There are many possible materials one can use to build a fence with. But to help you make the smartest choice possible, we’ve gathered the advantages and disadvantages of the best materials used in building fences.
Wooden fences are perhaps the most popular types of fence in America, or even the rest of the world. Wood has been the most obvious choice of fence materials for the longest time because it always has been readily available. And even though there are now other options for the materials one can choose from when installing a fence, wood should still be considered.
Wooden fences are cheap to install. Among all the types of fences one wants to install, wood is simply the cheapest. Period. The material is available practically anywhere because it is a naturally occuring and abundant resource.
And in addition, if any part of the fence needs replacement, only one plank is generally replaced, not an entire section of the fence. In most cases, the piece of wood needed can be obtained at a nearby store and repairs can be quickly and easily made.
2. Style Variety
Wood is easiest to work with among all the materials used in making fences. It can be crafted and shaped to unique designs. It can be easily customized; the height, the width and even the stain color are all up to your desires. There are also different kinds of wood that adds different colors, texture and flavor to your fences. Here is a list of some of the woods you can use for your fence:
3. Easy Installation
There’s just no getting around it. Wooden fences are the easiest to install. This means that private homeowners or businesses can enjoy their privacy faster and with minimal disruption with their day-to-day life.
4. Easy to Stain
Staining your wooden fences is a very easy job to do. This is a big advantage for people who want a change of scenery from time-to-time. Plus, staining your wooden fences will improve the wood’s resistance to UV damage and color fading, as well as adding a water-resistant finish which minimizes rotting.
5. Blends well with almost all settings
Anywhere you go, wooden fences can be found. That is because they blend well with almost all types of surroundings. They can be used in residential, rural or commercial settings.
Wood is not the best material to use if you want a fence that will last longer than you. Wood is vulnerable against rain or snow. It’s not as tough as vinyl or wrought iron (which will both be discussed further on). It’s also a favorite playground for different kinds of insects, but, mostly termites.
Without the proper maintenance, wooden fences may become a waste of money for you. So if you’re the type of person who doesn’t have the time or the will to stain your wooden fence or make repairs, then wooden fences might not be for you.
Vinyl fences aren’t exactly the most budget-friendly material available for building fences. But it has its own perks as well as disadvantages. Weigh them all and perhaps vinyl fence is the one and only fence for you.
1. More durable than wood
Vinyl is a strong material. It is not vulnerable to rain or snow. It is not as strong as wrought iron, but, according to MMC Fencing and Railing, it’s about five times stronger than wood. It’s a synthetic man-made material. It’s PVC resin, which is somewhat similar to plastic, so it won’t rot or deteriorate.
If you’re looking for a long-term fence investment, you should seriously consider vinyl fences.
2. Minimal Maintenance
Because vinyl fences are tough, you won’t have to do much damage repairs on them. They don’t need staining or repainting because they retain their color wonderfully. Vinyl doesn’t decompose or fall prey to rust or pests. It is an install-and-forget scenario. If you like the appearance of wood without the many risk such as moisture and pests damage, then you should consider vinyl for a similar appearance.
If you happen to live in a place with harsh winds or own a horse ranch, then the flexibility of vinyl will be very beneficial for you. Strength plus flexibility will ensure that your fence will remain standing even in some pretty harsh conditions. Plus, if you have horses, they won’t get hurt when they run into it.
4. Easy Installation
Vinyl fence parts are designed to be installed easily. They are created to slide and lock into place. Its installation price is far cheaper than other heavy and difficult-to-work-with fencing materials.
Here’s what AllAroundFence said about how cheap vinyl fence installation is:
“You will also enjoy an easy install process with vinyl fencing. Fencing is available in convenient, ready-to-install strips. All you have to do is assemble the fence by securing the posts in the ground and sliding the rails into the posts.”
Vinyl fences offer complete privacy. Unlike wrought iron fencing, vinyl panels are available apiece each, which means that there are no in-between spaces between individual posts. Some of these fences reach up to eight feet. So you can be sure that your privacy is well maintained.
“Since PVC does expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate, this material becomes more brittle in the cold, making it susceptible to damage.” –The Spruce
In the cold, vinyl will become more brittle. That means that it will be more vulnerable to damage. It will still retain its strength, but it will be at a weakened state during the cold winter months.
Vinyl fences are far more expensive than wood. There’s just no getting around that fact. However, when maintenance cost is added into the equation, perhaps one will prefer vinyl over wood.
3. Algae, mold and mildew buildup
Though it doesn’t get directly affected by moisture, a vinyl fence would have a case of algae, mold and mildew buildup. And those things are not really a site to see. Vinyl fences require hardly any maintenance, yes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need it at all.
Wrought iron is the classic material for building fences. It’s highly ideal and it is easily accessible. But in all things, one should gather all the facts before making a decision. Here are some pros and cons of using wrought iron to build your faces.
Few fencing materials hold up as well over time as wrought iron. No matter the time and no matter the trend, you’ll never have to worry that you are outdated. It’s just a classic. Of course, you can add a little bit of modernity in your fence with a few little tweaks here and there without having to sacrifice the timeless design.
2. Sheer Strength
Only a very few fences can offer the sheer indestructible quality of wrought iron fences. Whatsoever you might expect to come crashing into your fence, it can probably hold its own. This makes wrought iron a smart choice for any fence that would potentially have to go through a lot, like in places with extreme weather or rampaging livestock.
Tough and easily built to have deterrence for climbing, wrought iron fences offer way more security than wooden or vinyl fences. That may seem very aggressive, but the wrought iron fence still holds its charm because of its classic and timeless look.
4. Pest proof
If you had had problems with pests and animals chewing off your fences before, then maybe it’s time for you to seek the uncompromising durability of wrought iron against pests, both insects and small animals. Even bigger animals may not want anything to do with your fence with the right design.
1. Tedious installation
With all the toughness that wrought iron can offer, it is easily the hardest kind of fence to install among all that is listed here. It’s heavy, takes a lot more effort to put together and it demands proper anchoring to not simply fall over in certain soils; the list goes on. It’s either you pay a premium for the installation or you are going to have to spend a lot of time installing it yourself.
To get an idea of just how hard a job installing a wrought iron fence, then check out this step-by-step manual.
2. Requires constant maintenance
Wrought iron takes damage from the weather. Of course, all materials take damage as well but at varying degrees. But the difference with wrought iron is that the toll may be more expensive in the long term. Wrought iron gets damaged very, very slowly, that’s why maintenance must be made regularly, even though it seems like there are no damages whatsoever. The kryptonite of wrought iron fences is rust, so keep it clean, coated and fix little problems as soon as they appear and none of these problems will be a deal.
In both installation and maintenance, a wrought iron fence may take its toll financially. It’s heavy and hard to install, so its installation will be more expensive than with the other materials on this list. Even just the material itself is expensive. According to Home Advisor, the base cost of wrought iron fences is $20 to $100 per linear foot.
4. Lack of Privacy
Wrought iron fences have what is called an open design. That means you can see right through them. This may be a huge downside for those who love their privacy. One can add special panels that are designed to add privacy in wrought iron fences or perhaps throw in some bushes and greenery around and about the fence. Those solutions mean more expenses though.
Hopefully this would help you in choosing the right material for you. Consider all the benefits and disadvantages, measure the costs and make the smart choice.