How Much Does A Barbed Wire Fence Cost in 2023?

Barbed wire fence cost ranges from $1,345 to $6,075, with an average of $3,700.

The typical barbed wire fence cost ranges from $1,345 to $6,075, with an average of $3,700. Barbed wire is dependable, sturdy, and affordable, costing $1 to $6 per linear foot, which makes it a popular choice for farms and livestock fencing. 

The cost to install a barbed wire fence varies with property size and shape, wire quality, number of strands, and labor fees. You can fence a small yard for as little as $560 or pay up to $14,330 to enclose a large pasture.  

In this guide:

Average Barbed Wire Fence Costs in 2023

National Average Cost$3,700
Typical Price Range$1,345 – $6,075
Extreme Low-End Cost$560
Extreme High-End Cost$14,330

We estimated the national average and typical price range to put up a barbed wire fence for a 1,000 to 1,500-foot perimeter. Barbed wire fence installation cost varies with the yard’s size and shape, fence materials, and labor price. You can shoot for a low cost by:

  • Choosing a high-tensile wire
  • Installing the fence DIY
  • Using stays to allow more distance between line posts

On the other hand, costs can increase quickly toward the higher end if you:

  • Use metal posts (beams or pipes) as line posts
  • Install more strands than necessary
  • Plan to fence an irregular area with lots of corners

Barbed Wire Fence Cost Estimator by Area Size

While barbed wire is a low-cost material, property size can rapidly increase fencing prices. You can pay under $600 to put up a fence around a ½ acre yard or invest over $14,000 for a 10-acre farm. See below what the costs look like per foot and acre.

Average Barbed Wire Fence Cost per Foot

The cost to install a barbed wire fence is $1 to $6 per foot. Here’s how this price covers materials and labor fees.

Barbed wire strand$0.05 to $0.15 per foot 
Fence posts and hardware$0.45 to $3.75 per foot
Labor cost$0.50 to $2.00 per foot

Expect to pay about $65 to $200 for a 1,320-foot roll of barbed wire, with pricing going as low as $45 per roll for low-cost options.

Average Barbed Wire Fence Cost per Acre

It costs between $835 and $5,010 to build a barbed wire fence around a 1-acre yard, while fencing a 10-acre ranch costs $2,640 to $15,840. Pricing is higher for irregular perimeters with many corners, and the cost increases if you need to build interior paddocks.

Project Size Average Overall Cost 
1/2 acre$590 to $3,540
1 acre $835 to $5,010
5 acres$1,865 to $11,200
10 acres$2,640 to $15,840

Keep in mind these are only estimates for square areas with equal sides, and the perimeter of your property varies widely with its shape. For example, a 400 square feet area can have a perimeter of 80 feet in a 20 by 20 feet format and 100 feet if its sides are 40 by 10.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Land size and shape account for most of your fence pricing, but there are also other factors to consider, such as:

Here’s how to factor in each of these for an accurate estimate of your fence’s cost.

Wire Coating

All barbed wire steel strands are dipped in a zinc alloy coating, making it corrosion-resistant and impacting the fence’s lifespan, warranty, and cost. There are three main coating classes to consider:

  • Commercial galvanized steel is the minimum coating for corrosion resistance, offering 3 months to 1-year longevity before the first signs of rust.
  • Class 1 galvanized steel is the basic barbed wire used for a field fence. One dip in zinc coating gives it a lifespan of 2 to 11 years in a non-coastal climate.
  • Class 3 galvanized steel barbed wire builds heavy-duty ranch fences that last 13 to 30 years. A double dip in zinc coating makes it 2.5 times thicker and 3 times more durable than Class 1. 

Number of Barbed Wire Strands

A 3-strand fence costs $0.15 to $0.45 per linear foot (wire only), while a 6-strand barbed wire fence is $0.30 to $0.90 per foot. To calculate overall costs, multiply the number of strands by the cost of wire per linear foot, which is $0.05 to $0.15. See below estimations for 1 to 6-strand fences.

Type of FenceAverage Cost of Wire Per Foot of Fence
1-strand fence$0.05 to $0.15
2-strand fence$0.10 – $0.30
3-strand fence$0.15 – $0.45
4-strand fence$0.20 – $0.60
5-strand fence$0.25 – $0.75
6-strand fence$0.30 – $0.90

The standard barbed wire fence typically has three to five strands stretched between the posts. 

Wire Thickness and Resistance

You typically pay under $85 for a 15-gauge 1,320-foot roll, while 12.5 gauge wire costs $100 or more. Barb wire thickness ranges from 6 to 18-gauge. The smaller the gauge, the thicker and stronger the wire, but also the more expensive. 

Tensile strength indicates the resistance to stretching:

  • Low-tensile wire has less carbon and is more prone to sagging.
  • High-tensile wire resists extension and impact better. It allows a higher gauge wire and fewer fence posts, making the fencing project more affordable. This type of wire also limits the need for repairs and tensioning, creating a low-maintenance fence.

Number and Type of Fence Posts

A barbed wire fence post costs $7.50 to $50 depending on type, material, and size:

  • Metal T-posts are thinner and cheaper, costing $7.50 to $13.50 per item. They are used as line posts (not corner or end posts).
  • Wood posts 4 to 8 inches thick cost $10 to $40 per post and give the best support and resistance as terminal posts but also support the fence in low and high places on uneven terrains.
  • Metal beams and pipes make a farm fence durable and sturdy, costing $20 to $50 per post. Steel posts work well as terminal posts or line posts.

Livestock fences have posts installed every 8 to 25 feet. You can space them further apart with a high-tensile wire and/or using stays. A good mix for a durable and sturdy yard fence is 1 wood post for every 5 T-posts.

Two or Four Barbs 

A 1,320-foot roll of barbed wire costs $65 to $200, with 4-barb strands typically costing 10% – 20% more than a 2-barb wire. Barbs are sharp contact points 4 to 5 inches apart on the fence wire. They keep animals and trespassers from forcing the fence. 

Terrain and Slope

Fencing a land with hills and gullies costs more because:

  • Installation takes more time
  • You might need to level some ground and pay a land grading cost of $100 to $3,400.
  • Workers need more wire and taller posts to compensate for the elevation gap.

Pricing is also higher for fence installations on rocky or hard-to-access terrain. 

Barbed Wire Fence Type

When looking for barbed wire prices, remember there are more types of fences involving this kind of wire. 

Livestock/Cattle Barbed Fence

A barbed cattle or livestock fence costs $1 to $6 per foot, and it’s typically 50 to 54 inches tall, with three to five strands. Farmers and rangers use it to enclose pastures and keep herds safe. 

Barbed wire stops foxes, coyotes, wolves, and bobcats from coming in using their sharp, pointy barbs. You can install it as a perimeter and cross-fencing for cattle, horses, sheep, or goats. 

Security Barbed Wire

This security fence goes on top of the livestock fence to provide additional protection. It can also be added to a wood fence or a chain-link fence and includes pole extensions with 3 to 6 strands of barbed wire stretched between them.

Razor Barbed Wire

The average cost of razor wire is $0.50 to $1 per linear foot. This type of wire is for high-security installations, and it’s not recommended for livestock. Instead of wire barbs, it has steel ribbon barbs, similar to razor blades that can rip off clothes and flesh. 

Concertina Wire

The average cost of concertina wire is $0.15 to $0.35 per linear foot. Known also as “Constantine wire” and “Dannert wire”, it’s a type of razor wire packed in flat, expandable coils, very easy to use, mostly for military-style fencing.

Electric Fence

Installing an electric fence around your property costs $1 to $3 per linear foot. It requires less material and can use a solar power charger or energizer. Even if the barbed wire can be installed DIY, electrical work is better left to professionals who know how to properly install ground rods and insulators.

Related Services 

To prepare the land and ensure a sturdy and durable fence, you might need related services of land clearing and grading or fence repair. See below the average costs for each.

Fence Line Survey

The cost to run a fence line survey is $200 to $1,100, depending on property size and terrain. Pricing is lower in a flat country and goes higher if the terrain varies, with hills and ravines. A fence line survey marks out the boundaries of your property to ensure you don’t accidentally install your fence on someone else’s land. 

Fence Repairs

Fence repair costs range from $290 to $800, depending on fence material and damage size. You can also find DIY solutions for a leaning fence or replace rusted wire DIY if the damage is not extensive.

Land Clearing

If you’re building a new fence on forested land, you’ll need to remove trees, stumps, bushes, and other debris. The cost to clear land is about $1.18 to $2 per square foot.

Land Grading

Professional land grading costs $100 to $3,400 and can help you build a better fence. Unleveled terrain adds labor and material costs to your fencing project but also means the fence might be less durable in certain areas. 

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

You can save 30% to 40% by installing a barbed wire fence DIY, but it takes a whole day to build 100 feet of fence with two people. Also, be extra careful when installing corner and bracing posts. They support the structure and can bring an entire section down if failing. 

You don’t need a lot of materials to install this type of fence, just posts, wire, concrete, and some nails and screws. Here are the average costs for each.

Fence Materials for DIY InstallationPrice Per ItemTotal Cost for 1 Acre
Corner posts$20 per post$120
Brace posts$20 per post$200
T-posts$7.50 per post$480
Barbed wire for a 4-strand fence$0.20 per foot $167
Concrete 80 lb. bags$5 per 80lb. bag$80
Gripple T-clip$2/clip$100
Timber log screws$10/box$10
Fence Fork$10/bag$10
Total DIY Materials Cost For 1 Acre: $1,165

The cost will increase if you want to use wood posts among the line posts. 

You’ll also require equipment to install the fence. Below we included a list of the tools you’ll need and their costs.

DIY Equipment Average Cost
Gas powered auger$170
Bolt cutters$40
Gripple tensioning tool$85
Lineman pliers$25
4LB Sledgehammer$30
T-post driver$40
Spinning Jenny Fence Wire De-Reeler$75
Cordless Circular Saw rental for 8 days$190
Cordless drill $120
DIY Equipment Total Cost$945

The total DIY cost to build a barbed wire fence around one acre of land is $1,165 to $2,110. The professional fence installation cost ranges from $835 to $5,010. Get some offers from fencing companies in your area. You may be able to get a good price and save some time and energy.

Cost of Barbed Wire Fencing by Location

Labor fees and the price of materials differ from state to state, and so do fencing offers. It also costs more to install and maintain barbed wire fencing in coastal areas where the higher salt content requires more expensive materials with better zinc coating.


What does barbed wire mean?

Barbed wire is a twisted steel wire with barbs or sharp contact points. It’s typically sold in 1,320-foot rolls and installed using metal and wooden posts.

How much does a hog wire fence cost?

The cost to install a hog or woven wire fence is $2.45 to $5.80 per linear foot, including materials and installation.

Is electric fencing cheaper than barbed wire?

With $1 to $3 per linear foot, an electric fence can cost less than installing barbed wire fencing at $1 to $6 per foot, but it depends on project requirements. 

How far apart should you install barbed wire strands?

Leave 8 to 19 inches between strands depending on their number. Eight to ten inches are suitable for a 5-strand fence, while in a 3-strand fence, you should set a 16 to 19-inch distance.

Is barbed wire cheaper than other types of fencing?

With a cost of $1 to $6 per foot, barbed wire is among the most affordable options for large fencing projects. Hog wire can be cheaper at $2.40 to $5.80 per foot. Also popular are:

• Practical chain-link fences cost $12 to $33 per foot to install.
• Beautiful wood fences cost $14 to $31 per foot.
• Rural split rail fencing is available at $11 to $29 per linear foot.

For more fencing options and their prices, see our fencing cost guide

How do you calculate barbed wire for a fence?

To calculate barbed wire, multiply the fence’s length by the number of strands. For example, a 1,000-foot fence with five strands needs about 5,000 feet of barbed wire or four 1,320-foot rolls. 

How many feet of barbed wire do I need for 2 acres?

For a square 2-acre flat terrain with a perimeter of 1,252 feet, you need about 3,750 linear feet of barbed wire for a 3-strand fence or 6,260 feet for a 5-strand fence.

How many rolls of barbed wire do I need for 40 acres?

You need about four 1,320-foot rolls of barbed wire mesh to surround a 40-acre property with a 1-strand fence.

How much does a 5-strand bar

A 5-strand barbed wire fence ranges from $0.25 – $0.65 per linear foot (barbed wire only).

Where do I find a barbed wire fence cost calculator?

It takes work to find a good online calculator that evaluates fencing costs. Most do half the job. It’s much easier to ask for a free estimate from a fencing contractor. 

How much does a barbed wire trellis cost?

Depending on size, design, and wire quality, you can buy a barbed wire trellis for an average price of $60 to $200. Trellis cost also varies with material (wire, vinyl, wood,etc).

Final Thoughts 

It costs $1,345 to $6,075 to build a barbed wire fence to keep your farm or livestock safe. You can save 30% to 40% with DIY, but it takes days or weeks to get it done, and a pro installation can be more affordable. Find a local fencing company near you and see the cost of a barbed wire fence for your property. 

Main Photo by: PxHere

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon is an outdoorsy blog writer with a green thumb and a passion for organic gardening. When not writing about weeds, pests, soil, and growing plants, she's tending to her veggie garden and the lovely turf strip in her front yard.