Fencing a yard requires time and cost for labor and materials. Completing the labor yourself reduces the costs but also increases your time investment. Taking the time to creatively source your materials also reduces the cost. Consider that in addition to the materials, you will need tools to complete the job.
Numerous different post options are available, each with a different look. Metal T-posts are one of the most cost effective options and are available through most hardware and ranch supply stores. Round wood and metal posts are also a cost effective option. Treated 4-inch square boards are common in 6-foot and 8-foot lengths but are one of the more expensive options for posts. Consider incorporating existing trees into the fence design to reduce the cost.
Plastic perimeter fencing is inexpensive but lacks long-term durability. Poultry wire is inexpensive but larger animals can break through with some effort. Welded hog-wire and chain-link are a good middle ground for price point and durability. Heavier duty metal horse fencing is expensive but necessary for containing livestock. Wood fence railings have a much higher cost than the wire options.
Save money by searching for used fencing through classifieds ads. In some cases, you can offer to remove fencing from ranches and larger properties in exchange for the materials. Locating used fencing requires some time investment but it can reduce your costs substantially.
Electric fencing is a good option for dog owners. The materials are limited and installation is easy. The cost of collars and electricity does however increase the long-term expense. Electricity is only useful for keeping pets in but it will not keep other animals and people out of your yard.
Tools and Additional Materials
You will need a shovel and a post hole digger to set your posts. You can save money by filling the holes with rocks but concrete is the most stable option. A level and string to dig in a straight line is also necessary. A wheelbarrow is useful for mixing concrete and hauling supplies. Attaching wire requires staples and wood connections require screws or nails.
Many neighborhoods are regulated by homeowner associations and city codes. You must abide by the rules when building a new fence. Check with your association and city prior to building. Used materials and ranch style fencing may have restrictions. Also locate buried utilities before digging holes. Most cities provide a utility locate service to prevent interruptions in the grid and keep you safe while constructing your new fence.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.