fence, it will raise your budget. Indeed, installing a gate costs more than installing fence panels. We often add gates for accessibility reasons. The installation of a gate costs around $175 to $1,200, and an aluminum automatic driveway gate is more expensive than a wooden walk-through gate.
The installation of backyard fences varies from different factors. These factors shouldn’t be neglected for one mistake in your budget plan could stress you and cost you more.
Aside from the aforementioned factors, the slope of your property is another important consideration. Building a fence on uneven land equals more work. Workers might need to regrade the land, which can cost around $900 to $3,000 depending on the hours of work.
Before pursuing your fence project, make sure you have consulted a professional to determine whether you will need to obtain a permit. You can also check your local regulations if your municipality or HOA requires you to have a permit to build a fence. A permit can cost around $20 to $400.
Wooden fences are a great choice for a home’s first line of security. They are aesthetically appealing and complement our landscape and house design well. However, unlike other fences, wooden ones have a certain lifespan. How long does a wooden fence last? Read our article to find out.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Building a Fence Yourself
As previously mentioned, the cost of your fencing project varies based on the style, materials, size, and height you prefer. Planning and budgeting is important to determine the price of your project. Whether you plan on hiring a professional or installing your fence by yourself, note that either option offers advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the most common advantages and disadvantages of building a fence:
- One of the greatest advantages of installing a fence by yourself is that you don’t have to pay for labor, which can be very expensive, especially if you have a large area to fence. Most homeowners prefer to install their fences by themselves to save some money.
- Installing a fence by yourself means you have the freedom to choose and use your desired fence materials and style. Some fence installation companies offer limited options in terms of style and materials, which sometimes doesn’t suit your taste.
- The fulfillment and pride of having managed to install a backyard fence without compromising the design, style, and materials you want.
- One of the drawbacks of installing a fence by yourself is that it takes time since you’re doing it on your own. Meanwhile, companies that install fences have workers who can expedite the job.
- Time is your number one problem if you’re installing a fence on your own. It will delay the installation since you will do all the research, preparation, and buy the materials and tools needed. You will also look into local regulations, obtain the necessary permits, and check your property lines. Meanwhile, fence installation companies will do all the work mentioned above for you.
- If it’s your first time installing a fence on your own, another disadvantage is that your work might not be perfect. If you turn out to make some errors, it may cost you a professional repair, or worse, the replacement of the fence you have installed. These mishaps could cost more than hiring a professional to do the work.
Being able to afford the fencing cost leads you to do the installation on your own, but in the end, nothing compares to years of experience. Don’t let the cost of the fencing installation deter you. Some companies offer payment in installments or other financing options.
Whatever you prefer, whether installing the fence yourself or hiring a professional, make sure you are ready to face the disadvantages of each option. If you have extra cash and are inexperienced and short on time, you can hire a professional to expedite the work. If you decide on DIY, make sure to ask for some help from family and friends to make it easier.
To improve the longevity of your fence, you need to either stain it or paint it to add another layer of protection. Choosing whether to paint or stain your fence is a typical stumbling point for homeowners, whether they have a new fence that needs a topcoat or an old one that needs some attention. Which is better for a fence, staining or painting? Read our article to find out.
DIY Fencing: Equipment and Tools Estimated Cost
Building a backyard fence isn’t an easy task. From the planning to the preparation, you have to think profoundly about how to budget your money. You can buy the materials and tools at your local Home Depot. Here are the estimated costs of building a DIY fence:
|Wood fence pickets||$1,640 (cost for an average yard)|
|Box of nails||$12|
|Wood fence rails||$520 (cost for an average yard)|
|Wood fence post||$560 (cost for an average yard)|
|Wood stain or paint||$125|
The estimated materials and tools mentioned above are for wooden fences. Keep in mind that the price may vary depending on the materials you will be using. Also, the price of wood will cost more or less depending on the type of wood you are going to choose. A wooden fence is the cheapest option if you are planning a DIY fence project, whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself.
Fences not only add to the aesthetics of your home, they also do an important job of keeping you and your property safe from intruders, wild animals, and nosy neighbors. When it comes to building a fence, you have two options: hiring professionals or doing everything by yourself.
Building a fence requires thorough decision-making. You can hire a professional to do the work and obtain a clear outcome, or you can take on the project yourself to save money. Building your own fence will save you more money, but keep in mind the disadvantages we have tackled earlier. Either way, be prepared to invest in your fence since it is for your security and long-term use.