The Cost-Effectiveness of a Wood Fence

Breakdown of the cost to install a wood fence

The three main expenses for a new wood fence are wood, concrete for the posts, and labor (or supplies if you choose to do it yourself). Working with a professional fence installer will ensure that your fence is strong and long-lasting.


There is no getting around the fact that these days, the cost of lumber alone for a new wood fence ranges from $1 to $15 per foot. Hiring a fence installation specialist has the advantage that they frequently purchase materials in bulk at a discount.

  • Wood: The price of wood can vary greatly, from $1 for pine to more than $15 for tropical hardwood.
  • Concrete: To secure the posts, you’ll need concrete, which costs $8 to $10 per 80-pound bag. Most posts require one to four bags of concrete.
  • Posts: A fence’s support structure is made up of posts, which range in price from $10 to $50 each.
  • Tools: Depending on how stocked your toolbox is, you’ll spend between $400 and $900 on tools. You will require screws, drill bits, a drill, an air compressor, and a finish nailer to install a fence.
  • A manual auger, which is a drill used to drill holes in the ground for posts, costs $15 to $110, while a power auger costs $60 to $600. A power auger can also be rented for $50 to $100 per day. 


A local fence installation business can be hired for $10 to $30 per linear foot. Businesses may also bill by the hour, with rates ranging from $25 to $60 per hour. It will take a team of experts one to three days to add 100 to 200 feet of fence. 


The cost of lumber varies greatly; pine, for example, costs $1 per foot, while tropical hardwoods cost closer to $15 per foot. The type of wood you select will likely depend on your needs and budget.  

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


Simple ranch-style fences cost $10 per foot, while custom picket fencing costs $75 per foot. The cost of the type of fencing you choose can vary, depending on whether you’re envisioning a white picket fence around the front yard, a privacy fence to create a private atmosphere in the backyard, a split-rail option around the garden, or some combination of different options.


For $10 to $75 per linear foot, you can install a wood picket fence to add some charm. If you want a custom design, gates, or a fresh coat of paint for that idyllic white picket fence look, this wood fence will cost more.


Privacy fences range in price from $27 to $60 per linear foot, materials and labor included. Due to the close spacing and lack of gaps between the wood planks, a privacy fence can prevent both visual and physical access to your yard. Because they are taller and require more wood planks, privacy fences are frequently more expensive.


Ranch-style split-rail fences cost $10 to $30 per foot for materials and installation. The number of rails, the lumber, and any pest-resistant treatments could all result in price increases.

Additional Costs to Consider

Taller fences might need building permits, which would increase your spending.


Although taller fences offer more privacy, their price can increase by 20% to 30% in comparison to standard fences that are 4, 5, or 6 feet tall. In order to build taller fences, more lumber is needed.


Depending on your local laws, you might need to pay $10 to $500 for a permit to install a new fence. For instance, homeowners in California must obtain permits before constructing fences taller than 7 feet, whereas permits are needed in Los Angeles for fences taller than 6 feet. As for the requirements for permits, check with your municipality.

Cost to Install a Wood Fence Yourself

The average cost of installing a wood fence is $1,525, with costs ranging from $850 to $2,200. You can cut the cost of your wood fence by about 50% if you do it yourself.

For comparison, a typical yard needs about 150 linear feet of fencing. You will require between 20 and 25 posts, or one for every six to eight feet of fencing, depending on your setup.

Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor

If you install a wood fence yourself rather than hiring a contractor, you can expect to save between $10 and $30 per linear foot. Even though building a fence is a do-it-yourself project, you should be comfortable taking on this task. Expect to spend at least 30 to 50 hours installing a new fence if you decide to take on the installation yourself. 

Additionally, renting specialized tools like a post-hole digger or hole auger is required for this project. Not to mention that if the posts are put in the wrong way, you might end up having to pay $100 to $500 to fix a fence that is leaning, sagging, or falling. If you have no prior experience installing fences, you may want to think about hiring a local wood fence installer to complete the task.

Cost of Common Wood Fence Add-Ons

You’ll want to consider a few add-ons before making your final choices because they might improve the appearance or durability of your wood fence


A typical, 4-foot-wide gate costs $200 to $600 per addition. Even if you are only fencing in your backyard, gates can still be useful because they make it simpler to enter the space. They are useful while also adding charm to any yard, so it’s a win-win situation.


For $1 to $3 per foot, a waterproof sealant can be added to your new wood fence. Although wood is fairly resilient, waterproofing enhances its ability to withstand the elements. Depending on the product instructions, you might need to reapply the waterproof coating every six months to two years.

Batten Board

Adding board and batten fencing to your home is another inventive way to use board-on-board materials. It gives your wood fence more privacy, durability, and stability. You may be familiar with board and batten for exterior and interior home designs. This upgrade will cost you more money, typically between $3,500 and $4,500.

Lattice Tops

Depending on the type of wood you select, a lattice top can be added to your fence for $2 to $20. Lattices are the ideal addition for ardent fairy gardeners because they transform your yard into an enchanted locale. 

Post Caps

With the addition of post caps, unsightly posts can be transformed into magnificent pillars that resemble Roman columns. Your posts can have post caps added for anywhere between $3 and $50 per cap. The majority of caps fall into this price range, but more expensive options include solar-powered caps that provide ambient lighting for your yard. 

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