Fences can be made for decoration, security, keeping things orderly, or all three. Many houses have fences already built, but older ones may have deteriorated to the point that repair is insufficient and a new one must be installed. Or you may wish to install a new one in your yard for various reasons. The process has a few tricky parts, but yields a great result if planned correctly. You will find many of the fence installation options and prices are detailed in this Price Guide.
Average Cost to Install a Fence
The cost guide below provides average prices for a typical fence installation.
Fencing Cost by Material Breakdown
Here's a basic summary of the costs associated with a variety of fence type installations followed by a detailed analysis of how these prices were derived.
|Fence Type||Cost Per Linear Foot||Typical Installation Cost|
|Wood||$10 - $14||$518 - $1,907|
|Metal||$24 - $32||$827 - 2,188|
|Vinyl||$19 - $27||$440 - 2,114|
|Chain Link||$12 - $17||$452 - 2,170|
Wood Fence Cost
Wooden fences are the old standby – normally done with fence posts, rails and planks along a property line between two houses. The installation process involves digging a hole for each post about eight feet apart, approximately 18” deep, and 12” wide. The holes are then filled with concrete to secure a bracket to which you can bolt a 4”x4” post. In the past, these posts were commonly sunk into the hole with the concrete, but they can rot over time if exposed to dirt and moisture, so it’s wiser to use the bracket method. The posts are connected with railings and the planks (either straight rectangles or “dog-eared,” with the corners cut at a diagonal) are attached to the railings to fill in the gaps. The cost for a typical wooden fence installation ranges from $518 to $1907.
Metal Fence Cost
Metal fences are popular in some yards where one wishes to preserve the sight lines, but also provide some security around a swimming pool or to cordon off a dog’s outdoor space. There are decorative varieties that have strong posts with rails about 6” apart, and are available with various patterns and finishes. Some can even include glass partitions. A typical decorative metal fence installation costs $827 to $2188.
Vinyl Fence Cost
Vinyl fences are a fairly new arrival in the fence world; the durable plastic-like material looks good outdoors and may be custom-colored or adorned with lattices and other decorative touches. It is more expensive than wood, but does not need painting nearly as often (if ever), so some prefer it for the low maintenance. Normally it is available in prefabricated sections which your contractor can bolt together around posts; gates may also be added to your preference. For a 25-foot vinyl fence installation, expect a cost of $440 to $2114.
Chain Link Fence Cost
The old standby “Cyclone” or chain-link fence is a popular choice for a low-maintenance metal fencing to provide security or cordon off a portion of a yard used for dog containment or exercise. While not as picturesque as its counterparts, chain-link fencing is very strong and can last for many years under extreme weather conditions. Special tools and techniques are needed to get the chain-link material stretched tightly around the posts so it does not sag. A typical chain link fencing installation generally costs $452 to $2170.
Small fences of 20 feet to 100 feet are generally installed within a day, for $774 on average for materials and labor. Going up to 100 or 200 feet takes a couple of days, with a substantial amount of materials and planning (also fence-post digging), and costs $1270 for a typical installation. Longer fences of 200 to 300 feet will require proportionally greater planning, labor and materials (as well as transportation of materials that will usually require several trips from the lumber yard), so these typically cost $1549.
Fence height is a matter of preference or local codes; a lower fence will provide less privacy, but gives an open look to an outdoor space. Some cities restrict fence height to 6 or 8 feet so check your local guidelines before building. The varying heights require different amounts of material, labor and transport, and the costs will vary accordingly. A 4-foot fence installation costs on average $891; a 6-foot fence installation costs $1020; an 8-foot fence installation costs $1156, and a 10-foot fence installation costs $2407.
Number of Gates
Your fence installation cost will increase a little for each gate you add, as these involve more labor, lumber and special materials such as hinges and latches than a typical fence section. For a fence with no gates, the average installation cost is $903, while a fence with one gate costs $1026, and a fence with two gates costs $1487. A three-gate fence installation typically costs $1926.
Type of Finish
Adding finishes to a fence will increase the overall cost. There is preparation, sanding, masking, procedure and cleanup to consider. A painted fence typically costs $1024, while staining (which preserves the woodgrain) costs about $1793. Some stains also provide waterproofing and sealing, and cost about $1408 for the same size fence. See our guide on Cost to Paint or Stain a Fence to learn more.