How Much Does a Vinyl Fence Cost to Build?
Vinyl fences are low maintenance, super durable, and long-lasting, making them an excellent investment. A typical vinyl fence cost is $3,816, with a range of $2,238 to $5,483.
- Typical Range: $2,238 to $5,483
- National Average: $3,816
Is it time to enclose your property to keep kids in and unwanted visitors out? Building a fence is a common homeowner task to check off, particularly with a new construction home. But even homes that have been around for a while might need a fence replaced or installed. Fences come in a few different styles and price ranges, from classic white vinyl fences to extensive faux granite privacy fencing. Vinyl fences tend to be one of the best-looking, low-cost fences you can install.
A typical vinyl fence cost ranges between $2,238 and $ 5,483, though the national average is $3,816. This includes the cost of labor, materials, and any permits needed to build a plastic fence. However, there are a lot of other unique circumstances that can make up vinyl fence costs, so keep reading to discover what you can expect as you budget for this upcoming project.
How to Calculate Vinyl Fence Costs
To calculate the basic price of vinyl fence installation, you need to know how many linear feet of fencing are required and the average vinyl fencing cost in your area. Searching for “vinyl fence installation near me” will help you locate a local fencing company that can provide an accurate quote. Here is a quick way you can roughly estimate the cost.
- Measure how many feet of fencing you need to install.
- Multiply the total linear feet by the cost of materials and labor (usually $15 to $40 per linear foot).
- Add the cost of a gate, which ranges between $300 and $1,500, and the cost of installation at the typical rate of $30 to $50 per hour.
For example, 100 feet of vinyl fencing could cost $1,500 to $6,000. A complete privacy fence would land at the higher end of the cost range, while a picket fence would cost closer to the lower end.
Factors in Calculating Vinyl Fence Cost
It might seem like calculating the cost to install a fence is a simple process. Still, a fence installer must consider several factors to calculate an accurate price. Vinyl fence costs are determined by the design, height, number of posts and gates, slope of the property, and the cost of labor and permits. Here’s a breakdown of each of these factors.
While most homeowners opt for a complete privacy fence, others might choose to do a lower picket fence, a three-rail fence, or a mix around the property. Since privacy fences are the tallest and have the most plastic fence panels, this is the more expensive type of fence to install, with an average of $25 to $60 per linear foot. You can install a traditional straight fence or have a design built into the panels such as horizontal, lattice, or crisscross.
A three-rail, ranch, or horse fence costs on average $15 to $25 per linear foot, and a picket fence costs $15 to $20 per linear foot. These costs can vary based on your location and the current demand. Also, you’ll need to decide on the width of the vinyl fence panel. An 8-foot panel will cost more than a 4-foot panel, but a 4-foot-panel fence will need more fence posts.
Color and Height
Most vinyl fences are white since it’s the cheapest color available (about $25 per linear foot), and it makes a lovely aesthetic against the yard and house. There are also other standard color options to choose from, like beige, brown, black, or even red. These colors typically cost a little more, though—often up to $60 per linear foot. You could also choose to have a vinyl fence that’s imprinted to look more like natural wood grain, and this usually costs around $40 per linear foot.
Posts and Gates
Fence posts are the most challenging part of installing a fence. It’s labor-intensive to dig a hole, fill it with concrete, and set the posts in it while keeping them level and perfectly in line for a straight fence. The more posts that are needed, the higher the cost, although there’s little you can do to choose how many fence posts you need. Vinyl fence panels can only be made so wide before they must have another post for stability.
Vinyl fence posts are usually capped to keep water out, but you can also add more decorative caps with lights for an extra cost. Plain white vinyl posts cost around $26, and a 100-foot fence with twelve 8-foot panels will probably need 14 posts.
Gates are another crucial part of a fence as you’ll still want to have access to the front or back yard. A single gate costs between $300 and $1,500 for materials and labor, but if it’s highly decorative or it’s a double gate, then it could cost up to $2,500.
The height of a PVC fence is a significant factor in the overall cost. Shorter fences are usually 4 feet high and cost $15 to $25 per linear foot. A 6-foot fence averages $25 to $40 per linear foot, but an 8-foot fence costs between $30 and $45 per linear foot. These price ranges will also vary based on the type of fence.
Slope of Land
Building a fence on sloped ground takes more time, effort, and skill to ensure the fence is leveled correctly and doesn’t leave awkward gaps along the ground. If the slope is significant, the fence builder might need to have the ground leveled to properly build a fence that will last. Grading a slope could cost between $900 and $3,000 depending on how much work needs to be done. If grading is not needed, it will likely take longer to build the fence to compensate for the more challenging job, which means the total labor costs will be higher.
Today’s vinyl fencing has improved quite a bit since the original vinyl fences looked as flimsy as they were. Now homeowners can choose a PVC fence that’s much more durably made with composite materials or pure vinyl. The thickness of a fence isn’t as important as the materials, so ask a pro about using virgin vinyl (100 percent pure vinyl) instead of a fence made from recycled PVC scraps, which is more prone to damage from the elements over time.
Labor and Permits
There’s no getting around the labor cost for fence installation since it’s a labor-intensive process. Expect to pay around $5 to $10 per linear foot per employee. This also works out to about $35 to $50 per hour. Still, labor actually makes up a smaller portion of the total cost of vinyl fencing since the amount of materials needed outweighs the cost of labor.
Some municipalities have requirements for building fences on property lines, so check with them about any necessary permits. The installer might be able to help you obtain them too, so it’s worth asking. Depending on the size of the fence and the number of permits needed, you could spend $20 to $400 on permits.
Additional Costs and Considerations
In addition to the cost factors that apply to every fencing installation, there are often other costs to consider when estimating vinyl fencing costs. The following situations may or may not apply to your property, but they can be helpful to consider if needed.
Removing Old Fencing and Site Preparation
Sometimes a new fence is replacing an old, worn-out fence. In that case, the old fence will need to be torn down and hauled away. The cost will depend on the type of fence and how much work is required to dig out the old posts. Some fence installers will charge a flat fee, while others charge a rate per linear foot—often around $3 to $5 per linear foot.
Sometimes there is existing landscaping in the way of the new fence. Trees, shrubs, logs, stumps, and other natural debris will need to be removed before the fence can be built. This might also be the case if the landscaping is simply too close to the fence line, making it difficult for the installer to work. Removing landscaping could range from $75 to remove a bush or up to $2,000 for tree removal.
Paint, Hardware, and Other Add-Ons
Vinyl fencing comes in more colors than just white; you can also choose brown, red, black, or beige. This is great for homeowners looking for a long-lasting, durable fence in a color that blends into the surroundings better. If another color is preferred, a pro can paint it with epoxy paint for around $350, including labor and materials.
You could also pay more for hardware that better suits your home’s style. Decorative elements like more attractive post caps, lights on the posts, and designer fence panels with crisscross patterns are available, all varying in price.
Pressure Washing and Maintenance
Vinyl fences are the easiest type of fence to maintain since they don’t rot or rust. They can simply be cleaned by power washing them occasionally. You can do this yourself or have a professional do it for an average cost of $213.
Types of Vinyl Fencing
Deciding on the type of vinyl fencing you prefer will be a big part of determining your vinyl fence cost. Here are the main kinds of vinyl fencing homeowners can have a pro install.
Privacy fences can reach as high as 12 feet tall, but most are usually 4 to 6 feet high. The higher the fence, the higher the cost. The advantage of a privacy fence is there are no slots for people to see into the yard—though it won’t be much help keeping nosy neighbors from looking into your yard from their second-story windows.
Still, they’re the best option if you’re looking to enjoy your backyard without everyone walking by watching what you’re doing. And it’s especially helpful for keeping prying eyes from seeing any valuables you store in the backyard and keeping road noise down. Vinyl privacy fences cost an average of $3,000 to $18,000, depending on the cost factors listed above.
A white picket fence is a quintessential property upgrade that can make a home look so appealing when it’s well kept. Since a picket fence is only a few feet tall, it’s much cheaper than a privacy fence. Some homeowners opt to add a privacy fence in the backyard and a picket fence in the front yard. It helps keep dogs and kids corralled, but it still provides a view of the street (and boosts your curb appeal). Expect to pay $1,500 to $4,500 for a picket fence.
Split-rail fences are sometimes called ranch fencing. These fences have flat rails between each post, and they can have two to four rails. On average, a two-rail fence costs $10 to $13 per linear foot, and a four-rail fence costs $16 to $28. You’ll often find these on properties with animals, but they’re suitable for any homeowner who likes the style.
A three-rail fence is another version of the split-rail fence, so it’s also known as ranch fencing sometimes. These fences have flat rails between the posts as well (although they’re often round rails when made of wood), and they’re also commonly used to keep animals penned in. However, vinyl rail fences have been increasing in popularity for homeowners looking for a modern farmhouse style. Three-rail fences usually cost $12 to $15 per linear foot.
You can opt to have decorative features built on top of your privacy fence to add another layer of cost-effective fencing. Lattice and crisscross patterns are two standard options. Otherwise, you could also consider installing a fence with lattice panels if you prefer a semi-see-through fence. And since it’s made of vinyl, this kind of fence will still last longer than a wooden lattice fence. It costs $28 to $35 per linear foot for this style.
If you’re looking for privacy around your pool without paying for an entire fence around your property, ask a fencing contractor about building a pool fence. It’s a smaller style of fence that can be built as short as 4 feet high. To surround a 600-square-foot pool, you’ll pay an average of $15 per linear foot.
Need a Fence? Reasons to Choose Vinyl
Vinyl is one of the most popular materials for fence building. Plastic fences are far more durable now than their original counterparts, and they come with more options and colors. Here are a few reasons you should choose to build a vinyl fence.
Straightforward, easy maintenance is the top reason for installing a vinyl fence. Unlike wood fences that need to be stained or sealed yearly and will eventually rot, vinyl fences are built to last. Best of all, they don’t require any sealing or staining—just an occasional power wash to keep them clean.
Strength and Durability
Vinyl fences are made of either pure vinyl or a PVC composite, both of which have long-lasting qualities and strength. For example, vinyl is five times stronger than wood. That means it just might last through a severe storm a little better than a wooden fence. They’re also more resistant to catching fire. Best of all, vinyl fences aren’t prone to rot, rust, insect infestations, sun blistering, or peeling. That’s why a vinyl fence can last from 10 to 30 years.
Vinyl fences are one of the best types of fences to invest in since they have a long lifespan of 10 to 30 years. Yes, vinyl fences are more costly than wood fences initially, but your long-term costs are lower for a vinyl fence since they last longer and have almost no maintenance costs. It’s estimated that a quality vinyl fence averages a 60 percent return on investment for homeowners.
Ease of Installation
Vinyl fences are one of the easiest types of fences to install—aside from the usual challenge of digging and installing fence posts. Vinyl fence panels are made to lock into place on the posts easily. As long as the posts are installed evenly, the panels will also be even when they’re snapped into the posts. If a panel is damaged, it’s just as easy to pull it out and snap in a new panel.
Vinyl fences have a clean aesthetic that boosts the property’s appearance, especially if it’s a traditional white picket fence. And since they don’t rot or warp like a wooden fence, they’ll maintain their crisp appearance longer. They’re a great way to boost curb appeal and have a long-lasting investment for years to come.
Even when wood is treated, pests will eventually wear down a wooden fence. Sometimes a wood fence’s demise becomes a race between the insects and Mother Nature. Thankfully, vinyl fences are created with artificial materials, so insects have no interest in nibbling away at them for food or nesting purposes.
Vinyl Fencing: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
You’ve probably seen neighbors installing their own wooden fences. What you probably didn’t see are the frustrations those DIYers had as they tried to get the posts lined up just right to install the rails and slats. Building a wooden fence is a challenge all on its own, but building a vinyl fence is a whole other beast. If even a slight measurement error is made when installing the posts, you’ll have two choices: try to cut the fence panel down and deal with an obviously cut panel or purchase a new panel that fits the space. That’s an expensive mistake to make.
Vinyl fences aren’t like wooden fences since they come as fully prepped panels ready to pop into place. If you aren’t experienced at measuring the exact lines (both length and height), digging the post holes, pouring concrete, and setting the posts at the precise size and level you need, then you’ll wind up with a frustrating and overly expensive project. In reality, since materials are the most significant cost factor, you’d only save a few hundred dollars if you tried the DIY route. But that margin could quickly be erased if you have to purchase new panels due to errors.
Professional fence installers have a great deal of precision as they work to install a vinyl fence. This works to your advantage since they’ll be more efficient than you will, so you can spend your time on other projects or with your family. Installers will also have all the right equipment like post diggers, which is not a common tool most homeowners have. In reality, hiring a pro for a vinyl fence installation is best to avoid costly mistakes and big headaches.
How to Save Money on a Vinyl Fence
It’s common to look for ways to save money on a vinyl fence installation. Remember that you’re already saving on long-term costs since vinyl fences need little maintenance and last much longer than wooden fences. Here are several tips for homeowners looking to save on vinyl fence costs.
- Ask the installer about the total price difference for installing a fence with 4-, 6-, or 8-foot panels. Smaller panels will require more posts, so even though larger panels cost more, it might be cheaper overall.
- Build a 6-foot privacy fence instead of an 8- or 10-foot fence.
- Ask about the cost difference between building a taller fence or adding decorative lattice on the top. You might be able to plant vines and create an additional privacy barrier that’s attractive and costs less.
- Remove any landscaping on your own if possible to avoid labor and dump fees.
- Remove your own old fencing and either haul it yourself or ask about the cost for the installer to haul it away.
- Skip the decorative handles and extra features and opt for the hardware that will last best in your climate.
- If possible, have a fence installed off-season when demand is lower. This is often in the middle of summer since most homeowners want to get a fence built right after or before winter.
- Skip building a fence in the front yard and only build one for the backyard.
- Install only one gate or a single gate rather than a double gate if possible.
- Always compare quotes from multiple companies, especially if you have a special consideration like a sloped property.
- Consider a cheaper type of fence such as a rail fence if your goal is more about enclosure than privacy.
- Ask your neighbors to share the cost for the portion of the fence that will separate their yard from yours.
Questions to Ask About Vinyl Fence Installation
Since a few special circumstances can apply to your project, it’s important to know what questions to ask a fence installer about the costs of vinyl fencing and the project itself. As always, be sure to ask if they are a licensed, bonded, and insured company first.
- Do you have a portfolio I can review and references I can call?
- Do you obtain the permits I need?
- Will you come to my house and do a free estimate?
- Can I review a line-item estimate or invoice?
- Do you require a deposit?
- How will you identify my property lines?
- Will you contact the utility companies to ensure you don’t dig up any gas or internet lines?
- What’s the cost difference if I choose a smaller or bigger fence panel?
- How much do you charge for one gate?
- How many fence posts will my property need?
- Can you remove my old fence?
- Do you see any installation challenges on my property?
- Will the slope in my yard require grading?
- How long will it take to install my fence?
- How many employees will you send to build it?
- Do you offer any warranty on the fence?
Once you know the kind of vinyl fence you want to install and how many feet the fence will be, you’ll have a good idea about vinyl fence costs. But having more information is always helpful, so here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.
Q. Is vinyl fencing cheaper than wood?
Not necessarily. It partly depends on the type of wood since some varieties are more expensive than others, but vinyl usually costs more than wood. Still, there might be a close price difference depending on current wood costs, so you might see prices for vinyl at $2 to $6 apiece and wood at $2 to $10 per picket.
Q.Is vinyl the same thing as PVC?
Mostly, yes. PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, so technically, all PVC has vinyl in it. PVC vinyl is typically made of a variety of composite materials, including vinyl, and it’s a little cheaper and a little more flexible than pure vinyl. There is another type of fencing called virgin vinyl that is 100 percent vinyl, and it’s known to have even stronger resistance against warping in extreme heat. It resists fading colors and will break cleanly rather than leaving shards of fibers if it’s damaged.
Q. How long can a vinyl fence last?
Most vinyl fences last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on the weather conditions and the type of materials used to make the vinyl fence.
Q.How much does a 100-foot vinyl fence cost?
For a basic plastic vinyl fence that’s 100 linear feet, you’ll probably pay between $1,500 and $6,000 depending on the fence design, labor, terrain, and number of gates.
Q.Is a vinyl fence good for dog owners?
Vinyl fences are a top choice for dog owners. Dogs tend to want to scratch, sniff, and otherwise agitate a wooden fence. Wood tends to have insects, and it carries the scent of other animals longer than plastic. Vinyl fences are uninteresting to dogs who won’t feel a need to scratch or sniff it all the time.
They’re also safer for dogs than a chain-link fence or an iron fence that the dog could potentially get stuck in. And since plastic fence panels are installed in a single piece, there are also no rusty or broken nails to hurt your furry friend.
Q.Do I need to paint vinyl fencing?
The short answer is no. Vinyl fencing does not need to be painted since it comes in white, red, beige, black, and brown. Those are the most common colors that are also widely accepted to an HOA (if that’s a consideration for you). Vinyl fences do not require yearly painting, staining, or sealing as a wooden fence does.
Having said that, if you want to have a vinyl fence painted a different color, then it’s possible to do so. A professional will likely use epoxy paint, but the caveat is that the paint will not last all that long. Since paint doesn’t adhere to smooth plastic as well as porous wood, it will eventually peel off and look unsightly—thus undoing the crisp appearance of a non-painted vinyl fence. Most importantly, painting a fence could void the warranty, so ask the fence installer before painting it.