How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (2023)

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  • On average, a split rail fence will cost between $1,050 and $6,480 to install.
  • Key factors that affect the total cost include the length and height of the fence, the fence material, the number of rails, and the cost of local labor.
  • Split rail fencing has many benefits including affordability, ease of installation, rustic aesthetics, and low maintenance requirements.
  • It is generally recommended that homeowners hire a professional to install a split rail fence; this can help ensure that the fence is stable and can withstand the elements.

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How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (2)


How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (3)

When deciding on the best type of fence to install, a homeowner will be faced with many different options. Will a chain link fence suffice for their needs or should they consider a wooden privacy fence? What type of material best suits your needs and budget? Homeowners looking for an affordable and attractive option that is easy to install may want to consider a split rail fence. Commonly found in rural areas to mark property lines or contain livestock, split rail fencing offers a rustic aesthetic at a relatively low price.

But how much does it cost to install a split rail fence? In accordance withTo type, the price of this project can range from $1,050 to $6,480.HomeAdvisorlists the cost of fencing divided per acre between $9,960 and $24,900, a wide range that will depend on several factors, such as the size and material of the fencing and the cost of labor. Fencing a small area with an inexpensive material like wood will likely fall on the low end of the range, while fencing a large area with a five-rail aluminum fence will likely reach and possibly exceed the high end of the range. This guide will cover the factors that affect the cost of split rail fencing, the types of materials used for split rail fencing, and the benefits of choosing split rail fencing. He will also explain the ins and outs of do-it-yourself or professional installation, ways homeowners can save money oncost of fence installation, the most important questions to ask contractors before hiring, and the most common questions about split rail fence installation.

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Factors for Calculating Split Rail Fence Cost

When calculating the cost of split fencing, homeowners and contractors will consider several factors. This includes the length, height, and material of the fence; the number of rails to install; the cost of labor; and the geographic location of the house.

fence length

Like the cost of other types of fencing, the cost of split fencing is based primarily on the total linear footage of the fence. The price per linear foot depends on the materials used to build the fence, but typically ranges from $4 to $12. A simple fence with two rails will likely cost around $4 per linear foot, while a more complex design with multiple rails it will probably cost a house. homeowner about $12. Including labor, it costs about $10 to $30 per linear foot to install a split rail fence.

(Video) How to Install a Split Rail Fence 🔨 | The Home Depot

fence height

A typical split rail fence is 4 feet tall, but some homeowners may prefer a taller fence, especially if they are using it to contain livestock or pets. Typically, a 6-foot fence costs 25% more than a 4-foot fence. The reason for this is that a taller fence will require more materials and may take longer to build, which can result in higher labor costs. This is the same reason that aprivacy fence costsmore to install, on average, than a split rail fence.

sealing material

A homeowner may have a split rail fence built from a number of different materials, some of which are more expensive than others. Cedar and pine are among the cheapest materials at $8 to $12 per linear foot for materials alone. Aluminum is the most expensive material option, costing $22 to $32 per linear foot of materials. These and other gasket materials are discussed in more detail below.

number of rails

A traditional split rail fence has two rails, but homeowners can choose to build their own with more rails if they prefer. Since more rails equals more material, the price will be higher for a split rail fence with four or five rails. The following table shows the cost of materials for a 100 foot fence with two, three, four, or five rails.

number of railsCost (materials only)
Of theUS$ 200 a US$ 800
ThreeUS$ 300 a US$ 1.200
fourUS$ 400 a US$ 1.600
CincoUS$ 500 a US$ 2.000


The average cost for installation and labor for split rail fencing is $500 to $1,200 per 150 linear feet of fence, or about $3 to $8 per linear foot. Labor can be a significant part of the total cost of the project, especially if the fence is installed on rocky terrain, slopes or around gardens.

Geographic location

Like the cost of many other projects, the cost to build a split rail fence can vary depending on the location of the home. The cost of labor and materials tends to be higher in densely populated areas like cities and lower in rural areas where there are fewer homes. The following table lists the average cost to install a fence that is 4 feet high and 360 feet long in several different cities.

Ciudadaverage cost
chicago$ 7.218
denver$ 4.788
Las Vegas$ 5.544
miami$ 5.040
Minneapolis$ 6.192
Philadelphia$ 7.056
Phoenix$ 5.040
Saint Anthony$ 5.004
San Diego$ 5.652
Seattle$ 5.004

Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the major cost drivers, homeowners may find they need to add other costs to the total price of their rail posts and fences. This includes the cost of surveys and permits, landscaping work such as grading or removing trees, removing old fences, installing gates, and finishing touches such as painting or staining the fence.

Inspections and Permits

Depending on the location of the home and the location of the fence, the owner may be required to pay for a property inspection and/or permit. A search will come into play if the fence surrounds the entire property or is placed near a property line. Permit requirements depend on the county, but in general, a contractor will be able to tell the landlord if he needs a permit to complete the project and, in many cases, will obtain the permit on the landlord's behalf. The cost to complete a property inspection and obtain a fence project permit typically ranges from $125 to $250, although the actual cost will vary by location. Homeowners may also have to pay the utility company to mark underground service lines; this costs on average between $75 and $100.


Split rail fencing is ideal for properties with hills, but in some cases a slope may be too steep to install the fence. In this case, a contractor may need to excavate and reclaim the ground to properly install the fence. This can add between $900 and $3,000 to the total cost of the project.

Tree or debris removal

In some cases, there may be trees or other yard debris in the way of your planned fence location. Before the contractor can install the fence, the trees must be removed, usually by a professional tree removal company. This can cost approximately $200 to $2,000 per tree, so if a homeowner has heavily wooded land, he may choose to build the fence elsewhere to save on the overall cost of the project.

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How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (5)


How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (6)

Removal of old fences

If the new split rail fence is replacing an old, worn fence, the homeowner must consider the cost of removing the old fence. As with fencing, fencing removal is generally calculated per linear foot. While the exact cost may depend on the type and number of fencing, homeowners can expect to pay between $3 and $5 per linear foot to remove the old fence.

(Video) Installing a Split Rail Fence

Gates, doors and accessories

Adding a gate or gate to a split rail fence costs $100-$200 per gate. Smaller fences may not require a gate, but a fence enclosing a large property or farm will probably need at least one gate, and probably more. Homeowners may also choose to add accessories such as wire mesh, lighting, or décor; each of these additions will add to the total cost of installing the fence.

wire mesh

Installing wire mesh on a split rail fence can increase security and is often chosen by pet owners or parents with small children. It can also act as a deterrent, keeping animals like foxes or coyotes out of a garden or pasture. The cost of wire mesh split rail fencing is relatively low, with a mesh price of $0.60 per linear foot, and it can even be a DIY addition for a handy homeowner, although it can also be installed by a contractor during construction from the fence

paint or paint

A pine or cedar fence will likely need to be painted or stained after installation and every few years to protect it from the elements and help extend its life. This will typically cost the homeowner between $750 and $4,250 plus the cost of installing the fence. Landowners who build a median fence simply to contain livestock may choose to skip this cost, while homeowners who build a median fence for aesthetic reasons should factor this into their budget.

Rail fence cost divided by material type

Homeowners may think that a split rail fence is always made of wood, but there are actually several types of materials you can choose from. These include aluminum, cedar, composite, pine, steel, and vinyl, with split rail fencing made of wood at the lower end and aluminum at the upper end. The following table and section list the cost per linear foot for each type of gasket material.

type of materialCost per linear foot (materials only)
AluminumUS$ 22 a US$ 32
CedarUS$ 8 a US$ 12
CompoundUS$ 10 a US$ 25
PinoUS$ 8 a US$ 12
SteelUS$ 15 a US$ 20
VinylUS$ 10 a US$ 25


Aluminum is not a common material choice for a split rail fence, in part due to its high cost of $22 to $32 per linear foot for materials alone. However, it is a durable material and requires little maintenance, which may make the higher cost worth it for some homeowners.


Although aluminum is generally the most expensive fencing material, cedar is among the most expensive.cheapest fence ideasat a cost of $8 to $12 per linear foot. However, labor costs can be higher for this type of fence because it requires more assembly than other materials, making full cedar split rail fencing between $12 and $30 per linear foot, including workforce. For a 150-foot fence, homeowners can expect to pay between $1,800 and $4,500.


Compost has the look and feel of wood, but without the maintenance required of a cedar or pine fence. While composite is generally a good choice for a homeowner looking for an inexpensive, durable material, it can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures, meaning homeowners in colder states will likely want to choose a different material. Homeowners can expect to pay between $10 and $25 per linear foot for materials, or between $15 and $33 per linear foot for labor and materials combined. The total installation of a 15 foot composite fence will cost between $2,250 and $4,950.

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How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (7)


How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (8)


Like cedar, pine is generally an affordable material for a split rail fence. It costs $8-$12 per linear foot for materials, and the total cost of installation ranges from $12-$30 per linear foot. This equates to a total cost range of $1,800 to $4,500 for a 150-foot fence. Many homeowners will want to stain or paint a pine fence to help protect it from the elements, which can add to the overall cost of the project.


Steel is a durable sealing material, but it can be relatively expensive. The cost of materials for this type of fence alone ranges from $15 to $20. Like aluminum, the durability and relatively low maintenance requirements of a steel fence can make the cost worth it for some homeowners. .


Like the composite, vinyl can take on the appearance of wood, but the texture is smooth. Also like the compound, vinyl can become brittle in cold weather, so cold-weather homeowners may want to rethink.vinyl fence costand go with a more durable material. A vinyl rail fence costs $10-$25 per linear foot for materials or $15-$33 per linear foot including installation. Total project cost for a 150 foot vinyl fence is between $2,250 and $4,950.

(Video) 5 Helpful Things To Know Before Building Your Split Rail Fence

Benefits of Installing a Split Rail Fence

with so manypopular fence stylesto choose, why would a homeowner choose a split rail fence? This style of fencing has numerous advantages, including affordability, rustic aesthetics, easy installation, and low maintenance requirements.


With an average price range of $1,050 to $6,480, a split rail fence is a relatively inexpensive option as it requires less material than other types of fencing, such as a wood privacy fence. This makes split rail fencing an attractive option for homeowners who have a lot of land to fence, which is why it is more common to see split rail fences in rural areas than in urban or suburban areas.

Ease of installation

Split rail fences are fairly simple structures that don't require a lot of material, making them relatively quick and easy to install. Homeowners with carpentry experience can install a split rail fence as a DIY project, although in many cases hiring a professional can result in a cleaner finish.

Rustic aesthetic

As split rail fences are often found in rural regions, they can bring to mind sprawling horse farms or large ranches. Many homeowners want to add that rustic aesthetic to their own home, whether it's in the country or in the city. Material and color options are endless, allowing homeowners to choose a fence that complements their landscaping without overshadowing it.

low maintenance

Compared to a wooden privacy fence, a split rail fence requires very little maintenance. There is less material to maintain, and this material is usually treated prior to installation to help the fence withstand the elements. Even if a homeowner chooses to paint or stain his fence, he will have much less ground to cover and will be able to complete the project faster than he could stain or paint an entire wood fence.

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Split Rail Fence Installation - Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional

Installing a split rail fence can be a do-it-yourself project for an experienced construction homeowner willing to put in the work. Going the DIY route can certainly save a homeowner money on fence installation, making it an attractive option for anyone who can handle the job. However, before committing to installing DIY fencing, it's important for the homeowner to understand exactly what this project entails.

For starters, any fence installation will involve digging holes to attach the fence post. The easiest way to do this is by using a powered auger, equipment the average homeowner probably doesn't have. This means the homeowner will need to either dig the holes by hand (which can be a long and tedious job) or rent a drill, adding to the overall cost of the project. EITHERbest sealing companiesYou'll have all the equipment you need to dig fence post holes, and you'll have experience doing it, which can also make the process faster and smoother.

In addition, the installation of the fence requires precision. There are many measurements involved to make sure the finished fence is level and strong. If a fence is not measured and installed correctly, it may be more prone to toppling or collapsing during a strong wind storm. A professional fence installer will make sure the fence is correct and stable so the homeowner can be sure it will stay in place for years to come.

While there are some cases where a DIY project is worth doing to save money, split rail fence installation is generally best left to professionals. The finished fence will not only be safe and look good, but it will also be installed much faster by a contractor with experience in this line of work, making it worthwhile for many homeowners. Using a split fence cost estimator can help homeowners create a realistic budget for their project.

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(Video) How to Install a Split Rail Fence |


How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (11)

How To Save Money On Split Rail Fence Cost

Like any home improvement project, installing a split rail fence can get expensive quickly, especially if you choose to add unique features and customizations. While choosing the least expensive material is one way to save money, there are other ways to reduce the cost per foot of your split rail fence without compromising quality.

  • Buy the materials yourself.By taking the time to buy quality materials at a low price, you can save money.
  • Get multiple quotes. While the first quote you receive may seem like a good deal, it's wise to get multiple quotes or use a split rail fence cost calculator to compare and choose the one that best fits your budget.
  • Use fewer materials.Using a two-rail fence or fencing a smaller area can help reduce the total cost of the project.
  • Use cheaper materials.Wood fences made from pine or cedar are often less expensive than options like composite or aluminum, and can last a long time with proper maintenance.
  • Opt for winter installation.Most fence installation companies are busiest in the spring, summer, and fall, so booking your installation from December to February can get you a discount.

Questions to ask about split rail fence installation

When homeowners hire a professional for a home improvement project, it's important that they choose someone who will complete the job right, on time, and on budget. Asking each contractor the following questions can help weed out any unsuitable competitors, allowing the homeowner to find a good, affordable option.

  • What gasket material is best for this project?
  • Does my property have any challenges that may affect the fence installation process?
  • What exactly does my quote include?
  • Are you licensed and insured to do this type of work?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Can I see some examples of your previous work?
  • Do you have any reference?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Do you deal with licenses?
  • Will they contact my utility companies or will I have to do so before the project begins?
  • Do you offer a payment plan? If so, what are the details?
  • Do you offer a guarantee?

frequent questions

Before beginning a split rail fence installation project, homeowners may have additional questions to ensure they fully understand the process. The following are some common questions homeowners have about this project, along with their answers, to help shed some light.

Q. Do split rail fences need concrete?

While concrete can help stabilize fence posts, especially at the ends and corners, it's not always necessary. A professional fencing contractor can advise the homeowner on whether or not he needs to budget for concrete fencing for added stability.

Q. Does Home Depot sell split riel fences?

Home Depot and other national home improvement stores sell split rail fencing, but usually in the form of vinyl panels. A homeowner looking for a split wood fence will likely need to obtain the material from a lumber supplier or have their contractor purchase the materials on their behalf.

Q. How do I decide what gasket material to use?

The answer to this question varies from owner to owner. alltype of sealing materialit has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important for homeowners to do their research to determine which material option will work best for their needs. For example, a wooden fence is often an affordable option and can be aesthetically pleasing, but requires maintenance to keep it looking good. However, an aluminum fence will last a long time and require minimal maintenance, but it will cost much more to install than a wooden fence. Homeowners can talk to their fence contractor to decide the best fencing material for their needs and budget.

Q. What is the cheapest fence to install?

When it comes to split rail fencing, the least expensive type of installation will be a two-rail cedar or pine fence. Another option is to budgetchain link fence cost— This type of fence is inexpensive to install and can be a good option for pet owners who want a simple solution to contain their animals.

Q. What is the best type of fence for my property?

This answer will also depend on the needs and requirements of the owner. A home located in a populated area with close neighbors could benefit from a wooden privacy fence, which can help keep out prying eyes while residents enjoy their backyard. A farmhouse with a lot of land is usually better suited to a split fence, which doesn't offer much privacy but can be an affordable (and attractive) fencing option for large areas.

Q. Is it difficult to fix a fence?

This depends on the cause and extent of the damage. A fence covered in mold can be cleaned with a pressure washer and then stained. A loose door can be fixed with a DIY repair kit or a quick visit from a professional. But if an entire section of the fence has collapsed, the repair is more extensive and may take more time and money to complete.

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How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (12)


How much does it cost to install a split rail fence? (13)

(Video) How do I estimate the cost of a fence?


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