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Building a fence can be an expensive undertaking. The materials, the labor, the construction costs – it all adds up. If you want to build a fence, creating a budget is a vital first step. You must know what you are up against and how such a project will impact your pocketbook.

A fence is an investment and wonderful addition to any property. Fencing naturally protects your property and provides valuable security. Furthermore, a fence:

  • acts as a deterrent to unwanted guests, such as trespassers and animals
  • controls movement around your property
  • creates a barrier and limits access to your yard
  • establishes boundaries
  • makes a particular area private and enclosed
  • increases curb appeal

Are you ready to add a fence to your property and experience these benefits? Perhaps, you already have a fence and want to construct a new and improved one? Whatever your circumstances, a budget is necessary.

First Things First

A smart budget caters to your exact needs and wants. You first need to determine why you are building a fence. Are you trying to keep a dog in and deer out? Are you simply trying to define your boundary lines? Maybe maintaining privacy in your backyard is your number one objective. Knowing the reasons you are pursuing this big project will help you move to the next budgeting steps.

Fencing Types

Once you know what you need a fence for, you can begin investigating the different types of fences that meet those requirements. If you need to contain household pets and deter unwanted intruders, go with a tall and heavy-duty wood fence. If you want a fence to outline your yard and add more aesthetic value, then a short and decorative fence will do a great job. You can start exploring prices and overall costs once you have a better idea what kind of fence you are pursuing.

Material Choices

Materials range in price, quality, and appearance. Wood fencing is a popular choice because it is less expensive compared to metal or vinyl fencing. Even when you put cost aside, many homeowners want a wood fence for its traditional style. Also, keep in mind that a fence made from wood comes with suggested upkeep, such as restaining or painting the fence every few years.

If you are on a tight budget, selecting a material within your price range will make a big difference. A wrought iron fence costs extra to manufacture and weighs more, and that weight makes it expensive to ship. Meanwhile, chain link fencing is an excellent cost-effective solution that provides a safe border for your kids and pets to enjoy the outdoors. You can even reduce labor costs by selecting a chain link fence since it is easier to install. However, chain link offers neither privacy nor the natural aesthetics of wood.

Fence Length

What is the size of your property? In other words, how much ground do you need to cover with a fence? When considering the amount of material you need for the overall project, you may find that some fences fall outside your budget. You may need to reconsider your choices if you have to fence a larger perimeter. Also, is the ground level or sloped? Labor costs will increase with more rugged terrain.

Extra Bells and Whistles

Are you going for a basic privacy fence or an embellished fence? If you want all the bells and whistles, it is vital to price out those extra additions. There are standard components that come with any fence project, but not all fences include items such as:

  • Locking gates
  • Exterior lighting
  • Entryways
  • Fancy trim
  • Electricity for attached security cameras or motion sensors

Do You Need a Permit?

Every situation is different, so it is important to check whether your property requires a permit to install a fence. When you secure a necessary permit before beginning your project, you save yourself time and money down the road. Plus, most cities only allow certain types of fences. Cities can regulate material types, heights, post depth, board versus post thickness, masonry columns, and more.

It is wise to learn what is allowed on your property. If you don’t acquire a permit, you could potentially build something that is against city regulations. In fact, some cities charge extra fees if you build without a permit. In addition, if you live somewhere with an HOA, make sure you follow those rules.

Estimates and Contracts

Gather all the information you can from various contractors to get multiple quotes and compare prices. Have each contractor come out and visit your property to ensure they give you an accurate estimate and see firsthand what the job entails. You don’t want any surprises later on, so signing a fencing contract is also helpful. Then, both parties are fully aware of the budget, expectations, and the proposed timeline to finish the fence. You can even implement checkpoints that outline designated times you touch base with the contractor to discuss the project’s progression.

Get Budgeting

Don’t be overwhelmed by the task list ahead. It might feel like a lot to do, but building a fence is manageable if done right. Setting a budget is key to your success. Then you know upfront the outcome you hope to achieve and where you are going with the project.


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