Fence installation cost guide

Installing a fence around your property may serve a number of purposes. You may want to prevent your little son from incidentally walking out to a busy street without you. Perhaps, you don't want your neighbors to see what's happening in your backyard. Or, you simply wish a new fence to complement the unique and exquisite style of your house. Whichever of these reasons is the driving factor, you will certainly need to know how much the project may cost.

Here you will learn about:

Fence installation is rarely performed as a DIY project, although certain types of fences are easier to mount than others. While you can save money by doing the work on your own, there could be many things that might cost you dearly when not attended to such as the local construction requirements. That's why the best approach is to hire a responsible and experienced contractor who can see to every aspect of the installation process and guarantee high quality.

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Professionals will perform the necessary measurements, obtain permits, dispose of the old fencing, put posts in place in accordance with the technical specifications, and implement other required tasks. Depending on the fence material, be prepared to spend between $1,700 and $4,000 on average, with the peak price reported as $8,500 and the lowest cost being $500.

Price-related questions

What fencing materials are available on the market and how much do they cost to install?

The material you select for your future fence is certainly one of the principal budget-forming items. These days, homeowners have a wide choice of different materials, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Here is a review of the most common of those along with their prices and approximate labor costs.

Wood fencing

This material is most often used for constructing privacy fences. Depending on the kind of wood you select, it may be in the range from relatively inexpensive to highly expensive.

Advantages of wood fencing. Ensures enough privacy, delineates the property boundaries, prevents small children and pets from leaving the property, as well as keeps stray animals out of the yard.

Drawbacks of wood fencing. Hard to install, a greater amount of materials compared to other types, requires a considerable maintenance effort (painting, staining), susceptible to rot and can be damaged by insects such as termites, may quickly lose its aesthetic value, especially in damper places.

Common types of wood. Cedar, redwood, treated pine.

Cost of materials. For a standard plank, the price could be from $1.30 to $9. If you're concerned about the way your fencing looks, purchase redwood - $18.00 for one plank.

Cost of installation. Installing a wood privacy fence is a time-consuming affair, usually requiring contractors around a full day to complete. For mounting a typical wood fence 150 linear feet long, expect to pay a contractor $12 for one lf.

Additional considerations. Wooden planks are attached to 5-6 posts and more. Hence, you will have to buy posts as well, along with the material used to keep them firmly fixed in the ground (cement, gravel). Expect to spend around $3 on one post.

On average, installing a wood fence will cost you in the range between $1,700 and $3,700.

Chain-link fencing

This type of fencing is the least expensive of all other types. However, it is not free of shortcomings.

Advantages of chain-link fencing. Cheap, simple in mounting (can be even performed by homeowners themselves), requires almost no maintenance (just occasional washing with a hose), keeps small children (pets) from leaving a property without adults (owners), durable (normally made of galvanized steel coated in PVC).

Drawbacks of chain-link fencing. Not pleasing to look at (poor option for homeowners who wish to raise their property value), provides no security or privacy.

Cost of installation. The rate for one linear foot is commonly from $9 to $10.

The average price range for mounting a chain-link fencing is in the range $1,200 - $2,400.

Vinyl fencing

This durable and low-maintenance material is an excellent choice for those interested in return on investment.

Advantages of vinyl fencing. Looks like wood from a distance (a closer look may reveal its synthetic nature, though), a plentiful choice of colors and patterns for any house style, requires minimal cleaning effort.

Drawbacks of vinyl fencing. Poor choice for colder climates with a great deal of precipitation and constant temperature fluctuations – can break over time, expensive ($12 to $26 for one linear foot), hard to repair (if a section breaks, it must be replaced).

Cost of installation. Installing a vinyl face is labor-intensive and requires professional expertise. The standard rate is from $6 to $9 for one lf.

The average vinyl installation price amounts from $2,100 to $5,100.

Aluminum fencing

Aluminum fences are commonly installed around swimming pools.

Advantages of aluminum fencing. Easy to clean and maintain, corrosion free, looks aesthetically attractive, provides enough privacy.

Drawbacks of aluminum fencing. High upfront cost: material (from $23 to $33 for one linear foot) plus labor, prone to denting, hard to repair, may require special treatment for withstanding harsh weather conditions.

Cost of labor. From $11 for one linear foot and higher.

On average, aluminum fencing installation costs in the range $2,100 - $5,100.

Wrought iron fencing

This material represents by far the most expensive option. However, it's well worth it, especially if you're hoping to sell your house at a heftier price.

Advantages of wrought iron fencing. Provides a high level of security, solid look that significantly increases the overall value of the property, long-lasting.

Drawbacks of wrought iron fencing. Requires a considerable maintenance effort, vulnerable to corrosion, extremely expensive ($25-$110).

Cost of labor. Can be as high as $120 - $150 per linear foot when using a great amount of non-standard materials.

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What other factors affect the total cost of the fencing installation project?

Fence height

It's obvious: the higher the fence, the more difficult it is to install, especially if it is something like heavy wood or cast iron. Thus, professionals will take a higher fee for one linear foot. The most common fence height is from 4 to 8 feet, although no one restricts you from erecting an even higher barrier if the local building codes don't explicitly forbid you to do that.

Area to be enclosed

Study your deed carefully to see where your property ends and your neighbor's one begins. If you determine the line of your fence incorrectly, you may be held legally responsible and will have to dismantle the fence, paying the contractor again. The best solution is to seek the help of a professional land surveyor, who will precisely identify the future fence line. Expect to pay from $350 to $750 for this service.

Ground type and relief

Not all homes are located on flat land. If the area around your property is not even or sloping, contractors will have a harder time installing the fencing. Additionally, the type of the ground into which posts will be driven can be an important factor. Ground that has many rocks is harder to work with and thus requires more time and the use of special equipment.


If you need to have a driveway gate installed, it may cost you between $150 and $550 for a simple variety without adornments or $1,500-$9,500 for an elaborately designed, custom creation.

Purchase and delivery of materials

If you purchase and deliver materials to your home yourself, you may bring the cost down. Note, however, that retailers often sell their goods to fencing contractors at reduced prices. So, you can actually save money that way, too.

Consent from local authorities

Projects like fencing installation commonly require obtaining permits from municipalities. Inquire if one is necessary in your case. Prepare to spend around $750 on that.

Information to check

Pipes and wiring below the ground

There might be some pipes or electrical wiring running below the ground in the place you've selected for your fence. If those are somehow damaged during the installation process, you may incur considerable expenses. Thus, either contact the utility services yourself (call 811) or ask the contractor if they deal with that issue for you. The latter option is preferable.

Homeowner association guidelines

In most cases, you can't arbitrarily choose how high and deep your fence should be, as well as what material it will be made from. Contact your local homeowner association to learn what you're allowed to do in terms of fencing.

Other frequently asked questions

How can I determine the right cost of my fence?

Professionals recommend taking the overall price of your home and calculate 2 or 3 percent off that price. That will be the ideal value of your future fencing.

Do I have to watch the whole installation process?

Being at the site all the time is not necessary. However, your presence is absolutely essential when the materials are delivered by the contractor to see that everything is per your agreement. Obviously, you also need to be present at the closing stage of the project to accept the work or voice any complaints. Make sure you always have the written itemized invoice to prevent any misunderstanding.

Bottom line

Installing fencing around your property is not as straightforward as it might seem and mostly requires professional expertise. How much you will pay depends on such factors as the fence material, size of the area to be enclosed, fence height, ground type, and others. The average fencing installation cost ranges from $1,700 to $4,000.

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