Wood fencing remains the most common choice for homeowners, even while other materials grow in popularity.
This wood fence cost guide gives complete pricing details for comparison to other materials you’re considering. We’ve completed cost guides for aluminum, vinyl, wrought iron and other materials to make price comparison quick and easy.
We start with low/medium/high costs for your wood fence project and then dig into the details including cost factors that will help you estimate your wood fencing cost.
Wood Fence Cost for a 164 Linear Foot Project
|Low Cost||$1,968 – $2,952|
|Medium Cost||$3,116 – $4,264|
|High Cost||$4,428 – $4,920|
|Average Cost||$2,800 – $4,300|
Compare Other Fence Costs
Pros, Cons and Cost Factors
There are wood fence pros and cons to consider when it comes to choosing a wood fence.
Cost: On the upside, some wood fencing, like pressure-treated pine, is more affordable than vinyl, composite and metal fencing.
Selection: Wood fences also come in a wide range of style options from decorative picket and split-rail fence to fully enclosed shadowbox and privacy fence. You have an excellent selection of fencing height from about 3 feet to 8 feet, panel or picket styles, accessories to customize its look and many gate options.
Materials: There are several wood types starting with pine and progressing to more expensive options like Western red cedar.
Maintenance required: The biggest strike against wood fencing is that it will need a bit more TLC over the years than plastic or metal fencing. This will include sealing it (and staining it, if desired) every 3-5 years depending on your climate to maintain its resistance to weather.
Left alone, all wood including red and white cedar will fade over time. Some homeowners like to keep it freshly stained while others appreciate the rustic, weathered appearance that develops.
Wood fence cost factors: Most of these are obvious.
- The amount of wood used is a huge cost factor. A split rail fence is much more affordable than a privacy fence of the same length and height since far less material is used.
- Cedar costs more than pine.
- The taller the fence, the higher the cost.
- Accessories such as top rails and post caps can add significantly to the cost.
- How difficult it is to dig holes affects cost. Dried clay is very hard, so excavation is costly compared with soft clay, sand and loam.
- If bushes or tress must be removed to install the fence or if the grade is quite sloped, installation costs will rise.
- Installing the fence yourself will save the cost of labor – and DIY cost is reflected in the “Low” prices of the cost tables in this guide.
How Much Does a Wood Fence Cost?
Based on the cost factors just listed, we can give price ranges for each type of wood fence available.
Keep in mind that the low range of the spectrum shows the cost when you install the fence yourself. And pressure treated wood costs 33% to 50% less than cedar.
Cost is per linear foot:
Table 1: Comparison of Wood Fence Costs by Type of Fence
|Wood Fence Type||Cost per Linear Foot|
|Wood picket fencing||$7.00 – $20.00|
|Wood split rail fencing||$10.00 – $18.00|
|Wood post and rail fencing||$11.00 – $21.00|
|Wood horse fencing||$8.00 – $12.00|
|Wood lattice fencing||$2.00 – $20.00|
|Wood privacy fencing||$8.00 – $30.00|
|Wood shadow box fencing||$6.00 – $24.00|
As you can see, every type of wood fence comes in quality grades – low, average and high. Or you could consider it this way: Basic/Better/Best materials, styles, accessories, etc.
We recommend getting bids from several fencing companies, so you can compare them head to head. The wood fence estimates should be itemized into Material Costs & Supplies and Labor Costs, or a similar breakdown.
The labor cost, of course, is what you can save with DIY fence installation. You might need to spend some money on tools you don’t have or renting a gas-powered post hole digger in heavy soils.
Table 2: Comparison of Wood Fencing Costs for Standard, Mid-Range and Top Quality Fencing.
This table shows a breakdown of what itemized costs will be given the prices above for different types of wood fence. We use the uniform 164-foot fence for comparison.
|Fence Type||Cost of Materials (1)||Installation Cost||Total Cost||Cost per Linear Foot|
|Basic Wood Fence||$328 – $1,148||$350 – $650||$678 – $1,798||$4.14 – $10.95|
|Better Wood Fence||$1,312 – $2,788||$725 – $950||$2,037 – $3,738||$12.42 – $22.80|
|Best Wood Fence||$2,952 – $4,264||$985 – $1,148||$3,937 – $5,412||$24.00 – $33.35|
(1) Materials include the wood fencing plus posts, concrete, accessories, hardware and fasteners
Table 3: A Price Comparison of Wood Fence Costs from Other Estimate Sites
This table shows a price comparison for professionally installed wood fencing. Prices for super-cheap wood fencing are not included, since they are rarely professionally installed.
|Site||Cost per Linear Foot||Total Project Cost|
|Fence Guides||$8.15 – $33.00||$1,337 – $5,412|
|Home Guide||$12.00 – $27.00||$1,968 – $4,428|
|Homewyse||$19.00 – $33.90||$3,116 – $5,560|
|Remodeling Expense||$14.35 – $19.05||$2,353 – $3,120|
|Kompareit||$10.00 – $30.00||$1,640 – $4,920|
Considerations for Installation
Here’s a tip for saving a few dollars on a cedar shadow box or privacy fence, the two most expensive types: Since you won’t see the posts, use pressure-treated posts instead of cedar.
DIY wood fence installation is certainly a possibility if you have good skills. You can find how-to fence installation tutorials like this one on installing a split rail fence and this one on privacy fences from Lowes.
Wood Fence Style, Details and Usage
Wood fencing posts and panels range from 3 feet to 8 feet in height. Panels are mostly 6-8 feet in length. If you’re building a panel fence, you can purchase pre-made panels or construct them yourself. Pre-made panels cost more but save an enormous amount of time.
As we’ve noted, you have a wide variety of types from simple picket fences to plank fences to shadow box (or shadowbox) / privacy fences.
You can accessorize your wood fence in a variety of ways, depending on fence style. See what’s available from the retailer you buy materials from, whether local or online. You’ll find style options for slats, top rails, caps, gate posts, gates, hardware and more.
Wood fencing is used in three basic ways:
- Decorative – Split rail fences and horse fencing will keep large animals in the yard or pasture, but many are simply installed for looks. The same is true of a picket fence.
- Containing Kids and Pets – Picket fencing and shadow box fences are among the styles ideal for keeping dogs in the yard and creating a play space for children.
- Privacy/Security – Shadow box and privacy fences create a solid barrier, or near-solid, that keep eyes and intruders out of your yard.
Maintenance and Upkeep of Wood Fences
These issues are the biggest concerns about wood compared with synthetic materials and metals.
Cedar requires less maintenance than pressure-treated lumber, unless you want to keep it looking new. If so, sealing (and staining) will be needed every few years.