12 Types of Fences (by Function and Construction) | How Much Does a Fence Cost?

Types of Fences – If you want to read about different types of fences, our site is for you. We want to share with you the most important facts about fences: types of fencing, average cost, longevity, looks, usefulness.

We want to point out that before choosing a fence, you have to know why you’re buying it in the first place so that you’ll exactly know your needs.

Most people want to build a fence because they want more privacy, safety (perimeter fencing), for decorative reasons or because they want to demarcate a piece of their property.

Once you know why you want to buy a fence, we can talk about different fences.

There are numerous types of fences which we can describe by either function (such as agricultural fencing or privacy fencing) or construction (such as chain-link fencing, picket fences or wall fences).

Let’s start with fences by function. We focus on fences for individual use (so we don’t write about temporary fences, prison fences, snow fences etc.).

Types of Fences by Function

There are many different uses of fences. Here are a few most important types of fences by function for individual use:

1. Agricultural fencing

Fences are very useful in agriculture – they are used to keep livestock in and predators out. Most agricultural fences are approximately four feet high. In most countries agricultural fences are required by law.

Different fences are used for different animals. Most popular agricultural fences are wires fences – either barbed wire (for cattle), smooth wire (for a lower risk of lacerations and cuts if an animal becomes entangled in it) or woven wire (for pigs, goat and sheep) and wood or pipe fences (particularly on horse farms where fences have to be strong).

2. Privacy fencing

Privacy fencing, as the name implies, is used to provide more privacy. People who want to add privacy to their own yards usually choose high fences – approximately six feet high.

The most popular fences for privacy are hedges (and other privacy plantings – especially useful when you want to have a higher fence and local laws don’t permit it), stockade fences, vinyl fences and walls (including durable concrete fences).

3. Perimeter fencing

Perimeter fences are installed to prevent access – trespassing or theft. Perimeter fences are usually made of single vertical metal bars, often with spikes on the top to prevent climbing.

Perimeter fences are frequently build in upscale residential areas, usually with security cameras and other security measures.

4. Decorative fencing

Decorative fences are used to enhance the appearance of a property. The most common example of decorative fences are classic white picket fences.

Decorative fences are frequently used in gardens. Most fences for decorative purposes are from wood and sometimes from steel.

5. Boundary fencing

As the name implies, boundary fencing is used to set boundaries. Building dividing fences may result in a dispute so be sure to talk with your neighbor first and check local laws.

Types of Fences by Construction

Fences can be made from many materials which have a different durability, looks and which offer a different level security. The most popular fences by construction are:

1. Wire fences

Wire fences are one of the most common and one of the cheapest fences. Wire fences are frequently being used in agricultural fencing, on courts, tracks and for security (human-proof barbed wire fences).

Most common wire fences are:

  • Chain-link fences
  • Barbed wire fences
  • Smooth wire fences
  • Electric fences

2. Wooden fences (including picket fences and stockade fences)

Wooden fences are perfect for decorative purposes as well as for privacy and security. Moreover, wooden fences are relatively inexpensive and fairly durable.

White picket fences are inseparably associated with the American Dream and are extremely common in most residential areas.

Stockade fences are perfect for providing privacy in your backyard. Installing a wooden stockade fence basically gives you an additional room.

Another important advantage of wooden fences is that you can save a lot of money on a wooden fence by installing it (or even constructing it) on your own.

3. Steel fences

Steel fences are great for security, durability and decorative purposes. They are frequently built on small walls and have spears on the top to prevent trespassing.

Steel fences, along with wooden fences, are one of the most common fences in residential areas. Since they are more durable than wooden fences, they are also more expensive.

4. Hedges

Hedges are very practical fences – they serve both decorative purposes and mark the boundary of your property. Most hedges won’t prevent trespassing, but they should provide more privacy and may have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health (greener surroundings calm people and improve the looks of your neighborhood).

5. Walls

Walls provide ultimate privacy and security, they can also serve for decorative purposes. Since walls can’t be installed as easily as wooden fences or even concrete fences, it isn’t a good choice for home owners who want to secure their properties within a short period of time.

6. Concrete fences

Concrete fences are highly durable and easy to install. If you’re looking for something very durable, yet good looking, a concrete fence may be a good choice for you. The most important disadvantage of concrete fences is their cost – they are one of the most expensive fences on the market.

7. Vinyl fences

Vinyl fences are one of the most durable fences available on the market. Most vinyl fences come with a lifetime (and usually even transferrable) guarantee.

How Much Does a Fence Cost?

Okay, so now that you know a little more about fences, you probably wonder how much a fence costs. Fencing costs depend on many factors such as:

  • Material used (wood is cheaper than vinyl)
  • Longevity (more durable fences are more expensive)
  • Looks (decorative fences are more expensive)

Okay, but what about some numbers? There you go, here are a few rough estimates:

The most basic four feet chain link fence will cost you approximately 8 dollars per foot.

Wooden fence costs around $10 per foot for a four feet fence, and approximately $15 per foot for a higher six feet privacy fence (stockade fence). Remember that wood of a better quality will be of course more expensive.

Durable vinyl fence costs about 20 dollars per foot (most vinyl fences come with a lifetime guarantee).

If you decide to install a steel or a wrought iron fence (which are also very durable), you have to expect to pay at least 20-30 dollars per foot.

Precast concrete fence is even more expensive (but extremely durable) – it will cost you from $30-40 up to $50-60 per foot.

Usually most companies which offer fence installation provide on their websites a simple calculator to estimate costs of your fence.

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