8 Best Fence Materials for All Styles and Budgets

The best fence materials give you the security you need and fit your budget level. The eight most common materials include vinyl, treated wood, wrought iron, barbed wire, composite, metal, steel, and pallet wood. Each provides very different looks, installation considerations, and costs. 


Fence Materials

Yard Fence Materials: 8 Choices for You

This guide will assist you in choosing the appropriate fence material for your yard, whether it’s for defining property boundaries or securing pets.

1. Vinyl Fence: Best for Varied Styles

Vinyl yard fencing is popular for its versatility and aesthetic appeal. It comes in customizable colors and designs, with some options imitating a classic picket fence and other popular types of fence designs.

Most homeowners choose this fencing material for its durability. Vinyl isn’t prone to warping, cracks, or rot, unlike wood. The only required maintenance is washing your vinyl fence with soap and water.

2. Wrought Iron Fence: Best for Classic Curb Appeal

Wrought iron is a hardy fencing material used for security. Properly maintained wrought iron fences can last many years, even in harsh weather conditions. Wrought iron fences are capped with decorative finials, giving them an elegant look.

3. Barbed Wire: Best Utilitarian Material

Barbed wire is used for yard fencing as a security measure and livestock containment. It’s an effective barrier against intruders and can be a borderline between properties.

Installing barbed wire is relatively inexpensive, and the materials need minimal maintenance. But, it doesn’t provide privacy and may cause unintentional injury. It may not be suitable for properties where aesthetics are a priority.

4. Composite Fence: Best for Low Maintenance

Composite fences are environmentally friendly and made from recycled plastic and wood fibers. They mimic the appearance of wood while providing better durability. Unlike wood fences, composite fences don’t need regular staining, painting, or sealing.

They come in various colors and styles, allowing for vertical or horizontal panel arrangement. Composite fences are expensive and require professional installation.

5. Metal Fence: Best for Moderate Privacy

Iron, aluminum, and steel are the standard metal fencing materials — all known for their high security and longevity. Choose this fence material if you’re keen on aesthetics and security but willing to give up some privacy.

6. Steel Fence: Best Modern and Contemporary

Steel fences have a sleek appearance suitable for modern yards. Galvanized steel is incredibly strong and durable and is the standard material in chain-link yard fences. The protective finishes minimize rusting, but steel fences may need repainting from time to time.

You can blend steel with other fence materials for a unique, contemporary look. For instance, combining steel posts with vertical wood pickets results in a strong and private design.

7. Treated Wood Fence: Best for Outdoor Elegance

Pressure-treated wood offers better durability than non-treated wood fences. The treatment process involves adding preservatives to the wood, making it resistant to decay, rot, and insect damage.

8. Pallet Fence: Best for DIY Aesthetic

Pallet fences consist of recycled wood pallets, an affordable option for yard fencing. Pallets are easy to source and work with for DIY projects. Depending on your fence style, the boards can have a vertical or horizontal orientation.

You can build pallet fences at various heights to create different levels of privacy. You can leave gaps between the boards for a rustic look or butt them together for a solid appearance.