On this page of the Fence Guides website gives you the details you need to have in order to evaluate split rail fencing and see if it suits your purposes. Along the way, you’ll understand more about the style of fence and how it gets its name, split rail fence cost and prices, as well as installation and maintenance factors you may need to know. The table below shows a quick overview of split rail fence costs for a 164 linear foot project, with an average split rail fence cost of $2,000 – $2,500 with installation included.
|Split Rail Fence Cost|
|Low Cost||$1634– $2030|
|Medium Cost||$1940 – $2300|
|High Cost||$2624 – $4592|
|Average Cost||$2000 – $2500|
Compare Other Fence Costs
Split rail fences give a rustic, casual look to any property and can provide a level of functionality as well. This type of fencing has been in use for centuries and continues to be popular today on ranches, farms and in rural residential use. This fence guide explores the details of split rail fences as well as the split rail fence cost you’re likely to pay on average, depending based on basic, mid-range and high end prices. Our goal is to give you the information you need to decide which type of fencing it best for the look and functionality you want.
Table 1: Comparison of Split Rail Fencing Costs for Standard, Mid-Range and Top Quality Fencing.
|Fence Type||Cost of Materials||Installation Cost||Total Project Cost for a 164 Linear Foot Project||Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Standard Split Rail Fence||$1090 – $1250||$544 – $780||$1634– $2030||$10 – $13|
|Mid-Range Split Rail Fence||$1220 – $1400||$720 – $900||$1940 – $2300||$12 – $15|
|Top-Quality Split Rail Fence||$1824– $3492||$800 – $1100||$2624 – $4592||$16– $28|
Table 2: Comparison of Split Rail Fencing Costs for Split Rail Fence Types
|Material||Total Project Cost for a 164 Linear Foot Project||Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Composite Fence||$1640 – $3280||$10 – $20|
|Pine Wood Fence||$1968 – $2624||$12 – $16|
|Vinyl Fence||$3116- $3936||$19 – $24|
|Cedar Wood Fence||$1968 – $2624||$12 – $16|
|Steel Fence||$3280 $4100||$20 – $25|
|Aluminum Fence||$3772 – $4592||$23 – $28|
Table 3: A Price Comparison of Split Rail Fence Costs from Around the Web
|Company||Cost Per Linear Foot||Total Project Cost for a 164 Linear Foot Project|
|Fence Guides||$10 -$18||$1640 – $2700|
|Home Advisor||$12 – $30||$1968 – $4920|
|How Much||$14 – $18||$2296 – $2952|
|Improvenet||$10 – $30||$1640 – $4920|
|InstallationCosts||$4 – $8||$656 – $1312|
|Note: Our pricing data are carefully calculated from industry averages as well as submissions from our own readers. This allows us to provide you with the best idea of the likely cost for your fence project. The above data is costed on an average of 164 linear foot. If you have a price we’re missing from our price comparison then please submit it on our price submission page for display above.|
In terms of cost, a wood split rail fence is quite affordable, even when high-quality cedar is used. Depending on the type of wood and the length of the rails, your installed price will be $12-$16 per linear foot from a professional or $8-$12 per foot if you install it yourself.
For vinyl split rail fencing, expect to pay $15-$20 per linear foot for the material with the same $4 per linear foot for installation.
The tables above show a quick price comparison for split rail fencing, including the cost supplied, installed and cost per linear foot. The costs are based upon an average installation size of approximately 150 linear feet. We have also included prices and cost breakdowns for split rail fencing by material type and some split rail fence cost comparisons from around the internet.
Factors Which Affect the Cost of Split Rail Fence
- Height of the Fence – The height of the fence will affect the cost due to the fact that more materials will be required. A shorter 4-foot-high fence, in comparison to a 6-foot-high fence will require longer fence posts as well as needing only 2 horizontal rails, in comparison to 3 horizontal rails with a taller 6-foot fence. Therefore, a shorter fence can cost up to 25% less overall.
- Length of the Fence – The cost of any split rail fence will be higher the longer the perimeter you need to cover. This is obvious. As more materials are required, as well as more labour to install the fence.
- Slopes, Ground and Accessibility – Building a fence on a slope can be challenging, additional skill and tools will be required to do a decent job. Building a fence on a significant incline is often beyond the skill of most DIY’ers and therefore in these circumstances the skill of a professional is advised. Secondly, the ground quality and condition of the soil will greatly affect the price. It doesn’t necessarily follow that softer sandy soil will be cheaper to install a fence within either, as these sorts of soil often pack less moister and so whilst they’re easier to dig, they’re harder to get a fence to stay firm. Conversely, clay soil is good to provide a firm ground, but it’s moisture density will rot wooden posts quicker and is harder to dig and remove for installation. Finally, any obstructions such as buildings, trees or existing fencing will need to be taken into consideration, as these will take time, resources and man-power to remove and therefore will add to the overall cost.
- Gates – Simply put, more gates equals more money!
- Fence Material – The cheapest material is wood, followed by composite, however when you want an aliuminum or steel fence, the overall cost can double. Table 2 shows a comparison of split rail fence costs by material.
Considerations Split Rail Fence Installation
Installation requires the use of a post hole digger, either a manual or powered tool. You might also need a saw for cutting rails to fit specific dimensions. If you plan to set the posts with concrete, you will need a manual mixer if you plan to pre-mix it. Many ranchers and farmers simply set the posts in the ground or pour dry cement into the hole, set the post and then add water.
As noted, the installation cost is about 25% of the job, or about $4 per linear foot. If you enjoy DIY projects, there’s no reason you can’t do the work yourself. Most fencing contractors will also install it, so it might make sense to get a few estimates. You can then decide if you’d prefer to save the money or save the time and effort it will take to do the job.
There are several types of wood used for split rail fencing including cedar, pine, spruce and hemlock. Cedar species such as Western Red cedar has the best natural water-resistant characteristics. It will last the longest and requires the least amount of maintenance. Cedar is also very resistant to insect infestation. When not painted or stained, it weathers to an attractive, classic silver-gray color.
While wood remains the most popular, some manufacturers, such as Freedom Fencing, are now making vinyl split rail fencing products. They are offered in several colors and have the advantage of being completely maintenance-free.
Fence posts rising 3’ to 4’ out of the ground are the most common, but posts can be of any size you desire. They might need to be special-ordered if of a non-standard height. Standard 3’ posts use 2 rails and 4’ posts use 3 rails. Rails are typically 10’ long but 8’ rails might also be available from the supplier or contractor you choose. If you choose 8’ rails, you’ll use 2.5 more posts per 100 linear feet of fencing.
Common Uses of this Fence Type
This rustically attractive fence is used for both decorative purposes and practical use. For appearance, it is often used in front of a home to set it off from the road. In fact, sometimes, non-connecting sections are used purely for ornamental purpose.
Split rail fencing won’t keep small pets or critters in or out, but it is effective for livestock, horses and other large animals.
You don’t need to do any maintenance on a wood split rail fence, and this is usually what happens when hundreds or thousands of feet of fencing are used. Wood can also be stained or painted, and either will significantly prolong the life of the wood. Painting or staining is the best choice if you use wood other than cedar. Vinyl fencing is maintenance-free, though when shorter runs are installed, some home or property owners power wash the fence once or twice a year as needed.
Installing and erecting a split rail fence is easy when you know how and you have the right tools. This guide here is very helpful at explaining how to install a split rail fence.
How deep you install a split rail fence post will depend on the size of the post. As a general rule of thumb you should install approximately one 3rd of the post into the ground to ensure that it’s as strong as possible.