Should You Install Your Own Fence?

April 6th, 2020, 12:00 AM

Most people install their own fence for the following reasons:

  • Save $$$
  • Have pride knowing you did it yourself.
  • Prove to someone else that you could do it.
  • Get some exercise.

No matter the case, you have to have the right information to decide if this is a project for you.  Lucky for you, you have this quick guide.

How much can you save installing yourself?

Most companies will charge around $35-$40 per post to install your fence.  Based on a typical layout of 150′ with one gate you're looking at 23 posts for your installation. 

Based on this you're looking at about $800-$900 in savings by doing it yourself.

And if you have a fence that needs to be removed you're going to be looking at about $2 per foot for the removal and take away of that fence.  If your township will take your fence, removing it is actually pretty easy and quick so you can save yourself $300.  However, if they don't take the old fences, it's better to have the fence company take care of this for you.

What about concrete?

This is included in the labor for the fence company so this is something you'll need to get on your own.  And for this, you really need a truck.  If you don't have one, ask a buddy.  If no one else has one, rent one from Home Depot for $19 for the first 75 minutes.  Just make sure you top off the gas before returning. 

Here's the link for the truck rental. 

What's the cost of concrete?

For 150′ of vinyl or wood, you'll need 23 of the 80lb bags for a cost of around $110.

For 150′ of aluminum, you'll need about 18 bags and that will cost around $90 

Here's the link for concrete.

How long does it take to install the fence?

 This varies quite a bit based on ground conditions.  In Deptford, we have really nice soil that makes digging a breeze.  However, in Mullica Hill, it's solid clay and that's like digging in concrete during the summer.

How hard is it to install a fence?

Installing a fence is not rocket science, it's just physically demanding. 

There are 3 main things you need to learn how to do:

  1. Dig holes
  2. Set Posts
  3. Hang Gates

Seriously, that's it, installing a fence is pretty easy.

But what if you make a mistake?  Pull the post out and do it again. 

What needs to be done before installing your fence?

There are a few things that have to be done.  If not, they could cost you $100s or even $1000s if something goes wrong.

1. Find your survey.

If you don't have one I would highly suggest getting one if you're installing close to your property line.  Most towns will typically want this for your permit as well.

2. Get HOA approval.  

In order to get a permit, you'll need approval from your homeowner's association. 

3. Apply for a permit.

This is pretty easy, just go up to your municipal building with your survey and a check.  This will cost between $0-$75 depending on where you live.  This takes a week or 2 to come back.

4. Get underground utilities marked out.

This you want to do 5 business days before you plan on digging.  This will mark out public buried lines such as electric, gas, water, and sewer lines.  Note, this is just public lines.

Private lines such as pool lines, propane for the grill, electric lines for garages, landscape lighting, etc will not be marked out by this process.

The number to call is 811.

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