No one realizes how intensive picking out a fence can be until they’re in the throes of it. Nowadays, there are just so many options to consider. Between the different materials, colors, finishes and even customized design options, there is a lot to consider when picking a fence.
You should also think about whether you will be performing the installation yourself or if you want to pay a professional and skip this time-intensive DIY project. Different types of fencing provide different features and benefits. Some provide more privacy, others provide customizable aesthetics and all have differing price points. Here are the features and benefits of some of our top suggestions.
Strong — Maintenance Free
When considering fence building supplies, you don't want to break the bank, but you definitely want to choose the right material. If you are looking for something sturdy, then the way to go might be wrought iron or ornamental steel.
These fences are generally very heavy, so we recommend hiring an installer, but they are extremely durable and strong and can be easily customized. Whether you want to incorporate a particular design or partition off an irregular area, these are a great option. They require virtually no maintenance and will last a lifetime. Note, however, that most wrought iron and ornamental fences do not provide much visual or auditory privacy.
Classic — Durable
Maybe you are looking for a classic picket fence. Although picket fences are generally not very tall and do not provide much security or privacy, they provide an iconic aesthetic that can't be matched. The classic picket fence is made of wood, however, there are other popular options nowadays and one of the most popular is vinyl picket fencing. This fence building material is more expensive up front than wood, but is easier to install and requires very little maintenance relative to wood.
While fading used to be a concern among consumers, advanced technology has nearly eliminated this issue. Instead, PVC vinyl is perfect if you don't want to worry about repainting and staining every few years. And just like wood, it now comes in a multitude of colors.
Affordable — Sustainable
Another favorite fencing material is cedar fencing. Cedar fences, like all wood, can be treated with stains and finishes to achieve the specific aesthetic you desire. Or, can easily be left untreated to create a beautiful grey patina. Red cedar is a favorite option as it's indigenous to the U.S. and is a sustainable, renewable resource. It's also naturally resistant to decay. Those who choose red cedar often do so for its natural beauty – the tight, straight grain – and its resistance to strain and warping.
Weather Resistant — Long Lasting
While cedar is the more affordable option, if you have more to spend we highly recommend composite fencing. This is made up of wood pulp and durable plastic – just like composite decks. And, like wood, is available in many colors.
However, you are definitely paying for the perks. Composite fencing is extremely resistant to insects, decay, weather, and anything else that might degrade another fence. It's so long lasting and requires very little maintenance that it's a recommended product when the budget allows. It doesn't even require paint, stain, or sealant.
Like a wood fence, a composite fence is quite easy to install. However, while almost anyone could do it, it does take time to get the job done correctly. For that reason, many people request outside installation service, which is often offered through the building supply store where you purchase the material.
While it's not the most aesthetically attractive option, if you're focused on functionality and budget, a link chain fence might be your best option. These fences are made of aluminum, a very durable material that requires little to no maintenance. It's also easy to install and take on as your DIY project.
Ultimately, choosing a fence is a very personal decision that should be customized to meet your aesthetic ideas, functional needs, and budget. Don't forget to consider the future, too. Do you want to re-stain your fence every year after the harsh winter or is it more important to pay a little more for vinyl, composite or even metal fence building materials? Either way, consult with an expert at your local supply store to ensure you're making the best decision for your family and home