How Much Does an Aluminum or Steel Fence Cost?

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated January 21, 2021
New Aluminum Fence
Photo: GRECLAURENTIU / iStock / Getty Images

Installing an aluminum or steel fence costs from $17 to $90 per linear foot or between $2,200 and $5,500 for the whole project

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How Much Does an Aluminum or Steel Fence Cost?

A fenced-in lawn does far more than mark the edge of your property. Well-designed fences can keep the dog from getting loose, the kids from leaving the pool area, or a deer from munching on your vegetable garden.

Aluminum and steel are popular materials for home fencing and provide years of stability and a high-end look. The average cost of an aluminum or steel fence is $3,780, but many factors can affect your final price. Materials range between $7 and $32 a foot, with labor adding $15 to $40 a foot.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence Per Foot?

Picking the right material for your fence comes down to your local climate, budget, and why you need a fence in the first place. Always begin by checking your local and state laws for installation permits, surveying requirements, and when installing fences specialty for livestock.

Let's begin by simply comparing the two materials, as well as aluminum and steel prices by per-foot cost. 

Aluminum Fence Cost Per Foot

Aluminum is your prime material if you live in a humid area, especially by the sea. The fencing comes in many designs, is resistant to rust and corrosion, and only needs maintenance about once a year.

Aluminum fence installation costs an average of $7 to $40 per foot of materials. Pre-assembled panels cost between $30 and $70 depending on their style. Add in labor at $15 to $40 a foot based on local labor rates and the layout of your lawn.

Steel Fence Cost Per Foot

Steel fencing prices are a bit higher because of the material's strength and longevity and it’s best for arid climates away from the sea as it doesn't hold up as well against salt and humidity. The material is far less malleable than aluminum—an important perk if you have energetic kids that may bump into it from time to time.

You'll pay an average of $7 to $10 per foot for a steel fence. Upgrades to galvanized steel, additional posts, or gate installation can raise the price as well.

Installing a steel fence costs a bit more than aluminum, with labor rates ranging from $30 to $50 per foot.

How Much Does It Cost To Install An Aluminum or Steel Fence Near You?

Materials, labor, and permit laws vary from state to state, so where you live has a say in your bottom line. Here are five regional price ranges for aluminum fences—with every cost factor included—to give you a sense of the differences.

StateTypical Cost Range
New York$2,315–$5,940

How Much of an Aluminum or Steel Fence Can I Get on My Budget?

As we noted above, the average cost of an aluminum fence—both for labor and materials—runs a bit lower than steel. We've included a rundown of what you can expect for each budget.

$1,000 to $2,000

You’ll cover up to around 100 linear feet with aluminum fencing for this price range,including labor and materials. Depending on the variety of steel you choose, you can expect to span between 50 and 75 feet.

$2,000 to $3,000

At this budget, you can purchase higher-end aluminum fences for complicated lawns or cover labor costs in a pricier area like New York. Again, you may end up with less steel fence for this range than aluminum, but you can purchase up to around 100 linear feet.

$3,000 to $4,000

Expect the most flexibility in this price bracket, especially if you are surrounding your whole property. Choose from a 100-foot aluminum or steel fence with extras like a gate or material upgrades like galvanized steel.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence Yourself?

If you're feeling confident about your post-digging and fence-installation skills, it is possible to tackle the project on your own.

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding cost when choosing the best fence for your lawn. For one, you must hire a professional land surveyor to mark your property lines. If you don’t, you could end up paying hefty legal fees for building on a neighbor's lawn. Expect to pay $350 to $700 for a land surveyor.

Also, while you may be cutting out the cost of labor, professionals typically have access to warehouse prices for fence materials. Expect to pay more than the average cost of aluminum and steel fencing.

You may also need about $300 worth of equipment—such as a post hole digger, hammer, circular saw, and shovels—which would normally come with the price of a professional.

Aluminum or Steel Fence Installation Cost Breakdown

Take a moment to think about the length of a fence: you need the fence panels, the posts, and gates and doors. Each piece has a unique price tag depending on its material and design. The use of the fence—such as if it surrounds a pool or requires a unique design for privacy—is also key.

Next, consider the layout of your lawn. Perhaps you enjoy rolling hills in your landscape or there's a large oak tree to work around. The tricker the installation, the higher the costs.

Here's a basic cost breakdown for aluminum or steel fences:

  • Fence materials: $7–$32 per foot

  • Fence posts: $30–$60 per piece

  • Gates or doors: $300–$2,500

  • Labor: $15–$40 per foot

  • Permits costs: $20–$60

When all is said and done, expect to pay between $17 and $90 per square foot, total.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence by Type?

Aluminum and steel both have their own perks and downfalls, but special alloys and coatings can make your fence even stronger. Consider these material variations if you're looking to ward off things like rust and general wear and tear.

Powder-Coated Aluminum

Pros can add a polyester-based powder coating to the outside of your fence. You can purchase panels for $50 to $70 each or have the coating added later for $6 to $8 per foot.

Galvanized Steel

Add a layer of zinc to the outside of your steel fence to prolong its longevity, protect it from rust and corrosion, and give it that wrought-iron look without the high price tag. Panels tend to run between $180 and $350.

Corten Steel

Hoping for that rustic-yet-modern look around your property? Corten steel combines steel, copper, chromium, and nickel for strength. Its rich brown-red hue is ideal for naturalistic designs. Fences also run a bit cheaper at only $10 to $50 a panel.

Black Aluminum Fence
Photo: genotar1 / Adobe Stock

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence by Style?

Lastly, installing a fence with a unique design or purpose may also affect the final bill. Maybe you're daydreaming about an ornamental fence with an eye-catching design. Or perhaps you need a pool-side fence strong enough to handle an occasional cannonball splash of chlorinated water.

These are just a few of the special fence prices to expect:

  • Ornamental aluminum fence cost: $15–$100 per foot

  • Aluminum pool fence cost: $60 a panel

  • Aluminum privacy fence cost: $30–$40 per foot

  • Steel palisade: $10–$50 a panel

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install an Aluminum or Steel Fence?

Many things can cause the cost of fence installation to fluctuate. Here are some of the most important factors in one list so you can start budgeting your project:

  • Length of the fence

  • Fence material

  • Labor costs

  • Permits and surveying costs

  • Material treatments

  • Fence posts

  • Fence gates and doors

  • Special installations and designs

  • Regional prices

  • Fence posts and post filler materials

FAQs About Installing Aluminum or Steel Fences

Should I build a fence myself or hire professionals?

Installing a new fence can be tricky without the right training, especially when you're working with tough materials like aluminum and steel.

However, the most challenging part actually comes when mapping out where to put your fence. Without a professional surveyor to mark your property, you could end up burning a bridge with your neighbors. So, whenever possible, hire a local fence company to avoid losing that invite to the annual barbecue.

What should I consider when installing a fence?

Finding the best fence for your lawn comes down to a handful of factors. Start by combining function and fashion. Perhaps you want privacy without looking like Fort Knox. Consider materials that both offer privacy and match the aesthetic of your home architecture.

The season is also important for the cost of your fence installation. Hiring a pro to install your fence in the fall or winter saves money on high-season labor and the challenges of working with a fully grown landscape.

Most importantly, choose a material that balances stability with your budget. While you may not want to pay a lot upfront, take long-term maintenance costs into account as well.

What other projects can I do at the same time?

You may need a bit of landscaping follow-up after installing a fence. Hire a landscape architect or designer to help the flora and fauna of your yard match your new fence. 

There are also ways to upgrade your hardscape after or during the initial design. Consider adding an automatic front gate, for example, or even design a new driveway and install matching pavers.

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