What are the Different Options for Front Yard Fences?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

There are many options for front yard fences that range in style, aesthetic quality, materials used, and the amount of privacy and protection that the fences offer. Some of the simplest and most basic fences are made out of metal or wood and are as tall, on average, as the abdominal region of most adults. Chain link fences are some of the most basic and common front yard fences made from metal. The iconic white picket fence is one of the most common kinds of wooden front yard fences. These kinds of fences, like most, can be built with or without a gate.

A house with a picket fence.
A house with a picket fence.

There are a number of other ways that metal and wood can be used to make front yard fences. Iron gates can be used to make beautiful fences and gates. Various kinds of wood can be used to make front yard fences. While the traditional white picket fence has a very neat, manicured look, some people prefer a more roughly-hewn aesthetic. In this case, rail road ties can be used to make front yard fences.

Front yard fences can be designed to be open or offer some privacy.
Front yard fences can be designed to be open or offer some privacy.

Other materials that are sometimes used to make front yard fences include brick and concrete. Just as with metal and wood, there are various ways in which brick and concrete can be used. When these sorts of materials are used to make front yard fences, they often include gates that are made out of either wood or metal. Fences made from concrete and brick are usually more expensive than fences made from metal and wood. They also usually take more time and effort to install, which are factors that influence their costs.

Another material that can be used to make front yard fences is stone. These are usually referred to as stone walls instead of stone fences, but they serve the same purpose as fences. Just as with concrete and brick fences, stone fences are usually much more expensive than fences made out of wood or metal. That being said, front yard walls and fences made out of brick, concrete, and stone can last much longer than fences made out of metal and wood. Some iron fences, especially those that are very well constructed, can last as long as these kinds of fences.

High fences can offer a great deal of privacy. Low fences, however, can be used if one does not want to interrupt a view. Fences with pointed tops or even tops covered in glass shards can be used as a security measure.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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A friend of mine lives in a very old, fancy home. There is a beautiful wrought iron fence that runs around the entire front yard. It is very ornamental, but all the fence posts end in these really sharp spikes. I have never been able to decide if the design is striking or intimidating. You look at the fence and can't help but think of being impaled.


I got a book from my library of different privacy fence designs and I was amazed at how much variety there is out there.

If you feel inclined to you can turn your fence into a work of art. By using different kinds of materials, shapes, and paint colors you can create fences that look like they came out of a story book. I have so many interesting choices now that I am struggling to find the choice that is right for me.


Before you build a front yard fence be sure to check with your neighborhood association and the city. Some places have rules against building fences in your front yard. You might be thinking, my home, my choice, but you can face real penalties if you build one when you are not allowed to.

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