Wooden fences are highly durable and can last for many years with proper upkeep. However, these fences are prone to weather elements which may cause warping, rot, and mold problems. The posts may also lean and even fall due to ground shifting.
The average cost to repair a wooden fence ranges from $300 to $800. At the minimum, you can spend around $130, while the maximum cost can go up to $1,200.
The actual cost for wooden fence repair depends on the extent of the damage, accessibility, and type of wood.
Wooden fence repair per foot
The average cost to repair a wooden fence per foot ranges between $13 and $27. Contractors charge around $65 to $90 per hour for smaller projects, but the rates vary depending on the fence height, project size, location, and extent of the damage.
If your wooden fence needs replacement, expect to spend around $17 to $45 per linear foot for the project. The overall cost for wooden fence replacement ranges from $1,675 to $4,042, but the cost may vary widely depending on the wood type, fence height, fence type, project size, and job complexity.
Labor costs for repairs
The average labor cost for wooden fence repair ranges from $4.50 to $12.50 per linear foot. The cost depends on whether the panels need repair or replacement.
Simple repairs such as filling holes and cracks or replacing one or two boards will be cheaper than complex repairs and replacements.
Cost for materials only
Materials for wooden fence repair cost between $8.50 and $14.50 per linear foot, depending on the type of wood and height of the fence. If the damage is extensive, you will need more materials and supplies, which will increase the overall material cost.
Repair Cost by wood type
The following table provides you with average costs for wooden fence repair by wood type.
|Wood Type||Average cost|
Pine fence repair
Pine fences are the cheapest to repair because pine wood is readily available. Also, the fence parts such as panels, posts, and gates are inexpensive. The average cost to repair a wooden pine fence is $150 – $200.
Your contractor should inspect the fence and advise you on whether it needs repair or replacement. Newer fences are worth repairing because the wood is still strong. However, older fences of over 10 years may need replacement, especially if the repairs are recurrent.
Redwood fence repair
Redwood fences are prone to damage and can break easily because the wood is softer. These fences are ideal for small areas such as pools and patios, and their natural color makes them very appealing. Redwood fences are also common, and the average cost to repair a privacy fence averages at $225 – $300, labor and materials included.
Cedar fence repair
Cedar fences are quite costly to repair because the wood is stronger, more resistant, and rarer. Besides, cedarwood is highly attractive, and it is naturally resistant to insect infestation and moisture, and decay. The average cost to repair cedar fences is approximate $275 – $325. The cost can be higher or lower depending on the extent of the damage.
Cypress fence repair
The average cost to repair cypress fences is almost equal to cedar fences. Both cypress and cedar are top-quality wood fences because they are stronger and more durable. Although the initial installation cost for these fences is high, they are worth the investment as they offer durability and aesthetics. Repairing a cypress fence will set you back by around $310 – $350.
Oak fence repair
Oak fences are the most expensive to install and repair. Oakwood is rare, which means transportation or shipping costs substantially affect the overall cost of the wood and installation. Common oak fence repairs cost around $375 – $410. Replacing an oak fence can be very costly, so it is essential to regularly clean and maintain it to prolong its longevity.
Wooden fence repair by problem
Below are the average prices for repairing wooden fences by the problem.
|Post replacements||$230 - $700|
|Wood rot and termites||$150 - $750|
|Cracks and holes||$125 - $370|
|Leaning, sagging or shifting fence||$140 - $420|
|Warping wood||$150 - $230|
|Stains and mildew||$190 - $285|
|Rusted nails or screws||$50 - $70|
|Storm damage||$230 - $600|
|Ground erosion||$250 - $310|
The average cost to replace boards ranges from $230 to $700, depending on the extent of the damage. Shifting ground, rot, and accidents are the most common causes of post replacements. Minor repairs such as resetting posts will be much cheaper than replacing the posts.
If you do not wish to replace the post just yet, you can reinforce it using a mender, steel spike, or bracket. This is, however, a temporary solution as the post will need replacement sooner or later.
Wood rot and termites
The average cost to repair an insect-infested or rotten fence ranges from $150 to $750. The cost will depend on the level of damage, and in most cases, chemical treatment, patching and filling holes, and staining or painting the new boards will be required. If the damage is severe, you may be forced to replace the entire fence.
Wooden fences are highly durable, but they are susceptible to weather elements and insects. Immediate repair and regular maintenance will keep your fence in good condition and save you lots of money in the long run.
Cracks and holes
On average, repairing holes and cracks on a wooden fence costs around $125 to $370. The price will increase if the fence needs to be repainted or refinished. Minor accidents from baseballs, termites, and weather elements can cause holes and cracks in wooden fences.
These are usually minor repairs, which means the structure may not need replacement unless it is completely worn out. If the holes or cracks are small, you can fill or patch them using an extra piece of lumber.
Leaning, sagging, or shifting fence
On average, repairing a leaking, sagging, or shifting fence costs around $140 to $420. The most common cause of a leaning or sagging fence is shifting ground. If the posts and foundation of the fence are intact, you may only need to repair the panels and rails. However, if the support structure and foundation fail, repairing the fence will need more work and money.
Rot beneath the ground can also cause fences to sag. When this happens, you do not have to replace the entire post. Rather, you can dig around it, place it in the right position and add concrete at the base. This will prevent further rot and offer more support to the fence.
Extreme fluctuations in temperature and moisture content can cause your wooden fence to warp over time. If the lumber you use is not fully dry, some parts may dry faster than others due to different exposures to the sun. The part that dries faster will also shrink faster, thus changing the shape of the board.
Warping wood makes the fence look unsightly, and in most cases, replacement is the best option. Replacing warping boards costs between $150 and $230 depending on the extent of the damage.
Stains, mold, and mildew
Wooden fences are prone to stains, mold spores, and mildew. Pressure washing the fence can get rid of the stains, mold, and accumulated dust at the cost of around $190 to $285. However, if the mold has affected a larger part of the fence, you may need to replace boards at about $700 or replace the entire fence at a much higher cost.
To prevent your fence from developing mold and mildew, ensure the area around it is constantly dry. Also, remove any vegetation growing near the fence, such as flowers and shrubs, because the water from your sprinkler may make the area damp, thus accelerating mold growth and rot.
Rusted nails or screws
Nails and screws are usually exposed to the weather, and they tend to rust over time. Replacing rusted nails and screws costs between $50 and $70. In most cases, you will need to replace boards that have been stained by rust. This is, however, not necessary if the boards are in perfect condition. You can caulk the nail and screw heads or use a rust-inhibitive/stain-blocking primer to prevent them from rusting.
Severe storms can cause extensive damage to your fence and lead to costly repair and replacements. If you live in an area prone to storms, it is wise to cover your wooden fence against storms. This way, you will not spend lots of money to replace your fence as your insurance company will cover the costs. Replacing boards and posts due to storm damage costs around $230 to $600, including storm clean-up services.
Ground erosion leads to the formation of small rills that develop into gullies over time. This is because the surface runoff is usually concentrated with soil and debris that erode the ground. In time, ground erosion will wash away the top layer of the soil and expose the fence posts, making them weak. This may affect the structural integrity of the fence, and it may start leaning or even fall. The average cost to repair the fence and fill the ground with soil averages at $250 to $310.
Is it better to repair or replace a wooden fence?
Wooden fence repair is usually cheaper than fence replacement. However, repairing your wooden fence only offers a temporary solution, but it is a viable option for small holes and cracks. You may also need to replace a few boards here and there for larger holes, cracks, or stains. Wooden fence repair costs about $300 to $800, including materials and labor.
If the damage is significant or the fence is old, replacing the fence will be the best option. Although you will spend much more on the replacement, your fence will have a longer turnaround. More so, your fence will boost your home’s curb appeal, and you will get warranty coverage for the job. Replacing a fence will set you back by around $1,675 to $4,042, which is much more expensive than repair.
How long do wooden fences last?
Generally, wooden fences last for about 15 to 40 years, depending on the type of wood, climate conditions, and quality of the installation. With proper care and maintenance, your fence can surpass this mark.
Pine and redwood fences last for around 15 to 25 years because the wood is softer. Cedar and oak fences last for a longer time, approximately 25 to 40 years, because the wood is more durable. Besides, cedarwood is naturally resistant to insects and rot, which increases its durability.
Wooden fence repair cost by fence parts
|Fence part||Average cost|
|Wooden gate repair||$400|
Wooden fence pickets
Replacing wooden fence pickets costs about $100 or $1 to $10 each. Pickets need replacement when they break or warp. Once you install the new pickets, you should paint or stain them to match the fence’s color and increase durability. You can purchase manufactured replacement pickets for DIY projects. Your contractor can also provide matching replacements for your damaged pickets.
Wooden fence panels
Replacing a single wooden fence panel costs around $135. Panels may rot due to moisture and mold or go missing during strong winds and storms. Replacing multiple panels will increase the overall project cost. Also, the kind of wood and stain used for the installation will affect the project’s overall cost.
Wooden fence lumber rails
Once fence rails become loose, they should be repaired or replaced immediately to maintain the fence’s integrity. A t-brace will be needed to reinforce the replaced lumber rails at an extra cost. You will also need to paint or stain the replaced rails to match the rest of the fence. Repairing lumber rails costs around $95.
Wooden fence post caps
Post caps are an essential addition to your fence installation as they protect your fence posts and offer a decorative value for the fence. They are available in different styles, colors, and finishes, so you can choose the options that complement your fence and garden. Once these post caps fail, the structural integrity of the fence may be affected. The cost to replace damaged post caps averages at $95.
Wooden fence posts
Wooden fence posts are necessary to keep the fence together. Damaged posts either due to rot or storms should be repaired or replaced immediately. You will need new posts, equipment, hardware, and hole diggers to replace the post. Failure to replace the posts immediately may cause further damage to your fence, leading to extra costs. Typically, replacing one fence post costs around $150.
Before you repair the screening material of your fence, you should get rid of all the broken pieces and nails. You will require new galvanized nails and replacement wood for the repair job. The replacement pieces should be painted or stained to match the remaining part of the fence. Common screening material repair costs around $120.
Wooden gate repair
Repairing your wooden gate costs between $125 and $400. This cost includes replacing damaged parts and repairing the structure. New wooden gates are very attractive and strong. Over time, they start developing stains, and the hinges become creaky due to constant traffic from people. Nails also start to pop out while latches no longer function properly. At this point, you should decide which option is worth it: replacing the parts or the entire gate.
Wooden fence repair cost factors
Wooden fence repair cost depends on the extent of damage, fence height, permits, and job complexity. Let’s have a closer look at these cost factors.
- Extent of damage: this is the major factor that affects the overall cost of the project. Minor repairs are usually cheaper to repair compared to extensive damage. For instance, if you need to replace one post, you will spend about $150, while replacing more than two posts will cost $300 upwards.
- Permits and codes: it is your responsibility as a homeowner to ensure the project meets the community, local, and state guidelines. Most states do not require permits for fence repairs, but you should get approval from your local homeowner’s association before commencing the project. Larger projects like fence replacement may require a permit, so check with your municipality for clarity.
- Fence height: the height of your fence depends on your preference and local fence codes. Most front yard fences tend to be 3 to 4 feet high, while back yard fences can be up to 6 feet. A higher fence will need more materials at additional costs.
- Age of wood: the age of the wood also dictates the overall cost to repair your fence. Repairing older fences is more expensive because the wood will have sustained damage for many years. Also, it can be challenging to find the right parts for older fences.
- Wood type: the type of wood used on your fence will significantly affect the overall repair cost. Low-end wood is usually cheaper than high-end wood of the same size. Also, repairing an oak fence will be costlier than a pine or redwood fence.
Tips on hiring a wooden fence repair contractor
Hiring the right fence repair contractor can be daunting, especially if you do not have any referrals. Before you hire any wooden fence repair contractor, you must ensure they are experienced in the job and possess genuine certifications. The following tips will help you choose the best wooden fence repair contractor.
1. Define your needs
It is essential to know what you need to find the right fence repair contractor. Wooden fence repairs range from minor repairs like holes and cracks to major repairs involving post replacement or replacing the entire fence. A handyman can be an excellent choice for filling and patching holes at a cheaper cost. However, you will need a professional wooden fence contractor for extensive damage.
The reputation of the contractor matters a lot. Do not rush to hire contractors offering lower quotes because they may disappoint you. Check the reviews of the professionals on their websites and review sites like YELP to determine their reputation.
3. Get multiple quotes
When looking to hire a fence repair contractor, ensure you get several quotes from different pros. You can then compare the quotes and choose the professional that meets your needs and budget. You should also request a written estimate for the project.
4. License and insurance
License and insurance are extremely important when hiring any fence contractor. The professional should provide you with updated copies of their license and insurance. A contractor who is licensed shows that they are committed to their work. Also, insurance covers your property and the professional in case of damages and accidents at the worksite.
Wooden fence cleaning and maintenance cost
Cleaning and maintaining your fence regularly prolongs its life. More so, there will be fewer repairs, and your fence will look great at all times.
You can purchase an electric pressure washer for about $90 to $800, depending on the quality and size. You can also rent the pressure washer at around $40 to $100 per day if you do not wish to buy one at the moment. Ensure you follow the instructions when cleaning your fence to avoid damaging it. Too little pressure will not be effective, but too much pressure can damage the fence.
Staining, sealing, and painting the fence regularly is also essential to keep it in good shape. Staining and painting cost around $1 to $5 per square foot. If you buy your own materials, you will spend about $15 to $30 per gallon on paint and $20 to $40 per gallon on wood stain.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While you can handle small repair jobs like filling and patching holes or cracks, larger repairs should be left to the professionals. Repairing wooden fences is quite complicated and requires more than two people, skills, materials, and equipment.
DIY jobs may seem cost-effective, but they can be unreasonable sometimes because you will need to buy materials and supplies. Also, if you do not have enough skills, you may cause more damage or harm yourself during the job.
For this reason, it is best to hire a professional wooden fence repair contractor to do the repairs for you. A pro will offer you quality repairs that will boost the curb appeal of your home and increase its resale value.
To prevent your fence from rotting, you should apply a wood preservative seal every 2 to 3 years. The sealant protects the wood from all forms of moisture. Also, keep the area near the fence free of plants and shrubs as they may hold moisture and accelerate wood rot and mold.
Typically, a wooden fence may need replacement after every 10 years. Wooden fences last for about 15 to 30 years, depending on the type of wood, quality of the installation, and maintenance. Some fences may need replacement sooner than others due to climatic conditions. If your fence needs frequent repairs and parts replacement or looks generally worn out, replacing it would be more financially sensible.
Yes! Homeowners insurance covers fence damage if the fence is damaged by insured peril like fallen tree, fire, vandalism, or storm. However, the insurance will not cover any damage caused by normal wear and tear or poor maintenance. Therefore, it is your responsibility to maintain your fence properly to increase its longevity.
Generally, a fence itself may not add much value to your property. Rather, it enhances a home’s value if there is a true need for it. Also, the materials used to design the fence significantly affect a home’s resale value. For instance, wooden, PVC, and cast-iron fences can bring a return on investment of 50% or more when you sell the property.