What Should I Build My Fence Out Of? The Pros And Cons Of Fencing Materials

There are a number of reasons why you might want to build a fence: as a safe pool enclosure, for heightened curb appeal or even to keep your pesky neighbours wandering eyes at bay. Whatever the reason, choosing to build a fence is just the first step in having one installed; next, you’ll have to choose the type of fencing material that works best for your project.

Nowadays fences can be made out of a wide variety of materials to suit many different needs, from durable to decorative. Picking the right material for your fence will involve several factors, such as cost, look, function and purpose, but knowing the benefits of each can go a long way in helping to determine the final product.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of some of the most common materials for building fences:

Wood. As the go-to material for thousands of years, wood is still one of the most common and versatile products for building sturdy fences. Even though it’s one of the most affordable options, wood fences are quite durable and will stand the test of time – with the proper maintenance. If there was a drawback to this material, it would be that a wood fence requires some regular maintenance as compared to fences made of other materials. However, with proper waterproofing (as with a paint or stain that fits your design) a wood fence can be the happy medium between functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Iron. Wrought iron fences call to mind pictures of stately Victorian homes with expensive landscaping, and for good reason. Real wrought iron is one of the most expensive materials to build a fence out of, but it is also the most durable and lasting. Even though wrought iron can rust when it’s scratched (nothing a bit of regular maintenance won’t fix,) it remains the most sturdy of all the fencing materials.

Today, most “wrought iron” fences are made out of steel, which is more affordable than iron, but only slightly. Still, you can get all of the aesthetic appeal without the hassle of regular maintenance.

PVC.  Also known as vinyl, PVC is a man-made, plastic-like material that is often used to build durable, low-maintenance fences. PVC is only slightly more expensive to install than a wood fence, but colors can be limited to pre-determined neutral shades like tan or white. Also, while a PVC fence may require little day-to-day maintenance, they can fade over time and may need replacing every decade or so.

Chain link. Chain links fences are great for putting up a fence quickly, affordably and when design isn’t your top priority. Both durable and inexpensive, a fence made of chain link will do a great job defining a boundary, but lacks merit for privacy.