9 Types of Fences
ByJacob Hurwith on Aug 4, 2016
The type of fence you choose will not only play a key role in your home’s exterior design, but also provide one of the most important benefits of all homes; security. Privacy and security are two of the most common reasons Americans look to buy homes. A professionally installed fence gives every homeowner that true sense of home we all desire. Fencing, whether it be wood, chain link or wrought iron, will greatly affect your sense of home.
Once you’re ready to start your own fencing project, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four fencing pros in your area for free!
Before we jump into all fencing types, you have to know your options. The most popular types of fences are:
- Wrought Iron
- Chain Link
One of the most basic and attractive fencing types is aluminum. While it does not provide the amount of security many homeowners look for in a fence, it’s relatively maintenance free and can essentially look like any other type discussed in this article. The only maintenance will come during installation when you choose to paint and decorate it. However, along with the security, it’s not as strong as you may think and we do not recommend it for areas with severe weather.
To see some of the costs associated with all fencing types, check out our fencing cost estimators.
Wood is the most popular fencing type across America. Not only does it give homeowners a sense of privacy with the height wood fencing provides, but they are also one of the more attractive options on the market. They give homeowners a warm and welcoming feeling and without the headache of breaking the bank. Beware that the height and size of your fence will greatly impact the price. The more lumber you need, the more expensive the project will be. On top of that, like all fences, they take awhile to install. Therefore, a smaller fence will clearly be cheaper than a larger one.
On the plus side, wood fences can easily last the lifetime of your home. Just like hardwood floors, the quality of your fence will greatly depend on the type of wood you choose. Needless to say, you have plenty to choose from.
Hands down, the cheapest way to fence in your yard is by using one made of PVC. These fences use PVC to replace wooden stakes and pickets, and although not nearly as sturdy, they can certainly serve their purpose. The posts are PVC sleeves that go on top of wooden posts to add stability to the fence, but also cut down on material costs by using less wood. Sometimes, the PVC stakes are attached with an adhesive to the cross bars and other times, they are fastened with screws. This type of fencing comes in a variety of different heights and colors. Because of its PVC makeup, the fence is very resistant to the elements and can last for years.
Wrought Iron Fencing
When you see homes with funky designs on top of their fences, oftentimes, those homeowners chose a wrought iron fence. While wrought iron fences are both strong and beautiful, they do require constant upkeep. If you want to maintain its beauty, wrought iron fences need to be sanded or repainted every two to three years.
Furthermore, going back to the security portion of the conversation, wrought iron fences are not popular choices for the more conservative homeowner. On top of that, wrought iron fences are custom made and therefore, will not be cheap.
Other than cost, vinyl fencing is elite when it comes to any other category. In fact, according to our friends at HomeAdvisor, some manufacturers claim that vinyl fences are nearly five times stronger and four times more flexible than comparable wood fences.
Vinyl fencing is maintenance free and resists paint, allowing you to easily clean graffiti or any other unwanted stains. All you will need is a hose and soap to make it look as good as new.
Installing a vinyl fence may have a higher upfront cost, but given its low maintenance costs and long lifespan, vinyl fencing is cheaper than many other fencing types.
Chain Link Fencing
Chain link fences do not add much privacy to the home, but perform the other basic functions of a fence quite well. Homeowners, as well as school administrators (very popular), will be delighted to know that they are cheap, durable and need very little maintenance (like many of the other options).
Oftentimes, homeowners add a good amount of shrubbery, flowers, vines or even privacy slates on the outside of chain link fence. Not that this would add any more security to your home, but it would add a pinch of privacy. Any homeowner can cut off their neighbors’ views with a little bit of creativity.
Invisible fences are mainly used to contain dogs through an invisible field of electricity. Typically, the installation involves placing a wire in a trench dug along the boundary the owner wishes to fence off. A wireless transmitter is also set up nearby to activate the wire. The final item in the fencing is a battery-powered collar to receive the signal from the wire. The collar warns the animal when it’s near the boundary with a sound pitched only to the animal’s hearing. If the animal tries to cross the boundary, the collar delivers an electric shock.
See how much it cost to install an electric fence.
Like hardwood flooring, bamboo fencing is starting to hit its stride in the market. It can be grown naturally, so many of our green readers will be happy to hear that it’s one of the most environmentally friendly and attractive options on the market.
There are three styles for bamboo fencing: live bamboo, bamboo cane and rolled bamboo. Rolled bamboo and bamboo cane use poles linked together that are a bit sturdier than live bamboo. Live bamboo can grow up to a foot a year. We would not recommend this style in colder climates.
Farm fencing certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it plays a vital role across America. Just like all non-farm homeowners, you have many options, such as wood, electric, barbed wire, woven or high tensile. No matter what fencing type you go with, beware that installation is expensive and timely. Given the amount of land farmers own, you can imagine the manpower it takes to put up an entire fence.
While security and privacy are certainly the top two functions of all home fences, design and creativity should never take a back seat. With all the fencing choices available, no home in America needs to sacrifice looks for security.