Whether you have a large yard and need space for your kids or pets to run free, or you live in a place where you need backyard privacy, installing a fence is a great way to define property boundaries, add safety, and create privacy around your home. The cost of a fence, however, can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. 

Before you tackle the project — or you hire someone to do it —  it’s important to do some preliminary research on the cost so you’re not taken by surprise when the bill comes.

How much should it cost to put up a fence?

Putting up a fence should cost somewhere between $15 and $60 per linear foot if you have it installed by a professional, according to home repair company HomeServe. If you plan on doing it yourself, it should cost between $10 and $35 per linear foot for materials.

The average order value for fence installation in 2020 according to The Home Depot was $4,600. In their cost breakdown by region, South Florida/Puerto Rico, the Mid-Atlantic, and New Jersey metro areas all topped out at over $6,000 for fencing and installation. The lowest cost area was the New York metro area (likely due to smaller fenced-in areas) at just under $3,000.

For a more detailed breakdown on all kinds of fencing from split rail to bamboo, HomeGuide offers a cost estimate for 17 different kinds of fencing materials.

What is the cheapest fence to install?

Fencing materials include chain-link, wood, vinyl, wrought iron, and metal. HomeServe lists the cheapest as a chain-link fence, which is usually very basic with little embellishment. Wood fencing costs just a little bit more per linear foot — depending, of course, on what type of wood you choose. Metal fencing tends to be the most expensive type of fencing.

Where can you buy fences?

You can buy fences at nearly any home supply store and even online. You can also check out local hardware stores and fencing companies in your area. While you can buy online and use online fencing calculators, it may be worth it to have someone local come to your home, assess the terrain, measure, and give you an estimate.

Here are factors that affect fence pricing.

Length: The amount of material, based on the length of the fence, is the most obvious cost factor. The longer the fence, the more materials you need, and the more it will cost.

Materials: The second factor that affects pricing is the material. Chain-link and wood are the least expensive options, but the cost can go up quickly if you’re adding features like metal embellishments or latticework, for example. Metal and wrought-iron fencing will add a substantial amount to the total.

Style: The style of the fence will dictate not only the type of material and embellishments, but it also dictates the amount of material that is needed. For instance, a privacy-style fence will need more material than one that is simply meant to delineate property lines or act as an aesthetic enhancement.

Additional Factors: According to The Home Depot, other factors that could impact the cost could include permits to build a fence, tearing down and disposing of existing fencing, dealing with difficult terrain, the addition of gates, and the state of the lumber market.

Steph Mickelson

Contributor

Steph Mickelson is a freelance writer based in Northwest Wisconsin who specializes in real estate, building materials, and design. When she’s not writing, she can be found juggling kids and coffee.