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A fence can keep your children and pets safe in your yard, shield your family and guests from the prying eyes of neighbors, and protect your property from damage caused by trespassers or animals. Choose the right fencing material based on your security and privacy needs and budget.

Compare Fencing Materials
Wood fencing is the most popular choice because of its attractive appearance and the amount of privacy it affords. Wood species vary in terms of their resistance to decay and insects. The cost will depend on the height and length of the fence. It can take a significant amount of time to install a large wood fence, but if you choose quality wood, it may last as long as your house.

Vinyl or PVC fencing is made from plastic fashioned into panels and is much stronger and more flexible than wood fencing. Vinyl is easy to maintain, and stains can be removed with just soap and water. A vinyl fence lasts a long time, making it an excellent value. Vinyl fencing should be installed by a professional because, if it’s off by even a little, it’ll be noticeable.

Composite fencing is made from a combination of recycled wood and recycled plastic and can be cleaned with just water. Composite fencing should be installed by a professional.

A chain link fence is inexpensive and requires minimal maintenance. It doesn’t offer as much privacy as other fences because of the large gaps between links, but it’s strong enough to meet most homeowners’ security needs. Chain link fencing is economical if you need to enclose a large area, and you may also be able to save money by installing it yourself.

Aluminum fencing is easy to maintain, requiring only painting after installation. It can resemble other fencing materials and resists rust. Aluminum fencing doesn’t provide as much security as some other types of fencing, so it’s not the best option if you have a large dog that you need to keep confined.

Wrought iron fencing is stylish and expensive, since it needs to be custom-made. Wrought iron is strong, but it requires a lot of maintenance, including regular sanding and repainting to prevent rust.

Choose the Best Fence and Follow Local Rules
When choosing a fence for your yard, think carefully about your needs, priorities, time available for maintenance and budget. Before you install a fence, check your local zoning laws and homeowners association rules, if applicable. If you want to install a fence on the property line, make sure you know exactly where it is and have your property surveyed, if necessary, so you don’t put up a fence and have to move it later.