Why Most Companies Won’t Tell You Fence Cost Per Foot


You may be in the market to upgrade your existing fence or build a new one. To build a new fence, you can search for a “fencing company near me” and hire professionals for the job. However, when you browse the market and talk to several contractors, you’ll hardly come across one that quotes you fence cost per linear foot. There are several reasons for that. Let’s check them out.

The Details

  1. Average fencing cost – While most contractors won’t quote you a fence cost per linear foot, the average cost of building a fence usually varies from $12 to $50 depending on several factors. From the cost of materials and labor to transportation and layout of the fence, all those factors influence the final cost of construction. So, if you have an average yard boundary of around 150 linear feet, you can look forward to spending anywhere from $3000 to $8000 for fencing your home.

While most contractors can’t provide you with the fence cost per linear footer, you can have a rough idea of the installation cost by figuring out material and labor costs. First of all, you need to figure out the cost of materials. If you want a cheap wire fence, the material is going to cost you less than $2 per linear foot. On the other hand, if you want an aluminum fence the material cost can easily reach over $30 per linear foot.

Apart from that, you also need to account for height. Add around 25 percent to the material cost if you’re building a privacy fence that’s over 6 feet tall. When it comes to labor costs, the rates vary drastically depending on the region. You need to figure out the average labor cost in the fence building and landscaping industry and multiply it by the number of workers and hours it’s going to take to build the fence.

After that, you need to divide that number by the yard perimeter. So, if the labor cost per hour is $35 and there are 3 workers working for 10 hours over 2 days, the total labor cost is around $2100. Divided by an average 150 feet yard perimeter, the linear foot cost of labor comes down to $14. Add that to the $30 cost of aluminum and you have around $44 per linear foot. Add overheads and other costs and you’ll likely spend around $55 per linear foot. This allows you to have a rough estimation.

  1. Fixed costs – Construction projects like fencing have value-related, fixed, and time-related costs added to the quoted price. Value-related costs include the cost of materials, hardware, and other expenses. Depending on the scope of the job, you’ll need more materials and that would increase the value-related cost. On the other hand, time-related costs are dynamic and change according to the scope and size of the job.

While the above-mentioned costs are dynamic, there are fixed costs during fence construction. Irrespective of the materials you’ll need, the time taken to transport them on a truck to your home remains the same and that cost is fixed. The fence crew will need to offload those materials and mark out the boundary and that cost remains fixed as well. Since those fixed costs are the same for almost all projects, it’s impossible for the contractor to give you a per linear foot cost for the fence.

  1. Minimum labor charges – Even if the fence contractor doesn’t mention fixed costs, they may talk about the minimum labor charges when you ask for fence cost per linear foot. Whether you want to replace a single fence post or build an entirely new fence, the fence company needs to load materials on the truck, travel to your location, bring heavy equipment, and spend some time at the location.

So, even if the fence post replacement takes just an hour, they spend four hours traveling to and from your location. That’s why contractors would have a minimum labor charge added to the quote irrespective of the size and scope of the project. It’s similar to how you pay a flat charge for riding the LA metro transit. Whether you’re going to the next station or the entire one-way trip, you pay the same flat fee.

  1. Layout – If you want to change your fence project in the middle of construction, you may think that adding or subtracting per linear foot cost is the way things work. However, that’s not the case here. Contractors don’t usually give you a price for every linear foot since layout plays a major role in fence costs.

Different parts of the fence cost more or less than other parts. For instance, line posts cost less than end posts and corner posts have the highest cost among all types of posts. Similarly, gates cost more than the rest of the fencing since it has more materials to make them stronger and has a lot of hardware. So, depending on the layout of your fence and the parts that go out of the fence or get added to it, the construction cost can change drastically.

  1. Unpredictable costs – Finally, fence contractors are always on the fence about providing a linear foot price since they can’t predict unforeseen circumstances that may increase the cost of the project. For instance, if there are cables or utility lines under the perimeter, the fence company needs to do hydrovacing or good old hand digging and that increases the cost of the project. Similarly, cost increases if there are large rocks under the perimeter or if the fence line needs to be moved a bit.


Fence companies would hardly quote you a per linear foot cost due to various dynamic factors including layout, labor charges, and unforeseen costs that may pop up during the construction. That’s why you should assess all available options and opt for a reputed contractor that will try to stick to the budget and bring your vision to life. To hire a fence company, you can search for “fencing company near me”.