How Much Does a Shadowbox Fence Cost?

Common Range: $24 – $42 / Foot, Installed

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Shadowbox Fencing Installation Cost

The average cost to have wooden shadowbox fence installed in your yard is around $33 per foot. This will generally include the 6 foot shadowbox fence boards, all posts and runner materials, screws and/or nails, a single walk-through gate as well as a double-gate between 8-12 feet wide, all labor, materials and other supplies needed to complete the shadowbox fence installation. Expect a quality contractor to obtain all permits and inspections as needed by local coding laws, and cleanup of the work area once the installation is completed.

Average Costs

Average Do It Yourself Cost
$24 / Foot
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$24 – $42 / Foot Installed
Typical Cost Average
$33 / Foot Installed

natural finish shadowbox fence installed around home

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Get Free Estimates from Qualified Fence Companies Nearby

Overview of Shadowbox Fences

Shadowbox fences are popular where homes are close together and homeowners want to create a sense of having their own space out of the public view. They’re useful for keeping kids and dogs near the house too.

The majority of wood shadowbox fences are built from either cedar, pine or pressure-treated wood with slightly different prices for each. Cypress is a regional option found mostly in the South.

The cost of wood shadowbox fences is largely determined by the material and whether the fence incorporates prefab panels with rails and pickets, which cost more for the materials, or is “stick built” on site from individual pieces, which takes a lot longer but is a DIY opportunity to save money.

Tips: Each post should be anchored at least 2 feet beneath ground level if you are installing a six-foot wood shadowbox fence. The rule of thumb for how deep the poles need to be set is that about one-third of the fence height should be set in the ground.

In addition to digging holes to set the posts, you should also put concrete around each post. One or two 40lb bags of concrete per post usually does the job.

Much like chain link and almost every other type of fence, the biggest factor in your shadowbox fence cost is going to depend on how much of a yard or area you want to enclose.

In this Home Improvement Cost Estimate, we’ll help you understand more about options and costs associated with installing a shadowbox fence. You’ll have better knowledge of the factors that will determine shadowbox privacy fence installation cost, as well as helping you decide if this is a DIY project you want to take on yourself, or turn over to a pro.

Shadowbox Fence Cost Factors

Here are the factors that will determine the bottom line of how much it will cost to put in a shadowbox fence:

  • Material – The most popular type of wood used for a shadowbox fence is either cedar or pressure treated wood. Pressure treated 6’ x 8’ foot panels will cost around $65 per panel. Red cedar 6’ x 8’ panels can cost over $150 per panel.
  • Prefab Panels vs Stick Built – The most affordable fence is stick-built DIY, but due to the convenience of prefab panels, they are used on most DIY and pro-installed fences.
  • Site Conditions – If there has to be a lot of excavating to remove brush or stumps or if the ground is difficult to dig into for the poles, installation takes longer, so is more costly. Also, areas that are tough to access will also add to the overall cost of installing a wood shadowbox fence.
  • Number of Gates – Most wood shadowbox fences have at least one gate to enter or exit the yard. Prefab gates are the most expensive component of the fence.
  • Concrete or No Concrete – If the ground is sandy, then concrete is a must for each post. When using concrete around a fence post, you will need one or two bags per post. You can get away without using concrete in heavy gravel soil, but concrete is pretty cheap relative to the rest of the materials, and it creates a much more secure fence.
  • Height of the Fence Panels – The most common height for a wood shadowbox fence is six feet tall, but shadowbox fences range from about 4 to 10 feet tall.
  • Size of the Fence – The longer the shadowbox fence, the more expensive it will be for materials and installation labor. No surprise there. However, longer fences tend to cost a little less per linear foot due to economies of scale.
  • Post Hole Digger Rental – If you’ve ever tried digging in dry clay soil, you know it is back-breaking work. Renting a post hole differ or attachment for a PTO saves time and effort at a cost of $40-$75 per day.
  • Who Installs the Shadowbox Fence – If you decide to install the fence, you will save around $40 – $80 per hour on labor charges from a licensed contractor, which works out to $10 to $20 per linear foot.
  • Time of Year – The busy season for fence contractors starts in late winter in warmer climates to early spring in the North and extends into summer. You won’t find many deals during those seasons. But if conditions allow for installation in the “off season” of late fall into winter based on your climate, you might get lower cost estimates.

You might also enjoy one of our guides to outdoor living. Try 8 Things You Must Do for Yard and Lawn Spring Cleanup or Budget Friendly Landscaping Tips for Front and Back Yard.

Get Free Estimates from Qualified Fence Companies Nearby

Get Free Estimates from Qualified Fence Companies Nearby

Cost of Installation Supplies

Below is a list of the retail prices for every material that you will need to properly install your wood shadowbox fence:

  • $60 – $170 ea | 8 foot long pre-made panels of wood dogeared fencing  
  • $2 – $5 ea | Dog ear, shadowbox fence pickets (if you decide to not purchase a pre-made fence panel)
  • $8 – $15 ea | Top and/or bottom rails (1 by 4 pressure-treated wood) per 8-foot length
  • $12 – $16 ea | 4” x 4” x 8’ Pressure treated fence posts
  • $4 – $15 ea | Quikrete concrete mix (60lb bag)
  • $25 – $100 | Post hole digger
  • $20 – $100 | Wood to wood deck screws
  • $10 – $100 | Level
  • $80 – $200 | Entry gate, latch and installation hardware

shadowbox fence being installed

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

Permits and Inspection

  • $75 – $150 | Property line site survey. If there’s any concern about where your property boundaries are, have a line survey done.
  • $0 to $75 | Buried Utility Locator Service
    In most areas of the USA, you can dial 811 on your phone, at least 3 days before you plan to begin work, and a utility locator service will come out and mark all public underground utilities in the area you plan to install the fence. The service is free in most cases, but if you need to locate non-public services like an invisible fence wire, or underground pool utilities, they will charge you.
  • $0 – $60 | A permit may be required to install a fence on your property. It all depends on the local rules and regulations of where you live. If your fence is over six feet tall, a permit is mostly required. If you are replacing an existing fence with a wood shadowbox fence, a permit is most likely not required since you are replacing an existing structure. Permits include the cost of having the fence inspected to make sure it is properly and safely built.

Fence Installation Cost and Time

In most cases, the labor for installation will be based on the number of linear feet installed, plus added costs for gates, etc. In addition, there may be added labor costs due to any of the site conditions below.

  • Type of Soil – Added time may be needed for getting through rocks, tree roots etc.
  • Time of Year – Prices are higher during the busy season.
  • 2 to 4 Days | Installing a wood shadowbox fence that has up to 200 feet of fencing will take between 2 and 4 days to completely put the fence up depending on the crew size. There are many other factors that may cause the installation of a wood shadowbox fence to take longer, such as poor site conditions, the number of gates, weather conditions, and design complexity.
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When a fence installation contractor comes to install your shadowbox fence, you may find there are other expenses at the same time. We’ve found those listed below to be commonly related to having a fence installed, or other fence projects closely related to this type. You can also review all fencing and retailing wall cost estimates.

DIY or Hire a Pro

Installing a wood shadowbox fence is definitely something that a homeowner with good carpentry skills and attention to detail can handle and eliminate labor costs. How much is the labor? Estimates vary from $5-$10 per linear foot on the low side, according to HomeGuide, or up to $30 per foot by Home Advisor estimates, which would be a rare situation. Homewyse gives a closer estimate with a labor cost range of $7 to $15 per linear foot, but even that is low given that labor prices are rising along with inflation.

There are many factors that can make the job a difficult task. Which of these challenges are present on your property: Difficult soil conditions, wet soil that might require fill dirt, the need for stump and brush removal and uneven ground requiring a stepped fence installation? Are there others you can think of?

The more challenges there are, and based on your skill level of course, the more it makes sense to hire a pro to install your wood shadowbox fence. Yes, it will increase your cost by 50% to 90%, but it might be worth paying the price for a fence that looks and performs as it should over the next 20 years.

Are You a Pro Fence Installer?

If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.

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Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects, as well as working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."