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Wood Fence Cost: Factors That Effect The Price

Wood Fence Installed

Are you in the market for a new wood fence? Are you curious as to how much a wood fence costs? Well, you've come to the right place! If you know the total footage of your yard and what style and height of the wood fence, you can calculate the cost of your wood fence.

A wood fence is an excellent choice to add a natural and warm touch to your backyard. Not only are they appealing, but wood fences are also sturdy, providing long-lasting protection for your property. However, before you can enjoy the benefits of a wood fence, you need to know how much it will cost. In this article, we will break down the factors that affect the cost of a wood fence and provide a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay.

The cost of a wood fence depends on several factors, including the height of your fence, the type of wood used, the style of the fence, and the linear footage of your backyard. Other big things that affect the wood fence cost are how many fence gates you want and whether you are replacing an old fence or putting up a new one. Generally, the larger the yard and the taller the fence, the higher the cost. Let's take a closer look at these factors.

The Heigh of Your Wood Fence

The first factor affecting a wood fence's cost is its size. The taller the fence, the more wood you will need, and the more labor-intensive the installation will be. A typical residential wood fence ranges from 4-6 feet in height, but it can go as high as 8 feet, depending on your needs. In our experience, the average homeowner wants a 4-foot or a 6-foot wood fence. Depending on where you live, the per-foot cost could change dramatically. Still, here in Illinois, the average cost of a 4-foot wood fence ranges from $22-30 per foot, and the average cost of a 6-foot wood fence ranges from $30-40 per foot (stained or decorative fences are more expensive).

Type of Wood

Several types of wood are commonly used for fence building and play a significant factor in the cost of your wood fence. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the top 3 most popular types of wood used for building fences:

  1. Cedar: Cedar is one of the most popular choices for fencing due to its natural resistance to rot, insects, and decay. It's also lightweight and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for DIY fence projects.
  2. Redwood: Redwood is less standard, but it is a more durable and attractive option for fencing. It has a natural resistance to decay and insects and is also resistant to warping and shrinking. However, it is heavy, making it challenging to work with and more expensive than other types of wood.
  3. Pressure-treated pine: Pressure-treated pine has been treated with chemicals to increase its rot, insect, and decay resistance. It's a more affordable option for fencing, but that comes at a long-term cost.

Choosing a type of wood appropriate for your climate and meeting your budget and aesthetic requirements is essential. You should also consider the maintenance requirements of each wood type when deciding. Cedar and redwood are popular for residential fences due to their natural resistance to decay and insects. However, other types of wood, such as pine or spruce, are more affordable, but that usually comes at a cost.

To calculate your wood fence, let's assume you are installing a cedar fence. All of the prices below will be based on cedar wood.

Style of the Fence

The style of the fence you choose will also impact the cost. Simple designs like a 4-foot picket fence will be less expensive than more elaborate designs like a 6-foot board-on-board or privacy fences. Additionally, the more complex the design, the more wood you will need, and the more labor-intensive the installation will be. If you want to see more photos of our recent wood fence installation visit our wood fences gallery.

Spaced Picket Fence

Shadow box Wood Fence installation

With this style, you can do a rolling arch, a scallop, or a straight-top picket fence. There isn't a significant cost difference between a straight top or arch or scallop; it comes down to your preference aesthetically. Most of the time, spaced picket fences come in 4-foot or 5-foot; it is rare to do a 6-foot picket fence.

Solid or Privacy Fence

Wood Privacy Fence Installation

For the last 30+ years, a dog-eared straight-top fence was the most common style for solid privacy. However, the traditional solid wood fence has become more popular. There is no cost difference between solid fences; whether you want a dog-eared straight, rolling arch, scallop, or a new modern traditional privacy fence, they are all very close in price.

Shadowbox or Board On Board Fence

6 Foot Shadowbox Fence

Similar to a picket, the shadowbox fence can be straight, arched, or scallop, depending on your preference. The shadowbox is more expensive than picket and solid because it has more boards per fence panel. The shadowbox has boards on both sides of the section, giving it privacy and letting the wind go through the fence.

Decorative Wood Fence

6 Foot Decorative Wood Privacy Fence With English Lattice Top

Decorative wood fences are the most expensive option for installing a wood fence. Decorative fences are custom-made and take longer to build on the job site. If you want a decorative wood fence, you want to talk to a fence specialist and get a custom price.

Total Size Of Your Yard

When calculating the cost of your wood fence, the total size of your yard is one of the most critical factors. There are a couple of ways to figure this out:

  1. You can take a tape measure and measure your yard. Outline precisely where you want to put the fence, measure each line, and add it up.
  2. You can look at your plat of survey and calculate the total footage that way.
  3. You can have a fence professional come out and measure the yard for you.

Either way, the cost of your wood fence is based on a price per foot, so if you know the total linear footage, you should get a pretty accurate cost.

Wood Fence Gates

The average wood gate costs between $150-300 depending on the hardware, height and style, and wood used. If you are fencing your backyard, you should get at least two gates, one on each side of the house. You want to have more than one access point for your yard. At first, having one gate might not seem like a big deal, but every time you cut your grass, you must walk around your house to mow the back.

Standard Fence Gate

Shadow box fencing

The average gate width is 3 feet, 4 feet, or 5 feet long. If you have a lawn service or a riding lawn mower, we recommend getting one 5-foot wide gate and then one 4-foot wide gate. You have to remember the wider the gate, the heavier the gate, and the more likely the gate will sage or not function properly over time. We don't recommend installing a wood gate wider than 5 feet long because it will sag over time and not function properly.

Double Wide Fence Gate


If you need your fence gates wider than 5 feet, we recommend installing a double gate, usually between 8-10 feet wide. These are two - 4-foot wide gates or two 5-foot wide gates. One thing to remember when installing a double gate is that you want to ensure your yard is flat. Double gates only work if your yard is flat because the gate on the high side will open only some of the way. Double gates are only recommended for bigger yards or for people who know they will install a pool or something in the future and want more access to their yards.

Driveway Fence Gate

Double gate fence

If you need your fence gate opening to be wider than 10 feet, we recommend installing steel or aluminum reinforced gates. These gates usually start at $1600 and go up from there. They are custom-made for each homeowner and typically require multiple trips to the job site. So day one, the aluminum or steel posts get installed. Then, you have to measure the inside-to-inside width and custom weld gates that will fit between the posts; once the gates are fabricated, the fence crew must return to the job site and install the gates. These gates are phenomenal, though, and will most likely never sag, so if you are fencing over the driveway, these are a great option.

Take Down and Haul Away Of Old Fence

Do you have an old fence that you are looking to replace? If not, this section doesn't apply to you, and you can skip ahead! Most professional fence companies remove and haul away the old fence for an additional cost. Assuming the fence removal is straightforward (no trees growing into chainlink or something), the average price for removing an old fence is another $2-3 per foot.

Dirt Removal

Depending on the fence company, the dirt removal can be an additional cost or included in the price per foot. Here at Cedar Mountain Fence, we have it in the cost for every job because, in our experience, it isn't lovely black dirt! Also, the dirt adds up when you dig 30 post holes that are 36 inches deep! Letting the fence company take it with them is a lot easier. However, you can save money if you have them leave the dirt behind. Most of the time, the fence company will leave the pile next to each hole.

Wood Fence Staining

Cedar Fence Installation Services

Not all fence companies offer pre-stained fences, but if they do, typically, the price is between $7-10 per foot. Pre-Staining your fence is worth considering if you plan to stay at your house for a long time and want to avoid seeing the wood fence turn grey. The main reason the fence wood turns grey is because of the sun. Over a year, the wood will slowly change color. Staining the fence doesn't necessarily make it last longer, but it looks better for longer. You do not have to stain a cedar fence if you don't mind the grey look, but if you can't stand it, typically, the fence company will charge between $1000-2000 additional for this service.

Estimating The Cost of Your Wood Fence

So, how much can you expect to pay for a wood fence? As previously mentioned, the cost can range from $20-$40 per linear foot, depending on the abovementioned factors. Our average wood fence at Cedar Mountain Fence is $6,000, based on 180 feet of fence with two gates.

In addition to the cost per foot, you must also factor in the fence gates, whether or not you are removing an old fence, the dirt removal, and the total yard footage.

Here are simple price-per-foot breakdowns that you can use to calculate the cost of your wood fence:

4-Foot Spaced Picket Fence: $22-30 pf
4-Foot Privacy Fence: $24-32 pf
4-Foot Shadowbox Fence: $28-36 pf

5-Foot Spaced Picket Fence: $24-32 pf
5-Foot Privacy Fence: $26-34 pf
5-Foot Shadowbox Fence: $30-38 pf

6-Foot Privacy Fence: $28-36 pf
6-Foot Shadowbox Fence: $32-40 pf
6-Foot Decorative Fence: Custom Pricing

Wood Fence
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