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Brittany Cleeve  by Brittany Cleeve

charming country home with white picket fence

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Have you always wanted a charming white picket fence in your front yard? Or, perhaps you need a little extra help keeping the dog in the backyard? How about the perfect border to your garden that will also keep the animals out? There are many options to consider when deciding to build a fence. You can either choose to purchase a factory built fence or build your own from scratch. Either way, there are several factors to consider when choosing a fence.

backyard featuring two types of fences

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What purpose do you want your fence to serve?

Fencing can serve multiple purposes like the containment of animals, added privacy or a beautiful border. They can be for aesthetic purposes by adding to your landscape a decorative fence. Additionally, they provide the homeowner with an added sense of security.

Traditional two-story home design with attractive front yard fence

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Which fence style is right for you?

Privacy fences can be built as tall as needed and out of many different materials. Before you decide to build a privacy fence, make sure you consider a living fence made from hedge plants. Not only does a living fence give you privacy, but it also absorbs lots of the noise coming from neighbors and traffic. Wooden privacy fences can provide a solid barrier by placing the boards on one side or alternate them from side to side. If you want a simple barrier, a wire fence or wrought iron fence will work fine. Typical backyard fences are the two-rail fence and a wooden picket style fence. Simple board and picket fences are easy to build and can be quite attractive. A basket weave fence is often used on a sloping terrain. This style of fence allows you to raise or lower each post. Be sure to consider your needs before selecting the style of your fence.

There are many decorative and functional elements that can be added to fences. It is important to examine the way the boards are cut, the caps, the type of metal or lattice accents, and if they are any gates. When choosing a design for a fence, you should consider the style of the house or building it will be surrounding as well as the style of the landscaping in which the fence will be placed. You can also design a fence to match the siding and style of your home. In fact, you can use the same siding that was used on the home to build the fence so it has a custom look.

Mediterranean house plan with wrought iron fence

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What is the size of the area and height of the fence?

The size of a fence and area influences cost. Obviously, a fence for a larger yard requires more building materials than a fence for a smaller one. A chain link or ornamental wrought iron fence may incur different costs than a wooden fence. A regular wooden picket fence is a bit cheaper per foot than a 6-foot-tall privacy fence.

Craftsman style house plan with stylish brick and wrought iron fence

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What kind of materials should you use?

For the ultimate in security and long-lasting reliability, brick fences set the standard. You can design your brick fence to look like your brick house, or you can create something with an entirely different look. Brick, stone and concrete can give you lots of freedom and last a lifetime.

A vinyl fence can be a rather expensive option to have installed, but it's also the option that requires the least maintenance. It is usually weatherproof and is typically made from recycled materials.

The types of wood most commonly used for fences are Cedar, Pine, Spruce, and Hemlock. Cedar has natural oils and acids in the wood that make it undesirable to most insects and warps less than Whitewood or Pine fences. Redwood is beautiful, insect resistant and does not require staining since the shade of wood is already attractive to most people.


Wrought iron has long been one of the most popular materials used to make ornamental fencing. Extremely strong and long-lasting, bars of wrought iron can be infused with intricate designs and patterns to create an elegant and distinctive look that lends a distinguished touch to your property.


Luxury hous eplan with backyard fence

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Fencing can also be provided in the form of chain link or mesh netting. The best quality is heavily galvanized to withstand the rigors of the weather. If you only need a small fence, wire mesh is a popular option.

In order to be successful in building your fence, remember to consider all of the options. Planning the type of fence you want and understanding its purpose is essential in selecting the perfect style for your home and yard.


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