Is it about time to replace your fence? Fence replacement can be a daunting project, but with the right knowledge and considerations, it can become a breeze. In this article from Same Day Pros, you’ll learn everything you need to know about fence replacement and how to get it done the right way.
4 Signs It’s Time to Think About Fence Replacement
A fence is a sign of privacy and property boundary which can be appealing to homeowners and renters alike.
Whether the house already had a fence when you moved in, or you remember having it installed years ago, every fence has a lifespan that it eventually wears out no matter the material or amount of maintenance it receives.
Factors that may change this lifespan depend on fence material, damages sustained to the fence, how much maintenance it receives on a regular basis, and what kind of weather conditions it sustains throughout the year.
There are four primary signs that it might be time to think about fence replacement, especially when these issues become pervasive and frequent.
Unsightly Holes and Rot
No one wants an unsightly fence riddled with holes and rotting from the inside out. Unfortunately, in many wood fences, this type of damage can also get out of hand quickly, requiring full replacement of the affected sections.
Furthermore, if sections of the fence are beginning to bow, it can mean that moisture has already been at work, landscape erosion is pulling at posts, or the fence is improperly aligned and there is too much pressure along the section to keep it upright.
Splintered or Bowing Wood
If you notice that the wood on your fencing is splintering, it’s a sure sign that it has sustained some kind of damage and is exposed to moisture, which will enter the planks and begin to work its way up through the panel, even if it is stained in other places.
Due to the structure of wood, water can climb up the fibers easily, making it difficult to dry out once moisture has already gotten inside.
You can See Your Neighbors
Maybe you’ve just done some landscaping in your backyard, or you’ve installed some patio decking that you can lounge on.
Sometimes, privacy fencing can even sag, leading the lowered fence lines and a better view into your backyard.
No matter the circumstances, if you can see your neighbors while you are in your backyard with privacy fencing, it might be time to consider replacing the fencing with something a little more durable, with the height you need to reconstruct the privacy of your backyard oasis.
Too Many Repair Costs
When repair costs begin to add up, you might consider fence replacement. Replacing the fence with a more durable type of fencing can help prevent the fence from bowing or breaking in the near future and keep your backyard secure.
While fences do degrade over time, there is only so long repairs are viable before it is better to upgrade the fencing to a more modern and resilient design to refresh its longevity and curb appeal alike.
Is It Cheaper to Repair or Replace a Fence?
For smaller repairs, it is always cheaper to repair a fence than to replace it completely. Small sectional repairs can be done easily, and regular maintenance can keep the fence in the best possible condition for years.
When repairs become drastic, or substantial damage is done to the fence that requires it is rebuilt, however, it can be easier and cheaper to replace the fence.
This might be due to neglect, causing entire panels or bow or sag or boards to become too weathered to withstand another season. It may also be due to chance damage such as tree limbs falling across the fencing, or landscape erosion causing the cemented fence posts to fall.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Fence?
A lot of factors can change the replacement cost of a fence, such as the amount of labor it takes to remove the original fencing, the slope of the ground and work required to install the new fence, as well as the material cost of the new fence.
These factors can change, but on average, fence replacement can cost anywhere from $15 to $100 per linear foot of new fence. This includes average material and labor cost combined, though previous considerations can cause that price to fluctuate up or down.
What is the Cheapest Fence to Install?
One of the cheapest types of fencing you can install is the standard chain-link fence by the section; these are commonly available at hardware stores anywhere from $30 to $100 per roll.
This roll should be attached to the metal posts that are already cemented into the ground. Depending on the length of the fence, the thickness of the metal, type of metal, and amount of fencing you need to surround the perimeter of the house or backyard, the overall price can vary dramatically.
For wood fencing, pine and bamboo are considered some of the cheapest available, with some coming in prefabricated panels for easier installation. These panels often need to be treated, but come in anywhere from $1 to $7 per linear foot.
Think Long-Term Before You Replace Your Fence
Before you replace your fence, think about the future. What long-term goals do you have for your property, and how could different types of fences help you achieve those goals? (1)
For example, a good privacy fence can help you create a backyard oasis, but a wrought iron fence has a classic and antique appeal that a lot of old-style homes can benefit from.
When your home is on a busy street, creating a peaceful backyard space begins with the right fence.
Even if you’re looking for a budget-friendly fence, there are a lot of styles that can help boost the home’s curb appeal and further your long-term goals for the property.
The common and cost-effective chain-link fence can even come in a variety of unique styles, colors, and sizes, that can help set it apart from the standard idea of hardware store-accessible chain-link fences.
Additionally, it’s important to think about what the fence will cost over time, as different types of fences will require their own maintenance to keep them in the best condition possible.
So, while pine wooden fences might be some of the most economical choices for the natural wood appeal, they’ll require a lot of upkeep and repairs, off-setting the budget-friendly upfront cost of installing it.
Is It Easy to Replace a Fence?
The ease of replacing a fence depends on the type of fence you are taking out, and what you are replacing it with. Lighter fences will be easier to handle than heavier fences, and the smaller the property, the easier the job will be overall as there is less fence to cover the perimeter of the house.
No fence can truly be considered “easy” as all must be cemented into the ground in some way to keep it stable, no matter the type of fence.
Furthermore, it is difficult to place a fence if you are working on sloped ground. Depending on the grade of the slope, it may be better to install a stepped fence, which can be difficult without prior experience.
Replacing a fence should always be done by a professional, no matter what type of fence is being installed. This allows assurance that the fence will be installed correctly, and prior experience with replacing fences of all types means that they better understand what can be done on the property and how the fence should be installed.
Unlike with generally handymen, hiring a real fence replacement professional means that any damages can be claimed against the contractor’s insurance if necessary.
Why Maintenance is Important So You Don’t Have to Replace
Maintaining a fence is not only important to the visual appeal of the fence line, but it is critical to avoiding future fence repairs.
If the fence goes without maintenance for an extended time, it may be easier and more cost-effective to replace the fence entirely, which is an expensive undertaking for any homeowner, even with the cheaper chain-link fence sections available at hardware stores.
A little routine maintenance every now and then – typically at least once a year with an inspection and a few checklist items like painting or staining – can save a lot of headaches over new fence installation, and a pricey repair bill in the future.
How Do You Approach a Neighbor About Repairing a Fence?
Approaching a neighbor about repairing a fence can be a nerve-wracking experience. What if they aren’t receptive to repairing the fence, or they can’t afford to repair it?
Unfortunately, not only is a broken fence an eyesore, but it can be a danger to pets and property of both individuals.
When approaching your neighbor about a fence, choose a reasonable time of day to address the issue, and go in with a kind attitude. People are more likely to be receptive and cooperative if faced with kindness, than with yelling or a negative attitude.
Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns over the broken fence if there is pushback and document your experience so that you can refer to it later if needed.
If they can’t afford to pay for the fence, or if it’s technically the responsibility of a landlord, consider if there are ways you can work with them to figure out a solution, even if it’s a temporary one until a permanent repair can be made.
- Forbes, How to Choose the Right Fence, https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2014/07/26/how-to-choose-the-right-fence/?sh=5159f3d12ad7