Q&A: Fence Installation and Repair Costs

A fence is the perfect way to turn your yard into a secluded escape. Browse this installation and repair advice for a fabulous fence that won't break the bank.

Fences help set the scene for your home and yard. What do you want your fence to say? Maybe you're looking for a white picket fence that will welcome visitors and increase curb appeal. Or, you could want a tall, wooden fence to create a private, secure, and quiet backyard oasis. But do you know how to install a fence, or how to take care of fence repairs? A local fence contractor can help you navigate the intricacies of fence installation and repair. Whether you want to install a new fence or repair an existing fence, here's what you need to know.

How Much Will a New Fence Cost?

For most homeowners, installing a new fence can range in price from $1,500 to $3,700. The cost to install a fence is determined by: property size, fence material, fence height, and installation requirements. So while the average cost to install a fence is $2,631, you can expect to see variations in that price based on your yard and on the type of fence you want.

How Should I Prepare for Fence Installation?

While you may be ready to get a fence up as soon as possible, there is some preliminary work involved. To help fence installation go smoothly, you'll want to think about elements like design, permits, and landscaping beforehand.

Finding the Right Fence Design

When it comes to fence design, one of the first elements to consider is the reason why you are installing a fence to begin with. A fence with the primary purpose of adding curb appeal will likely look different than a fence designed to keep your dog in the yard or to add privacy.

Remember, since fencing typically covers a large portion of your yard, it will affect the overall look of your home's curb appeal and landscaping. You'll want to consider how fence materials, designs, and heights will work with the exterior of your home. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, don't panic! A fencing contractor can recommend specific fence designs based on your needs and budget.

Fence Permits and Codes

Did you know that some cities require homeowners to obtain building permits for fences? To avoid trouble down the road, you should check with your local government to learn about fence permit and code requirements before installing a fence. Have a neighborhood association? Don't forget to run your fence plans past them too. Some neighborhood associations have strict rules about fencing and will want to approve your plans before installation begins. Many contractors will obtain the permits and get fence plans approved for you, so be sure to check with your professional to verify these services are included in the estimate.

The Landscape of Your Yard

Have you thought about the fact that your perfect fence layout could run into large trees, plants, or underground utility lines? Don't dig your fence right into a big problem. Before adding a fence, you need to check with the local utility company to make sure you don't interfere with underground poles or wires. Additionally, you should inspect the entire area where the fence will be installed. Fence installation can be more expensive and labor intensive if it requires the removal of plants and trees, or if it will be situated on a steep incline. Struggling to find a way to install fencing around utility routes or throughout a hilly yard? A local contractor can help determine a fence layout that will work with your landscape.  

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What's the Best Fence Material?

With choices ranging from wood to wrought iron, it can be hard to know what material will be best for your yard. When it comes time to select a fence, you'll want to consider how different materials stack up against your budget, design wish list, and local climate. Here are some popular fence materials to consider:

Chain Link Fence

When looking at the initial cost of purchase, a chain link fence is often the most affordable option. If you have a large yard to fence, or if your goal is simply to keep the dogs in the yard, you may want a chain link fence.

Electric Fence

Looking to keep your pets in the yard without adding a physical barrier or obstructing your view? Consider invisible fencing. This is a cost-effective fencing option to increase your peace of mind knowing your pets are safe and sound.

Wood Fence

A wood fence is one of the most popular fencing options among homeowners. Available in a variety of woods, the cost of this fence will depend on the specific type of wood that you select. While wood adds a classic and timeless look, it is also susceptible to regular repair and maintenance. Consider the potential for dry rot and the need for occasional staining and sealing before installing a wood fence.

Vinyl Fence

While a vinyl fence will have a more expensive purchase price, it has the benefit of being low maintenance. Not only does vinyl stand up well over time, but it's also good with moisture. This means that vinyl fencing is a great choice for homes located in warm and damp climates.

Aluminum and Wrought Iron Fences

Aluminum and wrought iron are typically the most expensive fence materials, but they can provide stunning visuals. Keep in mind that for proper installation, these fences typically need to be installed by a professional. So, if you have your heart set on an aluminum or wrought iron fence, you'll need to plan your budget accordingly.

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Can I Install My Own Fence?

Installing a new fence can be harder than it looks. While some handy homeowners may want to install their own fence, it's not uncommon to see DIY fence installations that go wrong, especially if you are inexperienced. From incorrect measurements and ordering too much material to accidentally hitting a gas, water, or power line, when fence installations go wrong, it can throw your entire budget upside down.

The last thing you want to do is waste your time with fence installation only to end up with a final product that isn't structurally sound. If you are not comfortable with this work, or if you choose a difficult material like wrought iron, we recommend getting in touch with a contractor. Fence contractors can provide you with cost estimates, measurements, installation services, and sometimes they will even check local permits and utility lines for you. Be sure to ask potential contractors what exactly is included in their estimate.

How Much Will Fence Repair Cost?

Have a fence in need of repair? Most homeowners report an average cost of $480 for fence repairs. This cost will fluctuate depending on the extent of the damage and on the material needing repair. Fence materials that come in panels are generally easier and cheaper to repair. In most cases, all a fence repair contractor needs to do is swap out the damaged panel with a new one — making vinyl and wood fence repairs easier than chain link and wrought iron fence repairs.

Common Fence Repairs

While the material of a fence influences specific repair problems, some common issues include: rot, damaged posts, holes, cracks, and even fences that have fallen over. While you can try to prevent the need for repair with staining for wood fences and regular maintenance for other fence materials, some repair is to be expected over time. Failed DIY fence repairs can end up costing more money and time than if a professional fixed the fence from the beginning. A local fence repair company can fix your fence to ensure it is repaired correctly and to maintain the integrity of the fence's structure.

What Are Some Fence Design Ideas?

From a landscaping and curb appeal perspective, fences can have the ultimate design impact. Within the structure of your fence, you may want to add an arbor or a gate. Or, to tie your fence design in with your landscaping, a living fence can expand your garden, soften the look of your fence, and make your yard feel cohesive. Don't forget, fence materials often come in a variety of colors. From classic tones that blend in with nature to adding a pop of color by painting your fence, you can turn your fence into a designer's dream.

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