6 Iron Fence Installation Cost Factors
An iron fence provides the best durability and aesthetic value to any property. Not only does it last for years, but it can also uplift a home's curb appeal with its intricate patterns and designs.
Iron fence installation has been around for centuries and remains the top choice in securing expansive mansions—which means the cost to install iron fences and gates can be significant.
According to a national survey, installation costs for an iron fence run anywhere from USD$2,400 to USD$5,400. But these figures can vary wildly depending on various cost factors such as the location, size, design, and other project requirements.
Before learning how to install iron fence, it's necessary to understand the factors that impact the cost to know what to expect.
Material type and quality
Wrought iron fence materials fall at USD$23 to USD$68 per linear foot on average. With labor charges, the price can go up between USD$37 and USD$85 per linear foot.
But the prices can fluctuate up or down depending on the materials and the type used. Externally, market movements like inflation can also impact construction costs. Viewing fence panels from Lowes or similar stores can give you benchmark pricing.
Cast iron and wrought iron are the two main types used in an iron fence. The former has higher carbon content than steel and is tougher, more brittle, and less malleable than the latter. Both types list pig iron as their main ingredient, although the more complex manufacturing processes of wrought iron make it more expensive.
There are other types of iron fences and gates available on the market, including:
⦁ Galvanized iron
⦁ Plain iron
As you may have guessed, plain iron is the cheapest among the three. On the other hand, galvanized iron layered with zinc for protection is more expensive. Prices for ornamental iron fences, which can be galvanized, too, are highly flexible depending on the build and design.
The amount of material required for a project is another significant cost factor. In other words, the bigger your property or the higher the fence, the more iron fence materials are needed to complete it. So, it pays to measure the whole enclosure, including the height, and identify the fence post locations and gate openings. You might also need to purchase concrete and install rod iron or rebar to strengthen it.
Once you've recorded the measurements, make a shortlist of fence installers in your area. Have them revalidate the figures and request a list of materials needed.
Before taking action, it's crucial to inform your neighbors and coordinate with local authorities to ensure you don't violate fencing rules. In some states, you must request a land survey before the project.
Labor costs cover at least 25% of the total project costs. Contractors can charge for their hours or per linear foot of iron fence installed. Moreover, prices vary from state to state and are influenced by several factors, including the living wages in your state and the complexity and scope of tasks needed to complete the project.
In addition, labor prices are impacted by the additional tasks needed for the installation. For instance, if you have a damaged fence that needs to be removed, you want to install more gates or choose to have your iron gate painted.
If you want to take matters into your own hands to cut costs, consider learning how to install a rod iron fence or install a fence iron without concrete to lower your expenses. So, you may have to prepare for future costs of repairs or reinstallations if you don't get it right.
Design and customizations
Decorative iron fence naturally costs more than iron bars and plain iron. That's because an elaborate security wall takes time and skills to complete, regardless of the material used. Expect to pay more for installing an ornamental iron fence to suit your liking. Moreover, cost adjustments apply when choosing non-standard materials like thicker iron bars or more elaborate fence panels.
Conversely, you may cut your expenses by mixing iron with cheaper materials. For example, the cost of installing a wood iron fence could be lower than building an enclosure made entirely from tough metal.
Standard labor costs don't include additional work needed to access and install the fence on the project site. If your contractor finds it challenging to access the area or install the iron fence on difficult terrain, you'll be charged more for the adjustment they must make. Likewise, the same holds if the ground is uneven and sloped or the soil is rocky and soft. In such cases, additional labor and materials could pull up your expenses.
Survey and permit fees
Depending on your state, a land survey and a permit may be required before the project. Surveys cost USD$500 on average, while fencing permit fees and application requirements vary based on your location.
For example, the filing fee for Philadelphia costs USD$25 for one- or two-family dwellings and USD$100 for other sites. Zoning permit fees cost USD$41 to USD$517, depending on the lot size, while building permits cost USD$113 for each fence, excluding surcharge and record retention costs. Failing to notify authorities of your project can lead to hefty penalty fees.
Iron, as the main ingredient in steel production, can boost home security because of its strength. And its malleability pre-production makes it possible to conform to various shapes and sizes. Iron fence installations are expensive, but you can get your money's worth by having an enclosure that could last a lifetime, so long as it's installed and maintained correctly.