Why Is There a Shortage of Fence Pickets?

The shortage of fence pickets has become a pressing concern in recent times, leaving many homeowners and contractors puzzled as to it’s underlying causes. This scarcity has disrupted the construction industry, impeding the completion of necessary fencing projects. The absence of these essential building components has prompted the need to delve into the root of this predicament. Various factors contribute to the shortage, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains, the surge in housing construction and renovations, mill closures, and the increased demand for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Understanding the complex interplay of these elements is crucial in comprehending why fence pickets have become a scarce commodity in the current market. Consequently, addressing this shortage requires a multi-faceted approach, encompassing an examination of supply chains, the utilization of alternative materials, and the exploration of innovative solutions to mitigate the impact on construction and renovation projects.

Why Is Putting Up a Fence So Expensive?

One of the main reasons why putting up a fence can be expensive is the cost of materials. For example, wood, vinyl, and aluminum are generally more affordable options, while wrought iron and steel tend to be more expensive. The cost of materials can also fluctuate based on the current market prices, leading to further increases in price.

Another factor that contributes to the expense of installing a fence is the labor involved. Hiring professionals to install the fence can add a significant amount to the overall cost. The complexity of the design, the size of the area to be fenced, and the accessibility of the site can all affect the labor costs. Additionally, if any special equipment or tools are needed for the installation, this can further increase the expenses.

Depending on the area you live in, you may need to obtain permits before installing a fence. These permits typically come with fees and require time and paperwork. Additionally, certain local regulations may impose specific requirements on the type, height, and location of the fence, which may add extra costs to ensure compliance.

Maintenance is another aspect that can add to the overall cost of having a fence. Some materials, such as wood, may require regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, to keep them in good condition. This maintenance can incur additional expenses over time. On the other hand, opting for more durable and low-maintenance materials, like vinyl or aluminum, can help reduce these ongoing costs.

1) Cost of Site Preparation: Clearing and Leveling the Area Where the Fence Will Be Installed Can Add to the Overall Expense. Any Existing Structures or Obstacles That Need to Be Removed or Worked Around Can Increase the Labor and Equipment Costs.

One of the reasons for the shortage of fence pickets is the cost of site preparation. Before installing a fence, the area needs to be cleared and leveled. This process can add to the overall expense as it requires additional labor and equipment. If there are any existing structures or obstacles that need to be removed or worked around, the costs can further increase. These factors contribute to the shortage of fence pickets as they make the installation process more expensive and time-consuming.

The rising need for security and protection has created a significant demand for fences in various sectors. Schools, colleges, and commercial and industrial premises are actively seeking fencing solutions to safeguard their properties. In the industrial sector, barbed wire and electric wire fencing are commonly employed. Moreover, with the ongoing construction of offices and commercial spaces, the installation of fences has become essential, fueling the demand even further.

Are Fences in High Demand?

Why Is There a Shortage of Fence Pickets?

In the industrial application segment, barbed wire and electric wire fencing are mostly used to create secure perimeters around factories, warehouses, and other industrial facilities.

Furthermore, the increasing construction of offices and commercial spaces has also contributed to the high demand for the installation of fencing. Commercial establishments often require fences to protect their properties, ensure privacy, and create a professional ambiance. This has put additional pressure on the supply of fence pickets, resulting in a shortage.

Additionally, supply chain disruptions caused by various factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, have further exacerbated the shortage of fence pickets. The global disruptions in manufacturing, transportation, and logistics have made it challenging for suppliers to meet the increased demand for fencing materials, resulting in a scarcity of fence pickets.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Supply and Demand for Fences

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the supply and demand for fences. As people spent more time at home during lockdowns and social distancing measures, there was a surge in home improvement projects, including the installation or repair of fences.

However, the pandemic also disrupted global supply chains and caused shortages of raw materials and labor. Many fence manufacturers and suppliers experienced delays in production and delivery, leading to a shortage of fence pickets.

Additionally, the increased demand for fences coincided with a shortage of pressure-treated lumber, which is commonly used for fence pickets. The pandemic disrupted lumber production and transportation, further exacerbating the shortage.

As a result, homeowners and contractors faced difficulties in finding and purchasing fence pickets, leading to increased prices and longer wait times. The shortage of fence pickets is a direct consequence of the supply and demand imbalances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


These factors include the unprecedented surge in home renovations and construction projects, the ongoing challenges faced by the timber industry such as logging restrictions and labor shortages, as well as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined, these elements have strained the supply chain, resulting in a scarcity of fence pickets that’s disrupted the construction and home improvement sectors. As the industry navigates these challenges, it becomes crucial to address the root causes of the shortage, invest in sustainable forestry practices, and explore alternative materials to alleviate the pressure on the supply of fence pickets. Additionally, maintaining open communication channels between manufacturers, distributors, and consumers, as well as implementing proactive strategies to manage demand, can help mitigate future shortages and ensure a steady supply of fence pickets for the future.

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