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17 Cheap Ways to Fence In Your Yard

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Fences boost security and privacy in a front or backyard space, and can even add aesthetics. The amount of privacy that a yard fence adds is up to you, as is the budget. Though yard fencing can be expensive, we’ve rounded up some cheap fence ideas to fit nearly any budget.

1. Corrugated fencing

Recycling old materials is a great dual-purpose way to build cheap fencing. You might already have the materials if you happen to be tearing down an old metal shed or barn. But if not, corrugated metal panels are inexpensive and easy to find. Use as-is for a retro feel, or paint them black for a modern take.

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Expect to spend:

$15 to $20 per 16 square feet

A general view of a back garden lawn with grey wood fences of a home

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2. Pallet fencing

For DIY projects, pallets are a common go-to, especially to build a yard fence. They start as flat transport structures to make stacking and lifting large objects easier. They can be broken down into slats or kept complete for the project. Since there are  typically minimal spaces between the slats, pallets make for great yard fencing that require little assembly.

Expect to spend:

Possibly nothing! Many local construction companies, farms, and warehouses will give them away if you ask. Just make sure you have a vehicle to haul them.

3. Split rail

Split rail fences are most commonly seen on farms and ranches. Relatively cheap fencing, they were an easy and affordable way to corral animals and mark off property boundaries. But you don’t have to live on the range to appreciate the rustic feel of split rail fences. Save money by making your own or buy them ready to put up.

Expect to spend:

$3 to $20 per foot

4. Chain link

Some people consider chain link fences ugly, even if they are a great candidate for affordable fencing. Unless you’re fencing a new pup in, why choose chain link? Its simplicity is very versatile. Getting chain link in different colors or pairing it with wood accents quickly makes a ton of aesthetic difference.

Expect to spend:

$1.30 to $3.00 per foot

5. 4-rail horse fence

The 4-rail horse fence is another type of backyard fence typical to ranch land or farmhouses. It’s like a split rail, but the wooden pieces fit closer together and are wider, making the gaps in between smaller, offering more security.

Expect to spend:

$2 to $5 per foot of fencing (not each piece of wood)

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6. Bamboo fences

In warmer climates, you can grow a bamboo fence yourself by planting it along the desired line and letting it grow. If you prefer dry bamboo, grow in a convenient spot until it reaches the right height. Then, cut it down, dry it, and put it up as a fence. Bamboo grows incredibly quickly, up to 36 inches in 24 hours. You can also buy pre-made rolls of bamboo fencing. Bonus if you live near wildlife: bamboo repels deer.

Expect to spend:

$1.60 to $10 per foot length of fencing and six feet tall

Paving stone path and opened wire mesh fence gate leading to a landscaped residential backyard garden at springtime, Quebec, Canada. This image is property released. CUPR0212

Perry Mastrovito/ Getty Images

7. Wrought iron

Wrought iron fencing became common during the Industrial Age, so it can look period and dramatic. A common European style, it lends an artful appearance, but it’s not exactly the most affordable fencing. Choose from ornate balusters to thicker, plainly vertical posts. To keep costs down, combine it with hedging.

Expect to spend:

$24 to $32 per foot

8. Vinyl fencing

Vinyl has become a more common yard fence option in recent years, despite its historically bad reputation as looking cheaper than wood or metal. But modern vinyl can be beautiful and appear upscale when done right. It’s durable and easy to assemble, isn’t susceptible to termites, and is very lightweight. Vinyl comes in numerous styles and can be painted in different colors.

Expect to spend:

$6 to $9 per foot

9. Split rail and mesh

Like the price and appearance of a split rail fence but it’s not enough security? If you want to close up the gaps, or need a fence that keeps the dog inside, combine split rail with mesh. They’re also great for protecting a vegetable garden from predators.

Expect to spend:

$0.50 to $1.00 per linear foot

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10. Concrete fencing

Concrete can be an affordable fencing option when security and privacy are paramount. Go with pure concrete for maximum coverage, or add brick or wood accents to break up the design. You might need to call in the professionals for this one, which could drive up the price.

Expect to spend:

$5 to $10 per 80 pounds of concrete

11. Barbed wire

Most often associated with farmland, barbed wire isn’t used so much for aesthetics as for security. If you are trying to keep creatures or people out of an area, you can do it cheaply with a barbed wire yard fence.

Expect to spend:

$1.50 to $2 per foot

12. Recycle leftovers

Using recycled materials can be free and is also environmentally friendly. Recycled materials can be anything, from old metal sheets pieced together artfully, or the still-solid pieces of an old wooden fence sorted in varying lengths and painted.

Expect to spend:

Nothing other than some nails and paint.

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13. Living fences

If you have a green thumb and want to be eco-friendly, growing your own “living fence” as an alternative method of yard fencing. Hedge plants, such as privet or boxwood, are normally your best option. You can try a store like Home Depot or Lowe’s, but it might be cheaper to work with a local landscaping company or greenhouse.

Expect to spend:

$1 to $2 per foot of hedging

14. Lattice fencing

Lattice fencing might seem flimsy in concept, but you can fortify it with cement or wooden beams on either side. Or you can add it to a more typical wooden fence as a unique accent.

Expect to spend:

$2 to $20 per foot

15. Hog wire

Hog wire is one of the cheapest ways to fence a yard. The material is rigid, originally meant to fence in small animals and visibly mark property boundaries. The gridlike design keeps predators from getting in and pets from getting out. Using small amounts of wood keeps the yard fencing cost-friendly; stain it for added curb appeal.

Expect to spend:

$3 to $5 per foot

16. Wattle fencing

Wattle fencing is not only cheap but also an adventurous DIY project. Wattle fencing is made by weaving together thin branches of wood through vertically placed stakes, and you can easily find an online tutorial. Try something new and make it a beautiful family project. Source from trees in your yard or ask a neighbor or local business if you can buy some of their branches.

Expect to spend:

Free, or close to it

17. Chicken wire

A chicken wire garden fence is likely the best-known affordable fencing. It’s a dirt-cheap way to keep unwanted critters out. Chicken wire is very thin and unobtrusive. It is easy to piece together with wood supports and can be made quite attractive with stain or wood such as oak and cedar.

Expect to spend:

$0.10 to $0.30 per linear foot

The bottom line

Budget-friendly yard fence ideas are bountiful, no matter what look you want for your yard and gardens. Whether it’s for privacy, security, marking land boundaries, or just a place for your dog to roam free, there are affordable options for every need.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find free or cheap fencing materials?

Shop cheap materials at home stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards. To find free material, look around and ask your neighbors and friends if they have anything that could be recycled for fences, such as pallets and corrugated metal.

What is the least expensive fencing?

Chicken wire and hog wire with wooden supports are among the cheapest.

Is do-it-yourself fencing cheap?

Doing anything yourself is usually cheaper than paying someone else. If you have a small fencing budget, source materials yourself, and follow online tutorials to DIY.

How much does it cost to put up a fence?

It depends on materials and installation. The fence can range from $0.03 to $30 per linear foot, while labor is $7 to $20 an hour.

Where can I find recycled materials for fencing?

Ask neighbors, friends, or family if they have old materials that could be used for fencing. Or visit local farms and farm supply stores. Decide whether you want wood, metal, wire, or another material to direct your search more specifically.

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