worker installing a cap on a fence post
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Wood Fence Vitals

How Much Do They Cost? Four-foot-tall picket panels run about $3 to $75 per linear foot uninstalled, depending on style and wood species. Six-foot privacy fencing: about $4 to $100.

DIY or Hire a Pro? Are you an accomplished DIYer with a strong back, a yen to dig, and plenty of time? Go for it! But hiring a pro gets the job done quicker.

How Long Do They Last? About 20 years, if made of rot-resistant wood. Then posts are usually the first to go; panels survive longer because they typically don't touch the ground.

How Much Maintenance? Posts should be plumbed and tamped every three years or so. If the wood has a coating, the schedule varies; clear toners and waterproofers need annual refreshing, semitransparent stains last three to four years, and solid-color stains go five to seven. Paint is not recommended.
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