Wood Fence Installation Cost Breakdown
The cost of a wood fence includes the cost of wood, concrete for the posts, and labor. If you decide to go the DIY route, you can skip labor costs, but you'll need to pay for any tools and equipment that you don't already have on hand.
Wood fence installation costs go up with the length of your fence. You’ll pay by the linear foot for labor and lumber. If you decide to install the fence yourself, you'll likely pay between $1 and $15 per linear foot. If you hire a pro, you're looking at anywhere from $10 to $30 per linear foot.
Similar to the size, the higher your fence, the more you'll pay to install it. Most standard fences are 4, 5, or 6 feet tall. If you need a fence taller than 6 feet, it will likely cost 20% to 30% more than standard sizes.
Lumber alone for a wood fence costs about $1 to $15 per linear foot, depending on the wood species. You’ll also need to consider the cost of concrete, tools, and equipment.
Wood: The cost of wood can range from $1 per linear foot for pine to over $15 per linear foot for tropical hardwood.
Concrete: Concrete helps secure your fence and costs $8 to $10 per 80-pound bag. Most posts need one to four bags of concrete for stability.
Posts: Posts are the support system of a fence and cost around $10 to $50 each.
Tools: Unless your toolbox is fully stocked, you’ll spend around $400 to $900 for tools. To install a fence, you need screws, drill bits and a drill, an air compressor, and a finish nailer.
Auger (drill for making holes in the ground for posts): You can find a manual auger for $15 to $110, or you can buy a power auger for $60 to $600. There’s also an option to rent a power auger at $50 to $100 per day.
Hiring a local wood fence company costs $10 to $30 per linear foot. Companies may also charge by the hour, at a rate of $25 to $60 per hour. Adding 100 to 200 feet of fence usually takes a team of professionals about one to three days to complete.
The type of wood you choose for your fence posts can significantly affect your wood fence costs. For instance, pine usually costs around $1 per linear foot, while tropical hardwoods run closer to $15 per linear foot.
|Cedar||$2 – $3 per foot|
|Western red cedar||$6 – $8 per foot|
|Cypress||$2 per foot|
|Pine||$1 – $5 per foot|
|Spruce||$5 per foot|
|Black locust||$5 – $10 per foot|
|White oak||$5 – $10 per foot|
|Redwood||$8 per foot|
|Tropical varieties||$8 – $15 per foot|
|Composite wood||$6 – $10 per foot|
You may need a permit to install a new fence. For example, California requires permits for new fences taller than 7 feet, yet Los Angeles requires permits for fences over 6 feet. Check with your municipality for permit requirements. Permits can range anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on local laws.
Cost to Install a Wood Fence by Style
Fence styles range from $10 per linear foot for a simple ranch-style fence to $75 per linear foot for custom picket fencing. Whether you’re dreaming of a white picket fence around the front yard, a privacy fence to create a secluded feel in the backyard, or some combination of different options, the style of fencing you choose can vary in cost.
If you want to add some charm to your yard, you can install a wood picket fence for $10 to $75 per linear foot. This fence costs more if you want a custom design, gates, or a fresh coat of paint for that idyllic white picket fence look.
Privacy fences cost $27 to $60 per linear foot, including materials and labor. A privacy fence can block visual and physical access to your yard because the wood planks are generally closer together. Privacy fences are often more expensive than other fence types because they’re taller and require more wood planks.
Split-rail fences, also known as ranch-style, cost $10 to $30 per linear foot for materials and installation. The number of rails may increase the cost, as will the lumber and any pest-resistant treatments.
Additional Costs to Consider
Aside from the fence, you should leave room in your budget for other considerations. Common add-ons include gates, painting or staining, and tree removal.
Adding a gate costs between $200 and $600 for a standard, 4-foot-wide gate. Gates make it easier to access the area, and they come in many different styles that can add practical charm to your outdoor aesthetic.
Land grading involves leveling the surface of your property, which helps stabilize and align your fence. If you have a large slope or a deep dip in your yard, consider investing in land grading costs, which usually range from $1,000 to $3,225. But smaller areas can cost $400, while large areas can cost $6,000 or more to level.
Tree or Bush Removal
In some cases, you'll need to remove any trees or shrubs blocking your fence line. Tree removal costs between $200 and $2,000 per tree, with an average of $750. If you need to remove smaller vegetation, like shrubs and bushes, you'll likely pay between $110 and $245 per hour to clear the land. Large land-clearing projects cost between $500 and $5,600 per acre, depending on the density of the vegetation.
Painting and Staining
Painting or staining your fence can boost its aesthetic appeal, enhancing the entire appearance of your yard or customizing the fence to match your home. The typical cost to paint or stain a fence ranges from $750 to $4,250, depending on the prep and amount of paint you need.
Cost to Install a Wood Fence Yourself
The cost to install a wood fence yourself ranges anywhere from $850 to $2,200, but most homeowners pay around $1,525. DIYing the project will save you approximately 50% on the cost of your wood fence.
For reference, the average yard requires around 150 linear feet of fencing. Depending on your setup, you’ll need a post for every six to eight feet of fencing, meaning you’ll need between 20 to 25 posts.
Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor
You’ll save around $10 to $30 per linear foot if you install a wood fence yourself versus hiring a contractor. While installing a fence is a DIY-friendly project, make sure you feel confident in taking on this work. Tackling the installation on your own is time-consuming and physically demanding—expect to spend at least 30 to 50 hours putting up a new fence.
This project also involves renting specialized equipment, including a post-hole digger or hole auger. Not to mention, if the posts are installed incorrectly, you could later spend $100 to $500 to repair a leaning, sagging, or fallen fence. If you don’t have experience installing fences, you might want to consider hiring a fence installer near you to do the job.
Cost of Common Wood Fence Add-Ons
Before you make your final decisions, there are a few add-ons that could enhance the aesthetic or longevity of your wood fence that you might want to plan for.
You can add a waterproof sealant to your new wood fence for $1 to $3 per linear foot. Wood is pretty durable, but waterproofing helps it withstand the elements. You may need to reapply the waterproof coating every six months to 2 years, depending on the manufacturer's instructions.
You may know of board and batten for exterior and interior home designs, but adding board and batten fencing to your home is another creative use of board-on-board materials that gives your wood fence added privacy, durability, and stability. You’ll likely spend between $3,500 and $4,500 for this upgrade.
You can add a lattice top to your fence for $2 to $20 per linear foot, depending on the quality of the wood you choose. Lattices turn your yard into an enchanted world, making them the perfect add-on for avid fairy gardeners.
Post caps are a subtle add-on that can turn unsightly posts into stunning pillars comparable to Roman columns. The cost to add post caps ranges from $3 to $50 per cap. Most caps are priced toward the lower end of this range, but high-end options include solar-powered caps that offer ambient lighting to your yard.
7 Ways to Save Money on Installing a Wood Fence
A new wood fence can have a major impact on your wallet, but it doesn’t have to! With a little budgeting and a few of the following tips, you can save on the total cost of your wood fence project.
Choose a standard fence height of four, five, or six feet.
Avoid unnecessary add-ons like post caps, lattice tops, and gates.
If you have experience installing fences, DIY it. You can DIY a horizontal fence for a unique look.
Choose an untreated wood material (or treat it yourself).
Pick cedar, which is less expensive than redwood and also resistant to pests and rot.
Select a round fence post to save $5 to $10 per post.
Opt for a ranch style, wooden picket, or stockade fence style.
Allie Ogletree contributed to this piece.