Your Guide to Different Types of Fence Options

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Fences can add privacy, functionality, security, and curb appeal to your home. There are plenty of decisions to make to determine the right fence for your property, however, including the material.

Each type of fence has its pros and cons. Take a look at the different types of fence options to see what works best for your needs.

“Your home’s fence is a big investment, so you want to get it right the first time.”

Wood Fence

Wood is one of the most common types of fences for yards because it appeals to many tastes and serves multiple purposes. Typically, cedar and pine are used for fences, but you may find redwood, spruce, and fir.

There are numerous styles for wood fences as well, including lattice patterns, picket, vertical dog ear panels, and horizontal slat fencing, so you can match the fence to your home’s aesthetic. You also have the choice of different colors, including natural wood for a rustic feel or dark wood for a more modern look.

Wood is one of the more affordable options for fencing, but that comes at a maintenance cost. Wood is more sensitive to the elements and weather fluctuations and requires regular maintenance every few years, so you will have added costs for upkeep.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to stain
  • May offer more privacy


  • Sensitive to weather
  • Routine maintenance is necessary
  • Susceptible to insect damage
  • Individual panels may be damaged

Iron Fence

Iron fencing is an elegant and decorative option for your home’s fence that has a long lifespan and incredible durability. Because iron fencing is made using an extensive manufacturing process, it’s extremely strong.

That also means that iron is more expensive, however. If you want a similar option, ornamental metal fencing that’s constructed of steel can give you an iron-like aesthetic that’s still strong and durable. You could also use iron only for certain areas, such as the gate for garden fencing. Custom iron fencing is also an option.


  • Strong and durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Elegant


  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Harder to find

Metal Fence

Ornamental metal fences are incredibly stylish and offer a similar look to wrought iron. They’re widely available commercially as well. Steel metal is a strong material that gives you many of the same benefits as wrought iron, including security, protection, and weather resistance.


  • Widely available
  • Lightweight
  • Mid-range in price
  • Visually appealing
  • Long-lasting


  • Higher upfront investment than other materials
  • May need to be replaced earlier than iron
  • Not as durable as iron

Vinyl Fence

Vinyl fencing is a versatile option that’s growing in popularity. It comes in a variety of styles and colors, including a clean, smooth white. You can choose from a picket fence, a tall, solid privacy fence, or more intricate options.

Though vinyl is more expensive up front, it requires less maintenance over its lifespan and can be the more cost-effective choice. The cost to install vinyl is higher because it requires more precision – you’ll notice imperfections in the height.


  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Variety of styles
  • Wind and sound-resistant when solid
  • Cost-effective


  • Initial installation cost is higher
  • Not heat or fire resistant
  • Not environmentally friendly

Chain Link Fence

Chain link fencing is a reliable fencing type that many homes and properties rely on. Generally, chain link is easy to install, inexpensive, and durable, making it a good choice for an affordable fence that keeps intruders out of your yard and keeps animals and children contained.

That said, chain link fencing isn’t the most attractive type of fence you could get. It’s more about function than form. It’s also less secure than some other types of fences, such as iron or wooden privacy fences, since it’s easy to cut the chain or climb.


  • Affordable
  • Visible
  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance


  • Less secure
  • No wind or sound resistance
  • Doesn’t help curb appeal or resale value

What to Consider Before Choosing a Fence

Your home’s fence is a big investment, so you want to get it right the first time. Here’s what to consider when choosing your fence:


Why are you installing a fence? Is it to keep intruders out or family and pets in? Or are you looking for an aesthetic look for your yard and home? These decisions play a big role in choosing the right fence style and material.


You have virtually limitless options for your fence material, styles, and color options. Think about the aesthetic of your home and neighborhood when you’re evaluating your fencing options.


Installing a fence can be expensive, especially if you have a big yard or garden. The cost can vary by several factors as well, including materials, square footage, the time of year, and your location.

Homeowners Association (HOA) Regulations

If you live in an HOA, you have to consider the regulations for fence installations and work within those limits. Some HOAs restrict the height, style, colors, and distance of your fence. Save yourself time, money, and hassle by checking these regulations before you install your fence.

Custom Fence Installation at Northwest Fence & Iron

If you’re considering a fence to beautify your home, keep your family safe, or gain more privacy, Northwest Fence & Iron can help. Whether you have your Austin fence design in mind or you’re looking for fence ideas, we offer everything from design to fence installation in Austin. Contact us today to request a quote!

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