Before you even begin to start thinking about what garden fencing options you need, you need to be clear on the reason why you need a fence. The most common options are, keeping people out, keeping animals in, providing a barrier between you and neighbours, windbreak or just for the aesthetic. Once you determine the purpose of your fence and your budget you will have an idea on what fencing best fits your needs
The most common forms of fencing are wood, vinyl/PVC, steel or aluminium. These types of fencing have their advantages and disadvantages, but with budget, local building regulations and climate they will help influence your final choice of fencing.
A wooden fence is the most natural option and in most situations is the only one that is acceptable as some listed buildings and housing regulations only insist on wood. Sustainable wood production can increase the cost of a wooden fence, while cheap wooden fencing can carry environmental harm as it causes deforestation, milling and transportation and carbon footprint implication. The quality of a wooden fence does vary, but you never know until the installation is up. Having a timber fence put in professionally installed can be cheaper, but it can also be the more expensive option as it all depends on the timber being used and the installer. You also need to remember the maintenance costs in both time and money, so sometimes timber can work out as one of the most expensive options.
Main pros – more natural looking, can be painted, wide range of styles and designs.
Main cons – weathers quickly, weather dependent (can be damaged by all types of weather), rots, shorter lifetime, variable quality.
Once this option of fencing became available it was meant to be a game changer, except this didn’t happen as they lack full climate adaptability, which if you live in the UK you need a fence that is suitable for all weathers! Vinyl/PVC fences work well in the sunny Midwest USA but in colder climates people found that vinyl/PVC fences were becoming brittle and in damp conditions they develop algae. Even though vinyl/PVC fences are maintenance free they are expensive to purchase and install.
Main pros – looks like wood at a distance, low maintenance as it doesn’t require painting, child friendly as it doesn’t splinter.
Main cons – prone to mould and algae, no industry approved way to paint a vinyl fence, disposal costs can be high, temperature change can make PVC brittle and liable to damage.
This is a fairly new fencing option, it has become more popular for the commercial industry rather than the residential areas. In more hotter climates aluminium fences have become the prime choice for barriers around swimming pools. Aluminium is cheaper than steal so it is the cheapest alternative to other metal fencing options.
Main pros – light weight, doesn’t corrode, maintains its appearance no matter the weather, recyclable.
Main cons – easily bent, if it is damaged the whole section will need to be replaced.
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