Choosing The Right Type of Fence For Your Home
Choosing the right fencing materials depends a lot upon the project, and there are many factors to consider before making your decision. Fencing materials should be tailored to the objective as much as to the budget. For example, is this fence for looks or protection? Pest prevention or property demarcation?
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Aesthetics
Most fences serve more than one purpose, such as keeping children and pets inside the yard, and uninvited visitors out. A wooden fence and a simple chain link fence would both do well in this case.
However, a wooden fence is much more attractive than a chain link fence, as both you and your neighbors would probably agree. If appearance is a high priority, you should opt for a wooden fence over a chain link fence. Both would certainly deter intruders and keep children and pets safe from traffic, but the wooden fence would do more to improve the value and appearance of your home.
The picket fence is a type of wooden fence, but considerably smaller. A picket fence is really more decorative than anything, especially when compared to a chain link fence. Depending on your home's architectural style, a picket fence would also improve the value and appearance of your house, if that were your primary goal.
A picket fence also marks a perimeter or boundary, but doesn't provide much protection, especially against burglars. Latches are low and also within reach of small children. Pests such as rabbits, field mice, and squirrels can also go around or under the fence slats, but it's also possible the fence might cause them to detour around your property. A smaller chain link fence might be more effective at preventing small animal intruders.
Picket fences, at about three feet high, are mostly ornamental and often used to surround shrubs, small yards or gardens, and ponds. Sometimes they are used to surround specific plants, such as tomato plants.
If security is the biggest objective, you might consider an electric fence. Like a barbed wire fence, it is much more of a deterrent than a chain link or wooden fence - but the advantage is that it is an 'unseen fence.' If animals or people get too close, however, they will experience a minor shock.
Of course, people can learn how to cross over these types of fences, but animals are generally conditioned to stay within the perimeter they define. An electric fence is usually used to keep pets and other animals from leaving the yard, or to keep deer and rabbits from visiting (and eating) gardens and landscaping. Downsides to this type of fencing are that passersby who see an animal charging at them but do not see a fence to restrain them could be badly frightened by a perceived imminent attack, and that constant small shocks could possibly cause a pet to become more aggressive.
Smaller variations of the 'unseen fence' can be used to secure other areas of the house, such as an area where valuables (e.g., jewelry) might be kept.
These are just a few of the things to consider when choosing a type of fence. It is more than likely that the objective, and not just the budget, will contribute to the choice of fencing material, so be sure to give it some thought.