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Fence Materials Guide

There are many reasons to put up a fence: privacy, borders, and architectural enhancement to name a few. No matter the reason, there are fencing materials to suit your home and landscape. From chain-link to vinyl, use our guide to find the best fencing materials to fit your needs.

Wood fencing materials.

Wood Fencing

Wood panel fencing is commonly used as a decorative means of providing privacy for homes in neighborhood settings. It's also a good choice for setting boundaries for small children and pets. The wood fence panels usually come in 6- or 8-foot sections, 4 to 6 feet tall. The panels are available with either dog-eared or pointed (stockade) pickets. Paint or stain your fence to match your landscape or keep them natural. The panels are pressure-treated for above-ground use and pre-assembled for faster installation.

Split Rail (or Post-and-Rail) fencing adds a rustic or country look to a home's landscape. Use this fence to define specific areas in your yard or provide an easily visible separation along property lines. The rails are available either split or round in lengths from 8 to 12 feet. The two- or three-rail posts range from 3 to 5 feet above ground. 

Depending on the region, wood fencing is made from cedar, pine, redwood or spruce.

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Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fencing.

Vinyl fencing is an attractive, relatively maintenance-free type of fencing. It's available in forms similar to both wood panel and rail fencing. Vinyl fencing isn't subject to rot, fading or other effects of weather and time as wood fencing. Vinyl is a good choice for an attractive, easily maintained fence system. Panels are normally 6 or 8 feet wide and 4 to 6 feet tall. Many panels are rackable (adjustable to fit slopes in your landscape).  

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Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fence.

Chain-link fencing (sometimes called hurricane fencing) is an economical way to enclose an area. Chain link is a good choice for keeping pets in or other creatures out. Made from galvanized steel wire, chain-link systems consist of terminal posts (usually set in concrete) line posts and top rails. This frame supports the fence material itself, referred to as "fabric." 

Chain-link fencing comes in 50 foot length rolls 3 to 12 feet in height.  If you don't like the silvery look of the bare fence, it's available with a weather-resistant vinyl coating, usually green or black. Single and double prefabricated gates are available to complete the project.

Gauge (9 – 11.5) and mesh (2-2.5 inch) sizes vary to accommodate the need. The smaller the gauge number, the heavier the wire. Higher fences usually require a larger gauge.

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Decorative Metal Fencing

Decorative metal fence.

Decorative metal fencing offers the appearance of wrought iron, yet is made from powder-coated steel or aluminum. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, the panel and gate components are easy to assemble, making this type of fencing a great do-it-yourself project.

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Farm Fencing

Farm Fencing.

Farm fencing includes pre-fabricated gates and panels; heavier gauge galvanized welded wire and barbed/barbless wire. It's primarily used for feedlots, pens, corrals or pastures for larger animals. You'll also find heavy-duty plastic/polyresin deer fencing to protect your landscape and garden.

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Garden and Utility Fencing

Wire garden fence.

Garden and utility fencing is normally used to contain pets or to keep animals out of gardens. The material is available in rolls two to four feet high and up to 150 feet in length. Referred to as hardware cloth, it's also available with a vinyl coating, usually green or brown. When used with rail fencing, welded wire makes an effective pet containment fence for large areas. Plastic/polyresin and wood are less expensive, lighter weight alternatives for light-duty or seasonal use.

Poultry netting, or chicken wire, may be the most economical type of containment fence available. As the name implies, it's generally used to fence in chickens. It's also a good choice for dogs, rabbits and other small pets. T-posts, U-posts or wooden posts are commonly used to support this type of fencing.

Decorative garden border fencing and gates are available in a range of widths and heights and are used primarily to establish boundaries or as landscape accents.

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Shop T-posts and U-posts

Other Fencing Products

There are other fencing products and options that may be available in your local store or by Special Order.

Bamboo has been used as a building material for thousands of years. It's been adapted for fencing and gates also.

Composite fencing is an alternative to wood. It's made from recycled wood and plastic and offers lower maintenance with the look of real wood. Composite fence also resists insects, splitting and decay.

Electric fencing is normally used to contain livestock. With low-output chargers, electric fencing is also used in residential settings to keep animals out of gardens. Chargers are powered by regular AC current or solar energy. 

Electronic pet containment fencing is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a pet containment solution without any visible sign of a fence. The system consists of a thin gauge wire, a transmitter and a collar. Form the fence into any shape you want, to conform to your property. Put the collar on your pet, and if it gets close to the fence's perimeter, the pet receives a warning signal through the collar. Wireless transmitters are also available. 

Lattice is available in wood (spruce, redwood, cedar) or vinyl in various shades. It's commonly used for privacy or to screen unsightly areas such as trashcans or under decks.