Types of fences for home use

Surrounding your garden or enclosing part of your yard with a fence can add charm while keeping out, or at least deterring, unwelcomed visitors.  


Vinyl fencing comes in many designs including picket, post and rail like you might see on horse farms and privacy fencing where there is no gap between the tall pickets. Vinyl does not require painting and maintenance can be as little as periodically washing to get rid of signs of green mildew.

Wood fencing offers the appeal of yester-year. Less expensive than vinyl, wood does require painting or staining every few years. Vinyl fence designers mimicked wood fence design, which comes in pickets, post and rail, privacy and even split rail.


Metal fencing can take you from the unique charm and formality of thin spearheaded pickets to the heavy picket, designed sturdy enough to keep out the most determined visitor. Metal fencing is a good security choice for a pool surround. This type of fence can be made of steel (wrought iron) or aluminum, with aluminum requiring less maintenance than steel. Steel may need repainting as frequently as every two years.

Wire fencing is an economical and low maintenance means to fence in a large area. The grid formed by the wires is small enough to keep cats from squeezing through. Wire fencing can rust over time unless periodically painted.


Not just for oriental gardens, lightweight bamboo is appreciated for its simple lines. The rails and pickets can be screwed together or for a more rustic appeal, they can be tied together. Bamboo splits easily so it can be a challenge for the do-it-yourselfer.

Brick or stone
Since a fence is intended to keep someone or something in or out of an area, consider brick or stone to create a hard fence.

Living fence
Shrubs or other dense plants create a living fence that is most useful to block views. A living fence can surround a property or, like above, cover a few feet to create a short border between properties.