How to calculate the cost of a fence project

Updated June 26, 2018

Estimating the cost of building a fence prepares you for the investment and eliminates last-minute surprises. Typically, you can expect to spend about £1,625 to £1,950 putting up a backyard fence, according to Cost, an online price estimator. But the cost could be significantly higher or lower based on where you live and the quality of the materials or specific styles you choose. Determine your priorities to ensure the fence meets your needs and adds to the home's overall curb appeal.

Decide whether you're building the fence for privacy, decoration or marking boundaries, and whether it needs to hold in pets or children, keep pests out, hide unattractive features or block the wind.

Select the fencing material. Materials vary widely in price, from the most expensive---usually ornamental iron and aluminium---to vinyl, wood and chain link. The prices fluctuate based on location, and on supply and demand. Still, sites such as can help you calculate costs for each type of material.

Determine the fence height, which will be dictated in part by the fence's purpose. A privacy fence is generally higher than a decorative one. The taller the fence, the more materials you'll need.

Calculate the fence's perimeter, marking the corners with stakes. With a tape measure, determine the total linear feet of fencing you'll need.

Identify the number of gates you want. Each gate will add between £65 and £162, with the actual cost depending on the style, size and gate materials.

Add in the cost of any ornamental or decorative accents to the fence or fence posts, such as lattice at the top; cutouts; or caps on the posts, for example. Also include things such as gate latches and the price of paint or stain.

Note any potential obstructions for the construction of the fence, whether they are permanent fixtures in the yard or just trees that need trimming. Consider that the roots of nearby trees or a slope in the ground may cause difficulty when installing the fence, adding to your costs.

Get estimates for the labour costs if you're hiring a contractor to handle the installation. Add the labour costs to the material costs for the project total.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.