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Ranch Fencing Cost Guide

While ranches require fencing to keep cattle or horses contained in specific pastures or areas, the same style of fence can also be an attractive option in a more-traditional residential property. Ranch fencing is one of the most basic fencing options on the market as well as one of the most affordable, which makes it ideal for homeowners on a budget. Use this guide to learn a little more about ranch fencing, the advantages, the disadvantages, the materials used in construction and the installation costs.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Ranch Fencing (Materials): $7 per linear foot

  • Average Maximum Cost of Ranch Fencing (Materials): $16 per linear foot

  • Average Minimum Cost of Ranch Fencing (Installation): $3 per linear foot

  • Average Maximum Cost of Ranch Fencing (Installation): $9 per linear foot

Understanding Ranch Fencing

Before learning more about the pros and cons of ranch fencing, it is important to have a clear picture of the fence style being described. Essentially, ranch fencing consists of either three or four horizontal planks of wood, or a substitute material, with lots of space in between. Air passes through easily, but large animals can't get through the design. The vertical posts are upright and sturdy in order to avoid getting knocked over by a horse or a cow. Ranch fencing might be simple, but it gets the job done in an agricultural setting. Plus, it creates a traditional aesthetic that is appealing to many people who don't have any animals wilder than a kitten or a puppy.

Advantages of Using Ranch Fencing

The reasons to include fencing in a residential area are different for everyone. While some individuals don't like the look of fencing, others love the privacy it provides. Some of the many advantages of installing fencing include the added security that it offers homes, it can be a deterrent for crime, it clearly shows property boundaries, and it gives children a safe and secure place to play away from cars or foot traffic nearby. While these benefits apply to most fencing styles, ranch fencing in particular also brings with it advantages such as:

  • Simple and fast installation

  • Affordable fencing option

  • Traditional and rustic design

  • Variety of color and height options

Disadvantages of Using Ranch Fencing

Although the benefits of ranch fencing are indisputable, it is important to give some attention to the drawbacks of this fencing style as well. Since the slats are far apart, it may not be an effective deterrent for determined criminals, and children as well as pets could enter or exit a defined space through the slats or underneath the fence as a whole. Mesh wire could be used to prevent this from happening, and it is commonly used, but that brings with it additional costs that will drive up the total cost of the project.

Material Choices for Ranch Fencing

Traditionally, ranch fences were used with whatever material was readily available as well as inexpensive. In the United States, the result was to use wooden planks or rough sawn trees local to the area. This reduced shipping costs and made it easier for ranchers and farmers to construct their own fences. Today, property owners interested in using ranch fencing have their choice of materials. On a budget, untreated planks of pine are often the most affordable option. However, other types of wood such as mahogany, poplar and maple are all used for a distinct look. In recent years, there has also been an increase in the use of vinyl for ranch fencing. While far less traditional, vinyl needs much less upkeep and can look good for years without fading in the sun.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Ranch Fencing Materials

Although the choice between vinyl and wood might seem like the only big decision to make regarding the cost of ranch fencing, the reality is that there are several factors that can influence the total price of the project. The number of planks running across the fence, for example, will dictate how much wood or vinyl is needed as does the height of the fence or the posts. In addition, treating and sealing wood costs more money upfront, but it does drastically improve the look of the ranch fencing. Other factors influencing price include:

  • Pre-Made or customized

  • Embellishments or details on posts

  • Unusual colors or textures

  • Wood that is pressure-treated

  • Location of the materials

Installation Costs of Ranch Fencing

One of the most important details to remember is that installation is a big job. Simply purchasing the wood or vinyl is just half the battle, and other materials and equipment will be needed. Post holes have to be dug, concrete anchoring is often required for stability in strong winds and countless nails are required if using wooden planks for the fence. Thankfully, professionals can handle this job and leave homeowners with more time to enjoy the finished product. On average, fence professionals will charge anywhere from $350 to $750 for the labor required for each 100 linear feet of ranch fencing, and that number may be higher or lower depending on geographical location and difficulty of the project.

Ranch fences can be a smart and attractive way to create a more secure area on a piece of residential property. Often preferred by those with children, this fence style is rustic and traditional. While the cost of ranch fences can vary, substantially depending on whether the property owner chooses untreated pine or pre-made vinyl, the affordable price of this fencing style can typically fit into any budget.

Last updated on Apr 21, 2014

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