How Much Does a Picket Fence Cost in 2024?

The national average cost to install a picket fence ranges from $1,680 to $3,960 or $15 to $40 per linear foot, depending on the scope of your project.

A white picket fence enclosing a green lawn around your home is the coziest materialization of the American dream. The average cost to get a picket fence professionally installed ranges from $1,680 to $3,960 or $2,845. This translates to an average of $15 to $40 per linear foot. 

For most picket fences, you can expect to pay a minimum of $750 or a maximum of $12,000  depending on multiple contributing factors. 

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How Much Does a Picket Fence Cost in 2024?

Picket fences are generally short-heighted and give a lovely traditional look to a property. They’re made of upright pickets, supported by horizontal supports, with spaces in between. Count on them to enhance the curb appeal and improve your home’s overall value. 

The cost to install a picket fence depends on factors such as the material of pickets you choose, site condition, the size of the fence, and the finish options you’re using. The following are the average costs to install about 100 linear feet of fencing.

National Average Cost$2,845
Typical Price Range$1,680 – $3,960
Extreme Low-End Cost$750
Extreme High-End Cost$12,000 

Picket fences cost somewhere between $1,680 and $3,960, with a national average price of $2,845. The lowest cost of installation for such fence projects is $750 for a simple, 3-foot Southern Pine wood picket fencing. Whereas the highest cost you may expect for picket fencing is around $12,000 for a 300 linear-foot fence. 

Cost Estimator By Size

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The most important cost factor to remember when estimating your fence project cost is the size – the size of your lawn, yard, or the area you are enclosing. Fencing is generally priced by linear foot since labor costs vary according to the amount of fencing that needs installing. 

Plus, fencing materials are sold by the linear foot so it makes it easier to make a near-accurate estimate of the cost. 

Picket fence installation cost per linear foot ranges from $15 to $40, making an average of $27 per linear foot. This cost includes labor and supplies expenses. Let’s take a look at an estimate of the cost of installing different lengths of common picket fencing.

Fence Size Average Cost
50 Linear Feet$750 – $2,000
100 Linear Feet$1,500 – $4,000
200 Linear Feet$3,000 – $8,000
300 Linear Feet$4,500 – $12,000

Other Factors That Affect the Cost of a Picket Fence

While you’re estimating the overall cost of picket fencing around your home, be sure you take into account all the factors that can increase or decrease the cost. 

Height of the Fence

Fence height can change the overall cost of your project. Picket fences are not meant to provide privacy – hence don’t need to be very tall. Most of them are only 3 to 4 feet tall, with sections about eight feet wide.  

The higher your picket fence is, the more you will pay to install it. If your fence is taller than 6 feet, it may add 25% to 35% to the total price because more materials and labor are required.

You can install from 3- to 8-foot tall picket fences, depending on your neighborhood. The cost to install some common picket fence sizes is as follows:

Fence HeightCost per Linear Foot
4 Feet$15 – $20
6 Feet$20 – $25
8 Feet$25 – $40

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Fence Material 

Installation cost for your new picket fence can vary depending on what material it’s made of. Apart from the most common traditional white wooden picket fence, there are many more options available today. FenceGnome has a detailed guide about the best materials for a picket fence, read here.

Take a look at the average price range for all the different picket fence materials.  

Note: Wood prices fluctuate quite often with the market price of raw lumber, We collected data that represents typical price ranges. Your local lumber yard or fencing contractor can let you know the current pricing.  

Fence Material Cost per Linear Foot (Installed)
Wood $11 – $45
Vinyl $15 – $25
PVC$25 – $30
Metal$20 – $45
Composite $30 – $35
Bamboo $15 – $20

Wood Picket Fences – According to Types of Wood

Since the most common material for a picket fence is wood, we’re going to take a deeper look at the costs of different types of wood. 

Wood TypeCost per Linear Foot (Installed)
Pressure-Treated Pine $16 – $43
Cedar $20 – $30
Cypress$13 – $22
Redwood$21 – $28
Western Red Cedar $21 – $45
Douglas Fir$30 -$35
Spruce $11 – $17

Pressure-treated pine, Cypress, and Cedar Wood

Pine, cypress, and cedar are the commonest choices for wood picket fencing. They’re also often combined in one fence. 

Pine is a strong wood type that, if properly cared for, can last many years. You can expect an untreated pine fence to last 5 to 10 years and a pressure-treated one to last even longer if you reseal regularly. On average, high-quality, pressure-treated pine may cost from $16 to $43 per linear foot

Cedar is a sturdy choice – it holds up pretty well against extreme weather. It costs more than pine, somewhere between $20 and $30 per linear foot, but lasts longer. Cedar wood is also more resistant to rain and sun damage than pine. 

Cypress ranges from $13 to $22 per linear foot for professional installation. This wood type is not readily available which means prices may vary widely. However, cypress fencing is naturally resistant to insects and has a nice grainy texture, it may last for 20 to 25 years.

Some fence builders suggest using pine wood for fence posts and cedar for pickets to enhance the durability and longevity of the fence. This is because you’ll essentially be using the strengths of different materials. 

Redwood

This is one of the most attractive materials for a picket fence. And justifiably, costs more. This wood fence costs about $21 to $28 per linear foot installed. The higher price tag is due to the endangerment of the Redwood tree the wood comes from. Plus, there are cutting restrictions because of this limited supply that can up the cost. 

Remember to stain and seal this wood before installation for a longer lifespan. Redwood needs regular maintenance. This wood type can last for 25 to 35 years and naturally resists decay and pests.

Western Red Cedar

This wood is a nice mid-priced option. It is resistant to rotting, moisture, and other weather damage. Western red cedar naturally weathers and does not need much staining. 

On average, expect to spend around $21 to $45 per linear foot to install.  

Spruce 

This is the most economical choice costing just $11 to $17 per linear foot. Spruce has a nice and very attractive whitish-gray color without any stain or paint. However, this is not the most durable of materials. Spruce is also prone to insect infestations and warping if you don’t treat and maintain it enough. 

Vinyl Picket Fence

Vinyl fences cost somewhere between $15 and $25 per linear foot installed. This fence material has increasingly become popular due to its low-maintenance needs and considerable lifespan. You don’t have to paint or stain it, ever (unless, of course, you want to change the color).

However, vinyl becomes brittle or expands or contracts in temperature fluctuations and may also be prone to mold, algae, and mildew buildup. 

PVC Picket Fence

Another affordable option is PVC for a picket fence. Cellular PVC picket fences range from $25 to $30 per linear foot installed. You can make it look like wood from a distance too. 

This material is gaining more popularity because it’s resistant to rot, requires minimal maintenance, and can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes. The only drawback is that the stock color is white, which means more upkeep to maintain the white color. You can paint it, but that too will need maintenance to look good. 

Additionally, PVC may also expand or shrink in extreme weather conditions and is susceptible to mold, mildew, and algae. 

Metal Picket Fence

Metal picket fences cost between $20 and $45 per linear foot for professional installation. It’s distinctive, extremely durable, and doesn’t need much maintenance. However, you cannot play with colors on this one. Plus, some metal types are prone to rust. 

The higher price tag covers the difficulty of the installation process and the costly material. The most common metal choices for such fences are aluminum and steel. On average, aluminum picket fences cost around $20 to $35 per linear foot installed and steel picket fences cost $25 to $45 per linear foot installed. 

Composite Picket Fence

Composite is a long-lasting material choice for a picket fence. It’s comparable to low-maintenance decking and you can expect to pay around $30 to $35 per linear foot to install a composite picket fence.

Some composite pickets have an appearance similar to that of wood – it has a texture and come pre-finished in a stained tone. It won’t splinter and needs little maintenance, but is prone to mold, mildew, and algae buildup. The color can fade and the pickets will shrink or expand in extreme temperatures, making it a challenging and expensive pick. 

Bamboo Picket Fence

Bamboo is hardened grass that makes a charming addition to any property. It has a unique character, is environmentally friendly, and can be stained. Bamboo fence prices are somewhere between $15 and $20 per linear foot installed. 

With age, bamboo pickets will turn a nice silvery color. The drawbacks are: Bamboo can be hard to find, may rot, crack, or split, and needs resealing often. 

Location of the Fence

The cost of installing a picket fence can vary depending on the site condition and difficulty of maneuverability. Some instances where the cost can go up because of installation location are:

  • The ground is not level
  • The soil is poor and needs additional fillings to be able to properly support fence posts
  • You need the fence located in a difficult-to-reach location
  • There are trees, plants, shrubs, or structures in the way 

Tackling all of these issues to prepare the site for installation is an additional expense. So, keep the location of your fence when estimating the total cost.

Labor Rates

Your fencing contractor will include the relevant labor cost in their estimate but it’s good to have an idea of the cost. The average labor cost to install a picket fence is $5 to $15 per linear foot or $40 to $85 per hour

For a typical project, just two workers can install a 150 linear foot fence in approximately 10 to 20 hours. However, it may take even less for picket fences since they, just like a split rail fence, are one of the easiest and quickest fence types to install. 

That said, labor costs will be higher if the installation is complex. If the location of your fence needs additional services such as stump removal, tree trimming, land clearing, etc. or you’re installing a complicated fence style, the cost will go up. 

Permits and Building Codes

In certain localities, you need a permit to install a new fence. You can check with your local municipality to see if it’s required. 

Depending on the locality, fencing permits may cost around $30 to $140. Fences are also inspected by the city after installation to check if they comply with the code. The inspection fee is typically included in the permit charges.  

Don’t forget to check with your city and HOA about the local building codes. There usually are rules regarding fences in the front yard, or there may be some height restrictions.  

Note: You will also need a land surveyor to mark your property lines and utility lines so that you can plan your landscaping and build the fence in the right place. 

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While you’re getting a new picket fence or replacing an old one, you may want to take care of a few additional home improvements. Some extra services that homeowners typically pair with wood fence installation include:

Picket Fence Finishing 

The cost to paint or stain a picket fence changes depending on the material you choose for the fence. Wood fences need a coating to seal and protect them from rot, pests, warping, and other such nuisances. Fence staining or painting costs from $500 to $3,000

You may want to change the color of your vinyl picket fence, which does not need sealing, to match your home or yard’s aesthetic. You can either ask the fence installer to paint or stain your new fence for you or buy paint and supplies and do it yourself. Either way, budget more for a larger fence and higher-quality stain or paint. 

Tree or Bush Removal

Small shrubs and overlaying trees hinder installation and may later disturb the fence’s overall structure with their weight as they grow. Plus, plants store moisture and can cause the fence to rot quickly if it’s constantly in contact with them. For tree and shrub removal, hire a professional to clear out the space around the fence. 

Depending on the size, tree removal can cost from $385 to $1,070. You can avoid this expense by simply changing the layout of your fence. Here are some fence design ideas.

Fence Removal

If you’re removing your existing fence for your new picket fence, expect to pay between $3 and $5 per linear foot. The cost varies depending on the length of the fence you want to remove and the difficulty of doing so. Most fence installers offer to tear down and haul away the old fence too.

DIY vs. Professional Installation Cost

It is possible to erect a picket fence yourself if you have all the necessary equipment and plenty of experience. This project may take you a from couple of days to maybe a week to complete, depending on your preparation and skill level. It’s a physically demanding job and requires the use of heavy, specialized equipment such as power augers and post-hole diggers. 

If your fence isn’t properly installed, it will be prone to issues that will lead to costly repairs in the future.

That said, we recommend hiring a professional for the job. Fencing contractors have the right knowledge and tools at their disposal to correctly install the fence. They will install your new picket fence efficiently, quickly, and correctly. 

Cost of Picket Fencing by Location

You may find significant differences in the cost of materials and labor in different regions. Not so much for vinyl and bamboo pickets, but this is especially true for wood. Different types of lumber have different price points depending on the location, local weather, and ecosystem. This is because a specific type of wood may be more common in one area than another. 

No matter what material or size of picket fence you decide upon, the exact price of professional installation will depend on the market rates in your town. 

FAQs

Should pickets touch the ground?

No, fence pickets should always be above the ground. If they’re in contact with the ground below, they will rot. The best practice is to keep the pickets about 2 to 5 inches above the ground.

How long can I expect my wood picket fence to last?

Wood fences can last 15 to 20 years, depending on the weather conditions in your area, the type of wood used, and its maintenance needs. You can keep your wood fence looking fresh with the help of these tips.

What is the ideal gap between fence pickets?

Pickets are usually spaced 2.5 inches apart. Large spacing between pickets leads to poor structural stability, so avoid that. 

Final Word

A picket fence is a great choice – they are beautiful, classic, and versatile. But DIY fencing is a big commitment, you can get lost in the long building process and may mess up the installation. It’s best to hire a fencing professional in your area to lend you a hand and install a new picket fence for you within the range of $1.650 to $3,960

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Farah Nauman

Farah Nauman is a freelance writer and an accountant based in Pakistan. She spends most of her time combating the South Asian heat and being a mom to her three fluffy cats and a dozen little Aloe Veras in her house.