When it comes to enhancing the privacy and aesthetics of your outdoor space, fencing is an essential consideration for many homeowners. However, one critical decision often arises: Is it cheaper to build your own fence panels, or should you opt to buy new ones? This comprehensive blog post aims to shed light on the cost implications of both options, helping you make an informed decision based on your budget, capabilities, and preferences.

The Cost of Building Your Own Fence Panels

Building your own fence panels can be a rewarding DIY project, not only in terms of personal satisfaction but also potentially in cost savings. The key components of constructing a fence—timber, nails/screws, concrete, and any paint or stain—are generally more affordable when purchased separately. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect:

Materials Needed:

  • Timber: Depending on the type of wood you choose, prices will vary. Softwoods like pine are cheaper but less durable, whereas hardwoods like oak or cedar offer longevity at a higher cost.
  • Nails/Screws: Durable, weather-resistant options are slightly more expensive but essential for outdoor projects.
  • Concrete: Needed for setting the fence posts securely.
  • Finishing Materials: Paint or stain to protect the wood and enhance its appearance.


  • Cost-Effective: Generally, buying raw materials can work out cheaper than purchasing pre-made panels, especially if you source materials on sale or in bulk.
  • Customisation: Building your own allows for complete control over design, size, and finish, ensuring it meets your specific requirements.


  • Time and Labour Intensive: It’s a significant commitment that requires an appropriate level of DIY skill and effort.
  • Tool Requirement: You may need to purchase or borrow tools (e.g., saw, drill, hammer), which could add to the cost if you don’t already own them.

The Cost of Buying New Fence Panels

Opting for pre-made fence panels is a convenient choice, particularly for those who wish to save time or lack the confidence in their DIY skills. Pre-made panels come in various styles, sizes, and materials, offering something for every taste and requirement.

Expenses to Consider:

  • Panel Costs: These vary based on the material, size, and design complexity. While basic panels can be cost-effective, customised options can significantly increase the price tag.
  • Delivery Charges: Depending on the supplier and order size, delivery fees can add a considerable amount to the overall cost.
  • Installation: If you’re not installing the panels yourself, professional installation will be an additional expense.


  • Convenience: Panels are ready to install upon purchase, saving time and effort.
  • Professional Finish: Pre-made panels are manufactured to a high standard, ensuring a consistent and quality finish.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Generally, pre-made panels are more expensive than purchasing materials for a DIY project.
  • Less Flexibility: There may be limitations in terms of sizes and designs available, potentially leading to compromises on your vision.

Making the Decision

Ultimately, whether it's cheaper to build or buy new fence panels depends on several factors, including the scope of your project, material choices, your DIY ability, and how you value your time.


  • Budget: Calculate the cost of materials for a DIY project and compare this with the price of buying panels and potential installation fees.
  • Time: Consider how much time you are willing to invest in building a fence. Remember, time is money.
  • Skill Level: Be honest about your DIY skills. A poorly constructed fence might end up costing more if it needs to be repaired or replaced sooner than expected.
  • Aesthetic and Customisation: If you have specific design requirements, building your own panels might be the only way to achieve the desired outcome.


Both building your own fence panels and buying new ones offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, with cost savings being a potential benefit of the DIY route. However, convenience, time savings, and the guarantee of a professional finish often justify the higher cost of purchasing pre-made panels for many homeowners.

Weighing up these factors against your personal circumstances will help you arrive at the best decision for your garden fencing project. No matter which path you choose, the end goal is the same: a beautiful and secure boundary that enhances the privacy and value of your home.