Estimating the cost of your new wood fence
Although it may be easy to decide that your home's property needs a new wood fence, it can be difficult to choose what the fence should look like, or determine how much it might cost. After all, some fences are for keeping your pets safe and contained, while others create privacy, blocking unwanted sights and sounds from the neighborhood.
Figuring wood fence costs
When determining the cost of a wood fence, the first thing you should do is measure how many feet of fencing you will need for your property. Once you know the lineal footage, you can estimate the number of fence posts needed to hold up the fence. In general, treated fence posts are needed every 6 to 8 feet and can cost between $2 and $10 a piece, depending on post diameter and length. While line posts can be around 3 or 4 inches in diameter, thicker posts are often needed at corners and for gate supports. In some cases, steel fence posts or pressure-treated timbers can be used instead of wood posts.
Ready-made styles vs. create-your-own
When choosing a style of fencing, you can purchase a factory-made fence panel or create your own design with individual wood pickets. Although many factory-made panels come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 8-foot lengths, there are many sizes and styles available, usually costing between $35 and $100. Fencing panels are attached to several horizontal rails, which are installed between the individual fence posts. If you are using fence pickets, instead of factory-made panels, then you can create a privacy fence by butting the pickets flush to one another. For a more traditional-looking fence, you can space the pickets a few inches apart on the horizontal rails.
Wood species for your fence
Cedar is one of the most popular species of wood used for fencing, although pine, redwood and spruce are common as well. A wood fence made from redwood or cedar will usually cost more than one made from pine or spruce. Regardless of which type of wood you choose, applying a protective stain or finish will help extend the life of your new fence. Exterior stains are available with a clear finish, which best shows the natural color and grain of the wood. Semi-transparent or solid color stains are a better choice, if you want your fence to have a vibrant and long-lasting color. Although some fences made from Western Red Cedar are left unfinished, so that they can weather to a natural gray color, your fence will probably last longer if you cover it with some sort of protective finish.
Once you decide on the details you'd like in a new fence, you can get an installation estimate from a fencing contractor. You should get price quotes from several local contractors, so that you know you are getting the best price possible. Use the form on this page to get started.