Are you considering building a fence this spring? If so, it’s helpful to get an overview of the different types of fence materials and styles available. We’ve gathered this information for you below. As you read through these options, take some time to daydream about how each one might look in your yard!
Installation: Fence Materials to Choose From
1. Cedar Fencing
Cedar fencing is beautiful, strong and one of the best fence materials for providing privacy. You can choose whether or not to leave a gap between boards – no gap will create a solid fence style that will completely block any view of your yard. Because cedar contains natural oil called cypressene, it is protected against rot, and you won’t have to worry about moisture and mold settling into your cedar fencing. Of course, to protect any wood fence in the long term you will need to refinish, stain and seal the fence every other year or so.
2. Aluminum Fencing
This is a utilitarian fencing material that combines the beauty of a traditional wrought-iron fence with the affordability of aluminum. Aluminum fence materials are lighter than wrought-iron and create a formal look in your yard. Like cedar fencing, aluminum fencing can be an excellent choice for security, assuming there are no easy footholds for would-be intruders. Although it’s not the most private fencing material available, gardeners often opt for this kind of fence installation since its see-through design allows passersby a view while still providing protection. Finally, aluminum doesn’t rust, so this is considered a low-maintenance fence installation option.
3. Vinyl Fencing
Sometimes called “PVC fencing,” vinyl fence materials continue to gain in popularity among homeowners who don’t want to perform the maintenance involved with cedar fencing. Vinyl fencing requires virtually no maintenance –just an occasional wipe down with soap and water. Unlike organic fence installation options, PVC won’t rot, and a vinyl fence will never require a fresh coat of paint. If you’re longing for a clean look without the work, vinyl fencing could very well be your best bet.
4. Chain Link Fencing
This fencing material is also sometimes called “cyclone fencing.” It is strong enough to withstand a major storm, that’s for sure. And although it’s not as visually pleasing as cedar fencing or other materials, chain link fencing is affordable and practical. Avid gardeners can easily soften the harsh look of a chain link fence by growing climbing plants along it. To add extra security, choose a smaller mesh, which will prevent intruders from getting a foothold.
Fencing Styles to Consider
Dog ear: A dog-eared fence is like a solid cedar fencing layout, but with the corners cut off of each board’s top section. This is a universally pleasing fence style that is also versatile. For more privacy, leave no gaps between the boards. You can also create more of a picket fence style by leaving gaps – or a Good Neighbor style by alternating which side of the rail you attach boards to. (These last two fence installation options are also available for traditional wood fence boards, as well.)
Picket fencing: This American classic features pointed boards spaced evenly between rails. For a low-maintenance alternative, choose vinyl picket fencing.
Lattice top: Dress up your solid privacy fence installation with a section of lattice along the top. Lattice-top fence materials are available in both wood and vinyl fencing materials.
Picture frame: Designers love this fencing style because it is beautiful on both sides. Cedar fencing boards are mounted side-by-side with small gaps between to allow for natural expansion and contraction of the wood with temperature. Rails are found at the top and bottom of the fence, and an extra 1X4 board is added to create a “picture frame” look.
Split rail: A split rail fence is an economical way to give your home a country atmosphere. This style of fence won’t offer much in the way of privacy or security, but it will clearly mark your property’s boundary. In a split rail fence, two 10-foot split rails are placed between posts.
Gothic and other decorative styles: Aluminum and wrought-iron fencing can be as simple or as ornate as you like. For a more stylized fence installation, add ornaments such as balls on the ends of posts, or floral designs winding between pickets.
The earlier you start researching and planning your new fence installation, the more smoothly your fence project will go in the spring. Once you decide which fence materials and style you’d like, call a local fencing installation expert who can guide you through the prices, installation options and maintenance requirements.