There are plenty of things you have to take into consideration when setting out to build a fence: do you do it yourself or hire a professional fence contractor, what size do you want the fence, making sure you have all the permits and permissions from the state, county, or homeowner’s associations, and making sure that you have all the utility lines marked so you don’t damage your home or yourself. But another thing to keep in mind is what material you’ll use to build your fence.
Sure, most people think of wood when imagining that fence in their backyard, but there are other options out there, and even wood itself presents several options that can have an effect on how the final fence looks and has to be maintained.
Arguably the most popular material used for building home fences, there are pros and cons to using wood to build your fence. Wood is affordable, comes in a variety of styles and types (cedar, redwood, and Southern yellow pine to name a few), and can be cut to fit any size of fence you require.
However, wood also requires the most maintenance, as it can be the most effected by weather. Regular staining and sealing to preserve the integrity of the wood will be required to prevent rotting and warping boards, and even then there’s a chance you’ll have to replace boards over time with new ones.
That being said, wood fencing does provide excellent security and privacy, as you can place the slats close together to prevent anybody from being able to look into your fenced in area.
A low maintenance mixture of recycled wood fibers in a resin base, composite fencing can provide much of the visual appeal of a wood fence, without the worry of having to stain and seal the material. While it can be adjusted to a required size, it doesn’t have quite the flexibility of wood to be sized on the fly and will cost more than normal wood boards.
A resilient, plastic-based choice for fencing material, vinyl fencing is easy to install, with kits and pre-assembled panels available for purchase to cut down on the installation time. You can customize the size of the panels, but this should be done ahead of time and not on site. The biggest advantage of vinyl fencing is the weather resistant option it provides, making it a good choice if where you live is subject to regular stormy weather.
Incredibly durable material, but it won’t offer as much privacy protection as the slats will have openings that are easy to see through. However, this is a great choice for defining an outdoor area when there aren’t any privacy concerns, and the low-maintenance nature of the material is an added bonus, though you should check for rust from time to time.
Stone, Brick, and Concrete Fencing
Probably the most durable, the most expensive, and the most difficult to have installed. Unless you are a professional fence contractor yourself, it’s probably better that you hire somebody to install this time of fence for you. That being said, the low maintenance nature of these fences paired with the great privacy and security they provide makes them an attractive option if you have the money to do them correctly.
Making the Choice
No matter which material you want to choose, if you live under the constraints of a homeowner’s association, make sure to check that they don’t have material requirements that you have to follow before you spend your time and money installing a fence that they’re just going to make you tear down.
In the end, the fence material you choose will be a decision that you have to live with for a while, so feel free to consult with friends, family, and the experts at your local hardware store before you make the decision, as their experiences may help you choose one material over another.