Cheap Fencing Ideas for the Homestead
Ideas to Spur the Imagination for DIY Fencing
Reading Time: 5 minutes
With the rising costs of fencing materials, we’re always on the lookout for cheap fencing ideas. Fences don’t have to be complex or expensive to do the job. We have often made fencing from what we can find lying around the homestead or pick up for cheap. Hopefully, these ideas will spur your imagination to create your own unique, cheap fencing ideas.
When it comes to homestead fencing, you can be blown away by what it costs nowadays. However, if you’re a determined, creative person you can build fences cheaply by thinking outside the box.
Recycling or upcycling materials lying around requires a creative mind. Materials which aren’t typically used for fencing can be the solution you’re looking for. This is a great way to not only be a good caretaker of our earth but saves money on fencing materials as well.
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When recycling things into fencing materials, be aware of possible hazards like lead-based paint and pressure treated wood which can have toxic substances. Toxins can leach into your soil and be harmful to plant life and your water supply.
Most fence posts only rot at the bottom where they are exposed to constant moisture. You can salvage wood from them to make another fence post. Simply cut off the bottom portion with a chainsaw or similar tool and you’ll have something to work with.
A lot of people have old fence posts or even railroad ties, which last a long time, just lying around. These can be used as corner posts or gate posts.
Here is a quick list of materials we’ve used to build fences. Maybe they’ll help spur your creative side and help you come up with your own cheap fencing ideas. Make a list of items you have on hand to build your fence fast without breaking the bank.
- Railroad ties
- Old fence posts with enough good wood left to be recycled.
- Cedar or metal sign posts – check with your town or county to see what they do with posts they remove.
- Old buildings with wood which can be recycled.
- A neighbor with a fence to be torn down – tear it down for them in exchange for the materials.
- Pallets – Some businesses have to pay to have them hauled away and will let you have all you want. Some businesses charge for them, just check.
- Fishing line
- Roofing tin
- Old gates
Once you’ve made a quick inventory of what you can get your hands on, it’s time to visualize how you want your fence to look and function. We’ve used all kinds of material for chicken fences. It didn’t always look picture perfect, but it functioned well.
Here are some ideas that may also help you picture what kind of fence will work for you.
Rustic Wooden Split Rail Fence
This nostalgic wooden fence is great looking and was used by many early settlers for all kinds of fencing needs. If you have a wooded lot or know where you can access one, thinning out saplings is a great way to get the materials for this type of fence. Some areas will let you thin trees to help minimize the threat of forest fires.
To keep it cheap, you can use disassembled pallets or old fences you can find at salvage yards or old homesteads. Just be sure to have permission before removing any wood from an old homestead. I know of a man who had two old barns removed from his land when he was away. It was a bad situation.
You may want to invest in some quality paint to cover up any “ugly” pieces, protect the wood, and give it a fresh look. You can often get discontinued paint, paint someone didn’t like the color of, and even paint from friends they aren’t going to use.
If you live in a mountain region like we do, then you know that large rocks can be easily and cheaply obtained to build an attractive stone fence. This type of fence is easy on the budget. It only requires time and energy. It can even be made with no mortar or footings.
Positioning the rocks is like putting a puzzle together. The rocks are stacked so they interlock and stabilize one another. They require little maintenance. You’ve seen these stone walls in photos and movies of the English and Irish countryside. They’ve been there for hundreds of years.
Bamboo is very strong as well as aesthetically pleasing. If you live in an area where it grows abundantly then it will be easy and free to get. It is also low maintenance and won’t require painting. You will have to replace it as it rots out, but this takes a while.
We had old iron gates in the woods from when there was a dairy barn on the farm. We pulled those out and put them together to create a fence around the compost piles. We also used them in the chicken yard.
You can also find old gates at some salvage yards. With the right kind of plants, you can have your iron fence covered with flowering or green creepers to create a fence that is strong and beautiful.
Using recycled bricks makes this a cheap and very low maintenance option. However, you will need to use mortar to hold them together. While mortar isn’t too much of an expense, effort and money still have to be considered. Building the fence with larger gaps by skipping every other brick, keeps this fence on the cheap fencing ideas list.
We used old tin from a barn blown down by a tornado to fortify the fence around the chicken breeding yards. It was free and solved a problem we had with predators.
We’ve reused electric fencing wire to protect container gardens and flower beds. An old-timer taught us to use fishing line on the top of our berry bushes to keep deer out.
I’ve seen people use fishing line to protect their gardens from rabbits by running several strands around posts. They ran several lines low to the ground and close together. They say it worked, I’ve not tried it.
I’m learning about creating what is called a living fence. Certain types of bushes are planted close together and over time you weave them into the shape of the fence you want. In the old country, these are still used to corral pigs, cows, and sheep. Thorny plants are often used. No need for electric fencing for sheep over there!
What thoughts do you have for cheap fencing ideas? Have you made a fence from materials you had lying around? Share your experience and ideas with us. If you have photos, we’d love to see them!
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack
Originally published in 2016 and regularly vetted for accuracy.