Expert Advice on How to Choose a Fence for Your Home

A fence can serve as protection while still adding beauty to your yard.

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

Want to make your suburban home feel safe and secure while still maintaining it’s beauty? You might want to consider adding a fence.

Fences have been part of the home landscape since colonial days when they kept livestock like chickens and cows on the property. Now they accent homes, outline property boundaries and keep family lives private.

Why does your home need a fence? What kind of fence best suits your needs? Once you answers these questions, you can contact a fencing professional and start installing your dream fence.

3 Benefits of Fences

There are many benefits to installing a fence, but here are some of the most important ones to consider as you move forward with the installation:

  1. Privacy. A fence is one of the best deterrents against prying and intrusion. They are also great for home security, so people can’t easily break in.
  2. Keeping wild animals out and children and pets in. Foxes, raccoons and other animals will not be able to get in. At the same time, your children will be able to safely play in the yard without wandering out, and dogs won’t easily escape onto the road where they could be injured.
  3. Accentuating the landscape and your home. If you install a short fence in the front yard or a tall fence in the back, they add to the value of the property.

Types to Install

As you decide what kind of fence you want, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is your budget. As such, the cost to install a fence often varies by the kind of material you choose. Here are some of the most popular for you to consider, along with their benefits and drawbacks:

1. Chain Link

Pros: Chain link fences will not warp, split or crack. They require little to no maintenance and can be coated in vinyl paint to match their surroundings.

Cons: While there are privacy slats available, chain link is not the most optimal for privacy. They are good for home protection, as they make an audible noise when people try to climb over them.

2. Wood

Pros: Wood fences are durable and naturally resistant to rotting and decay when they’re stained and painted. They can be any color and will last 15 to 20 years. They’re nice for privacy, unless they’re installed as picket instead of boards. Wood is biodegradable, so you can recycle boards as compost in your garden when they wear out.

Cons: Wood tends to show its age because of climate conditions. It will need paint and stain touch-ups over the life of the fence. Pieces might also need to be replaced if any are broken or eaten away by termites.

3. Vinyl

Pros: Vinyl fences are durable, weather-resistant and not susceptible to mold. It’s very unlikely that vinyl will ever warp, split or crack due to climate conditions. It’s very low maintenance, requiring infrequent cleaning with water from a hose and some soap. It can be good for privacy if vinyl boards are installed, not pickets (like wood).

Cons: It is only available in neutral colors, and it is not biodegradable.

4. Aluminum

Pros: Aluminum is a type of metal that will not rust, making it very durable. It can be many different colors and designs, and you have a choice in the quality of aluminum that you want.

Cons: It is not good for privacy, only protection like chain link fences. It is also difficult to install and very prone to damage depending on the quality of material installed.

5. Brick

Pros: Brick fences require almost no maintenance, as they won’t burn, are energy-efficient and great for resale. You can blend the fence with your home or contrast it. It only needs to be washed occasionally.

Cons: It is expensive to repair and difficult to change its appearance–no painting or staining. The foundation on which you build the wall has to be very strong and invulnerable to any kind of shifting, or the whole wall could fall.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

Cover image via FLICKR

Lindsay is the the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and recently welcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016. Lindsay and her two Joes love spending their time playing with their cat Rory, watching sports and vacationing in Cape Cod.

14 Comments

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    August 8, 2014

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  8. Burt Silver
    December 2, 2016

    My property has been without a fence since I moved in a few years ago, and I really want to add one. This is great information about the different types of fencing. I had no idea that vinyl was only available in neutral colors. I was considering it but now I don’t know if it is the right fit.

    Reply
  9. Kornelia
    January 26, 2017

    Hello thanks, for good information. I have a question what type of lumber should i choose for my wooden fence? I willing that it will last longer, but not be too expensive as fences from oak.

    Reply
  10. Frank Delaware
    February 27, 2017

    We have been thinking about getting a fence to keep our dog in our yard, but we didn’t know what kind to choose! I really like that chain link fences don’t warp or crack. Since he is pretty rough on the area, it would be nice to know that he can’t easily get through the fence.

    Reply
  11. Scott
    March 10, 2017

    My wife and I have been talking about putting in a fence in our front yard. I appreciate that you point out that vinyl is very unlikely to warp, split, or crack due to climate conditions. This is something that we have been talking about. We want to put in a fence that will last a long time. I’ll have to mention this to her and she what she says.

    Reply
  12. Olivia Nelson
    March 27, 2017

    I never knew that even a short fence could add value to your home. It would seem that if you are looking to resell your home adding a fence could be an attractive way to help this process. I would imagine that if you do plan to install a fence you would want to find a qualified contractor to help you out in the process.

    Reply
  13. Devon Pittman
    March 30, 2017

    At the time of fence installation many people think only about privacy. But on a serious note there are multiple reasons behind a fence installation. It can add beauty to a garden, provide security for small children and pet and also able to set a boundary marker. Whether it is for privacy or decoration but knowing its purpose will make significant difference in what fence style should be built. I genuinely love the portion of your blog that describes the types of fences that needs to be installed depending upon the requirement very much.

    Reply

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