Let’s look at some options for adding a fence to your home…
A fence is not the most exciting home improvement you can make…
Fences are one of the terms that is commonly searched for by home buyers.
And there are plenty of good reasons for needing to put in a fence.
Keeping pets or kids from getting lost is certainly important. So is keeping other people’s pets or kids from causing havoc in your yard. Or maybe your pool means both your home owner’s insurance and local codes require you to install a fence.
Of course, there are security advantages to having a fenced in yard. Not to mention the potential to increase privacy.
There are lots of reasons for installing a fence and lots of different types of fences. Let’s look at the different types of materials you can use to build a fence at your house:
Wood is probably the most popular choice for fences for a home. Wood fences can last a long time when properly maintained. A wood fence does not have to break the bank BUT the height and size of your fence will greatly impact the cost.
Depending on the type of wood you use, you may have to stain or paint the fence about every four years. Do you remember the part in Tom Sawyer when he tricks the other kids into painting a fence?
Something to remember when selecting fence materials…
There are several different popular styles of wood fences such as picket fences, post and rail and even split rail. You need to consider which type of fencing best matches the style of your house.
Aluminum fences look like wrought iron but are lighter, cheaper and need less maintenance. But they are not as strong as you may need or want.
Aluminum fencing is almost maintenance free. It is available in an impressive range of designs, styles and sizes.
If you like the look of wrought iron but are dealing with a tight budget, you may want to consider aluminum fencing.
Chain link fences are cheap, durable and need very little maintenance. Plus chain link fencing can be used as a security fence. It comes in non-painted galvanized, vinyl-coated and powder-coated finishes over galvanized steel.
You can get chain link fencing in many different heights and mesh sizes. The black or green plastic coated chain link fences almost blend into the background.
Chain link fences don’t require much maintenance. You will want to wash your chain link fencing once or twice per year with the low setting on a power washer.
The one negative is that chain link fences do not add any privacy. You can add privacy strips to the fence or plant some flowers, shrubbery or vines ot help. But that adds to the cost and will mean more landscaping to maintain.
I love almost everything about wrought iron fences except the cost. Most wrought iron fences are custom made and not cheap. The other big negative about wrought iron fences is they do not offer much privacy.
Wrought iron fences combine good looks and security. Also wrought iron fences can last for 50 years or longer with proper maintenance.
Wrought iron fences are both strong and beautiful BUT they do require maintenance. You are looking at pressure washing once or twice a year and painting every 10 years or so.
Most residential wrought iron fencing is 4’ to 6’ tall but there is 8’ available for commercial and industrial use. You could use the 8′ for your home if you want a taller wrought iron fence. Just remember there will be additional cost and not every supplier/installer will carry it.
Vinyl or PVC
Vinyl or PVC is a good way to get the look of wood without lots of maintenance AND a lower price. Who doesn’t like a better price? PVC or vinyl fencing usually runs between chain link and aluminum fencing as far as cost goes.
PVC fences are weather resistant and can last for years. PVC fencing is also almost maintenance-free. You will need to wash it 1-3 times per year, with either a power washer or by hand.
While not very popular for residential purposes, I must mention wire fences. Sometimes called chicken wire, poultry netting, or goat wire. There are many other names depending on the use and where you are from.
Wire mesh fences are more functional than decorative. Not that there is anything wrong with that. When you are adding a fence to a home, you do need to consider how it looks.
Metal mesh fencing comes in a variety of designs. You can even get welded-wire mesh fencing that is more expensive but more durable.
The Take Away:
Whatever your reason for building a fence, there are plenty of options. Weigh the cost, look, required maintenance and functionality before choosing one type of fence over another.