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Cedar Fence Cost Guide

Over the years, cedar fencing has become an extremely popular choice for not only homeowners but businesses as well. This has to do with the durability of cedar fencing and all of the different styles that are available. Here is a detailed breakdown of factors that will affect the cost of building a cedar fence for a home or business.

Cedar Fence Costs

  • Untreated cedar fencing costs between $1.50 to $2.50 a plank.
  • Untreated red cedar fencing costs between $3 and $4 a plank.
  • Treated cedar fencing costs between $4 and 5 a plank.
  • Treated red cedar fencing costs between $6 and $8 a plank.

Style & Design

Expenses in building a cedar fence will vary depending on the style and design that a homeowner or business chooses. Designs that are more complicated in nature typically require more materials to build and cost more money as a result. The three most popular fence designs include:

  • Shadowbox fences: This style of fence has pickets that run along both sides of the fence. Three rails run around the whole fence, and they are evenly spaced from top to bottom. To give it the "shadowbox" look, pickets are alternately placed between the front and back of the fence.
  • Board on board fences: This style of fence can have one or two rails depending on its height. This is more of a traditional-style fence with each picket placed tightly together on just one side of the fence.
  • Picket fences: A picket fence usually has two rails. The pickets on this style of fence are evenly spaced on one side. It does not offer much in terms of privacy but gives homes and businesses a classy look.

The more complicated that the layout and design are, the more money a homeowner or business can expect to pay. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra 5 to 10 percent onto the cost of building a fence for more complicated designs and layouts. This is usually enough to cover the extra material needed to build the fence.

Location & Area

Two of the biggest factors that will affect the cost of building a cedar fence are location and area. The harder it is to build a fence in a certain location, the more it will cost, and expenses are higher when bigger areas are being fenced in. Homeowners should keep in mind that the amount of time it takes to complete the project also affects the total expense. If an area is difficult to build on due to hills or other obstacles, it is going to take more time to build the fence and may also require extra specialty equipment.

Foundations for Cedar Posts

Another cost to consider when building a cedar fence is the style of post and foundation to use. When building a cedar fence, there are three types of foundations that are typically used. These three styles are listed below with the cheapest style first:

  • Gravel and soil foundation: This foundation is made by placing 6 inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole that is dug for the post. The post is then set on top of the gravel, and soil is used to pack in around the post.
  • Concrete foundation: This type of foundation starts off with 6 inches of gravel at the bottom of the post hole. However, instead of packing the sides of the post with soil, the empty space is filled in with concrete. This gives a much stronger foundation but costs more.
  • Anchored concrete foundation: The strongest type of foundation is known as an anchored concrete foundation. This involves creating a concrete pier in the ground with a large metal post embedded in it. The post is then attached to the metal anchor.

To use a foundation that requires concrete, the hole for the post must first be drained for water. This sometimes becomes a problem in wet climates and is one reason why the holes for the posts should not be dug on or after rainy days. If there is water visible in the bottom of the hole, it will be necessary to wait for the water to drain out naturally or to rent a machine that can pump the water out of the hole. These are traditionally sold and rented at home improvement stores. Failure to pump the water out will not allow the concrete foundation to set right.

Treated Cedar vs. Untreated

Just like any other wood, treated cedar costs more than untreated cedar. A piece of treated cedar usually has a finish on it that protects it from outdoor elements such as rain, which also prevents it from rotting. It is not recommended to use untreated cedar to build a fence. If untreated cedar is purchased, it is necessary to buy a finish or stain to protect the wood. These finishes come both colored and clear. To keep the natural color of the cedar, a clear base is best. Red stains are also popular for cedar fences and are slightly more expensive than other stains. 

Last updated on May 16, 2016

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