How to Choose a Fence Material

How to Choose a Fence Material

Are you looking to install a fence at your home? There are many benefits to installing fencing, including providing shade, security, and privacy in your garden. When it comes to picking from the many options that are available for fencing, the materials used are likely to be one of the most important things to think about. The properties of a fence can vary greatly depending on the materials used, including function, appearance, durability and maintenance. If you want to get fencing installed but aren’t sure which materials are the best option for you, keep these factors in mind when making your decision.

The Location

The location of the area where you are planning to install your fence will have a large impact on the type of material that will be best. For example, if you want to build a fence on a sloping area, you will probably be better off with wood instead of metal since the boards can easily be adjusted to the level of the ground by racking or stair-stepping. On the other hand, it’s also important to consider the physical environment in the area where you want to install the fence. High humidity levels, for example, might not always be the best option for a wooden fence since it can speed up rot and mould due to the constant contact with moisture.

In high-moisture areas, PVC or HDPE plastic lumber fencing is usually a more durable option. Ecoscape UK offers wood-plastic composite fence slats made from a combination of recycled plastic and hardwood sawdust. They offer an ideal alternative to wooden fencing in high-moisture areas since they last up to twice as long and do not require sanding, painting, or oiling to maintain good condition.

Intended Use

How you intend to use your fence is another key factor to keep in mind when choosing the right material. If you want to install a fence simply to add attractiveness and improve the aesthetic factor of your home, a relatively short wooden fence might be a suitable option. On the other hand, if the main aim of your fence is to make the property more secure and deter thieves, you may benefit from a high metal wire or mesh fence, or a barbed fence that will provide more sturdiness and security against intruders and natural wear and tear.

Cost

It’s worth having a firm budget in mind before deciding on the material that you want to use for your fence. Consider the ongoing cost of maintaining your fence. Sometimes, it might be more cost-effective to opt for a material such as composite that will be more expensive initially, but cheaper over the long term when it comes to maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Different Fence Materials

There are several materials that are commonly used for fences that may be an ideal choice depending on the use and location of your fence. To weigh up the options and determine which material will be the best choice for your project, it is a good idea to think about the pros and cons of each.

Wood

Wooden fences are sustainable and beautiful, and they are available in many diverse styles. Wood is impact-resistant and durable, highly customisable, eco-friendlier than many other materials, and can be used for both aesthetic and security purposes. However, wood is also more susceptible to insects and rot compared to some other materials, and it will need regular maintenance to check for and prevent damage and infection including repairs, re-staining, and painting.

Steel

If the main purpose of your fence is to add security, a steel fence could be just what you need. Steel fences age very well and are one of the most secure options available since they are able to endure repeated impact and require little to no maintenance in order to stay in good condition. On the downside, however, steel fences are harder to install compared to the alternatives and are often more expensive.

Aluminium

If you are looking for a fence that looks great, comes in a variety of styles and is easy to maintain, consider using aluminium. These fences are easy to take care of and do not rust, so they are likely to last a long time. Compared to steel fences they are much more affordable, and they can also be easily adjusted to slopes and hills. Although they are harder to install compared to some alternatives, this can be worth it if you’re looking for a secure, durable fence option. However, it’s worth noting that aluminium fences do not provide much privacy, so it’s not the best option if you want a fence that can keep prying eyes away.

Chain Link

Chain link fences are a tough, cheap option that can be used to divide a property and keep livestock in. However, they do not always look great compared to other fencing materials. They do not require much maintenance and there are several different colours and coatings available if you want to improve the aesthetics. However, they are not the best choice for securing your property, unless you add barbed wire to the fence.

Composite

Composite or vinyl fences will often look just like wood. However, they benefit from being made from a combination of wood and recycled plastic, which provides further advantages compared to wood. Unlike wood, composite fences allow you to enjoy all the benefits of a wooden fence without the risk of cracking, splitting, burning, or attracting pests. They are also highly water-resistant so ideal for use in high-moisture areas. In addition, they tend to be safer for families with young children or pets since they do not splinter. Compared to wood, they also require much less maintenance as there is no need to sand, oil, or apply treatment to the fence. They are strong, durable, and easy to install. Although they are more expensive than certain fences including wooden fences, they can be more cost-effective over the long term due to the lower maintenance costs involved.

The material that you use for your fence will depend on the location, budget, and intended use. Once you have decided what the main purpose of your fence is, how much you want to spend, and any environmental factors, it will be easier to choose the right material.