Your home’s fence plays a key role in two critical factors in your home’s exterior: esthetics and privacy. The type of fence you choose will be integral in how visually appealing your fence is and how much privacy you’ll be able to enjoy.
Luckily, there are several fencing options available, each of which offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
The following fencing types are often used for residential purposes to both contribute to the esthetics of a home and add a level of privacy and security.
1. Wood Fencing
The traditional type of fencing material – and the most popular – is classic wood. The most common wood species used to build fences include cedar, pine, spruce, cypress, and redwood. Wood fencing can not only be erected in such a way so as to provide different levels of privacy, it’s also one of the more attractive materials for this particular residential feature.
Depending on the type of wood and the way in which the fence is erected, there’s no reason for a wood fence not to last as long as your home itself. Of course, how well it is maintained also plays a role in the lifespan of the wood fence.
The type of wood and the amount of lumber required to achieve the desired effect greatly influences the final price tag. Cedar is typically the more expensive wood type for fencing, while pine tends to be on the lower end of the pricing scale.
There are a variety of ways a wood fence can be constructed, the most common of which include:
- Picket fences – Upright panels are spaced apart.
- Privacy fences – Two layers of upright panels are erected, with each set blocking the spaces between the other.
- Stockade fences – Wood panels with pointed edges are placed tightly against each another to create a solid panel.
- Lattice fences – Strips of wood are crossed and attached together with diamond-shaped spaces in between.
2. PVC Fencing
PVC – which stands for “polyvinyl chloride” – is a type of vinyl and is often used in place of wood. It’s relatively inexpensive, especially compared to certain wood materials. It weather-tolerant, strong, and durable, though not necessarily as strong as wood. When painted, it’s difficult to tell that it’s actually PVC rather than wood.
Unlike wood, however, PVC only has to be stained or painted once, making it much easier to maintain. They never splinter either, making them more kid-friendly.
Typically, PVC fences incorporate wooden posts that are then outfitted with PVC sleeves. Stakes are either attached using an adhesive to cross bars or secured with screws. These types of fences come in all sorts of different colors, heights, and widths to suit a specific style.
3. Composite Fencing
Composite is typically created out of recycled wood pieces and plastics and mimics the look of real wood. While composite is generally more expensive than wood, it is a sustainable material that never requires trees to be cut down in order to obtain the lumber. Composite is also a popular choice among homeowners because it’s easy to maintain since it never has to be stained or painted after the initial coat.
Composite fencing is also very strong and able to withstand weather elements and is therefore able to last for decades. However, it may expand and contract during significant fluctuations in temperature because of the presence of wood factors in composite, which means it could be vulnerable to warping.
4. Bamboo Fencing
An interesting fence material that has been gaining in popularity over the recent past is bamboo. This natural material is actually used for several different residential components in addition to fencing, including furniture, accessories, and even dinnerware. It’s typically found in tropical and subtropical parts of the world.
Bamboo is considered to be a more eco-friendly choice for fencing material compared to wood because it can grow to its full height within one growing season, compared to trees which can take decades to reach their full height.
To create a fence, the bamboo poles are fastened together into panels and secured at posts installed at intervals along the perimeter of the yard. Rails are horizontally attached to the installed posts, upon which rolled panels of bamboo are installed.
Bamboo can tolerate extreme weather conditions compared to most plants and is able to maintain its integrity despite the elements. It’s therefore durable enough to last for the long haul. Out of the more than 1,500 bamboo species out there, about 100 of them are used for commercial purposes, including for fencing.
5. Wrought Iron Fencing
Wrought iron is a classic and opulent-looking fence material and style. This material can instantly boost the luxury factor in a home’s curb appeal, which is why it is a popular choice for fencing.
Wrought iron is both visually appealing and incredibly strong, making it an ideal fencing material. However, it can be expensive, especially when more ornate designs are chosen. But wrought iron provides homeowners with so much flexibility in terms of style to create truly unique components for a home’s exterior.
Despite wrought iron’s durability, it does require some level of regular maintenance. Every few years, this material will likely need to be repainted, and sometimes even sanded down before painting if enough damage has been done to the coating.
6. Aluminum Fencing
Since wrought iron is rather expensive and out of budget for many homeowners, aluminum fencing is often sought after as an alternative. Aluminum can mimic the appearance of wrought iron without the costly expense. However, aluminum is not nearly as strong or durable as its wrought iron counterpart.
That said, aluminum fencing is very attractive and does not require the amount of maintenance that wrought iron does. The finish of aluminum fencing material is powder coated and is resistant to chipping, peeling, or cracking. There’s no need to sand and repaint the aluminum posts every few years as would be required with wrought iron.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to fencing for your home, you’ve got options. The one you select will depend on your budget, how much privacy and security you want, and your taste in style. Fortunately, there are several different options for you to choose from to check off everything on your wish list.