The Different Types of Fencing to Consider

November 17, 2022



When it's time to fence your yard or pasture, you can have a lot of questions. One of the first things you'll need to know is what kind of fence you want or need. There are many different kinds of fences and many different kinds of materials used to build them. Which fence you choose will depend on your needs and personal style, as well as the location and rules in your neighborhood. When you are selecting your fence style and materials, consult with experts such as the ones at


Picket Fence

Have you always wanted the traditional house surrounded by a white picket fence? These fences are usually short and ornamental although they can provide the practical purpose of keeping pets and small children in the yard. Picket fences are usually made of wood or vinyl and unlike privacy fences, the slats are far enough apart that they can be seen through. For this reason, they are usually located in front yards rather than backyards when people want privacy from their neighbors. In areas where privacy fences are not allowed short decorative fences may be permitted and this would be a good reason to use a picket fence.


Split Rail Fence

Split rail fences were often used to contain livestock in the past but are now usually ornamental. They can be used for livestock fencing if tall and strong enough. Most split rail fences are now short and are used to delineate boundaries or ornament a yard rather than contain animals. They're not practical for keeping children or dogs in yards and provide no privacy around backyards. Because split rail fences are made with bare wood rather than stained or painted lumber, they may not last as long as post and rail or privacy fences. However, if they are made of weather-resistant wood such as cedar they will still last for years.


Privacy Fence

Commonly used in suburban areas to divide backyards, the privacy fence is a staple of neighborhoods all over the country. Privacy fences are tall solid or mostly solid fences that are designed to shield backyards from the eyes of neighbors and increase the privacy of the outdoor area. Privacy fences can be made of wood, vinyl, or aluminum and each option has advantages and disadvantages. Wood fences tend to be cheaper to construct but don't last as long and require regular maintenance. Vinyl fences are more expensive initially but may save money over time as they last longer and don't need stained or painted.


Post and Rail Fence

Post and rail fences are also known as ranch fences. They are often made of wood, but you can also find vinyl post and rail fences. These fences are often used to surround horse pastures and other large areas when there are no small animal containment or privacy needs.


When constructed of wood, post and rail fences can require regular maintenance in the form of painting or staining. However, these fences have the advantage of lasting for years if they are maintained well. Vinyl post and rail fences can be as strong or stronger than wood and they can last longer, but they are more expensive.


Ornamental Metal Fence

Ornamental metal fences are usually used around front yards, pools, and large estates. They aren't usually used around backyards in suburban areas or neighborhoods as they don't provide much privacy and they can be expensive. One place you will commonly see metal fences is around pools and this is because they are strong, tall, and hard to climb. Small decorative or ornamental metal fences are sometimes used around front yards to add curb appeal and make the property more attractive. Whether or not this is appropriate in your area may depend on your location and the style and atmosphere of your neighborhood.


Chain Link Fence

Chain link fences are familiar to all of us as the boundaries to schoolyards, warehouses, and other properties. Chain link fences are cheap and fast to install, very durable, and ideal for keeping people and animals in or out. They make great fences for dog owners and can be used for security. However, chain link fences have one huge drawback and that is that most people do not consider them attractive. If you live in a suburban neighborhood or another residential area, a chain link fence is probably considered an eyesore by your neighbors. It could actually make it harder to sell your house or reduce your property's value depending on the kind of neighborhood you are in. On the other hand, in some older residential neighborhoods and rural areas chain link fences are common.


Wire Fence

Wire fences are usually constructed out of barbed wire, barbless wire, or woven wire and are used to contain animals such as cattle or sheep. In rural areas, people sometimes have wire fences along their property boundary because they are bordered by pastures, but these types of fences aren't usually constructed around yards because they are not especially attractive.


Stone or Brick Wall

Stone or brick walls provide ornamental and practical fencing. Depending on how tall the fence is, it can also provide privacy. These walls are, of course, very sturdy and long-lasting. Stone or brick walls are one of the more expensive fencing options and are not usually used in suburban areas or for animal fencing. The most common place you will see stone or brick walls is on large estates. They are also constructed between main roadways and suburban neighborhoods to delineate the boundary of the neighborhood and help reduce the traffic sounds from the road.



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