Fence materials are available?
Metal fencing has been popular for many years. From the fancy ornamental
iron fences surrounding Victorian homes to the more recent introduction of
aluminum and chain link fences, metal fences have proven their durability.
Although newer metal fencing materials are often treated with special
coatings to prevent oxidation, most require some level of maintenance to
keep them looking their best. Iron rusts when exposed to the elements, so if
you are considering a metal fence, expect to spend a little time scrubbing
and painting to keep it looking new.
Chain link fencing is an
excellent option from a functional perspective. Inexpensive, durable, and
maintenance free, chain link fencing provides a property boundary and yard
containment. While the chain links provide limited privacy, shrubs, small
trees and/or vines can reduce the visibility into your yard. At the same
time, gardening near the fence can increase the visual appeal and make the
chain link fence a canvas for different landscaping options. If gardening
isn't your thing or if you want to focus your landscaping features in a
different area of your yard, you can always add privacy slats to your fence.
These strip inserts that not only block visibility into your yard but will
also soften the metallic appearance of the fence. Slats are available in any
number of colors and can be inserted vertically or diagonally down the mesh
of the fence. Artificial hedge inserts can give you the feel of gardening
without the hassle and maintenance. Artificial hedges can be designed for
lighter visual accents or thickly manufactured to almost completely cut off
neighbors' views into your yard.
Wood is a classic fencing material. Available in treated and untreated
options, there are dozens of wood varieties to choose from. Keep in mind
that different wood types have different life expectancies in their treated
and untreated forms. Treated lumber is injected with chemicals that slow the
aging process and help extend the life of the wood anywhere from 7 to 10
years beyond its untreated life expectancy. Some wood types, however, are so
inherently robust that treating them with chemicals is unnecessary. Black
locust, cedar, and Osage orange are just a few of the more durable
varieties. Wood certainly has its appeal, even types that require effort to
maintain. Good practice for any wooden fence is to waterproof and seal the
wood immediately after installation or cleaning. A little elbow grease and
preventative maintenance will ensure that your wooden fence will stay
beautiful and be around for years to come.
Considered to be one of the toughest natural materials, bamboo products are
becoming a viable option for fencing material. Bamboo can withstand the
harshest environments, with no painting nor maintenance needed.
Whether using true field stone, river rock, or pre-cast concrete fencing
materials, a stone fence can be an elegant and sturdy addition to your
property. Although they can be expensive, a stone fence will provide years
of lasting beauty. These fences can be dry set or set in mortar, depending
on the desired look and durability. Dry setting is less expensive because
stones are simply stacked one on top of the other, with no medium holding
them together. The weight of the stones themselves keep the structure
together. With mortar setting, the stones are laid in a bed of mortar, with
additional mortar used to hold the successive layers together. Mortar makes
for a stronger fence, but again, it depends on your needs.
This material combines the attractive form of wood with the durability of
synthetic plastics, and is available in a wide range of preset colors.
Composites are designed to withstand the elements so there is no need to
paint or seal this material. Another advantage to composites is that it is
stronger and more rigid than wood or vinyl. Also, compared to wood,
composites absorb less moisture, do not crack or splinter and better retain
Vinyl is one of the more durable materials for fencing, and it is readily
available in a wide variety of styles. Vinyl requires little maintenance and
no painting. Plus vinyl fences are very easy to clean, and only need to be
Although color options are
limited, with white and beige being the primary options, the coloring of
vinyl fences goes all the way through the material - so scratches are not as
noticeable as they would be with metal or wooden fences. (When you paint
metal or wooden fences, the color is only the depth of the paint, so
scratches are more noticeable.)
Vinyl fences are also very
durable, and look new after years of use. They won't rot like wood or rust
like metal fences. Vinyl fences also won't get attacked by insects. Easy
installation is another advantage of vinyl fences, so if you're thinking of
"doing it yourself", vinyl may be your best choice.
One final advantage of vinyl
fences is that they are resistant to fire, since they are made of
self-extinguishing materials. If the fence does catch on fire, the flame
will spread slowly and will go out once the source of the flame has been