Ultimate Guide to Types of Fencing

Fencing is not just a practical way to secure your property, but it also adds aesthetic value and can significantly enhance your home's curb appeal.

Whether you're looking for privacy, security, or simply want to add a decorative touch to your landscape, choosing the right fence is crucial.

In this guide, we'll explore the various fencing options available and offer insights to help you select the perfect fence that aligns with your needs and style.

If you are in northern Maryland or southern Pennsylvania, Custom Design & Build is your local fence contractor expert, ready to demystify the design and build process for you, working with you to create the perfect outdoor oasis for your home.

How to Choose the Right Fencing for Your Home

Selecting the right fence for your home can be a significant investment. It’s important to ensure that that the fencing not only looks great but also serves its intended purpose effectively. The right fence can transform an ordinary yard into a welcoming outdoor retreat all while providing the essential privacy and security every homeowner wants.

How will the fence blend with the character of your home?

Whether your home is a cozy cottage with a whimsical garden or a sleek, modern residence, your fence should be a natural extension of your home’s architecture and surroundings. The choice of material, design, and color all play a critical role in the decision.

Here’s some key considerations you should make when choosing the right fencing for your home:

Purpose: Start by identifying why you need a fence. Is it for privacy, security, or aesthetic reasons? Understanding the primary purpose of your fence will guide you in choosing the right type and material. It can be a backdrop for your garden, a protective barrier for pets and children, or an elegant outline of your property. Each choice you make in the selection process contributes to the overall ambiance and functionality of your outdoor space.

Material and Style: Fences come in a variety of materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum, and chain links. Every material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks in terms of durability, maintenance, and appearance. Consider the climate in your area and the level of upkeep you're willing to commit to.

Furthermore, your fence should complement the style of your home. From traditional picket fences to modern horizontal designs, the style of the fence can dramatically alter the look of your property. Think about what will blend with your home's existing look, and what would improve its curb appeal.

Budget: Cost is an important factor in any home improvement project. Determine your budget early on, as this will influence the type of materials you can afford and the design of your fence.

If you’re not sure how much to spend on a fence, then you may want to consider instead how it affects the timeline of the build, as fencing is typically priced out by the length in feet.

Maintenance Considerations: Think about the long-term implications of your choice. How will the fence look in five or ten years? Consider the longevity and required maintenance of the material you choose. Factors like maintenance, durability in local weather conditions, and ease of repair are as important as the fence's appearance. A fence that requires constant upkeep might not be the best fit if you have a busy lifestyle or prefer a low-maintenance home.

Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Fencing

Wood Fencing

A timeless choice that will remind you of the suburbs of the good ol’ days. Wood fences offer a classic, natural look that suits most homes. Highly customizable in terms of size and style, wood can also be painted or stained. The downsides are that wood requires regular maintenance to prevent rot, warping, and termite damage. It’s also less durable than some other materials, particularly in harsh weather conditions, and will need to be replaced every 15-20 years.

Vinyl Fencing

A modern composite of materials, this fencing type looks crisp and clean, coming in a wide range of styles and colors. It is low maintenance, resistant to decay, and doesn't need painting or staining. Because of that, however, the initial cost of vinyl fencing is higher than wood, and it offers fewer options for customization. In extreme temperatures, vinyl can become brittle.

Chain Link Fencing

A cost-effective option, this type of fencing is durable, and requires little maintenance. They are great for basic security purposes and can be installed relatively quickly. The downside is that they offer little in terms of privacy and curb appeal.

What Do You Want Out of Your Fence?

Deciding what you want from your fence is a critical step, but it will help you narrow down what type of fencing material you are looking for. For example, if privacy is your primary concern, you should opt for solid fencing materials like wood or vinyl that offer a visual barrier. Taller fences are generally more effective for privacy and security.

Instead of selecting a fence solely on height, however, it should also complement your home’s style. Ornamental metal, traditional wood, or even bamboo fencing can enhance the beauty of your property. If you prefer a low-maintenance option, materials like vinyl or aluminum might be your best bet. While many people enjoy the aesthetic appeal of wood, it requires a significant amount more upkeep, and may need to be replaced sooner.

The timeframe for replacement, however, changes depending on your climate. Materials like vinyl and aluminum withstand harsh weather conditions better than wood and chainlink fencing. Likewise, if reducing noise is important, you will need to choose fencing materials that offer soundproofing qualities, like solid wood or composite vinyl blends.

By considering these different factors, you can narrow in on the type of fencing that meets your needs, enhancing both the function and appearance of your home.

Remember, the right fence is not just for the border of your property; it's a key component of your home's overall ambiance and lifestyle.

How Are Different Types of Fences Used?

There are different types of fences that you can install depending on your goals. This isn’t just about material, but about style, height, and spacing.

Some fences are mostly there to enhance the curb appeal of a home. They come in different styles and can add a special touch to your home and make it seem more complete before a sale. A short wooden fence is typically used for this purpose. It doesn’t provide much privacy or security, but it makes the house and garden look great.

Tall, more durable fences are often used for security, while tall and wide fencing materials are often used for privacy. These fences are there to block out the outside world, and are often made from tough materials like iron or composite vinyl. These fences can also look good, but it is often much more expensive than showy fences.

What Type of Fence is Easiest to Maintain?

Vinyl fencing stands out as the easiest to maintain. At Custom Design & Build, we often recommend this one to clients that don’t want to spend a long time on their home maintenance. This type of fencing is made from a composite material that doesn't require painting or staining.

Best of all, it’s resistant to rot, fading, and insect damage. A simple wash with soap and water is usually enough to keep it looking new. For deep cleaning maintenance if it hasn’t been maintained in some time, you can also opt for low-pressure power washing to get it looking brand new.

What is the Toughest Fencing?

Wrought iron and steel are among the toughest fencing materials. Highly durable, this type of fencing can withstand harsh weather conditions while providing excellent security. However, this type of fencing will require some maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion, particularly after the harsh winters in the region.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Fence Contractor Installer

A professional fence installer brings more than just tools and materials. A professional installer brings the knowledge and experience to help you craft your fence into a cohesive vision for your home.

Licensed and insured to ensure the process goes smoothly, they also understand the nuances of different materials and how it interacts with your space. They have the experience necessary to overcome challenges, from underground utilities to uneven land, and have the skills to help you create a beautiful addition to the home within the budget and timeline.

It is always worth choosing a professional fence installer over an everyday handyman. Quality workmanship is the cornerstone of a professional installation. Every post, every panel, every nail is part of the larger picture for your home’s curb appeal.

Another area where you’ll find it beneficial to hire a professional installer are the possibilities of customization. The professional installers at Custom Design & Build can turn your vision into reality, offering personalized solutions that go beyond the one-size-fits-all approach. Whether it's a specific design, a unique material, or a challenging landscape, we work with you directly to create a new vision for your home.


Are you thinking about adding a custom-designed fence to enhance your property's privacy and curb appeal in the Maryland and Pennsylvania region?

Contact Custom Design and Build today for a complimentary fencing estimate.

Whether you've got it all mapped out or you're looking for ideas to kick things off, we're here to hash it out with you, one on one.

We are delighted to offer our expertise and guide you through the process, talk numbers, and even throw in a sneak peek at some designs we think you'll love.