There are so many options for choosing a fence that vary in style, price, maintenance, and more. Below, we’ll break down popular up-close materials and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Most popular types of fences
Wood – A wooden fence gives homes a natural, classic look that many homeowners are drawn to. Wood fence panels come in a variety of colors and finishes and can be natural or pressure treated. It is a less expensive option than vinyl or composite, but requires regular maintenance, such as painting or staining to last.
Chain-Link: The chain link fence is the cheapest option. It offers a long service life with little maintenance. It is considered the least elegant option of fencing materials, but it is a good option for those looking to install a fence without spending a lot of money.
Metal – The metal fence is an extremely popular choice as it offers a modern and sophisticated aesthetic and is very durable.
Composite – Composite fence is the most expensive option and offers the look of real wood without maintenance. If budget is not a concern, the compound is the best choice, as it requires no maintenance and will last a lifetime.
Vinyl – A vinyl fence is another heavy duty, low maintenance option. Although it will cost more up front, you will not have to spend money in the future for its maintenance or replacement.
Bamboo: Bamboo fencing, although less common than other types, is a good option if you are looking for something that is ecological and profitable. It offers a unique and natural look and is a popular material in tropical settings. Bamboo rolls can be easily installed on wooden posts with wood screws.
Considerations for choosing a fence
Before choosing a fence based on aesthetics and maintenance, you should also consider why you are installing a fence in the first place. Are you specifically looking for a privacy fence? Opt for materials like PVC, vinyl, and wood, which provide low visibility to strangers. If you simply want to add to the outdoor appeal and are not concerned with privacy, you can go for a decorative wrought iron picket fence.
Parts of a fence
Depending on the type of fence you are installing, you will need various parts including panels, pickets, posts, rails, and post caps. Below are brief descriptions of common fence parts.
Fence Post – The base of the fence that holds everything in place. Posts must be installed securely on the ground.
Picket Fence – The main part of the fence that creates privacy. The pickets can be spaced to create visibility or placed directly next to each other to keep a patio private from strangers.
Fence Post Cap – The cover that is placed on top of a post. Commonly regarded as a decorative piece, post caps protect the top of the posts from the elements so the posts last longer.
Fence Gate – A fence gate, which requires hinges and hardware, simply provides an access point to get in and out of your yard. Some homeowners choose to install automatic gates for driveway fences in addition to one or two smaller manual gates for pedestrian traffic.