When one is in the market to purchase fence material, it becomes very obvious very quickly that there exists a smorgasbord of choices – all, of which, have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here, we will cover five options. Whatever fence choice one makes will depend on how much privacy and security one desires as well as the cost, ease of installation, the type and amount of upkeep any material might require and lastly, geographic locale. In sea-side locations, for example, exposure to salt air can easily corrode certain materials; and then there are HOAs in many residential communities where the Homeowner’s Association may have strict by-laws that significantly limit the types of fence materials that are allowed.
Here are five popular fence materials one can consider:
Yes, it is true that chain link fences may not have the aesthetic appeal other fence materials may have, but you can count on a chain link to be sturdy, maintenance-free and easier on the pocketbook. The typical utilitarian look of chain link doesn’t have to stay that way since this type of fence is available in various mesh sizes, different wire gauges and multiple colors, such as black galvanized steel. Various colors of vinyl-coated steel chain-link (even green) are very popular and provide a more aesthetic alternative to the traditional, non-coated silver. Colored and coated chain-link offers smoothness, enhanced beauty and strength, and eliminates sharp edges.
PVC fence material is synonymous, in general, with molded vinyl fencing; and upper-end PVC fence products will contain higher percentages of titanium oxide which is a critical additive that protects the vinyl from the ravages of UV rays. Less-expensive PVC fence material will, as expected, contain reduced amounts of titanium oxide which means the vinyl is more vulnerable to becoming more brittle.
PVC fence material offers a palate of color choices – including solid and blended colors – as well as various styles and textures. The wood-grain, for example, recreates the appearance of natural wood while a stucco texture simulates an old-world look and feel. One can choose from an array of various styles including ornamental, picket, split-rail, privacy and semi-privacy. Also, fade-resistance can be enhanced with PVC material via the infusion of a specialized acrylic ingredient which generates excellent protection from merciless UV rays. While wood fences require painting and staining every few years, durable PVC fences are easily cleaned with soap and water or just a wash-down with the garden hose.
Custom iron fences are classic and timeless; and this material has been used for fence and gate structures for thousands of years. This hand-forged product is made to last a lifetime and beyond, and will offer its owners superior rust protection as well as UV fade resistance, especially when a powder-coat finish has been applied. Often times, welded cast-iron finial tips are added for ornamentation; and because this type of fence is iron, is remains the strongest type of fence available. Its strength is unbeatable which is why celebrity homes, other high-end properties and many historical sites are protected with iron toughness without sacrificing eye-catching beauty. Iron is a fence-owner’s dream; but it comes with a hefty price-tag, as expected. Non-coated iron can require regular maintenance to keep it looking pristine; and if rust were to develop, it can be wire-brushed away.
Aluminum fence products are a great choice since one can get the look of wrought iron without breaking the bank. Aluminum, too, can be hand-forged; and is lightweight and made to last a lifetime. Maintenance is a word that does not exist with aluminum fences since this material, unlike steel and iron, will not rust even when bare metal is exposed. Ornamental finials can be welded on for added flair and sophistication; and the surface of aluminum is very receptive to powder-coating. Powder-coating is available in a variety of color choices, and resists corrosion and weathering in any climate.
Composite fence materials come heavily embossed to beautifully simulate the coveted texture of natural wood, but without the maintenance that natural wood demands – composite never needs to be painted or stained! Because composite materials contain visible wood fibers, they resemble wood more closely than textured vinyl; and this material comes in a number of colors and styles. Whether rustic cedar, rustic barn-wood or other surface types, composite materials are low-maintenance and highly-resistant to splitting, decay and insect infestation. Manufactured from recycled wood flour and high-density plastic, composite contains over 70% recycled material. With composite fences you will enjoy long-lived duration and can feel good knowing this product is a greener substitute to non-reusable materials. As a side-note, composite materials being as durable as they are, can withstand 100 mile-an-hour winds. Your neighbors will remain convinced your fence is made of natural wood – unless you tell them, otherwise!