Choosing The Right Fence For Your Home

Posted on January 20th, 2014

If you take a drive through any moderately-sized town or suburb, you are likely to encounter many different types of fences. In fact, the multitude and variety of fence styles and materials available can be a little overwhelming. The best way to navigate the challenge of selecting the right type of fence is to focus on your specific needs and tastes. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of fences on the market today.

Wood Fence
This is one of the most basic options available. The typical wood fence panel is made of pine or cedar and is 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. The fact that it is tall and opaque makes the wood fence good for privacy. Another benefit is that this option is fairly cost-efficient. One disadvantage of this type of fence is that it is rather nondescript, but it is simple to decorate with paint. Another potential problem is that the wood can decay over time. Purchasing a fence with pressure treated wood can help with this problem, but it will not prevent it entirely.

Vinyl Fence
This is a nice, low-maintenance option. Like its wooden counterpart, a vinyl fence panel is usually around 6 feet tall. However, this type of fence is not subject to the decay and mold that wood is. Furthermore, these fences can usually be quite decorative. They come in light colors and are often topped with a lattice design. One shortcoming is that the light color of the fence makes it susceptible to stains from dirt or mud and will require washing. This is particularly problematic in locations with reddish-colored dirt. The vinyl option is also more costly than wood.

Ornamental Fence
This type of fence is generally made of dark-colored steel or aluminum and can come in a wide variety of sizes and designs. Ornamental fence panels are usually designed with thin metal pickets that allow for visibility and add a touch of elegance to your landscaping and lawn. Another benefit of the most popular ornamental fence styles is their durability. The steel in such fences is galvanized and the aluminum is coated in order to prevent the accumulation of rust. The most significant disadvantage of this fence option is that it tends to be more expensive than the wood or vinyl alternatives.

Chain Link Fence
This option is both economical and functional. The typical chain link fence is composed of a steel fabric with a mesh pattern attached to steel fence posts. The steel is usually galvanized to prevent corrosion. Steel fence fabric is generally sold in sheets that are 50 feet long. The height of the fabric can be anywhere from 3 feet to 12 feet high, which allows you to select according to how much protection you would like your fence to afford. Although the basic metallic color is probably the most commonly seen, chain link fence fabric can also be found in black or green. Beyond this slight variety in color however, this style of fence is more utilitarian than decorative. Another potentially negative aspect of this kind of fence is that the chain link provides a visibility that is not conducive to privacy.

Although the decision about what kind of fence to purchase depends on individual requirements and preference, I recommend a vinyl fence. I feel that it is decorative enough to complement a home or garden while still promoting privacy. No matter which style you choose, selecting and installing your new fence can be a fun experience for the whole family.