There are countless styles of fences and almost as many reasons why you should add one to your backyard. Visually, fences enhance the style of your home and can even raise the resell value. Fences are also the best way to create privacy and protection for your yard. Certain styles will block your backyard from sight, keep unwanted intrusions out, contain children and pets, and can even block out noise.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Whether you are looking for a long-lasting privacy fence or just wanting to add curb appeal to your home, some styles and materials will serve any purpose. So, what type of fence would be the perfect addition to your backyard? We've researched the different types of fences to help you decide!
1. Wood Fence
Wood is one of the most popular material choices for fencing, and rightfully so. Wood provides the most versatility when designing a fence. You have control over height, amount of privacy, wood type and color, and even a wide range of design options. Wood fences are classic and look beautiful with any type of home.
Despite its positives, wood fencing does require upkeep and is not as long-lasting as some other materials. Wood fences need to be sealed yearly, and any stains you use will need to be reapplied to maintain their look. Wood fences generally last 10 to 20 years, however, low-quality wood will shorten that lifespan.
2. Wrought Iron Fence
Wrought iron is made when the iron is heated up and worked into shape instead of melted and put into a mold. What's created is a malleable, black iron that is popular for fencing. Wrought iron fences are sturdy, durable, and have a timeless and high-end appeal. Taller versions of this fencing are great for security, as they are not easily moved or broken down.
Wrought iron fences are a more expensive type of fencing, which attributes to their high-end look. These fences, which come in sectioned panels, aren't ideal for yards with lots of curves and hills as they can't easily follow curves. And although they are well suited for security, they won't provide much privacy.
3. Chain Link Fence
Among the most popular and recognizable fencing is chain link. Chain link fence is made from woven steel wire attached to steel posts. This fencing is highly affordable, which is why it is often used residentially, around industrial sites, and around playgrounds and fields.
Chain link fencing is excellent for homes because it easily keeps small children and pets in the yard. However, chain link fences are not ideal for security or privacy. They are almost always short and easy for bigger children and adults to climb over, and their woven pattern does little to obstruct the view into your backyard.
4. Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fencing is a type of fence created with synthetic plastics or PVC. This type of fencing is one of the more versatile options, as you can find it in most colors, a wide variety of styles from decorative to privacy, and higher-end options that look almost identical to wood.
Apart from being available in a wide range of styles, vinyl is also popular because it is very low maintenance. Since it's plastic, it is easy to spot clean or clean with a pressure washer. Average weather and time won't cause damage that needs to be maintained throughout the year. However, extreme weather conditions can cause damage to the fence as it is usually hollow plastic that can break.
5. Bamboo Fence
Bamboo fencing is an exotic and environmentally friendly fencing option. It is stronger than most other wood options and makes a beautiful addition to any backyard. It can be installed as a privacy fence, securing your backyard, or as a more decorative element.
However, bamboo does take effort to maintain. It needs to be properly sealed and treated yearly to protect it from moisture and weather conditions. If it does get too much moisture, it can begin to crack or split. It is also a more expensive choice if opting for the sturdy and solid type of bamboo fencing. It is an exotic material, so you may have to have it imported depending on availability in your area.
There are rolls of thinner bamboo strung together with twine or steel wire that is relatively inexpensive and can be attached to posts to create a fence for a fraction of the price.
6. Electric Fence
An electric fence is most likely a fence type you would choose for specific reasons and not necessarily in a residential area. An electric fence is composed of three to five horizontally spaced wires attached to fence posts. These wires are charged through a battery or another electricity source to send a shock through humans or animals that touch the wires.
These are most often used to contain animals or for security. Farms and rural homes are more likely to use these fences, as residential areas can result in someone accidentally getting hurt.
7. Living Fence
Hedges are tightly compact shrubs or bushes that perform in the same way that a typical fence would. These living fences are effective at creating privacy, blocking wind and sun, and will raise the value of your home while also being cheaper than a nice wooden privacy fence.
Hedges need to be maintained by trimming and pruning to keep them from growing into your backyard or encroaching on a neighbor's yard. They also require more space, so living fences would not be well suited to smaller lots, and they can take years to reach maturity and their full height.
8. Stone Fence
Stone fences can take on several different looks. There are clean and polished versions that create privacy, security and look high-end in residential areas. Then there are the hand-made, free-form, and low-stacked stone fences that speak to old countryside homes.
Whichever type you prefer, stone fences are sturdy, durable, and require little to no maintenance. They are also often cheaper than other building materials and even have the potential to be completely free if you live on land with large stones and boulders.
However, depending on the types of stones and the fence's height, these can initially be more expensive than other fences. The biggest downside to these fences is that they are not easily moved or altered, so being certain of where you plan to build this fence is a must.
9. Brick Fence
Brick is very similar to stone in that it's incredibly durable and requires little to no maintenance. Bricks come in reds, oranges, shades of brown, and can be whitewashed or even painted. These fences, or walls, are very secure and, with the right height, are perfect for privacy fences.
Brick can be combined with wrought iron for a more visually interesting design, however, it does lose the ability to have a private backyard. Brick is also more expensive initially, but it will be worth the price if you are looking for a permanent fencing option with minimal maintenance.
10. Concrete Fence
Concrete fences are ideal for security and privacy. These fences are very long-lasting and known to stand up to 50 years. This stability will raise your home's resale value since it's a feature that will outlast other fence structures. Concrete fences are also ideal for sound blocking, so if you live next to a high traffic area, this would be the best option to quiet your backyard.
Like stone and brick, concrete is expensive for initial installation but rarely requires any upkeep. Concrete is more pricey than both other options, and added costs of laying foundation may be necessary before installation. Although there are advancements in concrete, allowing for some appealing designs, concrete isn't a material that will match with every home.
11. Barbed Wire Fence
Barbed wire fences are built much like electric fences, with wire strung horizontally between posts. However, instead of a charge wire, this wire has sharp wire points sticking out along its length. This makes it painful to touch, run into, or climb over. This is not a fence you would want to have in any type of residential area. This is a fence to use to corral and/or protect farm animals or add to other fences for security.
Barbed wire fences in a country or very rural setting will keep larger animals, such as cattle or horses, from attempting to escape your property. It can also work to keep predatory animals, like coyotes, from harming your cattle. If you live in a city or an area with more people, you can add barbed wire to the top of high fences to keep intruders from climbing over into your yard. However, in areas where kids can easily approach your fence, this becomes an unnecessary hazard.
12. Farm Fence
Farm-style fencing consists of posts connected with three horizontal boards. These can be made from wood, PVC, or vinyl and will usually be white if not natural wood. These fences are charming and add an appealing border around your yard. They do not serve much in the way of privacy or security, and they require the same amount of upkeep as other wood or vinyl fencing.
13. Corrugated Metal Fence
Corrugated metal is a sheet of metal that has ridges and valleys built-in. This creates a strong yet lightweight material that is excellent for directing water away from the fence's base. Since these metal sheets are lightweight, they easily installed and outlast fence materials such as wood or vinyl.
Corrugated metal does come in limited sizes, styles, and colors. It can also be difficult to find, especially if you are looking for a specific style. These fences are excellent for creating privacy if you are willing to sacrifice some elements of style.
From privacy to curb appeal, there are many positives to adding a fence to your backyard. With a variety of styles and materials, there's a fence for every yard.
Going with a wood fence? Check out this post for the best paint colors: 7 Best Paint Choices For A Wood Fence
Looking for more ways to increase curb appeal? Head over to this post for inspiration on vinyl siding: 7 Colors That Vinyl Siding Comes In (And Does It Come In Black?)