What's the best material for a fence?
Maybe you want your kids or pets to be able to play safely in the yard, or would like to create some privacy. But are you on the fence about what material best suits your fence installation?
First consider security, as some designs are better than others. Next, think about what fits your budget. Maintenance is also a concern, as not all fencing materials are created equal. Also, decide how much privacy and aesthetics matter.
Now let's look at the types:
Perhaps not the most attractive choice of materials, chain-link will keep kids out of a pool area and pets in the yard. They do the trick, and at about $13 a foot, likely present your most affordable fencing option.
A wooden fence may come nearly as cheap as chain-link, and can be installed in many styles. A wood fence can be great for keeping pets in and nosy neighbors out. The need for regular re-staining presents the one major downside. Also, a wood fence can become a feast for pests, such as termites.
A vinyl fence offers a great alternative to wood, because you can get a similar look with next to no maintenance. Another plus: hungry pests won't see the synthetic vinyl composite material as dinner. Starting at about $30 per foot, though, vinyl fencing will increase your budget.
If privacy isn't a concern, but security of pets or children is, this might be a good choice for you. If you want a fence that gives a hint of the wrought-iron vibe at a lower cost, consider an aluminum fence. Aluminum typically costs more than a vinyl, wood or chain-link fence, though, at about $40 per foot.
Looking for a unique, classy vibe? A wrought-iron fence offers style in spades, but probably presents your most expensive option in terms of fencing materials. It may rust over time, but occasional paint touch-ups should keep your fence looking great.
INSTALLATION RULES AND MANNERS
Do you have a homeowners association or other group that governs what you can build on your property? Check for any restrictions before installing that chain-link fence.
It's also good practice to inform neighbors with land adjacent to your property of any emerging plans you have for a fence project. Who knows, they might even agree to split the cost.