How Much Does It Cost To Install A Barbed Wire Fence?
Most homeowners spend between $2,500 to $3,100 nationally.
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Whether you want to keep out unwanted guests or need to make sure livestock don't run away, a barbed wire fence is an affordable way to secure your property. The barbed wire strings suspended from evenly spaced wooden or steel poles send an intimidating message to outsiders and remind animals to stay away. Before starting, you should understand the costs and steps involved in installing a barbed wire fence.
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National Install Barbed Wire Fence Costs
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|National Average Cost||$3,016|
|Average Range||$2,500 to $3,100|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 9 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Barbed Wire Fencing Cost
- Barbed Wire Fence Cost Factors
- Fencing Cost Comparison
- Types Of Barbed Wire Fencing
- Advantages Of Barbed Wire Fencing
- Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire Fencing
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Tools Needed To Install A Barbed Wire Fence
- How To Install A Barbed Wire Fence
- Find A Pro
Barbed Wire Fencing Cost
The cost to install barbed wire fencing ranges from $700 to $3,500, and most people pay between $1,138 and $3,011. Most rolls of barbed wire come in lengths of 1,320 feet, which is enough to fence between one and three acres. Homeowners who want to fence five acres by themselves pay, on average, $1,150. Those who intend to hire a professional should add $1,000 for labor.
Barbed Wire Fence Cost Factors
Fluctuations in the cost of materials or labor influence the cost of installing this type of fence. Factors like the quality and construction of the barbed wire along with the size and grade of the property influence the costs. For example, single barbed wire strands cost less than double barbed wire strands. Similarly, strands with fewer barbs also cost less than strands that carry more barbs. The size of the land is an important factor since fencing a large area costs more in materials and time than a smaller property. Installing a fence on hilly ground costs more than a flat surface since it takes more time. Other factors include:
- Number of metal posts used
- Coating used for the wire
- Wire's thickness or gauge
Fencing Cost Comparison
It's a good idea to compare the cost of barbed wire with other fencing options before deciding which material best suits your budget and needs.
Type of Fencing
$3 to $5 per linear foot
$5 to $40 per linear foot
$16.65 to $21.33 per square foot
$16 to $56 per linear foot
$7 to $16 per linear foot
$88.50 to $148.64 per linear foot
$9 to $20 per foot
$6 to $18 per linear foot
$5 to $6 for hollow blocks
$60 to $100 per panel
$30 to $50 per panel
$25 to $30 per linear foot
Types Of Barbed Wire Fencing
Although all barbed wire fencing consists of a combination of wire and wired barbs, there are more than 2,000 different types. Each falls into one of two basic categories: single or double barbed wire.
Single Barbed Wire
Also called conventional or traditional barbed wire, single barbed wire is the simplest kind available. Manufacturers position a curled barb on a single piece of steel or galvanized wire and then twist it in a clockwise or counterclockwise (reverse) direction until it is tight enough to hold the barbs in place. Single barbed wire appears at military fields, prisons, government buildings and around private property to keep intruders out. Common names of single barbed wire include:
- Merrill Early Four Point
- Rogers Modern Flattened Strand
- Glidden Twisted Oval
- Solo Wire
Double Barbed Wire
Double barbed wire gets its name from the process of twisting two pieces of wire before adding the barbs. After attaching the barbs, the manufacturer twists the wire again to hold them securely in place. This type appears most commonly on ranches and farms where owners must prevent livestock from escaping. Airports and other high-security areas sometimes use double barbed wire to ward off outsiders. Variations of double barbed wire include:
- Shinn Locked Four Point
- Frentress Split Diamond
- Kelly Thorny
- Rose Four Point
Advantages Of Barbed Wire Fencing
Barbed wire fencing provides excellent security at an affordable price. It's also relatively easy to install, requiring little more than installing posts, stretching the wire between the posts, and attaching the wire securely. Unlike some other fencing options, barbed wire works well on hilly and uneven ground and helps keep unwanted animals away.
Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire Fencing
Some people find barbed wire fencing unsightly, and some municipalities and neighborhoods restrict it to rural or agricultural areas. It's also dangerous and can injure livestock or people. The barbs can snag clothing or the fur of some animals.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
It's possible for homeowners to install a barbed wire fence, but many choose to leave the work to the pros. Installing barbed wire is a time-consuming project that requires extensive physical labor. Professionals usually have specialized equipment like power-operated post hole diggers to help complete the project in a timely manner.
Tools Needed To Install A Barbed Wire Fence
Homeowners who want to install a barbed wire fence need certain tools for the project that allow them to dig holes, install posts and handle the barbed wire.
- Clamshell-style post hole digger or an auger attached to a tractor or truck for digging holes for the fence posts
- Spade or shovel and tamper for filling in the holes and tamping the ground to ensure the posts stand upright on their own
- Sledgehammer and traditional hammer for attaching nails or staples to the posts
- Fence stretcher to stretch the barbed wire
- Barbed wire cutters to cut the wire as needed
Additional useful tools for installing a barbed wire fence are a post pounder, post puller, chainsaw, barbed wire crimper and hog ring pliers. Homeowners should also have safety equipment, including safety glasses, work gloves and a first aid kit.
How To Install A Barbed Wire Fence
Before starting the installation process, homeowners should carefully plan the project. This starts with a quick sketch of the area to enclose in the fence along with the dimensions of each side. These measurements indicate how much material the homeowner needs to buy.
- Dig holes for the fence posts. Identify the location of the fence line along the edge of the property. Using an auger or clamshell hole digger, dig a hole for a corner post at one corner of the property. Then dig a hole for a fence post 10 to 12 feet away from the corner post. Continue digging holes for the fence posts, leaving 10 to 12 feet between them. Finish the line with a corner post at the other end of the property.
- Place the fence posts in the holes. Shovel the dirt removed to make the hole around the pole. Then tamp the ground so the pole stands securely on its own.
- String the barbed wire. Mark the post to show where to string the wire. Wrap the wire around the post and then attach it the post with nails. Run the strand of wire over to the next post, wrap it around the post and secure it with nails or staples. Repeat this for the entire length of the fence line. Then, repeat the process for each remaining strand of fencing. Most barbed wire fences have three or four strings of wire running between the poles.
- Stretch the barbed wire. Using a pair of pliers or the back of a hammer, grab the end of the wire wrapped around the first fence post. Stretch the wire with a come along tool until it feels taught. Then fasten the excess wire to the fence post with nails or staples.
This video illustrates how to safely stretch the barbed wire and gives suggestions for equipment that makes it easier to install:
Find A Pro
If you're ready to install a barbed wire fence around your property, then you don't have to do the work on your own. Share your project plans with us, and let us help you find a professional fence installer in your area.
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Last updated on Feb 8, 2017