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How to Pick the Right Fence

There are a number of different reasons why homeowners choose to fence in their yards. Whether the goal is to increase the value of your home, ensure more privacy, or keep pets in a secure space, choosing the right kind of fencing material is important. This simple guide will help you choose the right type of fencing material, no matter what purpose you have in mind.


The first thing you need to consider is the function of the fence. Fences come in a wide range of materials, from metal to wood to vinyl, and the type you pick largely depends on the function of the fence. If you want privacy, then choose a material that is large in height and offers plenty of concealment. If you want security, then you have a little more flexibility in terms of materials, though you still need to select a material that is both strong and long lasting.


Wood is a versatile material that can be painted to match any kind of outdoor decor. It’s great for privacy because of its height and concealment properties, but it can also add a lot of aesthetic value to your yard. The downside of wood is its high maintenance and inability to offer proper security. A wood fence that is properly maintained can typically last from 10 - 20 years, though composite wood can last much longer.


Vinyl is a material that can be used for privacy or aesthetics, depending on how it is installed. Vinyl can even mimic wood and is not predisposed to rot, weathering, or warping that typically goes hand in hand with wood fences. When it comes to color, however, homeowners are left with fewer options. While it does not require as much yearly maintenance as wood, it is susceptible to mildew in areas that have high concentrations of moisture. Vinyl can be installed as boards or as pickets.


Metal comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from aluminum fences to wrought iron, and is great for security purposes or keeping pets from escaping your yard. Steel fences are a bit stronger than aluminum, while wrought iron fences are also great for security. The best benefits of choosing metal as a fencing material is its durability and ability to last a long time. In fact, a wrought iron fence can last upwards of 50 years if properly maintained.

Chain Link

Speaking of metal fences, chain link fences - often referred to as hurricane fencing - is a great option for pets and children. Chain link is made out of galvanized steel wire that is resistant to all kinds of weather conditions. Chain link also comes in a variety of sizes and thickness that offer a range of uses and security. While many homeowners typically choose silver chain link fences, it can come coated in colors such as black or green for a different look.


Although brick is by far the most expensive fencing material, it does offer some of the best security and privacy options on the market. Furthermore, brick does not need the same care and attention as wood or metal materials. The soundproof qualities of brick also make it a great option for those that want to keep the noise under control, both inside and outside the yard. The biggest downsides of brick are the purchasing and installation costs.

Utility Fencing

If you need a smaller fence to contain a garden, then consider installing garden and utility fencing. This material is often called hardware cloth and is coated with vinyl green or brown coloring. Utility fences are very flexible, easy to install, and are great for establishing boundaries within your yard.

Check Building Codes

After you determine what kind of material best fits your needs, you should check local building codes to make sure your fence meets all requirements. In most areas, there are codes that determine height, location, and setback boundaries for fences.

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