How Much Does It Cost to Install a Barbed Wire Fence?

Typical Range:

$1,356 - $4,937

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 100 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 22, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Keeping property safe is one of the primary concerns that all homeowners have when choosing a barbed wire fence, especially for families who live in rural areas or own livestock. On average, it costs homeowners $3,146 to install a barbed wire fence, or between $1,356 and $4,937. The project cost can vary, with many installations costing as low as $836 or as high as $12,500. Per linear foot, the average cost is $1 to $8, which includes installation.

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National Average $3,146
Typical Range $1,356 - $4,937
Low End - High End $450 - $9,300

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 100 HomeAdvisor members.

Barbed Wire Fence Prices per Foot 

Price ranges from $0.04 to $0.15 per foot, or between $50 to $200 for a standard 1,320-foot roll. The exact costs will depend on the type, thickness, and quality you choose, as well as the number of strands or layers you'll need. When calculating the amount needed for the project, multiply the number of strands by the number of linear feet your fence will cover.

Average cost range for a barbed wire fence is $0.04 to $0.15 per foot

Cost Factors 

Out of all the costs that go into running a successful farm filled with livestock, fencing costs tend to be one of the most expensive. Barbed wire is an affordable fencing choice for property owners who need to enclose a large area. Even though it is one of the least expensive options when it comes to material, the total price will increase based on the quality and amount needed. Many factors can affect the final price of installation.

Quality of Material 

The quality of the material you’re looking for in your barbed wire fence will hugely affect the price. The price varies based on the material and brand you choose. Barbed wire is made with galvanized wire, and you can choose from high-tension wire or soft wire. A high-tension wire is stronger and more durable, while a soft wire is weaker and less durable compared to high-tension.

When shopping for materials, you want to keep a few things in mind: the longevity you want and the elements you live in. Because the wire is made with steel, it can rust easily, so you want to find material with a zinc coating to prevent rust and corrosion. This will factor into the price, but it is ultimately worth it if you’re looking for longevity from your fence while reducing the need for and cost of barbed wire fence repair.

Number of Points per Barb

In most cases, two or four sharp barbs will be spaced out on the wire every 4 to 5 inches, approximately. The barbs account for more material, so if you choose to increase how many you want, the price will increase for the extra material.

Size of Land 

The size of your land will greatly affect the price of the project. The larger the space of land you’re looking to fence in, the more material you’ll need for your fence. You may also look to fence the perimeter of your property and section off certain areas to create barriers between your land.

Terrain and Slope

The terrain of your property and any sloping areas can cause the price of the project to increase. It’s much easier to install a fence on a flat area, so you may be required to flatten out designated areas for your fencing.

If there are accessibility issues in reaching certain areas or rocky terrain, this can increase the time to complete the installation. Sloped terrain can also affect the price as more material may need to be used to create a higher fence height. If there are obstructions on the terrain, such as vegetation, this could also impact the price.

Coating

The coating can affect quality and price. From lowest to highest in quality and cost, the following coatings are available:

  • Commercial Galvanized: Minimum requirement. Lasts three months to one year before rusting.

  • Class 1 Galvanized: Basic coating. Lasts two to 11 years in non-coastal climates.

  • Class 3 Galvanized: Industry standard. 2.5 times thicker than class 1. Lasts 13 to 30 years in non-coastal climates.

  • Proprietary Coatings: Manufacturer-specific coatings. Claim to outperform galvanized. Longevity varies by brand.

Number of Metal Posts Used

Choosing how many metal posts to support your wire fence varies based on how strong you need it to be. The cost per post can range between $25 to $60, on average. The number of posts you decide to use will cause the price to fluctuate.

Thickness

Thickness ranges from 6-gauge to 18-gauge, with the price varying from $0.03 to $0.12 per linear foot, for materials only. The average cost range with installation included runs from $0.95 to $3 per linear foot. Higher gauges will be thinner, lighter, and less expensive than lower gauges but, in some cases, not as strong.

The wire is also available in either high or low tensile strengths. Which option you choose will depend on how much tension you want your wire to withstand as it stretches. High tensile is stronger due to its higher carbon content. Replacing a heavier-gauge, more expensive, low tensile wire with a lighter-gauge, less expensive, high tensile version can save you money on your project.

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Cost to Install Barbed Wire Fence by Type 

There are many different kinds of barbed wire fences you can choose from. The price will vary between each, and you’ll want to choose one that meets your specific needs. 

Cattle/Livestock Barbed Fence

Livestock fencing is available in standard 1,320-foot rolls for $0.04 to $0.15 per foot or between $50 to $200 per roll. Livestock fencing is typically three to five strands with sharp or pointed barbs at regular intervals. Farmers use it on ranches to keep livestock such as cattle, horses, sheep, or goats where they need to be. It can help keep animals safe from wolves, foxes, coyotes, or bobcats.

Security Razor 

Security is available in 50-foot or 60-foot rolls and costs between $29 to $35 per roll, or between $0.50 to $0.70 per foot. Security fencing usually features three to four closely-spaced strands of razor wire affixed to the top of a different type of fence, such as one made of wood or metal.

Unlike barbed varieties, machines crimp steel tape to a central strand of high-tension wire to make the razor wire. They angle outward to keep intruders out or inward to keep people in. People place these short metal spikes atop walls and fences in high-security areas, including prisons, warehouses, research laboratories, and nuclear facilities.

Concertina Wire

Concertina or Dannert wire is a razor variety formed in expandable coils. Price ranges from $0.04 to $0.15 per foot, or between $50 and $200 per standard 1,320-foot roll. Commonly called "constantine wire" in error, it packs flat and deploys quickly, making it perfect for military operations or temporary enclosures.

FAQ

What is barbed wire?

It is a form of fencing made of clusters of sharp spikes arranged in various intervals. It is used for rural properties and in high-security areas. It can be used:

  • Around pastures to keep livestock inside an area or to keep predators from entering in

  • On top of existing fences for added security measures so that no animals or people can jump or climb over

  • Near a barn or shed to provide livestock with a safe area to roam and graze

  • To deter criminals or trespassers from climbing over

What's the cost of a hog wire fence?

Hog (or page) wire costs between $35 and $50 per foot to install, including materials. Eliminating the 1-foot stringer at the bottom can save about $10 per foot.

How much space should there be between strands?

Distance from the ground to the first strand is between 12 inches and 15 inches. Space between strands depends on the number needed. The more strands, the closer they are together.

  • 3 Strands: 16-19 inches

  • 4 Strands: 10-12 inches

  • 5 Strands: 8-10 inches

How do you stretch barbed wire?

Tension is important to function and longevity. Once you run the wire and attach it to support posts, you should tighten it by cranking it with a hand-operated winch until it is tight, then secure it to the post with staples. Overtightening can lead to breakage and injury.

Is barbed wire cheaper than chain link, wood, or vinyl fencing?

On average, a barbed wire fence is less expensive to install than the cost of a wood fence or vinyl/PVC fence but more expensive than a chain-link fence. When determining which type is right for your property, the cost will be a major factor.

Fence Pricing by Type:

TypeEstimated Average
Barbed Wire Fence$1,250 – $8,000
Wood Fence $2,000 – $4,500
Vinyl or PVC Fencing$2,100 - $6,100
Chain Link Fencing$1,200 - $5,200

How do you calculate barbed wire for a fence?

The average cost to install is about $1.25 to $3.50 per foot, not including the wire itself. This estimate includes other materials like wood or steel posts, staples, and clips, as well as labor and equipment.

How much barbed wire do I need for 2 acres?

To fence the perimeter of a 2-acre property you would need about 1,300 feet of wire. Since a standard roll of wire comes with 1,320 feet, you would likely need to purchase one roll for a 2-acre property.

Should I hire a professional or install a barbed wire fence myself?

One of the primary things to consider when it comes to installing a barbed wire fence on a property is whether the homeowner should do it on their own. It is important to remember that professional contractors can often buy all the materials at a much lower price than a homeowner can. When homeowners consider how much time and energy it will take to put up a secure fence, it may be in their best interest to hire a fencing professional, unless the homeowner is only planning on building in a very small area. Working with an experienced contractor may also increase the longevity of your investment and reduce the need to consider the price of barbed wire fence repairs in the long run.

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