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Installing The Right Privacy Fence

Costs, Buying Tips and Types of Privacy Fences

Want to turn your backyard into a private retreat? You can accomplish that by having a privacy fence installed. Relax and lounge in your yard, take a nap in the hammock or entertain friends without feeling like you’re under a microscope.

Privacy fences vary widely in price depending on the type. You could pay about $10 per linear foot for a very basic privacy fence, or you could pay upwards of $40 per linear foot. We’ll get into pricing specifics in a bit.

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About Privacy Fences

Privacy fences have little or no gap in between the boards to reduce visibility in and out of your backyard. Most are 6 or 8 feet in height. Privacy fences can be constructed using a number of materials, including wood, vinyl or metal.

In addition to the visual barrier, privacy fences also help reduce noise and wind coming into your backyard. They keep kids and pets safely within the confines of the yard. And they deter unwanted animals or intruders.

Cost of a Privacy Fence

The cost of a privacy fence depends on a number of factors, including the size of your yard, the materials you select and your geographic location. Most fence companies quote jobs by the linear foot, including all materials and labor.

Privacy Fence
  • Wood privacy fences tend to cost anywhere from about $10 to $30 per linear foot, depending on the type of wood. For a backyard with 150 linear feet, that works out to $1,500 to $4,500. Cheaper woods such as pressure-treated pine fall on the low end of that range, while premium woods like cedar fall on the high end.
  • Aluminum and vinyl privacy fences usually cost $25 to $40 per linear foot, which works out to $3,750 to $6,000 for 150 linear feet.
  • Gates usually cost extra - budget $200 to $1,000 for each basic gate. Larger gates, including those large enough to fit a car, can cost several thousand dollars.
  • Removal and haul away of your old fence costs $2 to $6 per linear foot, or $300 to $900 for 150 linear feet.
  • Decorative features such as scalloped or lattice tops add at least $2 per linear foot in most cases.

Buyer’s Tips

When you’re shopping for a privacy fence, follow these tips to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Check with your city or town’s zoning department before building a privacy fence. Some areas have restrictions on how tall they can be.
  • Avoid DIY installation unless you know what you’re doing. A fence that is not properly built can collapse or blow over in high winds.
  • If you’re opting for a wood privacy fence, chose a species that is rot-resistant or wood that has been chemically treated to resist rot and insect damage.
  • Get multiple quotes before settling on a contractor. Choose not only on price but also reputation. Make sure the company has a good track record with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau.

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