Installing a fence is a necessary expense. Fences help provide security, contain livestock on a farm, and partition various areas within your land. However, installing one can be a costly undertaking.
According to data, installing a fence can cost between $1000 to $10,000. Typically, most people part with $1600 to $4000. However, costs can quickly skyrocket depending on various factors such as material, size of the land, and ground condition.
Labor and material take up to 50% of the overall fence installation cost. The rest goes to other expenses such as permits, surveys, and gates and posts.
Therefore, you need a good guide to understand where you’ll be spending the most money and why you’ll be spending it. Here’s a cost breakdown of fence installation and the factors that can make your installation more or less pricey.
How You Can Estimate Fence Costs
You can estimate the cost of installing a fence on your property by determining how much fencing you need to surround it.
Fences are typically priced by linear foot. Therefore, measuring your property lines will give you a reasonable estimate of how much you should pay. This method is also commonly used by contractors to provide a bid.
You can find information about your property lines on the deed or land surveys performed before you acquired the property.
Typically, installing a new fence will cost between $7 – $45 per linear foot.
Factors that Affect the Cost of New Fence Installation
The following are essential factors that affect the cost of fence installation.
You usually need a local permit per local building codes to install a fence. Qualified fence installers know these charges and always factor them into their bids. Local building codes can dictate the height of the fence and materials, contributing to the overall cost.
On average, a permit will cost anywhere between $50 and $800.
The fence installation cost per linear foot will vary significantly with the type of material. Wrought iron is the most expensive, often priced between $24 – $32 per linear foot. Barbed wire is typically the cheapest in comparison, priced between $7 – $12 per linear foot (inclusive of labor).
The price of wood, vinyl, and composite materials will vary based on the quality of the material.
Installing a fence is a time-intensive project. Labor can be half of the total price. However, rates will vary based on the fence material, and the amount of work needed to install the fence posts.
Braces and corner posts are the backbones of a robust fence. Therefore, you should use suitable materials and proper installation for a long-lasting, secure fence that’s easy to maintain.
Location of the Fence
Fence installation in a rural area may be more expensive since laborers and materials must be transported to the property. The price of materials also varies by region. Transport might be more expensive if narrow spaces, overgrown trees, or parked vehicles obstruct the location.
Gates and Posts
A gate is a must-have for most fence installations. Moreover, fence posts should be set in concrete, below the frost line, to extend their lives. Local building codes will often specify the installation depth.
The cost of concrete and posts averages between $5 – $150, depending on the material used for the posts. The price of gates varies based on size, material, and style. A walk-through wooden gate will cost you between $150 to $250, plus an additional $100 to $250 for a professional installer.
Trees and Ground Condition
On some properties, trees must be removed for the new fence to be installed, which adds to the overall cost. A massive root system, concrete, or rocky soil can also slow down digging holes for the fence posts, increasing labor costs.
The Cost of Different Types of Fencing
The types of fencing available have expanded over the years. You can choose several options, such as barbed wire, electric wire, chain link, wooden or vinyl plank, and iron. You can also mix and match fence types depending on your needs.
Here’s the average cost of the most common types of fencing.
Barbed Wire Fence
Barbed wire is the most common choice of livestock fencing. It is straightforward to install and maintain, often requiring wooden or metal posts to support three to five strands of barbed wire.
Barbed wire fencing is primarily allowed in rural areas and costs an average of $1.5 to $2 per linear foot.
Electric Wire Fence
The electric fence is another common option for livestock fencing. It’s installed using wooden posts which support the wires connected to an electrical outlet. The wire’s low or high-voltage shock deters livestock from touching the fence.
Most legislation permits the installation of electric wire fences only in rural areas, away from highways. Installation of electric wire fencing costs an average of about $1 to $6 per linear foot.
Chain Link Fence
Chain link fences are a popular low-maintenance option that suits most budgets. A budget of between $1,100 to $2,800, including installation, is typically enough to cover a sizable tract of farmland or property.
Douglas fir, Western red cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated wood are the most common wood used for fences. Wood fences cost an average of $17 to $45 per linear foot. The price is directly affected by the type of wood.
Vinyl fences cost between $10 to $40 per linear foot. Vinyl fences are maintenance-free and come in multiple color options.
Wrought Iron Fence
Wrought iron fencing costs about $30 to $55 per linear foot. It is considered one of the most attractive fencing materials. However, it dents easily, is more prone to rust, and is expensive to install and maintain.
Cost of DIY Fence Installation vs. Hiring Professionals
You can never run short of finding a fence installer. Data shows there are over 24,504 fence installation professionals in the United States. However, some farmers and homeowners choose to install their fences as a DIY project to save money.
But is it cost-effective?
The cost of DIY fence installation will vary majorly based on the cost of material and the length of the fence. The average material cost for the most popular fence types ranges from $1 to $23 per linear foot.
However, if you don’t own the equipment, you’ll have to buy or rent it for installation.
So, a 150 linear feet installation might cost you as much as $3,850.
Typically, this will be less than the cost of hiring professionals. However, a novice can run the risk of a poorly installed fence, resulting in premature fence failure. This can lead to expensive repairs that often equal or exceed the initial cost of a professional installation.
Professionals typically charge labor costs of between $35 to $70 per hour or $7 to $12 per linear foot, bringing a similar 150 linear-foot project to as much as $5,250. However, most professionals offer a warranty on their work.
Therefore, going with a pro may be your best bet.
Work with a Professional or Get Tips Online
Installing a fence is not a cheap undertaking. Various factors will affect how much you have to pay for the fence installation. Moreover, paying more for a professional installation might save you money and prevent maintenance problems in the long run, especially if you are inexperienced with best practices for fence installation.