A privacy fence can be built to keep people from seeing into the area that is enclosed by the fence, such as the yard of a home. Privacy fence costs can depend on a number of factors, some of which are more obvious than others. A little investigation and preparation can help a person end up with the fence that he or she envisioned while also keeping his or her privacy fence costs within budget. Factors that affect privacy fence costs include whether someone else is being hired to build the fence, the cost of the materials and potential fees for things such as property surveys or utility inspections.
The first decision one must make is whether to hire someone else to handle the privacy fence installation. This typically is the most expensive option but also the easiest. Anyone choosing this option should ask for estimates from at least three builders in order choose the one that will keep the privacy fence costs as low as possible. In most cases, all privacy fence costs will be included in the builder's price. References should be checked before any fence builder is hired to ensure that the builder is experienced and competent.
For those who choose to build their privacy fences themselves, the costs can vary greatly, mostly based on the type of material chosen. Vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fences cost the most but also last the longest. Redwood and cyprus wood fencing material costs a little less but have long life expectancies. The most common type of wood used for privacy fences is cedar, and it is available in good supply at almost any local home supply or lumber company.
Other material needed to build a privacy fence includes fencing nails or screws, concrete and any tools that might be required. If one doesn't own a nail gun, it should be bought or rented for this project. Pounding every nail in a fence by hand can be done, but it usually will be very exhausting and time-consuming.
Things such as disputed property lines or hidden underground gas and power lines can turn a privacy fence project into a nightmare and add to the costs. A property survey might have to be done if no recent survey has been performed, and this can add to the privacy fence costs. Most utility companies will come and mark all underground lines for free or a nominal fee.
Someone who is inexperienced at do-it-yourself projects and their costs can seek help from a home supply store or lumber company. The employees there typically will be able to estimate the costs of a privacy fence project based on the height and length of the fence and the materials used. When setting aside money for the project, one should add 20 percent to the estimated cost in order to cover any hidden costs that arise.