If you want to increase the privacy and relative safety of your yard and your landscape edging ideas aren’t sturdy enough, you may start looking at a privacy fence cost. As a bonus it can also boost your home’s curb appeal and provide protection for your green space or garden from the wind or other elements. No matter if you want to start from scratch and have ever had a privacy fence before or if you want to upgrade an existing fence, knowing the average privacy fence cost is important so you can budget for this project. Since there are several variables, it can be challenging to get an accurate privacy fence cost estimate, but we’re going to outline them for you.
On average, most residential yards are right around a quarter-acre or 209 linear feet. The average cost to install a wooden privacy fence ranges between $1,500 to $6,500. The average cost for a new quarter-acre fence that is three or four feet tall with a picket fence design is $4,500. This type of fence will use medium-quality wood with a gate. If you want a lower-quality option without a gate, you’ll pay between $1,000 and $1,500. For a six-foot high privacy fence with multiple gates, the privacy fence cost jumps to $10,000.
Your privacy fence cost will fluctuate depending on the type of wood, posts, pickets, rails, hardware, stain, paint, or gates. Wood fences typically cost between $17.00 and $45.00 per linear foot. If you want lumber, you’ll pay between $5.00 to $15.00 per food, and labor costs can add between $10.00 to $30.00 per foot to your privacy fence cost. The height and length of your fence will also factor into the total cost.
Installing a privacy fence can be a huge project, and it can be challenging to nail down everything that goes into your privacy fence cost. This is why we’re going to outline the biggest considerations you want to keep in mind when you’re trying to figure out your privacy fence cost. In turn, you’ll get a rough estimate and know important questions to ask when you start calling around for estimates.
A privacy fence is a great way to boost your home’s value, especially in crowded suburbs. They come in many styles and materials that makes it easy to tailor your final look to your maximum privacy fence cost budget. Sideyard privacy fence by Field Outdoor Spaces / CC BY 2.0
Privacy Fence Cost by Type of Wood
One of the first things you have to do is pick out a type of wood. You can expect to pay between $5.00 and $15.00 per linear foot for the wood you need to build your fence. After that, you’ll have to pick out a fence height and style. A professional company may bring in the wood with any necessary equipment or fasteners, and they can usually get it for a better price than you can get.
When it comes to a privacy fence cost, the material you choose is one of the biggest cost factors. Wood is the most commonly used material, and it can last for years if you maintain and treat it properly. It’s more durable than many privacy screens, and you have a lot of options available.
This is an environmentally-friendly choice that will increase your privacy fence cost by $20.00 to $30.00 per linear foot. It’s available in dark and light colors, and you place the bamboo sticks tightly together to create a unique fence solution. You can get bamboo fences that require routine pruning and maintenance because they keep growing, or you can get dead and dried bamboo that is almost maintenance-free.
Black Locust wood requires very little maintenance, and it works well in agricultural settings where it’s left alone a lot. It can last up to 80 years, and it’s one of the most structurally sound options available. It’s not as readily available as more popular options, so the privacy fence cost for this material can easily range between $30.00 to $60.00 per linear foot.
Cedar has a slightly reddish hue to it, requires less maintenance overall, and it’s eco-friendly. It’s a very lightweight fencing choice that works well in dry climates like part of your desert landscaping. It has a pleasant scent, and it has insect-repellent qualities that make it popular for siding and decking. Cedar isn’t a great pick for humid areas because it can weaken the structure, and you’ll pay between $15.00 and $30.00 a linear foot for this type.
Composite wood is new, and it’s a unique combination of plastic and natural wood. It gives you an eco-friendly but cost-effective fence that looks like traditional wooden fencing. It can easily withstand wind, rain, pests, UV rays, and mold better than traditional wood fencing. You will have to perform minimal maintenance like washing it down instead of repainting it. This will help keep your privacy fence cost down, and it costs between $25.00 to $55.00 per linear foot.
This is a very dense but durable wood that is similar to pine. It has a very nice look to it, but it also comes with cypretine. This is a naturally-occurring chemical that will deter pests and insects from the area. This is a rot-resistant wood that lasts a long time in areas that routinely get snow, rain, or strong winds. You can expect to pay between $20.00 and $30.00 a linear foot for it.
Douglas Firs are popular Christmas trees, and it’s one of the strongest softwoods available. You can leave it with a natural, light yellow look that will eventually turn a soft grey coloring. You can seal it to help keep the natural color by sealing it, and it won’t bend or warp much once you install it. You’ll pay between $25.00 to $40.00 for every linear foot.
This is a very common tropical hardwood that has tight grains with a high density that gives you a very durable fence. It has a deep brown coloring that is very rich, and it’ll fade to a silvery-grey coloring unless you treat it. If you want to restore the color, use a stain and oil routine. It has a high resistance to pests and termites, and it can last for up to 75-years. The price per linear foot ranges between $15.00 to $35.00.
Pine is popular for fencing, railings, cabinets, doors, baseboards, and windows. It’s widely available and it’ll last a long time when you treat it. It’s prone to buckling and warping if you don’t maintain it, and this can drive your privacy fence cost up. It runs between $10.00 and $25.00 per linear foot.
This is a beautiful fence material that has very rich, deep red colors. It resists insects, rotting, and UV rays. It does well in humid environments, and it’ll resist decay. You do have to use a wood stain to keep the rich coloring, and it’ll stop it from turning grey. The higher demand and the deep coloring make this a very in-demand wood, and this can drive your privacy fence cost up to the tune of $25.00 to $50.00 a linear foot.
If you’re on a budget, Spruce is a solid option. It can last for up to 10-years when you seal and reseal it to protect it from the elements. It has a white-grey color that you can easily stain or paint the fence to update the coloring, and it has a wider grain pattern. It can warp if it’s damp outside for extended periods. Typically, you’ll pay between $10.00 and $20.00 a linear foot.
Western Red Cedar
If you want a rich autumn color, Western Red Cedar is the way to go. It has a high resistance level to rot, insects, and moisture damage. The wood comes with Tannin oils that will help protect your fence’s integrity, including in areas that get a lot of rain and wind. It’s less likely to twist, warp, or shrink, and this is why it’s popular for decking and roofing. You’ll pay between $15.00 and $30.00 per linear foot, but your privacy fence cost will increase with yearly maintenance.
This type of fence can last for a long time if you work to maintain it. It has a very light finish, and it’s widely available. It’s hardy in a range of different weather conditions, but it can bow or warp if it’s very humid or damp. You find it used on farms where horses chew on fencing, and it resists rot. This makes the higher cost at $25.00 to $60.00 per linear foot worth it.
Picking out a type of wood is one of the first steps you take to helping you figure out your privacy fence cost. Some materials will cost more upfront, but they can extend the fence’s lifespan up to 20 years. CRW_2934 by Jackson’s Dad / CC BY-NC 2.0
Prices for Different Types of Fences
Even if you want a privacy fence, there are a few different types you can consider. This is especially helpful if you have plants or flowers that like to climb. You can set them right up against your fence and let them fill in any open areas in your fence to create a natural privacy screen.
When many people think of a privacy fence, they think of a vertical one. However, horizontal fences are possible, and it’s very common in more modern design aesthetics. It creates a high-end, distinguished look that shows off your fence’s wood grain. You can place the slats tightly together for a private yard, and it can create the illusion that your yard is bigger or longer while increasing your privacy. Your privacy fence cost will increase as the fence’s height increases because you’ll need more materials to reach these heights. It also requires careful installation by a professional, and you’ll pay around $8.00 and $20.00 per linear foot.
If you’re trying to get into the lower end of the privacy fence cost sector, try a picket fence. It has iconic pointed tips that made it very popular in colonial times, and it’s popular in cottages today. A wooden picket fence will be slightly more expensive than a split rail fence, but it’s affordable and it gives you a semi-private fence. They’re easier to install, but they’re traditionally three to four feet high, and this may not be enough for a full-scale privacy fence. It can boost your home’s curb appeal, and it’ll traditionally cost between $5.00 and $13.00 per linear square foot.
Typically, a privacy fence is six-feet high and up. It works to obscure the view of your yard and home from anyone outside of the fence, and you’ll need both permits and permission for zoning boards to build one. Depending on the fixtures and features you pick out, you could expect to pay between $20.00 and $45.00 for every linear foot. This price could also increase if you decide on more in-demand wood.
Better known as a ranch-style fence, you’ll get a structure with wider gaps between the slats to give it a rustic appearance. A split rail fence with triple railings gives you less privacy and protection for your pets and children, but it has the lowest barrier rating too. It typically ranges between 2.5 and 3 feet tall, and it’s more popular in rural areas. It costs between $3.00 and $6.00 per linear foot.
Stockade fencing has wooden boards that get placed right next to one another with no gaps. You get a solid wooden panel, and the tops usually have a pointed end for a stylish look. You can use spruce, pine, or cedar to give you an extra layer of security, and it’s easy to repair one section without having to take out the whole fence. It does need regular staining and painting to keep it in good shape. You’ll pay between $8.00 and $15.00 per linear foot with this type of fence.
It’s easy to forget about stockade-style fences, but they can help save you money while giving you a nice private yard. They are typically shorter than six feet, but you could have them custom-made to be taller. A cheap solution? By reader of the pack / CC BY-ND 2.0
Fence Post Price by Medium
Along with the materials themselves, you have to factor the fence posts into your privacy fence costs. Without installation, fence posts can cost between $10.00 to $150 each. However, it’s easy to replace the fence posts when you notice them wearing out than replace the whole fence, and they help provide needed support for your privacy fence. You can choose from a few different materials.
Brick or Stone
Brick or stone posts use columns of this material, and they come in several colors. They give you a lot of sturdiness and durability for your fence, and they can help increase your protection. Brick or stone looks nice against natural wood, and the brick and stone’s density will help block out noise. However, this can drive your privacy fence cost up substantially because they can easily cost between $50.00 and $150 per post.
Depending on the environment and where you live, concrete could be a viable option for your fence posts. You can make your fence posts out of solid concrete and attach them directly to your fence. It’s also possible to secure your fence right into the concrete to give the fence more protection and strength. Setting your fence posts in concrete instead of gravel will increase your privacy fence cost, but it gives you a lot more stability in bad weather. It’ll cost around $30.00 to $100 per post, and this works out to $2.00 to $4.00 per linear foot.
Metal posts can offer a lot of support for your fence and be more durable, and this boosts the cost factor. Metal is very unlikely to rot, and it can easily withstand strong winds to help protect your fence from heavy winds and storm damage. In turn, you’ll have lower maintenance costs, and you won’t spend as much time patching your fence. For metal posts, try for a galvanized steel. You’ll pay between $10.00 and $60.00 per post.
If you want to create a cohesive look with your fence, try wooden fence posts. They come in a broad range of materials, and picking out the type of wood will come down to aesthetic appeal and price. Generally, the privacy fence cost for wooden posts will vary between $10.00 to $50.00 per fence post. If you choose one of the lower-end types of wood, you’ll be on the lower cost of the spectrum. More expensive wood will drive your costs up.
Since fence posts come in different shapes, they can impact your privacy fence cost. You can create unique or seamless looks with the different shapes and your finished fence. DSC07261.JPG by Vanessa Loftus / CC BY-NC 2.0
How Fence Post Shape Impacts Price
A lot of the privacy fence cost goes to aesthetics, and your fence post shape will impact it. Pointed, square, and rounded posts are all popular. You’ll want to decide which ones look best with your design and your home’s look before you settle on one.
Pointed fence posts have sharper ends that make it easier to drive it into the ground, and this is nice in areas where the soil is tough or dry and arid. They won’t give you the same polished look that you’ll get with other types of post, but it can save you on privacy fence costs with labor. They’re a budget-friendly option that you can touch up to match your fence, and they run between $5.00 and $20.00 each.
Round fence posts are generally easy to maintain and install, and they’ve been very popular for decades for homeowners. If you want a classic and neat look, round posts are the way to go. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and other pests are less likely to disturb these types of fence posts, and they will increase your privacy fence cost by $5.00 to $15.00 each.
Square fence posts offer a huge amount of stability at the base, and this makes them very popular. They give you a polished and sophisticated look, and it’s very easy to cut and measure to reduce your labor costs. This type is more exposed to pests and the elements, but they’re a nice choice that is slightly more expensive. The average cost per post for this shape ranges from $20.00 to $50.00.
Cost to Replace Your Privacy Fence
With routine maintenance, a professionally-installed privacy fence can easily last up to 20 years. A pressure-treated pine privacy fence will last up to 15 years before you need to replace it. You should take time to routinely inspect your fence, make and repairs, and pressure wash it to help it last longer. If you live in areas that have heavy rains, high winds, or other extreme weather conditions may find themselves replacing their fence sooner.
The average privacy fence cost to replace your fence ranges between $1,500 to $3,000. To remove your existing fence and get rid of the debris, you’ll pay between $2.00 and $5.00 per linear foot. So, this means that the cost to remove and dispose of a 209-foot fence will cost between $420 and $1,500. The company you choose to help you and the complexity of the project will dictate the privacy fence cost for removal and disposal.
The final privacy fence cost will lean heavily on labor since you should have a professional do it for you to ensure your fence is well-grounded. A typical contractor will charge between $25.00 and $60.00 per hour. Many will have flat-rate quotes available that are easy to compare. The flat-rate quotes usually include both materials and labor. The privacy fence cost to install one that is 209 linear feet long could cost between $2,000 and $10,000. Half of this is labor costs, including the wood used and the height. Per foot, installation costs are $10.00 per foot, and it can range between $12.00 and $20.00.
Miscellaneous Cost Factors to Consider
Along with the fence itself, there are a few other factors that will influence the total privacy fence cost you have to pay. Getting all of these things straight before you start the project will ensure you can afford a beautiful fence that doesn’t break your budget.
- Gates – Gates give you a convenient way to enter and exit your yard without having to walk around the entirety of your property. Gates increase your privacy fence cost based on the height and number of them you have.
- Four Feet – $200 to $250 with labor and materials
- Five Feet – $225 to $275 with labor and materials
- Six Feet – $275 to $325 with labor and materials
- Eight Feet – $375 to $425 with labor and materials
- Ten Feet – $475 to $600 with labor and materials
- Post Caps – Post caps are very ornamental, and they sit on the top of each of your fence posts to create a finished look. You can get them made out of resin, metal, wood, and vinyl, and they can easily cost between $5.00 and $50.00 each. The post cap material can increase your privacy fence cost. Most come in four by four or six by six sizes, and you want to ensure you get the correct size because it can cost up to $200 to replace each cap.
- Permits – If you install a fence that is over five feet tall, your privacy fence cost will go up because you have to consider any permits you need. You’ll want to talk to your local zoning board before you start working because you typically need approval. Permit costs can range between $20.00 to $400.
- Surveys – It’s important to get a survey of the area for utility and gas lines before you do any digging on your property. It can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per visit, so you want to get everything marked off in one go.
Where You Can Find Privacy Fence Installation Contractors
Looking for professional help? Use this helpful resource to find privacy fence contractors near you:
Frequently Asked Questions
Having a short list of questions to ask the different companies when you contact them can help ensure you get a low privacy fence cost without sacrificing quality. DSC07347.JPG by Vanessa Loftus / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. What is the privacy fence cost for a six-foot structure?
To build a six-foot privacy fence out of wood, you’ll pay between $14.00 to $30.00 per linear foot. This project cost will fluctuate depending on any design features you want like post caps or gates and the type of wood or material you use.
2. Do you have to maintain your fence?
If you want your fence to last 15 to 20 years, you should make a point to maintain it. This can include things like power washing it, patching any holes or cracks, and sealing or staining it once a year. Some materials will require more maintenance than others, especially if you go for a lower-end material.
3. Do you have to add post caps to your fence?
No. Post caps can be a decorative element if they have lights on them, but they can also serve a protective purpose to keep the tops of the fence posts in good shape. However, it’s optional to have them. You can get away without them.
Your final privacy fence cost will depend on a host of factors. We’ve outlined some of the biggest things to consider when you’re hashing out your rough estimate for your privacy fence cost, and you can see which ones apply to your situation. Doing so will help you decide whether or not you can afford this project right now or if it’s something you should wait on. Make sure to contact at least three companies in your area to get a good estimate range before you choose one to build your new fence.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.