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How much does it cost to install a barbed wire fence?

November 4, 2023
How much does it cost to install a barbed wire fence

Installing a barbed wire fence generally costs $2,000 to $2,200 per acre or $3 to $6 per foot. This cost can go much higher or lower depending on the wire type and quality, property size, and number of strands and posts.

In this article, we’ll help you come up with a reasonable estimate of how much a barbed wire fence will cost. We’ll provide a detailed and thorough explanation of every factor that can affect the total price of the fence, from the materials to labor.

Cost by Type of Barbed Wire

Cost by Type of Barbed Wire
TypePrice of Barbed Wire Per Linear Foot
Livestock barbed wire$0.04 to $0.15
Security barbed wire$0.50 to $0.70
Concertina razor wire$0.04 to $0.15

Livestock Barbed Wire

Livestock Barbed Wire

As the name suggests, livestock barbed wires are used to contain and manage livestock animals like cattle, goats, and sheep. They’re also used to prevent wild animals from entering the property.

A fence made of these wires is usually 4 to 5 feet tall with 3 to 6 strands, depending on the animal they’re trying to manage. 

You can buy livestock barbed wire for a price of $0.04 to $0.15 per foot. These barbed wires usually come in a 1,320-foot-long roll, so you’re likely to spend $50 to $200, regardless if the size you need is smaller than 1,320 feet.

Security Barbed Wire

Security Barbed Wire

Security barbed wires, sometimes called razor wires, are known for their sharp, razor-like barbs that are designed to deter unauthorized entry to a property. These are often used in military bases, prisons, and industrial facilities.

Unlike livestock barbed wire, these are a lot more dangerous and can cause severe injury. That’s why you’ll often find warning signs hanging around them.

Security barbed wires cost $0.50 to $0.70 per foot. They come in rolls of 50-feet to 60-feet rolls, and you’re likely to spend not less than $29 to $35 per roll.

Concertina Razor Wire

Concertina Razor Wire

Concertina razor wires, or simply concertina wires, are special types of barbed wires that are formed into coils or spirals, resembling a concertina or accordion. They have extremely sharp blades that make them ideal for preventing unauthorized entry.

Like security barbed wires, these are often seen in high-security zones like military bases and prisons. They’re often installed on top of an existing fence to provide more security for the property.

A standard 1,320 feet roll of concertina razor wires costs about $50 to $200. However, these are often not allowed to be used near residential areas, so it’s best to check with the local authorities first before using them.

Factors That Can Affect the Cost of a Barbed Wire Fence


Barbed Wire Fence Length (Linear Feet)Cost
50$150 ­to $300
100$300 ­­to $600
150$450 ­­to $900
200$600 ­to $1,200
250$750 ­­to $1,500
300$900 ­­to $1,800
350$1,050 ­to $2,100
400$1,200­ to $2,400
450$1350 ­to $2,700
500$1,500 ­­to $3,000

The size of the fence will determine how much barbed wire will be used and how long it will take for the installers to finish working. Longer fences generally require more material and time to work on, so the cost will be much higher.

It usually costs $3 to $6 per foot to install a barbed wire fence, but this price range can change depending on the number of strands, wire resistance, and wire type. An acre-long fence will typically cost $2,000 to $2,200.

If you already have an existing fence and you just want to add barbed wire for additional security, you’re looking at paying $0.65 to $3.25 per foot.

Number of Strands

Number of Strands
Number of strandsCost per foot (Wire only)
One$0.05 to $0.15
Two$0.10 to $0.30
Three$0.15 to $0.45
Four$0.20 to $0.60
Five$0.20 to $0.60

A standard barbed wire fence will typically have 3 to 5 strands, but some may use less or more depending on the purpose of the fence. 

The more strands used in a barbed wire fence, the higher the material cost will be and the longer it will take for workers to finish installing them. However, the more strands you use, the more secure the fence will be, so the cost may be worth it.

Each strand can cost $0.05 to $0.15 per foot without labor. Hence, a standard 3 to 5-strand fence can cost $0.15 to $0.75 per foot.

Wire Coating

Wire Coating

Barbed wires are usually coated with a protective layer that helps enhance their durability and protect them against environmental factors. The higher the quality of the coating, the more expensive the barbed wire is.

There are three coating classes for barbed wires that you can choose from: commercialized galvanized steel, class 1 galvanized steel, and class 3 galvanized steel.

Commercialized Galvanized Steel

Commercialized galvanized steel coating is the minimum coating a barbed wire can have. They will typically only last for three months to one year before they start rusting since this coating doesn’t provide much protection.

Class 1 Galvanized Steel

Barbed wire fences coated with class 1 galvanized steel usually don’t see signs of rust and corrosion in 2 to 11 years. These are mostly used in agricultural and residential fencing.

Class 3 Galvanized Steel

Class 3 galvanized steel coating applies a thicker layer of zinc to the steel surface, providing at least 3 times better protection for the barbed wires against rusting and corrosion than class 1 coating.

This is the ideal coating choice for those living near coastal areas since they’re more durable. They can last for 13 to 30 years without signs of damage.


ThicknessPrice Per Foot (Wire Only)
18 gauge$0.03 to $0.04
15.5 gauge$0.05 - $0.07
14 gauge$0.05 - $0.07
12.5 gauge$0.06 - $0.08
11 gauge$0.06 - $0.08
10 gauge$0.08 - $0.09
9 gauge$0.08 - $0.10
8 gauge$0.08 - $0.10
6 gauge$0.10 - $0.12

The thickness or gauge of the wire determines the strength and durability of a barbed wire fence. The lower the number of gauges is, the thicker, heavier, stronger, and more expensive the wire is.

Barbed wire thickness can range from 6 to 18 gauge, but the most common are 12.5-gauge, 14-gauge, and 15.5-gauge, with 12.5 being the strongest and most expensive.

A 12.5 gauge barbed wire typically costs $80 to $105 per 1,320-foot roll, while a 15.5 one costs $66 to $93 per roll.

Type and Number of Posts

Type and Number of Posts
Type of PostPrice
Wood posts$10 to $40
T-posts$7.50 to $13.50
Metal beams$20 to $50

Generally, posts are installed 10 to 12 feet from each other to create a more stable fence. The closer they are to each other, the more posts will be used, and the higher the cost will be.

Some types of posts are also a lot more expensive than others, which can drive up the total cost.

There are three common types of posts used for barbed wire fences: wood posts, T-posts, and metal beams.

Wood Posts

Wooden posts are typically used for farms and residential properties since they’re more common and less expensive than metal beams. They also match the rustic look that most farms have.

These posts are often made of rot-resistant wood like pine, cedar, and redwood. These materials are known for their durability, providing better support for the wires in the long run.

They cost about $10 to $40 each, depending on the size, condition, and wood type.


T-posts are mostly used as line posts. They’re much thinner and weaker than wooden or metal posts, so they’re not ideal corner or end posts, as they won’t be able to provide enough support.

These posts have notches where barbed wires can be easily attached and secured, making them easier to use compared to other posts.

These are quite cheaper than wooden posts, costing only $7.50 to $13.50 each.

Metal Beams

Metal beams are more commonly used in commercial and industrial properties because of their price and strength. They’re best for heavy-duty fencing, as they can support thicker and stronger barbed wires.

Since they’re stronger than other posts, they can typically be installed farther away from each other, which helps minimize the number of posts used.

If you want the best security for your property and are considering using metal beams, expect to pay around $20 to $50 for the post alone. 

Terrain and Slope

Terrain and Slope

Installing barbed wire fences on land with uneven terrain or significant slopes can be a lot more challenging than on flat lands. Laborers will inevitably charge more when they work on these kinds of land.

They may have to excavate and grade some areas to create a more level and stable foundation for the fences. The equipment and time used doing this will all increase the overall cost of installing your barbed wire fence.

Land grading typically costs anywhere between $100 and $3,400, depending on how uneven the land is.



Hiring someone to install your fence can easily increase the total cost by 50% or more. Most laborers charge $0.50 to $2 per foot or $16.50 to $20 an hour.

It usually takes days, about 39 to 50 hours, for a 1,320-foot barbed wire fence to be installed. Hence, you’re looking at paying $643.50 to $1,000 for the labor alone.

Some may choose to cut this expense by installing the barbed wires on their own, but this is time-consuming and dangerous. If you’re not that handy, it’s best to leave it to the hands of professionals.

Additional Costs That May Be Incurred in Barbed Wire Fence Installation



Barbed wires can be pretty dangerous, so local authorities often have rules and regulations when it comes to installing them. Some types may not be permitted, while some may have specifications that should be followed when installing the fence.

Obtaining permits to install a barbed wire fence on your property can cost you at least $50 to $300. The more inspection, requirements, and documentation they require, the higher the cost will be.

FAQs about Barbed Wire Fences

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