Regular maintenance helps protect your fence from the elements, but when damage, shifting ground or exposure take their toll, repairs may be in order. The type, height, and structure of your fence all contribute to the cost and complexity of fixing problem areas. As you plan for repairs, assess the condition of different components of your fence to help understand the scope of the issues and related expenses.
The construction type of your fence contributes to the cost of replacement materials and the complexity of repairs. Wood fences can often be repaired with standard lumber, replacement panels, and finish repairs, costing an average of $223 in the U.S. Metal fencing options range from simple chain-link to decorative and ornate steel, iron, and aluminum fence systems, and like wood, repairs range from surface refinishing to installing replacement posts, rails and sections. Nationally, the average price for repairing a decorative metal fence is $248 compared to $229 for a chain fence. Common repairs to vinyl fences have an average price of $215 and include fixing surface damage and installing replacement panels, slats and posts.
The height of your fence will help determine the cost of replacement panels, slats, and posts. Based on national prices, average repairs to a 4 foot fence costs $212, compared to $213 for a 6 foot fence, $235 for 8 feet and $218 for a 10 foot height. In addition to materials, labor costs may be affected by the height of your fence since extra equipment or manpower may be needed to access the fence and complete repairs.
Repairing Wood Rot
A common problem with wooden fencing is the wood’s rotting from exposure to the elements. Prices for repairing wood rot range from $158 to $470 nationally, and depend largely on the scope of the repair and the species of wood used for your fence. Patching and supporting damaged posts and rails may be an effective and economical solution for your fence problems, but total replacement of fence supports and panels will add significant expense to the project. Wood species that are not naturally water resistant are less expensive than more weatherproof choices such as cedar and redwood, and can be treated chemically or protected with paint and stain to increase their durability. Even with treatment though, these species will degrade quickly and require maintenance that adds to long-term costs.
Fallen Fence Sections
Damage to your fence or shifts in the ground may cause sections of it to sag or fall. If the support posts and foundation of your fence are intact, repairs to the top rails and panels may resolve the problem. Extensive work on the supporting structure or underground foundations of your fence is more time and labor intensive though, contributing to a range of repair prices from $141 to $418.
Replacing Missing Boards
The expense of replacing missing fence boards is between $111 and $330 in the U.S. and is directly related to the species of wood and finish that is used, and the number and size of boards that are needed. Similarly, the costs for replacing panels or slats in a vinyl fence are related to the size, style, and quantity of pieces that are needed.
Repairing Holes or Large Cracks
Often, wood and vinyl fences with holes and cracks in panels, slats, or boards can be repaired with patches and refinishing, which typically costs from $124 to $367. The size and nature of the damaged area will determine if a repair is feasible, or if replacing the damaged section is necessary.
Correcting Gate Problems
Damage and shifts in a fence’s supports and structure may cause operating problems with gates. Gate repairs range from replacing hinges and latches to repairing or replacing boards and panels, but also may entail making repairs to the structure or foundation of the gate posts or neighboring fence sections. National prices for repairing fence gates range from $114 to $338 and depend largely on the nature of the repair and the materials that are needed. See our guide on Gate Repair Costs to learn more.
Repairing Post Problems
Fence posts provide support to the rails and panels of fences and are fixed several feet below the surface of the ground, often in concrete. Undamaged posts that have moved out of position can often be repaired by resetting them properly with a concrete foundation, while damaged posts may need to be replaced. The amount of digging and prep work needed to set a post and type of post used will affect the overall cost of the repair, which is typically between $134 and $398.
Refinishing Weathered Stain or Paint
Wooden fences require stain, paint, or other preservatives to help protect them from weather damage. The type of finish on your fence and the extent of wear will help determine the price to refinish it, which ranges from $208 to $616 across the country. Proper preparation is important to ensure the new finish will adhere, dry, and function well, and the cleaning and removal of old finishes contribute to the cost of the project. Extensive work to prepare the fence for a new finish may require additional supplies and equipment that will increase the overall price of the job. See our guide on Fence Painting Costs to learn more.
Planning for Your Fence Repair
The many components of a fence each play a part in the complexity and expense of making fence repairs. Understanding the structure, materials, and condition of your fence can help you anticipate the extent of repairs as you plan and budget for your project.