On this page:
- Estimating the Cost of Installing an Invisible Fence
- Should I Install an Invisible Fence?
- What Affects the Cost of Installation?
- How Will My Invisible Fence Project Measure Up?
- Preparing for an Invisible Fence Installation
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
Installing invisible or underground fencing is an effective and affordable way to keep your pets confined to your own yard. A wire buried a few inches deep along the perimeter of the property creates a boundary, making both the materials and effort involved in the installation much less than those needed to install traditional fencing. Many electronic fencing systems can be installed by homeowners, making it possible to install the fence for only the cost of materials and any tools or equipment needed for the job.
Estimating the Cost of Installing an Invisible Fence
Like typical fences, the price of invisible fence systems and installation is often based on the length of the fence, though the cost of the basic equipment is fixed since a transmitter and at least one receiver collar is required for every installation. Thus, the longer the fence is, the lower the cost per foot may be. A number of variables will be involved in pricing a professional installation, but the quality and cost of professional-supplied equipment is often higher than for that available to homeowners, making it common to pay $1.50 to $2.50 per foot for installation in most places.
Should I Install an Invisible Fence?
An underground or electronic fence is generally much less expensive than any other type of fencing. If your only requirement for a fence is to keep your pets where they belong, an invisible fence is probably the most economical option.
The barrier provided by an invisible fence is provided by a simple buried wire, which can accommodate virtually any landscape. The ease with which the system can be installed and configured makes it suitable for nearly any yard, and it can even be used in conjunction with a standard fence to train pets that are prone to digging their way out.
Since the boundary wire is only buried a few inches deep, an invisible fence is a good option for renters, and for homeowners who may want to remove it or change its configuration down the road. This type of fence does not provide additional security and privacy or keep out unwanted animals, though, so if your goals are broader, it might make more sense to install a traditional stockade or privacy fence.
Although an underground fence should be tested periodically and may need occasional repairs, the primary maintenance requirement of this type of system is to replace the batteries in pets’ receiver collars as needed. This feature makes the fencing simple and inexpensive to maintain, especially when compared to a wood fence that needs periodic painting or sealing, or even a vinyl or metal fence that requires cleaning or other periodic maintenance to keep it stable.
What Affects the Cost of Installing an Invisible Fence?
The cost of most home improvement projects and professional installations is influenced by the cost of labor, which varies by location. In general, professional services are typically more expensive in urban, coastal, and high-cost areas than in rural, inland places, but when it comes to invisible fencing, the market in your area may be relevant as well.
If there is a healthy number of installers nearby, you may benefit from competitive pricing. If you live in a place where invisible fence installations are not all that common, you may pay a premium to hire a provider who is considered a specialist in your area, or for someone who has to travel a considerable distance to get the job done.
In addition to your general location, the specifics of your yard may be significant when it comes to pricing your installation. The larger and more complex the perimeter is, the more time and material it will take to install the wire needed for the fence system.
Even in similarly sized yards, the features of each site could contribute to higher costs; cutting concrete to install wire across a driveway or working on steep slopes make a job much more complex that working on a flat yard with few obstacles.
How Will My Invisible Fence Project Measure Up?
The overall length of your fence and the difficulty of the installation are a couple of factors that will affect the bottom line, whether you hire a pro or do the work on your own. In addition to the extra material needed to install a longer fence or a more complex configuration, renting a power edger or paying a pro to do the work on a large lot or tough terrain can add to the cost of the job. Adding separate zones within the yard, such as to keep your dog out of a garden or a barn, raises both the complexity of the job and the overall length of the fence.
Scale of the System
Most invisible fence systems are sold with a single receiver, but can actually support multiple units. If you need extra collars for yours, they may cost as little as $30 or as much as $300 each, depending on the type and brand of system you have installed.
Many professional installers offer training services to help you and your pets get the hang of the new fence system. If you opt for the extra service, or for additional warranty or maintenance coverage, the initial cost of installation will be higher than if you limit services to the basic installation.
Preparing for an Invisible Fence Installation
Plan It Out
In addition to designing the layout of your fence, be sure to plan for site features that may require special attention or might slow the job down. For example, plan ahead to rent an edger or saw as needed if you plan to install wire yourself. Also, even though your fence wire only needs to be buried about three inches deep, it’s always good to put in a call to your local underground utility locator before you get started, such as One Call, Dig Safe, or 811.
Whether you plan to install your own fencing system or hire a pro, be sure to shop around for a product and/or provider that suits your needs. Consider the features and reliability of the fence product as well as the services and warranties provided by local installers. Compare your findings to choose a fence and a contractor that are a good match for you, your pets, and your budget.
When choosing an underground fence system and planning the installation, try to plan ahead as well as you can in order to simplify the job and avoid making substantial changes in the future. For example, consider whether or not you should configure the wire to create “exclusion zones” within the yard. If you aren’t sure what future needs you may have, check into the flexibility of various systems to see if they can be expanded later or even removed to install at a new location.
|$180 - $350||$850 - $1,500||$1,250 - $2,400|
Invisible fences are extremely customizable, so the cost of installing your fence will depend on several factors. In order to help estimate the cost of the project, consider a few different scenarios to see how much the price of the job can vary on a ¼ acre lot.
DIY Boundary: $180 - $350
- • Scale: A basic installation for a single dog keeps this system simple and materials costs low since no extra equipment is needed.
- • Services: Since this is a DIY job there are no labor costs, which usually exceed the cost of the equipment. However, it’s up to you to train your dog properly, and you’re on your own for repairs if they become necessary.
- • Configuration: Making a simple loop to create a perimeter around the yard is the simplest way to set up the fence, and if the ground is flat and easily worked there is no need to rent special tools.
Professional Perimeter: $850 - $1,500
- • Scale: Adding a second receiver for this job raises the cost of materials, but does not affect the complexity of the installation.
- • Services: Taking advantage of professional installation and training services make the job a little pricier up front, but it is generally worth the investment to ensure your pets are trained correctly and quickly.
- • Configuration: Adding an exclusion zone to protect a garden makes this job a bit more time consuming and calls for some extra material.
Completely Squared Away: $1,250 - $2,400
- • Scale: Including a second receiver adds general material costs to this job, but upgrading to equipment that can be better customized to each pet can cost considerably more than using more limited receivers.
- • Services: Taking all the bells and whistles with this installation ensures you and your pets will be fully trained on the system, and that you will have extended warranty coverage for the system components.
- • Configuration: This project includes a more complex layout that isolates several areas of the job, making it a more time consuming and labor intensive installation.
Level of Difficulty
Installing an underground pet fence is a good project for most intermediate level do-it-yourselfers. The project can typically be completed with simple hand tools, but a circular saw or cutoff saw may come in handy if you need to cross a paved driveway, and a power edger can save some time if you are working on a large area.