What are the Different Options for Backyard Fences?

Dan Cavallari

The types of backyard fences available will suit a variety of needs and fit different aesthetics depending on the type of fence. For security purposes, a chainlink fence is a good option, though it is one of the least visually appealing. A vinyl fence will offer low maintenance and visual appeal, but it is not the strongest of the backyard fences and will provide little in the way of security. Wood fences are aesthetically pleasing but require more maintenance, and brick fences are both strong and aesthetically pleasing, but the cost of installing one can be quite high.

Low picket fences don't block a backyard's view.
Low picket fences don't block a backyard's view.

Some backyard fences are designed to simply keep animals out of the yard. A picket fence made of wood or vinyl can accomplish this while still allowing for a pleasant aesthetic, and a garden fence can be built to protect just the garden rather than an entire yard. If the homeowner is considering backyard fences that also provide privacy, however, picket fences will do little to fit the bill. Privacy fencing is much taller, and the slats of the fence sit tightly together to eliminate any gaps in the fencing. Privacy fencing can be made from wood or vinyl; vinyl requires less maintenance, as it does not need to be painted or stained, but it may crack or warp if not installed correctly.

Fences made of split rails look rustic.
Fences made of split rails look rustic.

If aesthetics is the only concern when considering backyard fences, a stone fence is a great choice. They take a considerable amount of time to construct properly, but they offer a rustic feel and can be built to accent certain parts of the yard. If the backyard fences being considered border a roadway or another area where passers by will be looking at the house, brick is a great choice for visual appeal. Brick fences are much more expensive to build, as it takes an experienced mason to do the work properly, but they are strong and long-lasting, and visually pleasing. Brick fences can also be tall to act as a privacy fence, though the cost of such a fence will be exponentially higher than other options.

Split rail fences are laid in a zig-zag pattern.
Split rail fences are laid in a zig-zag pattern.

Split rail backyard fences are fairly easy to construct, though the look of them can either be rustic and beautiful or haphazard and perfunctory. A split rail fence is made from unfinished pieces of wood lain horizontally, usually in a zig-zag pattern. They can be built without tools, but such fences will not be the strongest or most permanent by any means. Split rail fences are useful in keeping animals either in or out of the yard.

A garden fence can be built to protect just the garden but not the entire yard.
A garden fence can be built to protect just the garden but not the entire yard.

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