Wood: Still The Most Popular Fencing Choice
Maintenance and Cost Information for Wooden Fences
Wood is one of the oldest fencing materials and it remains one of the most popular. Wood fences are classic, timeless and durable, but they require more maintenance than other types of fences, including vinyl and metal.
The cost of a wood fence varies based on the type of wood, the size of the fence and the style. The cost usually ranges from $10 to $30 per linear foot, which works out to $1,500 to $4,500 for an average-size backyard with 150 linear feet.
About Wood Fences
Wood fences are available in a variety of styles, designs and heights. A tall privacy fence is perfect if you’re seeking security, while a shorter picket-style fence is great for a decorative touch or to keep pets contained. Popular wood species include spruce, fir, cedar, redwood and pressure-treated pine. The most common heights are 4 feet and 6 feet, but the fence can be as tall or short as you like.
As with any material, wood has its pros and cons. Wood fences are strong, long-lasting and attractive. But they require significant upkeep, including annual cleaning and painting or staining every couple years. Wood fences attract pests such as termites, and they’re susceptible to rotting or warping.
Cost of a Wood Fence
The two most common species for wood fences are pressure-treated pine and cedar. A pressure-treated pine fence usually costs anywhere from $10 to $25 per linear foot, including installation. For a cedar fence, the price is usually $15 to $30 per linear foot (and sometimes more).
A 4-foot picket fence or a 6-foot privacy fence without any decorative features might fall on the low end of those price ranges, while a 6- or 8-foot privacy fence with decorative features (i.e. a scalloped or lattice top) might fall on the high end. Price is also impacted by factors such as ground conditions, the time of year and local labor rates.
Gates typically run extra - budget about $200 to $1,000 each. Removal and haul away of your old fence, if one exists, usually costs $2 to $6 per linear foot, or $300 to $900 for a backyard with 150 linear feet.
Wood Fence Maintenance
Inspect the fence at least once a year to make sure boards are in place and free of rot. Hammer in any loose nails and replace any rotten boards. Clean the fence at least once a year, too. Scrub it with soap and water to remove dirt, grime and mildew, then rinse it with the hose. Remove any vines or shrubs that are growing on the fence.
Every three years or so, you’ll need to repaint or re-stain the fence, then reseal it. Be sure to clean and sand the fence prior to applying paint or stain. And choose a high-quality paint or stain that is designed to withstand the elements.
Choosing a Fence Company
Choosing a builder can be difficult. You want a company that is experienced and reputable, but you also want a reasonable price. Here are some tips to help you find the best fence company in your area:
- Get multiple quotes before you settle on one company. Be wary of any price that seems suspiciously high or low.
- Ask for references. Any company that can’t or won’t provide them probably doesn’t deserve your business.
- Do some background research on any company you’re thinking of hiring. Read online reviews and check the company’s record with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
- Get everything in writing. Make sure you have a written quote with a detailed cost breakdown. Get the timeline of the project in writing, too.