The national average cost for wood fence repair is $555. Costs tend to fall between $340 and $785. However, they can go as low as $55 and as high as $2,415, depending on the extent of the damage.
What determines the cost of your repair? It will depend on the wood variety, damage type and severity, fence design, and labor costs in your area. Let’s dive into these factors, so you’ll know what you’re in for.
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In this pricing guide, we’ll cover:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Repair vs. Replacement
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Costs for Wood Fence Repairs
|National Average Cost
|Typical Price Range
|$340 – $785
|Extreme Low-End Cost
|Extreme High-End Cost
These prices represent the labor and material costs of several types of repairs. The lowest number reflects a simple project like rusty screw and nail replacement. The highest numbers represent extensive damage or complicated repairs such as termite damage.
To save money on repairs, maintain your wooden fence with stains, paints, and regular cleaning. These practices extend the wood’s lifespan and reduce the chances and severity of environmental damage. Keep an eye out for issues so you can catch them early before they worsen. However, expensive repairs are unavoidable in some cases, such as damage caused by storms or vehicles.
Wood Fence Repair Cost Estimator by Size
Your total fence length isn’t as important as the size of the damaged area when it comes to fence repair. While one homeowner may need a small repair for a few kicked-in boards, another may face rotten wood along the entire length of their fence.
Usually, it costs between $10-$25 per linear foot for wooden fence repair. It will be cheaper for simple repairs and higher for complicated ones or total replacements. However, certain parts of a fence are more expensive to replace than others. For example, post replacements would cost more than picket replacements per linear foot.
Here’s what the total project cost would be for different-sized jobs:
|Size of Damaged Area in Linear Feet
|Total Project Cost
Another factor that affects the cost per foot (especially when you’re replacing parts) is wood type. Here is the average cost for some common types of wood from least expensive to most expensive:
|Average Repair Cost Per Linear Foot
|Western red cedar
Other Factors That Affect Cost
If repair size were the only factor that mattered, there wouldn’t be such a range in cost. Here are the other things that will affect the cost of your repair.
Cause of damage
Sometimes, forces outside your control can cause multiple problems for your fence. Here are some common causes of fence damage and how much you can expect to pay for repairs.
Wind, rain, snow, and flooding can all damage wooden fences. If a fierce storm recently swept through your area, you should expect to pay an average of $540 or between $260 and $825 to pick up the pieces and set things right with your fence.
To prevent weather damage, apply protective stains and paints to your wooden fence. Open and semi-privacy fences are more resistant to wind, flood, and snow damage than full privacy fences.
If you notice odd patterns, holes, cracks, or crumbling on your wooden fence, termites may be the culprit. Termite damage is expensive to fix at an average of $1,585 or between $760 to $2,415.
Why the high price? Because you not only need to replace damaged parts but also get rid of the infestation. You don’t want these pests to return for a second helping of your fence or any other wooden structure on your property.
You might need to hire two pros — one to deal with your fence and another to banish the pests. A pest control company can identify what specific wood-destroying pest you’re dealing with. However, you may be able to get rid of or prevent termites yourself.
Accidents are scary, but they do happen. A fencing pro can make dealing with the aftermath easier by repairing any vehicle damage to your wooden fence for around $525.
Fallen tree damage
Whether they fall due to age or external factors, trees and tree branches can cause significant damage to your fence. It costs an average of $270 to replace the damaged parts, but your tree removal cost will be an additional $650.
Ground erosion makes fencing repairs much more complicated. A pro will need to do more work to stabilize your fence, so repairs will cost somewhere between $475 and $1,005, with an average cost of $740.
Want a new fence? Get price quotes from local fencing companies.
Type of repair
The first step to repairing a fence is diagnosing the problem. Here are the most common issues wooden fences face and the average cost of each.
Fence picket replacement
Most wooden fences are made of pickets that you can individually remove. Replacements usually cost about $5 each, but $220 is the total cost for most projects since several pickets need to be replaced at once. Here is the average cost for pickets of various wood types:
|Average Picket Cost
|Western red cedar
Fence panel replacement
What if you need to replace a whole panel at a time? Panel replacements typically cost between $110 and $355 for materials and labor, with an average cost of $230. The low end represents a single panel replacement, and the upper represents multiple. Here’s the material cost per panel for different types of wood:
|Type of Wood
|Average Cost Per 6-by-8-Foot Panel
|Western red cedar
Fence post repair or replacement
Unstable fence posts threaten the integrity of your whole fence. It will cost about $105 to install support braces.
Stabilization is the cheapest fence post repair, but a broken or damaged post will be more expensive since it requires complete removal and replacement. It costs around $140 per new post for replacement, but most projects cost between $165 and $485 in total, depending on the number and type of posts that need replacement.
Environmental factors, such as floods or storms, can cause a fence to lean. A pro can set things straight for around $120 to $885, or an average of $500. If you want to install extra concrete to stabilize the fence, it will cost about $5 per square foot.
Rot can strike any part of your wooden fence, from posts to panels. Rot is irreversible and can spread if not addressed quickly. A professional can remove and replace rotten wood for around $280.
To prevent rot, ensure the wood isn’t directly touching the dirt. Stains and paints also can protect the wood from moisture that encourages this fungal growth.
Gate repair or replacement
Gates run into more problems because of their moving parts. A wooden fence gate costs about $340 to repair. Some simple fixes may cost less, and complicated repairs or complete replacements could cost more.
Holes or cracks
Those cracks or holes may not start big, but they’ll grow bigger if you’re not careful. Patching up holes and cracks usually costs between $110 and $375, with an average of about $245. It could cost more if the stain or paint needs a touchup afterward.
Temperature shifts and moisture can make wood warp. This problem can be tricky to fix, but a pro can reverse the damage or replace affected parts for an average of $230 or between $140 and $315.
Post cap repair or replacement
You may think post caps are purely decorative, but they also protect wooden posts from the elements. If you notice yours are broken or missing, it will cost around $130 to repair or replace them.
Rail repair or replacement
Your fence’s rails help keep everything together. A damaged rail won’t adequately support the panels and boards, putting them at risk of falling. Rail repair and replacement costs average out to about $240.
Your fence may feel extra pressure if you have a dog or live in an area with heavy winds or snow. It may need some extra reinforcement to resist this additional battering. A fencing professional can install braces or concrete for around $400.
Rusty nail and screw replacement
Moisture naturally rusts most metals, so your screws and nails will eventually succumb to the same fate. Not only do they look bad, but they can be dangerous if they fall to the ground unnoticed. A pro can remove and replace this rusty metal hardware for somewhere between $55 to $95, with an average cost of $75. Want to avoid rust in the first place? Use aluminum or stainless steel parts.
Stain or mildew removal
Grime isn’t good for your wooden fence and decreases curb appeal. Professional pressure-washing services will blast away any stains or mildew, costing an average of $205 or between $155 and $260.
Technically, all wood fences are made of the same material, but there are still various types of wood fencing to choose from. Pine tends to be one of the cheapest wood types, so it will cost less to repair at about $7.50 per linear foot. On the other hand, less common types like tropical hardwood cost more than double to repair at about $16 per linear foot.
Cheap isn’t always better; sometimes high-priced materials are better quality and longer-lasting. While untreated sapwoods are vulnerable to decay, some heartwoods are naturally decay-resistant. Pressure-treated wood resists water, fungal, and insect damage better than untreated wood. Both these material types come with a higher price tag.
You also should consider what metal fence parts you have. For example, screws or gate latches could rust if they aren’t made of stainless steel or aluminum, adding to the repair cost over time.
While replacing a wooden board or picket is relatively simple, complicated designs like woven fences will be trickier to repair and increase costs. The same is true for unusual fence heights since the fence contractor has to cut pieces to size.
When you hire a professional, you’re not just paying for materials. You’re paying for the expertise and time to be sure the repair is done right. Every contractor sets their own price, but labor costs tend to fall between $70 and $95 an hour, with an average cost of around $80 per hour. Here’s what could influence the hourly rate:
- Years of experience: While a new contractor may charge less, the quality of their work might not be as good as that of a more experienced professional.
- Specialization: Some fence types and materials are more challenging to repair than others. While most fence contractors work with wood, a contractor specializing in complicated designs or exotic types of wood might charge more than a generalized fence company. Consider whether your fence needs specialized attention — a simple fence made of a common wood type doesn’t necessarily need a wooden fence specialist.
- Costs of living: If you live in an expensive area, professionals will need to charge more to make ends meet.
- Demand: Prices tend to increase with higher demand and fall with low demand. Demand may change based on the seasons, supply, or popularity of the fence repair company.
Beware of suspiciously low labor prices without positive reviews to back up their work. It could indicate the work quality isn’t the best. However, the most expensive option isn’t always the best either — you don’t want to feel like you paid too much for what you got. Mid-priced options usually provide the most bang for your buck. Still, customer reviews will give the best indication of what’s worth it and what isn’t.
Most fence repairs don’t need permits, but you should check just in case. Extensive repairs or modifications that make the fence more than 6 feet tall could warrant approval. Some fence contractors can get permits for you and may even include the cost in the initial quote.
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, you also should check their rules beforehand. It’s no fun paying fines or tearing down all your hard work because it doesn’t meet rules and regulations.
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You may realize you need more than just repair for your wooden fence. Here are some other related services you should consider.
Painting or staining
Want your old fence to look like new? Paints and stains protect wooden fences from the elements and increase their lifespan. They may even prevent much of the damage we’ve discussed in this article, such as:
On average, hiring a professional to paint or stain your entire fence costs between $700 and $3,000. It will cost less if you only need a few spots retouched. You can save money by doing it yourself. It costs about $15 to $35 a gallon or $5 to $20 per linear foot for a 5-foot-tall fence.
If you want to do away with part or all of your fence, the cost of fence removal will be about $3.50 per linear foot. You can do it yourself, but it may not be practical to haul away the discarded parts if you don’t have a pickup truck or live near a dump or recycling center. If you’re getting a new fence installed, hiring the same team to remove your old fence can be more time and cost-efficient.
If you’re replacing your old fence the cost to install a new fence will be around $3,000. The typical range is $2,000 to $4,500, but it can cost as little as $500 or as much as $8,500. Want to calculate the cost for your specific fence project? Professional installation usually costs between $12 and $35 per linear foot.
Wood fence repair vs. replacement
You don’t need to replace your fence over a minor issue, but what if it needs more significant repairs? Where is the line drawn for repair versus replacement?
It’s up to your personal preference to some extent, but many homeowners make this decision based on cost. The average price to repair a wooden fence ($555) is significantly lower than installing a new fence ($3,000). That’s because many fence problems are entirely fixable. This cost-effective measure will extend the lifespan of your fence and push off the need for fence replacement for many years.
However, a severely damaged fence may be extremely difficult or impossible to restore, driving up repair costs. In that case, starting from scratch may be a more sensible choice. Get a quote from local pros to see which option is more cost-effective.
What else might make a new fence more enticing? If your wooden fence isn’t meeting your needs or is too high-maintenance, you may feel relieved to have a lower maintenance type of fence like vinyl or chain-link. You also may replace your existing fence if it doesn’t fit aesthetically with your landscaping plans.
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
Professional labor can get expensive, so many homeowners repair wooden fences themselves. This project is doable for simple fixes like picket, post cap, nail, and screw replacement. You also can maintain your fence by repainting or staining, or pressure washing off stains and mildew.
However, some repairs are trickier. Pros can best handle post replacement, fence stabilization, warped wood, ground erosion, and termite damage. You also may not be able to find the exact parts you’re looking for when shopping at your local home improvement store. A professional can order the exact parts you need or modify them to meet your needs.
If you’re not confident about completing a repair, it’s probably best to call a fence contractor. It’s better to spend a little extra to make sure things are right than have to undo your DIY work because it didn’t turn out well.
If you decide to do it yourself, the table below shows the average cost of tools and supplies. Every repair is different, so ignore any supplies you already have or don’t need for your project.
|Paint or stain
|$25 per gallon
|Renting a pressure washer
|$70 per day
|Buying a pressure washer
Cost of wood fence repair by location
We based the prices in this article on national averages. However, we know our readers come from all over the country. Rural areas tend to have lower fence repair prices than urban areas. Your area’s cost of living, transportation, and taxes also may swing prices up or down. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a pro in your area for a quote.
FAQ About Wood Fence Repairs
Wood fences last about 20 years. However, they can last shorter or longer depending on wood quality, environment, and maintenance.
The first step is to talk to them about what happened. You should both know how the damage was caused so you can avoid it in the future. If your neighbor is responsible for what happened, they are responsible for paying for repairs. If they’re resistant, you should contact your insurance provider or a lawyer to get expert advice on how to handle the situation.
The best way to determine fence ownership is to identify property lines. You may need to dig a bit for this information, but it should be accessible through your property records, the local county assessor or recorder’s office, or online. You also can hire a land surveyor to find property lines.
If the fence is clearly on one side or another, then it belongs to whoever’s property it’s on. However, sometimes fences are shared between neighbors, such as when they’re directly on the property line. Check local laws about shared fences to see how to split the repair and installation costs.
DIY or Hire a Pro to Repair Your Wood Fence?
Wooden fences may not last as long as other fences, but repairing them is still worth it. Though your price may fall outside the average range of $340 to $785, considering the additional cost factors should help you get a ballpark estimate for your project. If you’re ready to start, contact a professional fence repair company for a quote.
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