How do I Choose the Best Fencing Materials?

Dan Cavallari

The best fencing materials depend on what type of fence you need for your yard or space. Security fencing is best built with metal or chain link fencing, while the best materials for a privacy fence might be wood or vinyl. If you are looking for a material that is low maintenance, vinyl is the best choice, but for aesthetics and strength, wood, brick, or stone are the best fencing materials. Regardless of the materials used for the fencing panels and posts, be sure to choose hardware made from stainless steel or other strong fencing materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion.

While expensive, wrought iron fencing is highly decorative and strong.
While expensive, wrought iron fencing is highly decorative and strong.

Metal fencing materials include aluminum, steel, and wrought iron. Wrought iron is the most expensive and rarest of the metal fencing materials, but it is also highly decorative and strong. Installing wrought iron fencing is not terribly difficult, but the sections of the fence must be pre-cut and measured to a specific length. Choose wrought iron if you want a highly decorative fence that will last a long time, and cost is not a concern.

Wooden garden fences are not typically very strong.
Wooden garden fences are not typically very strong.

For security purposes, chain link fence is the best option. It is versatile and easy to install, and it is extremely effective at keeping unwanted visitors out of the yard or space. For added security, barbed wire can be added to chain link fences. Choose chain link fencing materials that are made from thicker metals. Cheaper, thinner metals will save you money to begin with, but thinner metals are more likely to bend, break, or need maintenance down the road.

Garden fences are made from wood or vinyl and are usually not incredibly strong. They are made to look good and to keep animals out of the garden. While vinyl is a good choice for a low-maintenance fence that will not need to be stained or painted, wood is a better choice if deer or other large animals are getting into your garden. For decorative purposes, consider wood or vinyl trellises that vines can climb up.

For privacy, a variety of materials can be used. Brick as a fencing material is a great choice for both privacy, security, and aesthetics, but installing a brick fence can be quite difficult and expensive. Wood is the easiest material to work with for a security fence, as it can be cut to specific lengths and widths. Vinyl is a good choice, but installing a vinyl fence properly takes a fair amount of skill and patience.

Galvanized steel wire is often used to weave corrosion-resistant fencing mesh.
Galvanized steel wire is often used to weave corrosion-resistant fencing mesh.

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- Unfortunately, wrought iron fencing will rust in time. Though it is durable, you must monitor a wrought iron fence for the onset of rust, and take preventative measures to keep it from spreading. If you don't, your fence can be severely and possibly permanently damaged.

As you find rust on your wrought iron fence, you will need to sand the rust, pain the areas with primer, then apply paint that is formulated for wrought iron metal. More than likely, this will be a black wrought iron paint.

Every several years, you may want to paint your entire wrought iron fence to improve its looks and keep the rust away. Though this a major job, it is worth the work because it will help make your wrought iron fence last for a long time.


I am thinking about putting some wrought iron fencing in front of my house, but I am concerned about the upkeep of it. I know that this type of metal fencing material is durable, but I was wondering if it has a tendency to rusty. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

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