A number of factors can influence fence prices, but the most significant factors are installation costs and material costs. A homeowner can save a significant amount of money by installing the fence himself, but the time investment will be much greater, and the potential for problems during installation will increase depending on the homeowner's experience. Materials will play a role in dictating fence prices, since some materials are less expensive than others, and some fences are smaller than others, requiring less material. Other factors that may dictate fence prices include the size of the fence, the difficulty of the installation, any local permits one might need to obtain before building, and delivery charges.
Different builders will give different price quotes depending on the difficulty of the job, so hiring someone to install the fence can affect fence prices significantly. While it may seem like a good idea to the homeowner to save on installation fees by installing the fence himself, he should remember that installing a fence can be quite difficult and it may end up costing the homeowner more than he anticipated in time and extra materials when mistakes are made. Only if the homeowner has experience or the knowledge to properly install a fence should he attempt to install it himself.
Material costs will vary from region to region, and even at specific times. Wood costs, for example, fluctuate often depending on supply. The types of wood one chooses will have an effect on fence prices as well, as pressure treated lumber will be more expensive than untreated wood. Cedar will be more expensive than pine because cedar is naturally resistant to mold and mildew, and it is less likely than pine to warp. Wood will need to be treated or painted, which means paints, stains, or treatments will need to be purchased as well. Other, less expensive materials are available; vinyl, for example, mimics the aesthetics of wood, but the price is usually much lower. Installing a vinyl fence, however, can be quite difficult.
Other materials such as hardware, concrete, and tools can have an effect on overall fence prices. Concrete will be necessary to secure the posts, so the cost of concrete will depend on how many posts the fence requires. Hardware will be necessary to secure fence panels to posts; a builder will often choose more expensive, higher quality hardware because it will be more resistant to rust and corrosion due to exposure to the elements. Less expensive hardware is available, but it will not necessarily save the homeowner money over time.