There are many fences available to choose from, so how do you know which is the right choice for you?
In this article from Same Day Pros, our team has gathered information on different types of fences to bring you the best resource on the internet, helping you choose what materials and types to use for your next fence project.
How Many Types of Fence Are There?
From wood to vinyl, and everything in-between, the modern homeowner now has a multitude of new options when it comes to fencing. Thankfully, these fences come in just about any size, shape, or color nowadays, which makes it easy to match your home’s exterior décor. (1) A fence can truly make a home’s exterior come alive, bringing with it a sense of homeliness, from the ultimate American Dream house, to a rugged and simplistic lifestyle farmhouse.
A beautiful fence can turn a practical but utilitarian landscape feature into a design piece in its own right.
The types of fences that might be right for your home are subject to a few different factors, such as what you want out of your fence – the purpose of putting it in in the first place – as well as local weather, and budget. Other restrictions may impact what kind of fencing you use for your yard such as local ordinances and restrictions imposed by home owner’s associations.
No matter the style you’re looking for and the restrictions you’re working with, there are plenty of types of fences available for your home’s needs.
Wood fences are a popular material type that provides a natural appeal with plenty of security and privacy. This material is also versatile, providing homeowners with the ability to paint, repaint, or finish wood with different colors, designs, and styles.
While this can be an economical choice and many types of treated wood is resistant to pests or rot over time, wood fences require maintenance to keep them in top condition.
Vinyl fences can cost a little bit more upfront, but they require minimal upkeep and can last a long time. While these types of fences never need any kind of painting or staining, they also cannot be changed from their original color so it is best to choose a neutral color scheme. These plastic-based panels can come in a wide variety of designs, styles, heights, colors, and functions. Gates may also be made from vinyl.
While much more expensive than vinyl, this type of fencing is very durable and can last a long time with a more natural wood feel to it. Composite can often be painted, as it is a mixture of wood fibers and resin.
These fences offer little in the way of unique designs, and are often a little thicker than traditional panels making them heavier to transport and install, but these fences are built to withstand the elements for years to come with minimal maintenance.
Metal fences, like iron and aluminum, are excellent choices for minimal loss in visibility, but provide excellent security. These fences are difficult to cut and can come in pre-assembled panels to make for easy installation.
Additionally, these panels won’t fade or discolor over time like they might with other materials. Low maintenance and durable, these fences last for a long time but can incur a hefty up-front cost depending on the design and guage.
Chain Link Fencing
Chain link fencing is considered one of the most economically available sources of fencing on the market. While their curb appeal is low, they are easy and fast to install, making them convenient for keeping animals within the yard, and cleanly marks the bounds of a property to potential passerbys.
With a little additional upfront cost, you can add visual appeal by getting the fence powder coated a different color, or add different styles of posts and gates to make it truly unique.
Specialty fences are often custom-designed for the homeowner’s specific needs. These fences can range from livestock fencing that keeps animals inside, to stepped fences that mark your property along a steep slope. Pool fencing may also be necessary for homes that have a pool in the backyard and want to minimize hazards near the edge.
Choosing the Right Type of Fence
Choosing the right types of fences for your home can be an overwhelming experience, but with a little cursory knowledge about material types and styles, it can help narrow down your choices.
Additionally, if you still can’t decide between two types of fencing, the fencing contractor hired to install the fence can help provide you with a list of pros and cons for different fence types depending on the grade of your property and the type of weather common to the region. Consulting a professional before choosing a specific fence type can be insightful, providing ideas and factors that might not have been considered yet.
Consider What You Want Out of Your Fencing
To narrow down your choices, it’s important to first consider what you want out of your fencing. Do you want it to protect you and your home, or do you want it to keep your pets in? These are two very different types of fences that can meet these needs, and the difference in cost can be dramatic.
Perhaps you’re looking for a little privacy so you can enjoy a backyard oasis without ogling from neighbors and street traffic. (2) Likewise, if curb appeal is your goal, there are plenty of options to choose from.
If you want true privacy, choose a fence with little to no space between boards.
For protection, wood and vinyl are both excellent options that can help protect the home, and additional features such as barbed wiring and camera monitoring can add security for commercial spaces.
To keep your pets in the property, wooden fences have long been used, but chainlink fences can serve the purpose just as well at an economical price tag.
Privacy fences are best when they are made out of a durable material that is nice to look at, since it will become such a prominent feature of your home both to the resident and onlooker. Vinyl, bamboo, and wood are all common material choices for a privacy fence.
For curb appeal, a wide range of materials can be chosen, from wood to vinyl and even wrought iron depending on the color scheme of the house itself.
When Is Fencing Necessary?
Fencing is only necessary if there is a homeowner’s association requiring your property to be fenced off, or if you have a pet that should remain within the bounds of the property.
Privacy fencing may be necessary if you want to be able to relax in your backyard without being visible to neighbors; common with backyards that have gardens and pools.
Fencing may also be necessary in neighborhoods with a high crime rate, as it helps deter unwanted attention to the home and makes the property much more difficult to access.
For homes that need a little something to assist the curb appeal of the exterior, a small pristine fence can help extend the appearance of the home.
Commercial lots may also benefit from fencing in areas that need additional security measures in place, or areas that require additional privacy, such as hotel property or athletic clubs.
What Style of Fence is Best?
The best type of fencing is one that you can reliably count on to serve the purpose it was intended for. Whenever homeowners are looking for the best type of fencing, they typically have a few considerations that really seal the deal.
For example, if you don’t have pets, you might not be concerned about keeping an animal inside the property, but you may be looking for a little privacy to create a backyard oasis. In this case, durability and security might not be the top consideration, but rather visibility and appearance.
Others might find that their homeowner’s association requires them to have some kind of fence, or they may want to clearly mark their property line if a neighbor’s property is adjacent, so minimal economical fencing like chainlink may suffice.
What Style of Fence Lasts the Longest?
For many homeowners, durability is an important factor as having to replace fence panels every few years can not only get expensive, but it can also be an eyesore and a security risk for the home. Fortunately, there is a fencing material that has the advantage of being the longest lasting and most durable out of all of them, and it’s available at a relatively inexpensive price tag.
Vinyl is a durable material that is weather resistant and durable, withstanding moderate damage and needing minimal upkeep and repair for years at a time.
Better yet, these panels can be custom created so that it appears to be painted wood, or in some cases, it can mimic the look of natural wood, giving the home a softer curb appeal.
As a versatile and low maintenance material that is easy to produce, it’s no wonder that vinyl is increasingly used in new fencing projects, especially where durability and strength is a primary concern. Vinyl continues to look great years after it has been installed, whereas other types of fences can begin to sag or bow over time.
What is the Most Popular Fence?
There are a lot of popular fence types out there, all different depending on the homeowner’s needs or preferences.
Still, many places believe that the most popular fence type is a mix of economical frugality, privacy, and durability, giving the homeowner the best of both worlds no matter what these preferences are.
Best of all, the most popular type of fence looks nice, which can’t be said of all fences like chain link.
The fence that wins the popularity contest for the best mixture of all benefits is a simple privacy fence made of vinyl panels.
Coming in second place, treated or painted pine is one of the most popular types of fences, as pine grows relatively quickly and looks great when paired with just about any house exterior. While wood will require more maintenance for waterproofing, it is economical and provides a lot of the same benefits of durability and privacy that many homeowners are looking for.
What is the Strongest Fence?
A strong, durable fence is a better security fence that can ward away potential crime risks and withstand the weather with minimal maintenance and upkeep?
You might have guessed it already, but wrought iron fencing wins this round for the strongest fence material.
Iron is a material that can withstand just about anything the environment throws at it. It is long-lasting, resistant to the weather, and difficult to bypass. It cannot be cut like typical chain link fences and does not bow over time.
Tougher impacts, like those made with a vehicle may displace or bend the fence, and it can be difficult to maintain under high heat, but these hazards are not common for the typical home residence.
The downside to wrought iron fencing is that it can be difficult to obtain. Since it is iron, the material cost is already higher than lightweight or cheaply produced materials. It’s heavy weight also makes it difficult to ship, causing the cost to rise even further. On average, wrought iron fencing can range anywhere from $30 to $70 per linear foot depending on the complexity of the fencing project.
What Type of Fence is Cheapest?
Chain link fences are considered one of the cheapest types of fences to buy and install, often costing no more than $30 to $100 for a 100-foot roll depending on the region and type of fencing you purchase.
These fences offer a great, economical solution to keeping pets contained on your property, as well as providing minimal additional security to the home.
What these fences don’t offer, however, is privacy. For a lot of people, a fence means more than security or pet safety, but privacy to relax in their own backyard without worrying about onlookers.
While not as economical as a chain link fence, bamboo and treated pine privacy fences are often considered one of the least expensive options for a wooden fence, coming in anywhere between $1-$3 per linear foot.
Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Fence?
Some people argue that it would be cheaper for them to build their fence than to buy a fence from a company, or even purchase individual panels at a hardware store. While the price of fence panels can leave you with some sticker shock, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Unless you are a skilled carpenter with the necessary skills to build a fence and understand how to properly set and install the fence yourself, building a fence can become an overwhelming task very quickly.
Building a fence takes a lot of time, as well, so it might not be practical to do unless you have ready access to a carpentry shop where you can freely create the fence panels.
Furthermore, ensuring that the wood is properly treated for the weather and correctly installing the fence panels in the ground once it is built is a time-consuming task as well.
Ultimately, most people do not have this kind of free time on their hands, and fences can get damaged mid-installation because they are left out without complete support or posts do not get properly installed in ground.
Without this skill and free time available to complete the project, it is often better and cheaper to buy a fence and have a professional install it, as they often have a team working on the project so it can be completed in a shorter amount of time.
If you’re looking for something a little more custom, many fencing companies will provide you with quotes for custom fencing work.
When to Hire a Fencing Professional
A lot of homeowners find that, unless they hire a fencing professional to install their fence in the first place, it can be subject to repairs rather quickly.
The lack of a professional installation can spell disaster as fence panels sag and posts are improperly cemented into the ground, causing more problems in later years. It is much better to have a certified professional you trust to install the fence, rather than cut corners in the long term.
After all, your fence will last for years if properly installed and cared for.
Still, this doesn’t change the inevitable. Over time, fences – like many other parts of the home – will still deteriorate or become weathered as they are exposed to the elements.
Iron fences, though sturdy, may need work if they’ve been bent or begin to erode. Wood fences may break or bow over time, and vinyl can be broken or begin to mold if it is not properly taken care of.
Proper maintenance will keep repairs unnecessary for a long time, but eventually, every fence needs a little TLC to keep it in the best shape possible. When that time comes, hiring a fence repair professional will save a lot of headaches.
How to Hire a Fencing Professional
Hiring a fencing professional isn’t difficult, but it can be an overwhelming process if you have never hired a similar service.
A lot of people have bad experiences asking for word of mouth referrals, and it can be downright impossible to choose someone reliable if you’re new to the area and haven’t had a chance to get to know local businesses.
Fortunately, no matter where you are located, there’s an easy solution to find trustworthy and reliable fencing professionals. With Same Day Pros, you can look for certified and insured contractors and businesses who are available right now to take on your fencing project. All you have to do is search for the service you need, select your location, and click Search.
In just a few seconds, you’ll find reputable companies available in your area who are willing to take on your fencing project. With a little due diligence, and quote comparison, you can find the contractor who is right for the job, with as little frustration as possible.
- Houzz, What to Know About Adding a New Fence, https://www.houzz.com/magazine/what-to-know-about-adding-a-new-fence-stsetivw-vs~147086652
- Forbes, How to Choose the Right Fence, https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2014/07/26/how-to-choose-the-right-fence/?sh=6f9ae5792ad7