7 Helpful Tips for Choosing a Residential Fence

The media would have us believe that all of suburban America consists of endless acres of unfenced properties with neighbors living in harmony together.

Yet, figures from the fencing industry paint an entirely different picture. Last year, US fencing contractors contributed a staggering $8.3 billion in revenue. Judging from this, it would seem that more fences are going up every year than we think. 


If you’re one of those people who want to embrace the benefits that a residential fence brings to your home, these are the things to consider before you make the call.

The Purpose of Your Residential Fence

Your reasons for enclosing your yard affect every other decision you make concerning the materials and design of your residential fence.

Some of the main reasons for fencing in your property include:

  • Added security
  • Increased privacy
  • Demarcating your boundaries
  • Confining pets
  • Your children’s safety

Different types of fences can fulfill one of these needs or several, so bear the following in mind when choosing the right one for you.

Your Home’s Architectural Style

Your house architecture plays a big role when deciding on a fence for your home. For example, a modern chain-link fence won’t compliment a Victorian-style house.

Homes with a classic design look best with ornamental metal or brick fences while a composite or vinyl fence suits a modern ranch-style home.

Take a drive around your neighborhood and look at some of the fence designs in your area to see which ones suit different styles of homes best.

Think About Long-Term Maintenance

The climate in your area has a big impact on the materials you choose for your fence and the different fencing materials have pros and cons too.

For instance, aluminum fencing won’t rust in any weather, while some steel fences need regular treatment to prevent corrosion.

Wood fencing looks great, but it needs ongoing maintenance to stay that way, especially in areas with extreme summer and winter temperatures. It’s important to consider the costs of repairing and treating your fence when making your decision.

Municipal and HOA Regulations

Most residential estates have strict regulations when it comes to residential fencing. These rules govern the materials, height, and design of the fence you can install around your property.

If you don’t stick to these guidelines, you could face a fine, or end up having to remove your fence.

The same applies to municipal regulations regarding fencing in your neighborhood.

Green Choices

Always choose sustainable, recycled, or recyclable materials when building your fence. It’s the least you can do for the environment.

Another attractive green touch is to set up living walls of plants along your fence line. These natural décor elements come with a set of unique maintenance issues, but they do also help soften the look of your fence.

Be Neighborly About Your Decisions

You’re bound to share at least one of your boundaries with another homeowner, so your fence will affect them too.

Talk to them about your decision and work together to find a solution that suits you both. You don’t want to block their views or inconvenience them in any way when you build your fence.

Choosing Fencing Materials

Choosing the right type of residential fencing materials is your most important task when it comes to picking the best type of fences for your home. Nowadays, there are plenty of innovative options when it comes to different composites and styles available.

These are the most popular types of fencing materials:

Wood Fencing

Wood is one of the most popular and versatile fencing materials around. It’s a good choice for a backyard fence if you want privacy around your pool area, great at keeping pets and kids inside, and available in many attractive styles.

Wood’s an affordable choice although it does require ongoing maintenance. It’s also easy and cheap to replace your wood fencing or repair a section if it becomes damaged.

Chain Link

Chain link fences aren’t the most attractive option around although they’re a good choice for living walls. 

On the upside, chain link fences are inexpensive to install and extremely durable.

You won’t need to maintain your chain link fence at all and it should last for at least 20 years.

Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fencing is another versatile, durable, and strong material for building fences. It won’t warp, blister or rot.

This is one installation project you can tackle on your own too, since many vinyl fences simply snap together, making installation easy and quick.

Vinyl fences are one of the more expensive options but they make up for it by offering a maintenance-free solution for residential fencing.

Composite Fencing

Composite fencing’s made from wood or steel fibers mixed with plastic polymers. The finished product looks like wood, but it’s impervious to insect damage and rot.

This versatile type of fencing requires little more than a spray of water from your garden hose to keep it looking its best.

Steel and Aluminum

Galvanized steel fencing won’t rust and is the strongest and heaviest option for a house fence, able to withstand the elements for up to 100 years. It’s easy to install on uneven land too.

Unfortunately, steel isn’t as versatile as some of the more modern materials, needs professional installation, and is an expensive choice. However, you can paint your steel fence in any color you choose.

Aluminum’s a more affordable choice for fencing although it’s not as strong as steel. 

Final Thoughts on Fencing

The last step in ensuring your residential fence is the best it can be is to get a certified contractor to do all the work for you.

These experts know how to build a fence that lasts and can advise you on the ongoing maintenance required for your type of fence. 

For more tips on how to make good decisions when it comes to your home and family, take a look at some more of my blog articles.

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