Whether you are interested in replacing an old fence or are seeking to install a new one for the first time on your property, you may not know where to start. With so many different types of fences and fencing styles available to choose from, finding your perfect match can feel overwhelming to say the least.
Before diving into our comprehensive fence buying guide, we highly recommend taking a moment to consider your needs for your privacy fence. Doing this beforehand will help you find the right type of fencing for your individual preferences so you can enjoy your new fencing for many years to come.
There are many different types of fences available on the market and each variety serves its own unique purpose. In addition, each specific material will have its own set of benefits. Before choosing one of these fence types for your property, you should first determine how how much privacy you want.
Full coverage fencing is ideal for homeowners seeking complete privacy, while partial coverage is a good choice for anyone who still wants some visibility outside of their property line. After you decide which option is right for you, the next step is to determine the best material for your needs and location. For example, does your property receive heavy rainfall, snow or wind? If so, you may want to avoid certain materials such as bare wood and bare aluminum or ungalvanized chain link fencing, which are susceptible to rust and corrosion. Selecting the right material for your property will not only ensure long lasting use, but can also help you avoid costly maintenance and repairs in the future.
Another factor to consider is the total cost of your fence materials. If you are on a budget, you may prefer a simple yet durable fencing style, such as chain link, over higher end designer vinyl fencing. However, you should also keep in mind the value that your fencing adds to your property, both aesthetically and financially. Installing a new fence is a wise investment, but should be planned out carefully for the best outcome. Lastly, maintenance is another important component to consider.
All fences require upkeep to some extent, but the amount can vary depending on environmental factors and installation. Poor, uneven installation of a fence can cause more maintenance for you in the long run, which is why it is crucial to consult with an experienced professional. Unlevel ground and poorly installed posts (required by most types of fences) can also cause your new fence to fall over and incur damages.
Installation costs should be considered in addition to the total cost of your fence materials to avoid surprises. Read on to discover more privacy fence ideas using the most common types of fencing available on the market and discover which one is right for your property and individual needs.
One of the most popular choices of fencing is wrought iron. This iron alloy based material is durable, malleable, and easily welded, making it a particularly popular material for decorative fencing such as garden fences. Although it is one of the most expensive fencing options available it is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing fences to look it at which will add a stunning appearance to your property when used in highly visible areas like the front yard.
Wrought iron fences are available a wide variety of finishes. Many people opt for unfinished wrought iron, which has a natural grainy texture, comparable to wood.
Painted wrought iron is another popular choice that is mainly used for its aesthetic value. If you are interested in pre-finished wrought iron, be sure to investigate the type of paint used.
Peeling and discoloration is a very common problem associated with painted wrought iron fencing, especially when a low quality paint is used. Weatherproofing is an option that can be easily accomplished with the use of a clear or colored sealant approved for use on iron alloy.
Wrought iron is an all-around hardy material that can withstand harsh environmental elements such as heavy winds, rains and even snow. However, weatherproofing with a high quality sealant should be performed once every five to 10 years, depending on your specific location.
As far as privacy is concerned, wrought iron fencing panels are typically spaced apart in various increments, ranging from a few inches to a foot apart. This makes it a low coverage fencing solution, ideal for anyone who wants to maintain a good amount of visibility.
With its distinctive 19th century charm and broad range of styles and colors, wrought iron fencing is a classic choice for anyone seeking a low maintenance and attractive addition to their property.
A split rail fence, also known as a log or snake fence, is a very low coverage option used for its simplicity and old farmhouse charm. Constructed out of various types of wood ranging from chestnut to cedar, this type of fencing is typically low in cost and relatively easy to maintain.
To create a classic split rail fence, long logs are cut in half lengthwise then spaced in increments of one foot to create a rail-like effect. Spacing can be increased or decreased based on your personal preferences and needs.
This simple construction technique makes split rail fencing an ideal solution for anyone with spare lumber at their disposable. This will make repairs and replacement of worn or damaged rails easy and relatively inexpensive, ultimately keeping your maintenance costs low in the long run.
Split rail fences are popular in rocky and high altitude areas where deep post hole digging is virtual impossible to accomplish. Since this type of fencing requires little to no hardware, depending on your specific choice of construction, it is easier and faster to install, remove or extend if needed.
As far as advantages go, split rail fences are a cost effective solution that are both decorative and hardy. While not as durable as metal materials, this type of fencing can be enjoyed for many years to come when properly maintained.
Areas with heavy rain or snow will require more frequent sealant applications than relatively dry climates. Wood can incur damages overtime such as cracks, splinters and even discoloration when not properly maintained. Occasionally, rails may need to be replaced. Split rail fences have one of the lowest upfront costs compared to other fencing styles, making them ideal for large properties, such as farm land.
Chain link fencing is one of the most popular choices among both commercial and residential customers. This type of fence is made out of galvanized or coated steel wire, making it one of the most durable materials available on the market today.
With its distinctive open diamond pattern, chain link fences offer full visibility for anyone seeking a low privacy fencing solution. However, this option may also be right for individuals interested in full coverage since chain link fence covers are widely available in different materials, ranging from vinyl to canvass.
Chain link is a good option for anyone seeking a long lasting fencing solution that is also cost effective. Since it is typically constructed from steel based materials, it is ideal for all environmental conditions. However, if you live in a location that receives heavy rainfall or snow, you should consider weatherproofing chain link to avoid rust and discoloration.
Weatherproofing is crucial for all property owners with chain link fencing and can be accomplished using galvanized wire for the fence or using vinyl coated wire which is virtually maintenance free. Either of these options will give you one of easiest to maintain fences available for those who don’t want to spend any time working on their fence.
While not the most decorative option available, chain link offers many benefits for anyone seeking a low cost, long lasting and low maintenance fence. This material is perfect for large properties where initial cost and cost of upkeep is a main concern.
Aluminum fencing is often compared to wrought iron because both varieties have similar characteristics and styles. Aluminum is a durable material but not quite as hardy as wrought iron. However, it tends to be more cost effective, making it a popular alternative among property owners with a set budget.
Many styles of aluminum fencing are available on the market ranging from classic spaced panels to spiked top ones for added security. Aluminum is not typically available in solid panels, making it a low coverage option for anyone seeking high visibility.
Most aluminum fences are welded for long lasting use and easy installation. This means that you will need little to no hardware to set up this type of fence, which contributes to a lower overall cost of installation.
Since aluminum does have high visibility, it is often used as a decorative fence and is also a common material for pool fences. Aluminum requires little maintenance, but may need to be painted every couple of years to prevent problems such as oxidation and corrosion.
Aluminum fencing is an excellent choice for all types of environmental conditions. It easily withstands all of the elements, but can be particularly vulnerable to heavy rainfall and snow, similar to wrought iron. This is why it is crucial to purchase a high quality powder coated aluminum fence from a reputable manufacturer if you live in a harsh environment.
Powder coating is a process that binds the paint to the metal, ultimately strengthening the finish of the fence. This means that an aluminum fence can go years or even decades without needing to be painted or stained, but this can vary greatly depending on your location.
This type of fencing is mainly used for decorative purposes and can be found in a wide variety of styles, colors and finishes, although high gloss finishes are the most popular and common. Since aluminum is such as malleable and versatile material, many manufacturers offer customization options to property homeowners with a distinct style in mind.
Aluminum fencing is ideal for both flat and sloped properties and similar to wrought iron, makes an excellent modular wall fence. Overall, it is a highly efficient and durable, low coverage fencing solution that will appeal to many property owners for its affordability and aesthetic appeal.
Wood is one of the most common materials used for fencing because it is affordable and readily available. It is ideal for anyone seeking a traditional fencing solution with a low upfront cost. However, wood requires more maintenance than most other materials. This is especially true for areas that receive heavy wind, rain, and snow. Dry climates also negatively impact wood.
Since wood is a versatile material, it can be painted or stained in any way you wish. This makes it a popular option among homeowners seeking to fully customize and individualize the look of their properties. Property owners focusing on landscaping often choose wood since it blends well into lush yards and is an organic, all-natural choice.
Wood fences are used in all types of environmental conditions but are not very durable or resistant to harsh weather conditions. Yearly maintenance is required to keep up the beauty and integrity of wood. Repainting, staining and weatherproofing may be necessary on an annual or biannual basis, depending on your specific location.
Wood may naturally rot overtime and incur damages such as gaps, cracks and splinters. However, these problems can be avoided for many years with proper upkeep. Since it is an organic material, wood can be vulnerable to insects such as termites.
Pests often damage wood fences at the posts, which can destroy the integrity of the structure. This is why your property should be treated for insects prior to installation and on an ongoing basis if insects return.
Since wood fences require post digging and installation, they are not ideal for rocky areas or highly uneven properties. Overall, wood is a classic full coverage choice of fencing with a low upfront cost, but does require more upkeep than other materials.
Vinyl is a popular alternative to wood because it is more durable and requires minimal upkeep. Often regarded for its wood-like look, It is widely available in popular wood finishes such as redwood and oak, as well as nontraditional colors such as gray and beige.
Vinyl is an excellent option for busy property homeowners with minimal time for upkeep. It can withstand harsh weather conditions and is well suited for all environmental conditions. It also does not need to be painted or sealed on an ongoing basis. However, it should be cleaned and inspected for damages regularly.
Since vinyl is such a low maintenance material, it does have high upfront costs but very low maintenance costs. Overall, it is an excellent choice of fencing for anyone seeking a long lasting full coverage solution with a uniform look.
Metal fences are popular alternatives to wood and vinyl because of their durability, modern charm and low maintenance needs. Metal materials such as wrought iron, chain link and aluminum are increasingly popular in areas with harsh weather conditions because they withstand them much more effectively than traditional wood and vinyl.
The major downside to metal fencing is that it can be susceptible to rust and corrosion, but this can be avoided by performing ongoing weatherproofing with high quality paint.
Another downside to metal is that it is not available in full coverage options, making it a good choice for anyone seeking high visibility or looking to add a decorative look to their property. Cost wise, metal ranges from mid to high range when it comes to fencing, but has minimal maintenance costs.
For anyone seeking a privacy fence, full coverage options such as wood and vinyl remain the most popular and appealing choices. Both offer their own unique set of pros and cons. The main differences between the two include durability and cost, with vinyl being more long lasting and expensive than wood.
When privacy is the main concern, metal materials may not be a good option since they typically offer high visibility and utilize widely spaced panels. However, many companies offer customization options. If you love the look of metal but don’t like the wide spacing of panels, custom designing a fence may be a good option for you.
Pool fences add privacy and security for individuals and families with young children alike. Most property homeowners choose metal over wood or vinyl for this type of fencing because it offers more visibility.
Low coverage vinyl can be a good option for anyone seeking a more traditional look than metal fencing. Both options offer durability and are resistant to most weather conditions.
Since water damage is a major concern when it comes to pool fences, you should make sure that whatever material you choose has been waterproofed with a quality sealant prior to installation. Metal is especially vulnerable to water, but this shouldn’t be a problem if it has been properly sealed or powder coated.
Choosing the right fence for your property can feel overwhelming, but is worth taking your time to make the right decision. Fencing is a valuable investment that can increase your home’s value, boost its aesthetic appeal and bring you peace of mind. Let our fence buying guide help you on your journey to discovering the perfect fence for your home!