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Privacy Fence Cost Comparison

Privacy fence cost is $13 to $32 per linear foot based on materials and installation factors. You can spend more, of course, but this is the range for the most common privacy fence types, materials and styles.

This guide discusses the cost to install privacy fence types including wood and vinyl and other materials in various styles.

Tables make it easy to compare the average cost of privacy fence types and complete projects. We’ve gathered estimates on the cost to install privacy fence from other reliable sites. Cost factors assist you in determining what you final privacy fence price might be.

Here’s an overview table to get started.

Privacy Fence Cost for a 164 Linear Foot Project
Low Cost $2132-$3116
Medium Cost $3120-$4428
High Cost $4440-$5248+
Average Cost $2788-$4756

The table considers wood privacy fence cost and vinyl privacy fence cost. These materials, specifically pressure-treated or cedar wood and PVC vinyl fence or PVC composite fence account for more than 80% of privacy fences.

But that’s why the High Cost column figures end with a “+”. You can always pay more for exotic wood, combination wood with solid panels and fancy work on top, aluminum privacy fencing and more.

The tables also show 6ft privacy fence cost, 6 feet being the most popular height – it gives privacy without limiting feeling imposing.

Compare Privacy Fence Costs With Other Fence Types

There are two basic privacy styles.

Solid fences consist of individual planks fixed to horizontal boards. These are the most basic privacy fence types and provide the best privacy. Most are wood.

Shadowbox fences are more visually appealing. They use offset planks that allow a bit of light through, so they privacy isn’t quite as absolute. However, many homeowners appreciate the style and the light. Shadowbox fences are built in wood, PVC and composite.

Wood privacy fences fall in the Low and Medium (or Average) cos range. PVC privacy fences are Medium in cost. Composite privacy fences are Medium and High on the cost range.

How Much Does a Privacy Fence Cost?

Material is the biggest cost factor, as mentioned above and detailed in the list of privacy fence Cost Factors below.

None of them are cheap, primarily because many fence types don’t make good privacy fences – Chain link fence, picket fence or post & rail fence, for example.

Here is the privacy fence cost for each material that has been discussed. These prices are in privacy fence cost per foot (linear foot):

  • Pressure-treated wood privacy fence cost: $13-$18
  • Cedar privacy fence cost: $15-$26
  • Vinyl privacy fence cost: $19-$22
  • Composite privacy fence cost: $24-$32

Ask fence contractors for itemized estimates that show the cost of materials and the labor charges separately. This will show you what you can save by installing your own privacy fence.

Now it is on to package prices for privacy fences.

Table 1: This table gives details for a privacy fence using 164 linear feet of material.

Fence Type Cost of Materials Cost of Installation Total Project Cost
Cost/Linear Foot
Wood Privacy Fence $1550-$3,500 $580-$750 $2132-$4264 $13-$26
Vinyl Privacy Fence $2566-$2825 $550-$775 $3116-$3608 $19-$22
Composite Privacy Fence $3300-$4448 $625-$800 $3936-$5248 $24-$32

Table 2: A Price Comparison of Privacy Fence Costs from Around the Web.

Company Cost per Linear Foot Total Project Cost
Fence Guides $13.00-$32.00 $2132-$5248
Homewyse $21.50-$33.25 $3526-$5453
Remodeling Expense $22.47-$38.08 $3690-$6232
Porch $19.00-$31.00 $2788-$5084
Home Advisor $10.00-$40.00 $1640-$6560

Factors Which Affect the Cost of a Composite Fence

Privacy fence cost per foot of $13 to $32 is quite a range. These privacy fence price factors will allow you to narrow your probable costs, and you’ll have a better idea what to expect when you get estimates or go shopping for materials.

  • Privacy Fence Material – It’s clear from the tables above that a pressure-treated privacy fence is the cheapest type. The cost of cedar privacy fence materials is still affordable and offers appearance advantages over treated pine. PVC vinyl privacy fence cost is next, as cost increases, with plastic composite and wood composite privacy fence cost the highest.
  • Composite Brand – Our Composite Fence Guide mentions top brands, and there is a range of pricing from mid-price to premium quality and cost.
  • Privacy Fence Style – Because a shadowbox privacy uses more material than a plain plank fence, it will cost more. The installation can be a little more difficult too, so there might be additional labor charges.
  • Accents and Extras – A bare-bones privacy fence is the most affordable. It consists of posts and panels, no accents or extras. When you add attractive post caps, lattice work on top and other options, cost rises. Vinyl privacy fencing offers the most options for visually appealing accents and accessories.
  • Fence Height – We’ve generally used 6ft privacy fence cost in this post, but privacy fences can be taller, though about 8ft is the limit. Cost rises with height.
  • Installation Factors – When a fence contractor comes to your home to give you a privacy fence cost estimate, the contractor will take a look at the proposed installation area. Cost will rise with these factors – Removing and disposing of old fencing, a large amount of brush or stone to be cleared, rocky or dry clay soil conditions, uneven terrain and similar challenges.
  • Where you Live – Cost is often higher in large metropolitan areas, especially near the East Cost and West Cost than prices in the Midwest, South and rural areas.
  • Time of Year – Privacy fence installation cost estimates are more competitive in the early season and late season than during the peak of the season when fence installers are very busy.

Considerations for Installation

DIY privacy fence installation is worth considering if you have the time, skills and inclination. There are many fence installation guides and tutorials available online.

We recommend reading up and watching several tutorials before deciding. Consider what tools you need or will have to buy or rent if you DIY. Their cost will come out of your savings by installing the fence. For example, if you’ve got hard soil, then renting gas-powered post hole digger will save you many hours of back-breaking work.

And it makes sense to get privacy fence installation estimates from several contractors before deciding. As you can see from the tables above, materials are the biggest expense. Installation costs account for about 15% to 25% of the total cost, or $3.50 to $4.75 per linear foot.

Are in you a Homeowners Association? HOA rules about fences can be very precise and picky. Read your bylaws first to find out:

  • Whether fences are allowed
  • Where the fence can and can’t be (typically flush with the front of the house and in the backyard, but not in the front yard)
  • Height requirements
  • Material requirements – yes, some HOAs are that choosy

Privacy Fence Style, Details and Usage

Your options for privacy fence height are 6 feet to 8 feet for most styles, but they can be higher. Most are sold in large panels rather than stick-built onsite. The cost of materials when buying panels is higher, but you’ll save money on the total project because installation costs will be much lower than for building a fence, plank by plank, in your backyard.

The planks of shadowbox privacy fences are installed vertically. In solid privacy fencing, they’re typically vertical, but can be installed horizontally too.

Vinyl and composite privacy fences come in nice selection of color options. Vinyl is available in white, off-white, brown and green for most brands, but you might find additional “premium” colors too.

Composite typically mimics wood, so it is produced in woodgrain patterns in a range of hues.

If you install a wood privacy fence, then sealing and staining it might be an added expense. That’s definitely where you can save money – by sealing it yourself. Sealer or stain and sealer combined, is available for $20-$40 per gallon, with a gallon covering about 150-200 square feet depending on how absorbent the wood is.

A lot of money can be spent on accents and extras like the lattice work or decorative caps mentioned above. If you plan a gate in your privacy fence, expect an extra expense of $50-$100 for the gate panel, hardware and installation.

Common Uses of This Fence Type

Privacy fences can be as minimal as a single 20-foot run shielding a patio from a neighboring yard. Many surround the entire backyard. Some give privacy to a pool area.

Consider your natural landscape, where neighboring homes are situated and, of course, your budget.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Privacy Fences

Keep in mind that a wood privacy fence will require more maintenance than vinyl or composite. Wood fences must be sealed every 3-6 years depending on your climate.

Over the years, the lifetime cost of wood can be just as high or higher than composite or vinyl privacy fence cost.

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