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What Are the Different Types of Yard Fencing?

A house with a picket fence.
Picket fences can be designed to be very functional.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Yard fencing varies in style, materials, and purpose; different designs are meant for different applications, from security or privacy to aesthetic appeal. The type of yard fencing one chooses will have an impact on the functionality of a space as well, as many fences can limit the amount of sunlight an area receives while others can help plants grow taller and straighter, especially vine plants or tall, heavy plants. Some yard fencing is designed to be ornamental and functional, providing a clear boundary around a yard while providing an attractive focal point. Picket fences are a good example of ornamental and functional fences.

The materials used in yard fencing vary according to purpose. Galvanized steel is used for chain link fencing, and while such a fence is a great choice for security, it is often not the most visually appealing choice. Wooden yard fencing provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance and can be used for numerous applications including privacy. Wood fencing does require more maintenance than other materials and will need to be repainted or re-stained periodically. Vinyl is a relative newcomer to the yard fencing market, and it is an affordable, attractive choice for decorative and privacy fencing. It is not, however, the strongest choice, and installation can be quite difficult.

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Garden fences can be installed around a garden area in a yard to keep pests out of the plants. These fences need not be heavy duty in most cases; a simple boundary fence made from light steel or aluminum can go a long way toward keeping pests out, and such fencing can also be used as a support for creeping plants. Gardens that are not planted with aesthetics in mind may benefit from heavier duty fencing such as wood or even chain link fencing, though in most cases this is not necessary.

Pool fencing is common in yards where inground pools pose a risk to passers by. Often made from vinyl, aluminum, steel, or even wood, these fences are meant to keep animals, small children, and unwanted guests from entering the pool area. Since inground pools pose a drowning risk, especially for children, it is important, and sometimes required by law, to fence off the area. Chain link fencing is a good choice for this application, and some chain link fences are available in different colors to enhance aesthetic appeal and add another layer of rust-proofing. Most pool fences feature a gate for easy access to the pool area, and just about any fencing material can be used to create a perimeter fence with a gate.

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