Most homeowners spend between $800 and $6,100 nationally. Get free estimates from local fencing contractors.
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Whether you want to keep pets and/or kids from leaving your yard; demarcate your property lines; protect your privacy; or bring more aesthetic appeal to your home, a fence can accomplish a lot. It’s no wonder so many homeowners choose to install fencing on their properties. It’s one of the most popular exterior home improvement projects, and can deliver a great deal of value when handled by professionals who know what they are doing.
However, before you pick up the phone to call a pro, it’s important to be prepared. Budgeting for the materials and labor will be crucial to get the most out of your project. How much does a new fence cost? There are a number of factors that go into determining the final price tag. One of the most important is the selection of materials: Wire fencing typically costs up to $6 per linear foot, while higher-end composite or vinyl panels running up to $45 per linear foot.
If you’re still wondering, “How much does a fence cost?” keep reading. Here you’ll find a breakdown of some of the most important factors to consider when planning your installation, as well as some of the most frequently asked questions about the process.
Fencing Price Factors
Determining your fence cost per foot will come down to a number of important decisions. First, you need to determine exactly what purpose your new fencing will serve on your property. If you just want something to keep pets or children from running into the street, you might want to consider a less-expensive material. If you’re trying to add some curb appeal, on the other hand, it’s probably best to think about something more aesthetically pleasing. Here are some of the most important considerations when estimating the average cost of a fence.
Perhaps the single biggest contributor to the average price of a fence is what you use to build it. In general, the least-expensive materials are chicken wire, mesh or barbed wire. These can cost anywhere between $1 and $6 per linear foot and will provide basic, utilitarian functionality. If you don’t like the look of these options and want something more pleasing to the eye, you can expect it to increase your project’s cost.
Split rails, wooden panels and privacy fencing fall into the moderate price range, typically costing between $10 and $20 per linear foot for materials alone. On the higher end of the spectrum are brick, stone, vinyl and wrought iron. These fall between $25 and $45 per linear foot, but they give you more options for enhancing the appearance of your home.
Naturally, the size and scope of your project also has a significant impact on its final price tag. A typical backyard has a perimeter of 150 to 170 linear feet. If yours is larger or smaller, you can expect to see the cost of your fencing fluctuate accordingly. This is why it is very important to take accurate measurements before getting in touch with a contractor.
One of the biggest mistakes many homeowners make when budgeting for such a project is forgetting about labor costs for the installation. When asking, “How much does a fence cost per foot?” you need to think about much more than the price of the material.
Experienced contractors may charge more than others, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the cheapest option is best. Expert installation is key to ensuring a long-lasting fence that won’t need costly repairs or replacement down the line. Make sure to get at least four bids before choosing the contractor you want to handle your job.
If you’re planning to add a fence to your front yard, you might want to think about something that is attractive as well as functional. This generally means higher-end materials. However, a backyard fence may not need to be more than simple chain link — especially if no one else can see it.
If the spot where you want your fence features uneven terrain, trees, or excessive growth, the fencing crew may have a lot more to do before they can finish the project. The more challenging the job, the more you should expect to pay for labor. The presence of utility lines on your property can create additional complications that can increase the cost as well.
There’s a good chance you will want your new fence to feature gates to allow people in and out of your yard. Each entrance can cost between $200 and $600, depending on the materials, style and the complexity of the work.
Why Install A Fence?
There are a number of reasons it can be a good idea to surround your home with fencing. These might include:
- Security: Keeping unwanted visitors off the property is one of the biggest reasons that homeowners choose to build fences. Adding a physical barrier makes it more difficult for thieves and vandals to access your yard or house.
- Safety: Families with young children and/or pets may want to add a fence to prevent them from accidentally wandering into the street. Providing a designated safe area to play in also gives parents and pet owners peace of mind when letting them outside.
- Privacy: A tall fence around the backyard means you can enjoy your space without worrying about prying eyes. It also can be helpful for maintaining private indoor spaces that otherwise might be visible from the street or adjoining lots.
- Aesthetics: A well-built fence made of wood, vinyl panels, stone or brick can help complete the look of your home and complement its façade. If you plan to sell someday, attractive fencing can make a significant difference to your curb appeal.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
If you’re surprised by your fence price per foot and are looking for a way to save some money, you may be considering installing a fence by yourself. Although this could save you a bit of money in labor costs, it might not be worth it in the long run. Even a simple fencing solution requires a certain amount of expertise and experience to put up successfully. Without that knowledge and the right tools, your new fence may begin to sag or fall over time. This often leads to costly repairs or even a full replacement. On the other hand, hiring professional contractors who know all the ins and outs of the process should ensure that you see the best results.
What Kind Of Permits Will I Need?
It depends on the local statutes where you live, but typically your city or county will require a permit to put up a fence. Make sure you know whether obtaining the permits is your responsibility or the contractor’s.
Who Should Contact The Utility Companies?
Before any work is done on your property, your local utility providers should be contacted so they can mark any lines. In general, your contractor will handle this. However, make sure that he or she will take this step before getting started.
How Long Does A Typical Fence Installation Take?
Asking your contractor up front for a general timeline should give you an idea of how long it should take. However, be prepared for the completion date to shift depending on permitting issues, unexpected site conditions, weather-related delays and other issues.
Which Materials Are Right For My Fence?
If you’re not sure what material would work best for your property, asking your contractor for advice is a good idea. He or she will be able to determine how best to realize your ideas.
Find A Pro
After using our fence estimator to determine how much you may spend on a fence installation, it’s time to find the professionals who can bring your project to life. ImproveNet can put you in touch with pros in your area who have the skills and experience needed to ensure the highest-quality results. Fill out our project form today to get started.