Guide to Choosing Fence Materials

What your fence is made of is one of the biggest factors that will determine the price of the fence and what adding it will accomplish. It also plays a lot into how much the fence will improve the value of your home. So take a look at some of the basic materials that can be used to make your fence and remember that we do custom work, so there are a lot of things that we can work with you on if it is not listed on our site. 

For some, the American Dream has a picket fence around it. For others, it’s wrought iron. Most homes have some kind of fencing. Fences can serve as decoration, property line markers, security features, or all three. The cost for fencing depends on a number of factors, including the height and length needed, as well as the materials. Most fencing installation professionals charge a cost per linear foot that includes both their labor and the materials cost.
Since the cost for fencing can vary widely, it’s important to estimate cost per project, keeping the specific materials and dimensions in mind. Nationally, costs range from about $1,500 to $4,000 for new fence installation. On average, homeowners spend $2,550, but prices can vary slightly by region. 

Average Fencing Prices

Fencing is priced by the linear foot. This cost should be relatively consistent for a certain material but may vary with different fencing heights. Typically, wood is the cheapest fencing material while wrought iron is the most expensive outright. In addition to price, each fencing type offers different positive and negative features.


Wood is one of the most commonly used fencing materials, and it can last a long time if treated correctly. Wooden fences are often made from pine, redwood, cedar, or other woods that are resilient when wet. Though it usually has a natural look, wooden fencing can be stained or painted any color.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Inexpensive and can last for years with appropriate treatment.
  • Cons: Requires regular upkeep and staining.

Metal or Chain Link

Steel is one of the most durable fencing types. It easily withstands abuse, but it may be susceptible to rust in certain environments. Chain link is one of the most affordable fencing types. Since it’s made for function instead of form, it’s great for delineating property lines or keeping in pets, but it doesn’t make for a particularly attractive border.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Durable, affordable, and effective.
  • Cons: Generally the least attractive fencing type and may be susceptible to rust.


Vinyl fencing is affordable, lightweight, durable and easy to install. It is not a good material for security fencing, however, as it can’t withstand attempts to cut through the fence. Some homeowners also consider vinyl fencing to be unattractive. Some of this type of fencing mimics the look of wood, but most vinyl fences resemble plastic.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Easy installation.
  • Cons: Not appropriate for security fencing.


Aluminum offers an attractive, lightweight alternative to other kinds of metal fencing, including the heavyweight wrought iron. Aluminum also tends to be one of the most affordable types of metal fencing, and it’s also durable, which means you’ll spend less on upkeep in the long run.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Won’t rust, and requires little repair or upkeep.
  • Cons: Not the most secure type of fencing.

Wrought Iron

Not only is wrought iron the most secure type of fencing, but it’s also considered to be the most traditionally beautiful. This heavy-duty material also makes for a very effective fence that will keep your yard secure from unwanted human, animal, and other guests. Since wrought iron fencing is highly customized for each job, chances are that it will be a perfect fit.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Can last for a lifetime.
  • Cons: One of the most expensive types of fencing.

Barbed Wire

Barbed wire fencing is usually used to keep livestock — cows, horses, etc. — confined in pastures or on ranches. It’s sometimes used with woven wire fencing to prevent large animals from breaking it down when they get rowdy or excited. For smaller animals, it’s good at keeping them from digging underneath to get out. For farming or crop areas, it protects against large animals from getting in and destroying the crops.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Secure, inexpensive, good for farmland and ranches.
  • Cons: Potentially dangerous for kids and can be expensive if you use a lot of additional supplies. 


Electric fences are great for containing your pets and it’s more economical than erecting other fences. It’s a great way to train your pet and protects them from getting hurt or potentially hurting someone. It’s a good way to not compromise the beauty of your landscape with a fence and still keep your pet safe. It’s considered a humane form of training as well.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Affordable, allots flexibility in landscape, and still effective for pet training
  • Cons: Can be painful for the dog while they train, considered punishment for the pet, and some types of fencing involves digging up the yard. 

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