Is Garden Fencing Expensive?

The answer to this question could be the classic answer:

“How long is a piece of string?”

It’s the joke/answer for a question to which there is no easy answer due to the requests’ unknown requirements. Garden fencing can be very expensive but it can also be pretty reasonable.  

A good, initial way to think about the cost is to extend it out over the years the fencing will last. Let’s take 2 examples of a fence installation and see how the cost looks: 

Example One

James needs 36 feet of fence installed. He wants lap panel fencing. He wants to keep the install extra low-cost so he elects a less expensive quality of panel. 

He pays £1000 for the materials and labour

The fence lasts him 7 years before it needs to be replaced.

The fence has cost him £143 a year ( 1000 divide by 7 ).

Example Two

Bob needs 36 feet of fence installed. He wants slatted fencing. He wants the fence to really a nice look to his garden and for it to last a long time. He elects to use a premium material. 

He pays £2200 for the materials and labour

The fence lasts him 23 years before it needs to be replaced.

The fence has cost him £96 a year ( 2200 divided by 23 ).

Total Cost of Ownership

Any product we buy has a figure associated to it called the Total Cost of Ownership. It’s often used by business but can be applied to normal residential and personal purchases.

It’s simply the entire cost of owning the product over it’s lifespan. If you were to make the above examples even more accurate you could figure  in the cost of the products and labour to keep the fence in tip-top condition too. 

Unfortunately we never know the TCO of a purchase until after it expires. But we can do some basic maths to work out how things might look in the future.

Thinking About the Future

As with any large purchases related to your home it makes sense to put some thought into what your future plans are regarding the property. 

If you’re seriously considering moving house in the next 3 years then the TCO of an expensive slatted oak fence with be very high as you are only enjoying it for a small portion of it’s life. 

If you’ve just moved into your expected home-for-life then it completely makes sense to get a fence that will be with you for as much of that journey as possible. 



Remember to ask about the guarantee on any fencing installation you want done. If the materials used have long guarantees then your Total Cost of Ownership calculation can be much more accurate. Knowing, for instance, that a fence will be protected by a manufacturer for 20 years means that you know any repair costs will be much reduced for that time period.


Ask about the amount of maintenance the fence might need going forward. Cheaper overlap fencing, for instance, can be broken more easily by strong winds so the thin boards of wood might need replacing. Some fences might need more regular top ups of protector. These extra costs all add up eventually.