There are many choices when it comes to building a fence, and it can be difficult to find where to start. From picket PVC to traditional closed wood and even live bamboo, choosing a material and design can be overwhelming. The Internet is full of lists like “17 Fence Types for You!” or “The Best Low Budget/Low Maintenance Fence Types”. But instead of spending all of this time trying to mix and match the perfect fence, why not let the fence pick you? We have compiled a list of characteristics of potential fence buyers. See which description best fits your needs and values.
If you have horses (or want people to think you have horses)
If you have ever been to a rural farm, you have witnessed the Split Rail Fence. It is the classic ranch look, because it is so easy to make and has been used for so long. It consists of posts or X’s made from crossing posts with two to four middle beams (rails). These can be old logs or nice wood. Security and privacy are not the main functions of a Split Rail Fence, but it serves its purpose as a land divider. It also gives the house a Rustic Western feel.
If you need to hide that ugly view of the apartment building next door and replace it with a new one
We have all seen the Chain Link Fence around the local school, but there has been a recent innovation that makes it a desirable choice for urban homes. Fabric Fence Coverings go around the Chain Link to give a visually pleasing upgrade to the cheap material. The fences can be built up to six-feet tall with fabric covering all of it. You can have your favorite Rothko painting, pictures of the kids or even imitation bricks printed on the fabric. It is a great solution for urban families who don’t want to spend too much money and are willing to try something new.
If your favorite book character is Tom Sawyer
The classic Picket Fence is the style that first comes to mind when thinking about fences. It can be made out of Wood, PVC, or Vinyl, and fits well with traditional or antique styled architecture. Wood is the best option for cheap installation, but it often needs to be repainted (hence Tom) and will fall apart in 3-6 years. We will get more into Vinyl and PVC in the next segment. The biggest attractions for a wooden picket fence are the aesthetic appeal and nostalgic feeling. Those intangible rewards can be worth the cost of paying the neighbor kid to repaint it every few years.
If that neighbor kid won’t stop practicing graffiti on your fence
If your problem is the cost of maintenance then PVC or Vinyl fencing will be perfect for you. Both of these materials are weather resistant and can be cleaned with the pressure that your finger gives your hose. Vinyl can cost up to $10 more than wood for the same style fence, but it can last up to three times as long. It is also the strongest material. PVC is more similar to wood in this sense and it often has a wooden frame. It can be cheaper to install, but won’t last as long.
If your yard is xeriscaped
If your lack of lawn reflects your belief in environmental causes, then Green Fencing is for you. Bamboo fences are a growing category with three options: Live Bamboo, Rolling Bamboo, and Bamboo Cane. You can also use native shrubbery, vines, or even climbers like hibbertia or ivy. These lawns often require time to grow and require larger upfront costs, but can be cost-effective in the long-term.
If you have acres of open field and multiple free-running pets
If you don’t like the idea of separating off your land, but are sick of chasing that new puppy, The Invisible Fence is the best bet for you. The purpose of this fence is to keep animals in by emitting a warning tone and then a non-harming shock to any animal wearing the collar. It is relatively expensive ($400-550 for a .5 acre perimeter and one collar), and lower quality devices can be finicky. Installation is easy, as it only requires digging a small trench for the wire around the perimeter of the property. This fencing type is best for adding to a barrier fence like the Split Rail.
If you want to exhibit your new raise
Custom designing is available with a Wrought Iron Fence. A family crest or gold-plated top coverings can add style to this fence. It is the strongest material available and with an eye for design, you can easily make it the most beautiful. It is expensive and the upkeep is expensive, but it can be worth it. The strength of the material can make it one of the most secure choices against intruders, but an integrated security system is advised. The gaps in the metal allow for small animals to get in or out.
If you want your neighbors to think you just got a raise
If you know what type of fence you want, but don’t want to pay through the roof, you can use less expensive material for the same designs. Composite Wood, PVC, and Aluminum are cheaper options. Composite Wood and PVC can replace wood for Picket Fences. You can save money on installation and upkeep. The only downfall is in appearance, but good composite wood can be hard to distinguish from the real stuff. It can also be more expensive at first, but due to the quality it can save you money if you plan to use it for a while. Aluminum is similar to wrought iron, but simpler and cheaper. It will need to be repainted in 3-5 years and does not last as well in damp weather.
If the purpose of your fence is to keep things in or out
The need for security in fence material and design can come in many different forms. If you have a small dog that you want to keep inside, then Picket Fences or Metal Fences may not suit you due to the gaps between vertical pieces. The Invisible Fence can solve this problem and is often combined with another fencing type. A tall and solid PVC or Wood fence is the best option for privacy and security when it comes to critters, but these are often easy for teenagers to jump. Wrought Iron Fences with sharp metal caps can prevent people from climbing over. The best way to provide security for your fence is to combine it with a security system.
There are many reasons why you may feel the need to build a fence, but fortunately there are even more solutions. We would love to discuss your fencing needs and show you how we can offer the fencing materials and designs that will best suit your lifestyle and budget.