Summer is finally here and you and the kids want to begin enjoying your backyard but you have concerns about privacy and security. That’s where a quality fence can help you get the most of your home and the summertime weather.
The style you choose will depend upon your budget, of course, as well whether you are more concerned with privacy, keeping the kids in the backyard within eyesight, or security, keeping trespassers and other unwanted guests off your property.
Your fencing choices range from the familiar chain link and wood to vinyl and composite to steel and aluminum. Each has their merits.
Chain link fences have been around in the United States since the early 20th century. They offer affordability and low maintenance and easily can be customized to fit around any backyard. These fences also provide security, although perhaps not the privacy you want.
Inexpensive and lightweight, wood fences are another popular choice. Besides the iconic white picket fence and lattice fence, you also can install a vertical board fence of varying heights to provide the greatest degree of safety, security and privacy. Wooden fences also can be contoured and shaped around your property to provide individuality and character.
Vinyl fencing, originally popularized by horse owners in the early 80s, provides the same safety and security as wood fencing but with a couple of other advantages. Vinyl is more flexible than wood, preventing serious injury in a collision. It also doesn’t retain moisture, thus it attract moss, mildew or insects. The initial cost is higher but the durability and reduced maintenance make vinyl a good long-term choice for fencing.
Composite fences are made from wood-plastic composites containing wood fiber or wood flour and thermoplastics such as PVC, PP and PE. Composites first were used for outdoor decks in the early 90s. These fences never need painting or staining but are susceptible to stains and mold, so do require some maintenance. Composites also are dense, making lightweight but still able to withstand the elements over the years. Composites do contain some wood and so will expand and contract with changing temperatures, which could cause warping.) Another potential drawback is they are more expensive than vinyl fences.
Aluminum fences are lightweight, durable and aesthetically pleasing. They withstand corrosion, making them ideal for waterside or seaside homes. Aluminum also is less expensive than steel (as well as being 100 percent recyclable). One drawback is they easily are bent, making them less attractive if safety and security are considerations.
Finally, steel fences are strong, long-lasting and, depending upon the style, can provide both privacy and security. They resist wind and other damage and most are galvanized and treated to prevent rust. Tubular steel fences also overcome one of this material’s drawbacks, which is weight. Steel is more expensive than aluminum, though.
Your choice of fence for your property obviously will depend upon the property itself, your needs for privacy and security versus aesthetics and your budget. So investigate all the options out there.