Fences form an important part of landscaping. They have a utility value, as well as an aesthetic appeal. Of the many types you could put up, split rail fences have a very rustic and laid-back appeal. They are also known as log or ranch fences. They have the simplest designs.
Any construction project requires a lot of planning, research, and cost analysis before you can create a design or go shopping for materials. The time spent in this initial phase is well worth it, as it may save you a lot of money later.
Traditionally, these fences were constructed out of logs, that were cut lengthwise, into rails. These are then set horizontally and fixed to create fences. What makes them the most common form of fences in woody areas, is the low cost and ease of assembly.
In the frontier areas of old in United States of America, these were the most common fences built. They also serve the function of being an extra stock of firewood, in cases of emergency. Parts of built fences were actually used as firewood by the fighting armies, during the American civil war.
If you are skilled with woodworking or wish to learn, constructing split rail fences is a good project to start with. It takes a lot of hard work and time but if you can spare both, you should go for it. Building and installing this type of fencing can be a very big project to handle, if you have a large plot of land. However, it will drastically bring down the cost.
The total cost of building one, will be a summation of costs involved in all the following construction factors.
Choice of Wood
The most important factor which affects the fence cost is choice of wood. The most common and the cheapest wood that you could opt for is pine. It will lower the overall project cost quite drastically. However, if you want something more solid and long-lasting, you may opt for redwood or cedar. A market survey reveals that a western cedar fence post will cost you around USD 10, while a 10 feet long cedar fence rail will cost around USD 9.
The next thing to consider is the total dimensions of the fencing, that you will need. The bigger the area, more will be length of the fence required. Make measurements and determine the length of the whole fence perimeter. Calculate the number of poles, that would be required. The hardware required to fit the fences together should also be taken into consideration. You will require gates in between the fences unless you plan to jump over, every time you cross it. Add up the cost of building a gate, along with the hinges and hardware items needed to build it. Accordingly, make an estimate of the total cost of materials required.
Concrete For Fence Foundation
The fence pole base will need to be strengthened with concrete, if you want the whole fence to hold ground and stand. So, make an estimate of the concrete you'll need. If you are going to have hired help, add the labor costs too.
Let me now provide you with an estimate of the total cost, based on all the above factors. Market research reveals that if you go for a 4½ foot high split three rail fence, which extends for 300 feet, along with two built gates, the whole thing will cost you around USD 5,000. This price is quoted for a contractor built fence, but if you build it on your own and purchase your own materials, the price will be reduced by half.
Hope this cost analysis helps you out in planning your construction project. With this knowledge, you can plan out your budget for building the split rail fence, accordingly.