There are plenty of reasons why you might want fencing. From keeping your pets or children safe to deterring wildlife, fences offer you security and protection. They also enhance privacy and curb appeal. When choosing a fence, considering its function is just as important as thinking about aesthetics. Its design and style often depends on what you want the fence to achieve.


Privacy fences help to block sight lines. Usually at least six feet in height, they are typically made from solid vertical boards placed closely together. Security fences are designed to keep people out. They are also high in order to prevent people from climbing over the fence and have spiky tops such as pickets. A safety fence is meant to protect something, such as pets or children. This type of fence might also be used as a pool enclosure. Fences designed to keep wildlife out also fall within this category. Finally, decorative fences form part of your landscaping and are designed to enhance curb appeal. They are often ornate and not as high as other fencing. They enhance the look of your property by complementing the style of your garden or house with similar architectural and decorative features.

Even when building a safety or security fence or fencing that enhances privacy, there are ways to introduce decorative elements. This might be achieved by having features on the side facing your lawn or garden. Accents can include a raised or ground-level flower bed, decorative metalwork for vines to climb, a birdhouse or a water feature. Decorative latticework could also be hung onto the fence. If you do not want a solid privacy fence, consider using lattice to screen your property. Then, use ivy or vine to create an additional layer of privacy as well as a living fence. Not only does this enhance your privacy, it also adds to your property's curb appeal. Lighting added to the base of the fence is also a great way to enhance the space at night.

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Wood is one of the most common fence materials. They offer a traditional look and can be painted or stained in a range of colors. Popular options include pine, cedar and redwood. Wood fencing is generally more affordable than other materials. It is often stained and sealed for added protection against sunlight, rot, insects and other damage and wearing.

Vinyl or composite made with wood fibers and plastic resins is also commonly used for fencing. The material mimics the appearance of wood and is available in a range of colors. They are low maintenance since they do not need to be painted or stained. They are more expensive than wooden fencing but typically include a longer term warranty.

Metal fencing is generally made from iron and aluminum. Metal is a popular choice for decorative fences as well as security fencing. Like vinyl or composite fencing, metal is a low maintenance option but is more expensive than wood. An affordable metal fence solution is chain link or wire fencing. In addition to plain metal, this type of fencing is available with a plastic coating. Green and black are common coating colors, although other colors are available. Chain link and wire fencing blend well with the surroundings. They can be used with privacy paneling to enhance privacy.


Before installing a fence, speak with your neighbors so they are aware of your plans. The fence should be entirely on your property. Speaking to neighbors will ensure there is a common understanding of property lines. Neighborhood associations might also have rules about fencing, including their style and height. Also, check local laws and regulations to make sure your fence complies with any rules or guidelines. Fences are generally subject to zoning codes, which provide guidelines on a fence's maximum height and required distance from property lines. Local laws and regulations also outline where fencing is not allowed on your property.

In addition to being available in hundreds of styles, fences are made from a variety of materials. The style and material you select will be defined by your budget and needs. The decision will also depend on how much ongoing maintenance you want to do. Choosing the right style and material will help achieve your goal for your fence, whether it is enhanced privacy and security or protecting your children and pets. Depending on the style, a fence can establish a safe border for your property, family and pets.