The True Cost of Wooden Fence Panels

true cost of wooden fencing

Here we’re going to analyse the costs of wooden fence panels as compared to more long term solutions. We’re working on the basis of 70ft of fencing, at 6ft high. This means that for standard wooden fencing, 12 panels x 6ft wide are required, or 9 Colourfence Panels (as they are 8ft wide).


Wooden fencing may seem like an economical option, but could be much more expensive in the long run compared to higher quality (but more expensive) options. This is a debate that continues in fashion (cost per wear), electronics and housing.

These are just material costs; we have excluded labour costs for the purposes of this comparison, as some people will install their own fencing and some will hire fitters – whose rates may vary.

The wooden fencing and treatments are hardware own brand – branded treatments such as Cuprinol or Ronseal may be significantly more expensive. The metal fencing posited is made from Colorbond steel.

Initial Cost & Replacements

Colourfence installation

This is how much the fencing will cost you overall, including initial fencing, installation, and any necessary replacements. A wooden fence is a cheaper option initially, but will require replacing at least every 10 years, potentially more often if you live on the coast or in a windswept area. The overall cost is roughly the same, but the wooden fence will need replacing 3 times – while a metal fence will last 25 years without needing replacement or costly maintenance.

Wooden Fencing:

Initial Cost: 12 panels x £34 = £408, 13 posts = £299, 13 Post caps x £45.50, Total £752, Replacements: 3
Total Cost: £2256

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

Initial Cost: 9 Panels x £108.33, £975, Replacements: 0
Total Cost: £975

Wooden fence cleaning

Timber, while it is a great material, is prone to rot and mildew when kept outside due to it’s exposure to moisture. As a result it requires a thorough clean with a fungicidal wash every two years, preferably 24 hours before applying a sealant. Metal fencing can be cleaned by hosing it down with water, making it lower maintenance and easier to keep clean. Pressure washers can be harsh on metal, so plain water is better, with a little detergent if necessary.

Wooden Fencing:

£32 fungicidal wash every 2 years
Total £400

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

£1 detergent, £5 metered water every 2 years
Total £75

Sealing / Staining / Painting
Painting a wooden fence

To help keep wooden fence panels water resistant, you’ll need to apply a wood treatment / sealant every two years. This is ideally applied 24 hours after a fungicidal wash is used to remove any mould. Metal fences do not need to be sealed or polished, due to their anti-corrosion base and powdered steel coating. (can you talk about painting too, as im sure theres many people who just paint the fence (sealing a fence seems to be done in many ways, i,e paint, stain or other sealant, so it would be good to include these)

Wooden Fencing:

£30 Wood Sealant every 2 years
Total £375

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

Total £0

Pest Control

Pest control is an important job for any keen gardener and homeowner. Dealing with ‘woodworm’ (a generic name for a variety of wood boring insects) is an extra expense that comes with timber fencing. The death watch beetle tends to favour oak, while the powder post beetle focuses on hardwoods. The furniture beetle is less discriminating, and will lay their eggs in any kind of wood. Metal fences are not susceptible to beetles in the same way.

Wooden Fencing:

£45 woodworm treatment as needed.

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

£0 – None Required


So overall, wooden fencing will cost you £2320 over it’s lifetime – compared to £1050 for metal fencing. That’s a total saving of £1270 – not to mention the time saved!




One Comment

  • Doreen says:

    Thank you for this breakdown. My wooden fence cost me double what you project. I then have to spend treble on getting the best treatments then Oil and this is for every 2yrs. then I have to pay someone to do the job as I am a pensioner. I would have to replace 5 times not 3 times you project. And I have to pay for the time to do it or to do it myself so the cost goes up. My costs would be just under £5000 in a lifetime.
    I just hope COLOURENCE do not turn me down for having an installation due to a site problems.

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