Venting or otherwise, thanks for this post. It hit me like a 'spot challenge' to get off my butt and figure out how much it is going to cost me to do some fencing of my own this spring. Since I need to do that anyway, it is fitting I share what my research comes up with the rest of the gang here.
The wood type selected, of course has a huge amount to with the bottom line costs. I like to use cedar pickets on treated fir framing. I stopped getting my pickets at Lowes, but still get most of my dimensional lumber there, including basic 2x4 studs and treated lumber.
My fencing experience has been limited to occasionally replacing a picket or post as required. I am interested in throwing up some from scratch, so after reading your post I figured no time like the present. I can't say I really like the idea of 10 bucks a linear foot of fence line, so I feel challenged to try and shave on that some! I want to put up about 200 feet of fencing this spring.
The posts would set me back 8 bucks a pop, so that's 16 so far. Treated 2x4's run me 4.57 and the 2x6 treated is 6.97. Toss in 14 bucks for the 2x6 version and we have 30' for the first segment's frame and 22.00 for each one after that. For a fence I have to look at, 5 bucks more a section that will have less sag is a good trade off.
Moving onto pickets, Lowe's 6" Cedar 'basic boards' are 1.97. I get the same board from a local liquidator for 1.45, but we can model up with Lowe's numbers. 17 boards 5.5 in wide totals up to 94.5 inches without any spacing in between them to accommodate wood movement. 34.00 for pickets and 30 for the frame brings us to 64 for the first unit, but doesn't cover the quick-Crete for a sturdy post base. The next 8 foot section would cost 56.00 bucks.
My discounted pickets will save me about 8 bucks an 8 foot section, and the liquidator has framing stock pass through, but availability is spotty and there discounts on that stuff isn't as significant. I found them by searching for Cedar on Craig's List...
They also have a bottom grade 5.5 x 72 for .90 that I will probably try some of to see how the mix goes. I expect 20 to 30 percent of them won't be suited for use on a fence but since I like making boxes out of the stuff, I will be happy with 4 or 5 usable 10-12 inch pieced out of a 6' board when it only costs me .90 cents.