Reasons Why Fences Are So Expensive

A fence serves an important purpose by offering security, privacy, and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of our properties.

Nevertheless, it’s important to acknowledge that the actual expenses of installing a fence often end up being higher than the initial estimate. This is primarily because there are several factors that contribute to the overall costs involved in the fence installation process.

Fences are expensive due to factors like labor costs, site preparation, permits, terrain, quality materials, customization, location, and maintenance. Skilled labor, complex designs, and regulations contribute to higher prices, along with the need for specialized materials and site modifications.

In this article, we will explore one important factor that adds to the high cost of fences: the effects of taxes and duties on wood imports.

The Effects of Taxes and Duty on Wood Imports

One key reason why fences are expensive is the impact of taxes and duty on wood imports. They build many fences using wood materials, which can be sourced locally or imported from other countries.

When wood gets imported, governments often impose taxes and duties on these materials.

The taxes and duties levied on wood imports significantly increase the overall cost of the materials. Importers are required to pay these additional expenses, and ultimately, these costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for wood products, including fence materials.

Reasons Why Fencing Can Be Expensive

Labor Costs

The installation of a fence involves skilled labor, such as measuring, digging post holes, and securing panels. The complexity of the fence design, the terrain of the installation site, and the availability of skilled workers can affect labor costs, making fencing more expensive.

Site Preparation

Prior to installing a fence, site preparation is often necessary. This may involve clearing vegetation, removing debris, leveling the ground, or addressing drainage issues. Site preparation requires additional time, equipment, and labor, adding to the overall cost of the fence.

Permits and Regulations

Depending on your location, permits and compliance with building codes may be required for fence installation. The process of obtaining permits and ensuring compliance can involve fees and inspection charges, contributing to the expenses of fencing projects.

Property Terrain

The topography and terrain of your property can affect the cost of fencing. Uneven, sloped, or rocky land may require additional work and materials for proper installation. Grading, building retaining walls, or using specialized techniques can increase overall expenses.

Removal of Existing Fence

In addition to the effects of taxes and duties on wood imports, another factor that contributes to the cost of fences is the removal of an existing fence. Before installing a new fence, we must take the old one down.

The removal process involves labor, tools, and disposal, all of which add to the overall expenses.

The complexity of removing the existing fence and the time required for the task can also influence the cost. If the old fence is deeply rooted or contains materials that require special handling, the removal process becomes more challenging and time-consuming, leading to higher costs.

Quality Materials

The choice of materials greatly influences the cost of a fence. High-quality and durable materials, such as hardwood or wrought iron, tend to be more expensive than more economical options.

While quality materials offer long-term benefits, it is important to consider your budget and balance it with desired durability and aesthetics.

Customization and Extras

Adding custom features or extras to a fence, such as decorative elements, gates, or intricate designs, can increase the cost. Customization requires additional time, skilled craftsmanship, and sometimes specialized materials, all contributing to higher expenses.

Location and Accessibility

The location of your property can impact the cost of fencing. If your property is in a remote or hard-to-access area, transporting materials and equipment to the site may incur additional logistical and transportation costs.

The distance between suppliers and contractors can also affect overall pricing.

Maintenance and Longevity

Long-term expenses must be taken into account despite not having a direct impact on the initial cost.. Some materials require regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, to protect against weather elements and extend their lifespan.

We should factor the cost of maintenance materials and ongoing upkeep into the overall expense of owning a fence.

Remember, these factors can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each fencing project. It is important to carefully assess your needs, obtain multiple quotes, and consider the benefits and costs related to different fence options to make an informed decision.

What Are the Different Types of Fences?

Understanding the different types of fences available can help shed light on their varying costs. Here are some common types of fences:

Picket fences: Made of wooden boards or vinyl, picket fences are known for their traditional charm and are often used in residential settings.

Privacy fences: Designed to provide privacy, these fences are typically taller and block the view from the outside. They can be made of various materials, including wood, vinyl, or composite..

Chain-link fences: Constructed with metal wires, chain-link fences are durable, cost-effective, and commonly used in commercial or industrial settings.

Vinyl fences: Vinyl fences are low-maintenance and resistant to rot, pests, and weather conditions. They come in various styles and colors.

Wrought iron fences: Known for their elegance and strength, wrought iron fences are popular in upscale properties. They require professional installation and maintenance.

Farm fences: These fences are specifically designed to contain livestock and are typically constructed using wire or wood materials.

Each type of fence has its own characteristics, advantages, and costs. Factors such as the chosen material, height, length, and customization options can influence the final price.

Different Types of Fencing and Their Price per Linear Foot

The cost of fences can vary depending on the type of material used. Here is an overview of different fence types and their rough price per linear foot:

  • Cedar fence: $20 to $30
  • Redwood fence: $25 to $35
  • Vinyl fence: $20 to $40
  • Aluminum fence: $25 to $40
  • Wrought iron fence: $30 to $50
  • Chain-link fence: $10 to $20

These price ranges are rough and can vary based on factors such as location, quality of materials, customization, and additional features.

What Type of Fencing Is Most Expensive?

Among the various fence types, ornamental or wrought iron fences tend to be the most expensive. Ornamental fences are highly decorative and often feature intricate designs, scrolls, and other embellishments.

The cost of materials, as well as the labor-intensive installation process, contribute to their higher price compared to other fence types.

The strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal of wrought iron fences justify the premium price. They are commonly found in prestigious properties where architectural elegance and security are of utmost importance.


Fences can be costly due to taxes and duties on wood imports, labor, site preparation, permits, terrain, removal of existing fences, quality materials, customization, location, and maintenance.

Taxes and duties increase material costs, while labor, site prep, and permits add to expenses. Terrain and removal complexity influence prices. Quality materials, customization, and location impact costs.

Maintenance must be considered. Different fence types vary in price per linear foot. Ornamental fences are usually pricier. Despite the expenses, fences offer security, privacy, and aesthetics. Assess needs, get quotes, and balance benefits and costs to make informed decisions.

Manny Moore

Getting my hands dirty and building a place that me and my small family love is a driving factor for what I do and how I do it. I want to share what I have learned and practiced so that it is just that much easier for everyone to have another tool in their tool belt. Your home should be a place that you love and feel comfortable in and your backyard should be no different.

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