Pros and Cons of Different Fence Materials

While many people imagine a wooden fence when they think of one at all, or perhaps a chain-link fence at best, there are actually quite a few different fence materials out there that you can make use of, and each of them has its pros and cons. In this article, we’ll cover what some of those pros and cons are for each material mentioned.

There are three main materials that are most often used for fences. That includes wood, chain-link, and aluminum. We’ll cover each of them in detail, but in brief, each fence type focuses on two out of three pros: cost, aesthetic, and maintenance. Each material offers up two of these while falling short in the other.

Chain-Link Fencing

Perhaps one of the most inexpensive options out there, most people would also agree that chain-link fences are the least aesthetically desirable, often evoking imagery of schoolyards, prisons, or restricted areas. In fact, the lack of an attractive aesthetic is the primary con to be mentioned here, as there is little else to condemn about chain-link fencing.

The price of installation is quite cheap, being less expensive for an installer to work with compared to any of the other choices. On top of that, maintenance is quite simple, as you hardly need to do anything to take care of a chain-link fence and keep it worthy of service. At worst, it may start to rust if it is not coated in vinyl.

Aside from that, chain-link fences are extremely durable, and if it does get damaged somehow, the price or preparing that damage is not too significant. Basically, chain-link fencing is what you would go for if you care only about price, maintenance and functionality and nothing about aesthetics whatsoever. 

That said, it should be obvious that chain-link fences don’t do as much for your privacy, what with all the big holes involved.

Wooden Fencing

Wooden fencing focuses on inexpensive pricing (though somewhat more expensive than chain-link overall) and good-looking aesthetics. In order to have both of these things, it sacrifices ease of maintenance. Wood fencing definitely requires the most effort to maintain. Said maintenance will almost certainly require the wood to be stained and treated.

Furthermore, repairing any damage to a wooden fence is moderately more of a hassle than the other fence types, as any wood that needs to be replaced will also need to be stained and treated as well, not to mention painted if that is applicable to your fence.

But if you are willing to put up with the effort that goes into maintenance for a wood fence, it will serve you very well. You can customize wood fencing to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, and unlike a chain-link fence, there are not as many big holes involved for people to look through if you value your privacy

At its core, wooden fencing is ideal for those who value aesthetics overall over features, though wooden fences still aren’t terribly expensive.

Aluminum Fencing

Aluminum fencing focuses on aesthetics and maintenance but falls short on price. Of all these options, aluminum fencing is without a doubt the most expensive, though that is not to say that installing it would break the bank. Like chain-link though, it’s not a great choice for those who want their privacy, as there are many gaps in it.

The most notable thing about aluminum fencing is how extremely durable it is. Even in areas that are prone to heavy winds, aluminum fencing can take a beating without actually looking or being any worse for wear.

While we did mention aesthetics as a pro for aluminum fencing, we can readily admit that many people would probably prefer wooden fencing on that front. However, it still clearly surpasses chain-link in such a regard, and some people do prefer aluminum to wood aesthetically.

Summary

At the end of the day, the differences between the three major fencing materials are quite simple, and while things are naturally more complicated than we are making them seem, you can rely on this simple notion to make a judgment call:

  • A chain-link fence is the most inexpensive and easy to maintain, but for most, it is the most aesthetically displeasing option available.
  • A wooden fence is considered by most people to be the most visually appealing, and while more expensive than chain-link, it’s still quite affordable. However, it requires the highest amount of maintenance.
  • Aluminum fencing is the most expensive of the three options but is simple to maintain and is still considered visually appealing to many people. Furthermore, it is the most durable option available.

Keep these things in mind, and you should be able to tell which type of fencing material would really be the best for your situation.