The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fencing Materials

Posted on: 18 April 2017

Many homeowners want a fenced-in back yard, especially if they have dogs or small children they want to keep contained. But what kind of fence is best for your needs? Here is a look at the pros and cons of each of the most popular fencing types.

Metal Fencing

Sometimes called a wrought-iron fence, these fences aren't necessarily made from iron. Nowadays, they are more frequently made from high-quality aluminum. While traditional wrought-iron is still available, it will be considerably more expensive than aluminum. A wrought-iron fence requires a lot of maintenance as the metal will rust. Aluminum, however, does not rust. The aluminum is powder-coated during manufacture, meaning it won't ever need to be repainted. While an aluminum fence can become dented in heavy traffic areas or if one is careless, the damaged individual fence components are easily replaced. Because of the decorative elements common in metal fences, you get an extra measure of security from scaling; the finial spears that dot the top discourage attempting to climb over it. A metal fence also doesn't offer much in the way of privacy.

PVC Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fences are very low maintenance. They will never require re-painting or staining. They also won't ever splinter, which is ideal if you have children. A fence made from PVC vinyl will last virtually forever. A PVC vinyl fence also looks like traditional wood fencing from a distance. The material weathers well, but it may not be appropriate for some applications, such as containing livestock, as it doesn't have quite the strength that other materials might have, such as wood and metal. Because the material contracts and expands with temperature fluctuations, it can crack in extreme climates. A PVC vinyl fence will also always look like vinyl rather than wood, which is important to some people. 

Wood Fencing

Traditional wood fencing offers the beauty of using natural materials, which can really enhance your property. They can also be built dozens of ways, which means they are versatile. The boards can placed very close together, providing not only extra security, but plenty of privacy as well. A wood fence is affordable, and they are easy to build. They can be painted or stained any color you like. Because wood is a natural material, however, it will decompose over time. It also needs to be maintained with periodic fresh coats of paint or stain to protect the wood from the elements. A wooden fence can also fall prey to insect infestation. It may also be prone to rot in areas with high moisture.