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All About Fencing: The Pros and Cons of Different Fencing Options

Installing a fence into your backyard can truly define the aesthetics of the exterior of your home, so careful selection of the right fencing is crucial. The most popular choices are wooden, chain link, composite, vinyl and masonry styles. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, so let’s take a look at them in greater detail. 

Wood

Pros: Wood fencing is a great option for a rustic feel. This type of fencing gives the homeowners a great deal of privacy, by blocking outside noise and views. Wood fencing can last a couple of decades if cared for properly. It is also an eco-friendly option, as many of the materials are being increasingly made with environmentally-friendly preservatives and stabilizers. Wood is also a versatile option, as there is a wide range of colors and textures to choose from to fit most architectural designs. 

Cons: Wood fencing will block any views, so it is not ideal if you have beautiful scenery from your backyard. Wood fencing requires continual maintenance and restaining. The low upfront cost also may be more expensive over time due to the continual maintenance required. Wood fencing is also highly susceptible to termite infestation and rot if it is not properly maintenanced. 

Chain Link

Pros: Chain link fencing does not obstruct natural sunlight or your view of any scenery. They also tend to be shorter than wooden fencing, meaning that it will easily blend into the background of a scenic view. There is also minimal upkeep and they tend to be fairly inexpensive. Chain link fencing can last decades and is very durable, since it is not susceptible to storm damage. It is low maintenance and there are a variety of options to choose from to match the homesite. 

Cons: Depending on the community, chain link fencing may not be permitted by the HOA. The overall look and feel of a chain link fence is very specific, so it may or may not fit the aesthetic of your home. It is also climbable, so a chain link fence will not offer a sense of security like another option, like wood or vinyl. Some homeowners also do not like the appearance of chain link fencing. 

Composite ( A Blend of Wood and Plastic)

Pros: Composite fencing offers the appearance of wood fencing with the flexibility of plastic. This material will not rot as fast as wood and is less susceptible to damage caused by insects. Composite fencing is very easy to maintain and only requires the occasional cleaning with a garden hose. It is also very aesthetically pleasing, as it has a sleek appearance and comes in a variety of colors and has a similar aesthetic to wood. 

Cons: This type of fencing is expensive initially, but the durability over time makes up for the initial cost in most cases. The installation must be precise and is best done by a professional. Any small error in the installation process will be easily spotted with this type of fencing. The material also tends to fade over time, and there is nothing you can do to refresh the color. 

Vinyl

Pros: Vinyl is a really great option for fencing. It is more durable and flexible than wood, and very easy to clean. Vinyl fencing lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 years. There is a wide variety of styles, heights, colors and designs to choose from, so you will undoubtedly find an option that coordinates with your home and backyard. Vinyl fencing is also not subject to rot, weather damage, cracking and splitting like other alternatives. 

Cons: Vinyl fencing is expensive. Installation of this type of fencing must be precise, so it is best to hire an experienced professional to complete the work. Any small imperfection in the installation process will be highly noticeable. They are also difficult to repair, so a professional will be required to complete any repairs. 

Masonry (Brick, stone, stucco, etc.)

Pros: This type of fencing is best known for its longevity. Masonry fences can last for hundreds of years with little maintenance.  It is a great option for homes that have a classic or stately feel to them, and often appear as a work of art. This type of fencing is often constructed from natural materials as well, which makes them environmentally friendly. 

Cons: Masonry fences are pricey, but may be worth the upfront investment for the sake of a long lasting, durable fence. However, it is nearly impossible to change them once built. They are also difficult to repair in the event that damage does occur. Masonry fencing also takes a substantial amount of time to construct. 

Choosing a fencing option is an important part of creating the right ambiance in your backyard to meet your needs. While there are other options available, the most sought-after fencing solutions are wood, chain link, composite, vinyl, and masonry brick.

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