23 Low-Cost, Cheap Fence Designs

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Fences not only improve the visual appeal of your front or backyard area but also your safety and privacy. The amount of privacy added by a yard fence is entirely up to you, as is your budget. 

Building a yard fence can be expensive. But, if you’re on a budget, let our team of architects give you low-cost, cheap fence design ideas that you can try! 

1: Bamboo Fences

If you live in a location with a warmer climate, you can grow a bamboo fence simply by planting bamboo along the line you want the wall to be. Plant some dry bamboo in a suitable location and wait for it to grow to your liking. Then, you can take down the tree, let the wood dry, and use it as fencing.

Bamboo can reach a height of 36 inches in just one day. Rolls of prefabricated bamboo fencing are also available. Besides, deer will avoid your yard if you plant bamboo there. If you genuinely care about the environment and want to make a difference, this is one of the cheap fence ideas.

Expected Cost

Costs around $3-$6 per linear foot 

2: Pallet Fencing

pallet fencing

Pallets are widely used for do-it-yourself projects, and fences in the yard are no exception. These transport structures start out as flatbeds to facilitate stacking and lifting heavy loads. You can cut pallets into slats or left whole, depending on what is best for your needs. 

Due to the tight spacing of the slats, wood pallets make excellent prefabricated fencing for yards. Also, this is recycling at its finest, so we highly recommend it. 

Expected Cost

It is cost-free, as most farms, construction companies, or warehouses give it away.

3: Concrete Fencing

Concrete Fencing

Concrete can be an inexpensive fencing option when security and privacy are essential. You can use pure concrete for ultimate coverage or break up the design with brick or wood accents. 

You may need to hire professionals, which may increase the cost. But if you can DIY, why not?!

Expected Cost

Costs around $5 to $10 per 80 concrete pounds 

4: Treated Pinewood

Treated Pinewood fence

Vertically or horizontally installed pinewood panels that have been pressure or chemically treated to prevent rot and pests can be purchased for much less than naturally rot-resistant lumbers like redwood or cedar.

If you’re using treated wood for your fence, you’ll want to pick out individual panels carefully to ensure they aren’t green or damp, both of which indicate that the wood may shift out of place once installed on the ground.

Expected Cost

Approximately $14 to $20 per foot

5: Picket Fence

Picket Fence

Picket fences, which feature vertical fence pickets with 1-3 inches space apart and attached to over and under horizontal rails, are not only an enduring American Dream symbol. But it is also among the best affordable fence ideas for bringing privacy to your yard or garden. 

Round and pointed decorative pickets, among others, also enhance the visual appeal of a Cape Cod, Colonial, Georgian, or Craftsman house.

Expected Cost

Around $17 to $25 per foot installation 

6: Split Rail

Split Rail fence

In most cases, you can find split rail fences on ranches and farms. This simple fence idea is also an inexpensive way of enclosing your pets or corral animals and delineating your property lines. 

Split rail fences are standard on ranches and farms, but their country charm is appreciated far beyond the ranching community. You can save money by assembling them yourself or by purchasing pre-made ones. 

The fact that they’re inexpensive and one of the cheap fence ideas to make makes them a staple in the household.

Expected Cost

Around $3 to $20 per rail foot 

7: Dog Ear

Dog Ear Fencing

Dog-ear fence style is one of the low-cost cheap fence ideas you can try. This contemporary take on the classic picket fence is perfect if your house has Colonial Revival architecture [1], thanks to its inverted-curve top rail. 

To create more visual interest, the fence panels in a dog-ear fence might all be shorter in height than the fence posts (or metal posts). However, fence panels with varying heights require more intricate woodcuts, which drives up the price compared to standard picket fence panels.

Expected Cost

Costs $16 to $21 approximately per foot installed.

8: Latticed Top

Latticed Top fence

While lattice fencing may appear flimsy at first glance, you can strengthen it by adding concrete or wooden beams on either side.

Also, it makes a great decorative addition to a standard wooden fence. And note that lattice can be stunning when complemented by foliage and flower plants.

Expected Cost

Between $2 to $20 per foot 

9: Repurposed Leftover Wood

Repurposed Leftover Wood Fence

If you really want a budget-friendly fencing project, you can just repurpose any leftover wood in your house. Besides, recycling materials can be environmentally friendly, which benefits everyone. 

You can repurpose old metal sheets that you artfully pieced together or recycle still-solid pieces of your old wooden fence in varied lengths and painted.

Expected Cost

Cost-free (other than paint or nails)

10: Plant Wall Fence

Plant Wall Fence

A plant wall fence can be the best solution if you don’t have much space to build your backyard fence and are concerned about losing valuable gardening space. 

You can create a pallet fence using old pallets, installed horizontally, and simply attach your hanging plants or potted plants there. Instead of going all out, covering your whole area, you can just cover your garden. 

Expected Cost

Cost-free to minimal expense for nails, paint, or wood, if necessary.

11: Privet

Privet fence

Privet hedges, the most common type of living privacy “fence,” are a favorite among gardeners. Privets are semi-evergreen shrubs that can reach heights of 4-10 feet or more, depending on the species. 

You can plant them all over your yard or just in one or two spots, then shape and prune them to look like a beautiful fence. 

Expected Cost

Costs around $2 to $3 

12: Laurel Bushes

Laurel Bushes Fence

These dense bushes have green leaves with brown or yellow markings, and they’re incredibly tolerant of poor air quality and salty winds, making them a popular choice for coastal areas and other places with less-than-ideal air quality. 

Laurus, also known as Aucuba japonica, are evergreen shrubs that can grow anywhere from 6 to 10 feet tall when fully mature. This is one of the hedge plants that can provide a welcome screen in your yard along with a splash of color.

Expected Cost

Costs $8 to $9 approximately per foot 

13: Yew

Yew plant fence

If you want to be eco-friendly and you have a green thumb, having this dense evergreen is perfect for use as a living fence. It can withstand both shade and full sun. 

However, depending on the variety, yew takes many years to reach its full height of 4-20 feet as a hedge. We love eco-friendly options and the idea of being able to tell your guests that you built this fence!

Expected Cost

Costs around $6 to $7 per foot 

14: Wattle Fencing

Wattle Fencing

Putting up wattle fencing is a fun and cheap fence project. However, it can be challenging to create. You can easily find an online guide on making wattle fencing by weaving thin wood branches via vertically-placed stakes. 

But through this, you can make something different with your family and watch it grow into something lovely. 

You can use branches from trees in your garden or ask your neighbor or local state if you can buy some of their wood branches. Besides, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know your neighbors while working on a challenging and entertaining project.

Expected Cost

Cost-free to very little expense

15: Barbed Wires

Barbed Wires fence

Barbed wire is most commonly used in farmland for security rather than aesthetics. You can opt for a barbed wire backyard to keep animals or people out of your area for an affordable price. 

This is also the best option for coverage in a wide-open area or where extra security is required.

Expected Cost

Around $1.50 to $2 per linear foot 

16: Electric Wires

Electric Wires Fence

Another low-cost, cheap fence design to consider are electrical wire fencing. Due to budget-friendly expense requirements and ease of installation, electric fencing is a popular option for homeowners looking to deter animals and intruders from entering their property. 

This privacy fence consists of a receiver, transmitter, and several wire strands strung between wooden posts. It’s not recommended in urban areas, as it must be placed away from major roads and highways because they emit a high-voltage pulse if the wire is cut.

Expected Cost

Costs around $2 to $7 per wire foot 

17: Chain Link

Chain Link fence

Although chain link fences are an excellent and budget option for fencing, they’re often viewed as unsightly. But why are we recommending chain link? Its basic design makes it highly flexible. Changing the color of the chain link or incorporating wooden details into the design creates a dramatic visual impact.

Also, chain link fencing, made up of thick steel wires hooked together, is frequently the best option if you have a small budget and a large yard. While the 2- to 3-inch wire spacing provides less privacy than a solid fence, a chain link fence effectively keeps pets in and intruders out.

Expected Cost

Around $17 to $20 per linear foot installation 

18: Corrugated Metal

Corrugated Metal Fencing

A corrugated metal fence may be the best option if you value privacy greatly and an industrial aesthetic is your preferred design direction. 

The weight of a fence made of galvanized corrugated metal sheets is lower than that of a fence made of wood, vinyl, or other materials. It is the choice of some do-it-yourselfers to reuse metal in new ways.

Expected Cost

Around $10 to $20 (or higher) per linear foot  

19: Privacy Screen

Privacy Screen fence

Perhaps you need a fence in one area but don’t want to incur the expense of fencing the entire yard. A simple and cheap fence made of a privacy screen could be used for this purpose.

This exemplifies how you can save money by only fencing in the space where you require more privacy. The addition of planter boxes can transform your area into a visually appealing focal point.

Expected Cost

$2 to $10 per foot installed

20: Full Trellis

Full Trellis Fence

Making a fence out of a trellis instead of traditional panels can add a lovely decorative element to your property boundaries. 

It allows sunlight to pass through and casts exciting shadows in your yard, whether painted stark white, stained and sealed a rich chocolate hue or covered in climbing plants or vines from your garden. 

Expecting a trellis, especially on the lower end, to keep dogs in or protect your garden from animals is unrealistic. However, they can improve the look of a space and provide extra privacy if needed.

Expected Cost

Around $3 to $7 per foot 

22: Split Rail With Mesh

Split Rail With Mesh fence

If you like the look and cost of a split rail fence but are concerned that it won’t provide adequate security and more privacy – add a mesh. You can add mesh to the split rail if you want to fill the spaces or need a dog fence.  

Additionally, it works wonderfully as a barrier between a vegetable garden and potential predators. This is the way to go if you want to keep hungry animals out of your vegetable garden without breaking the bank.

Expected Cost

Approximately $.50 to $1 per linear foot

23: Chicken or Hog Wires

Chicken or Hog Wires Fencing

If you’re looking to mark your property lines or contain your small animals on a budget, you may appreciate installing a chicken wire garden fence or hog wire fence. This metal wire is typically hung in a grid pattern from multiple large wooden frames. 

With so little wood used, you may be able to afford a more expensive but aesthetically pleasing species, such as redwood, for this type of fencing.

Expected Cost

About $3 to $5 per wire foot

How Can I Transform My Old Fence Without Splurging?

To transform your existing fence without splurging, you can try any of the inexpensive fence ideas mentioned above. Plus, you can consider the following: 

FAQ

What is the cheapest type of fencing?

One of the cheap fence ideas and probably the least expensive fencing type is the hog or chicken wire with minimal wooden supports, among others. 

Would it be cheaper to DIY my fence? How much will it cost to make one?

It’s more cost-effective to DIY rather than hire a professional. If your budget is limited, but you need a cheap fence, you can save money by doing it yourself using DIY guides and supplies you can find online. 

The cost varies depending on the materials and installation, but it can go anywhere from $3 to $30 per foot. 

Where can I buy or find low-cost fencing materials?

You can find inexpensive fence materials in shops like Lowe’s, Menard’s, or Home Depot. You can also find free materials by asking around your community for pallets and corrugated metal that you can reuse.

Where else can I get recycled materials?

Try asking for some recycled materials from your family, friends, and neighbors. You could also check out farms and supply stores in your area. To narrow your search, decide whether you’re looking for something made of metal, wood, wire, or other materials.

Conclusion

If you want to fence in your yard or garden but don’t want to break the bank doing it, these top 23 low-cost, cheap fence designs and ideas are your best options. 

Any cheap fence ideas above can be the best solution for your needs – whether you need privacy and security, avoid your nosy neighbors, or give your dog some space to run around. Some are less expensive than others, while you can easily build and install other options.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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