Choosing the right fence for your home is an important decision. Your fence can offer you security, privacy, and better aesthetics when you select the right design. When deciding which fence panel is best for you, it’s crucial to consider how the fence will impact you, your life, and your daily routines for years to come.
How Do I Choose a New Fence? A Simple 5-Step Guide
Fence panels come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common designs are made of wood, but these aren’t the only option. Other materials, like aluminum fence panels or chain link posts, have different benefits. Which type is right for you depends on what you need. Here’s a quick 5-step guide on how to choose a new fence that works for you.
1. Determine your priorities
The first step to choosing the right fence is determining what your priorities are. Because different panels offer different benefits, the type that’s best for you depends on what you need the most.
For example, aluminum fence panels are significantly less maintenance than timber, but they only come in a selection of colors. Timber panels need annual maintenance, but can be stained or painted any color. If your priority is having a low-maintenance fence vs being able to change the color at any time, an aluminum fence may be better for you.
When deciding your priorities, consider:
- Strength – How strong do you need your fence to be? Do you have high winds that you need to protect your yard from?
- Maintenance – How much annual maintenance do you want to do? Do you enjoy sanding and painting fences regularly? Or do you prefer a low-maintenance fence that stays sharp for years?
- Security – Do you want your fence to enhance your home security? Do you need a fence to keep pets in or people out?
- Privacy – Do you want a fence that’ll offer privacy in your front or back yard?
- Aesthetics – Is aesthetics more important than anything else? Do you want your fence to enhance the look of your back or front yard or increase your home value?
You should also consider where your new fence will be going and what it needs to connect to. For example, will it join a side gate, garage door, or front gate? If so, do you want the doors to match the fences or are you happy with different styles/materials for different areas?
2. Understand your options
Many people assume timber fences are the only option, but different types of fence panels are available to meet your needs. For example, you can get:
- Timber – Are the most common type of fence, but require annual maintenance and replacement every 5-10 years
- Aluminum – Are strong, long-lasting, and low maintenance
- Composite – Are entirely weather-proof, but pricy
- Chain link – Are affordable, but lack privacy and security
- Vinyl – Are easy to care for, but can be expensive
Explore images of different types of fence panels to see what matches your front or back yard appearance.
3. Weigh pros and cons
Each type of fence has its pros and cons. If you can’t decide which fence panels are right for you and your home, weigh up the pros and cons to see which meets your priorities most.
Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of the two most common fence panels (aluminum vs wood) to help you decide.
Pros of aluminum fences include:
- Strong, long-lasting, and won’t sag over time
- Easy to install
- Have variable spacing options
- Are aesthetically pleasing, with a range of colors available
- Aren’t chemically treated
- Are low maintenance
Cons of aluminum fences include:
- Highly lightweight
- Aren’t as common, so finding the right contractor is important
Pros of wooden fences are:
- Can be painted or stained in any color
- Come in different styles, like trellis’ or picket designs
Cons of wooden fences are:
- Require routine maintenance, like repainting and re-staining
- Use chemicals to deter bugs and prevent rotting
- Can bode, sag, and bend over time
- Short lifespan, between 5-10 years, depending on maintenance
Read our expert guide on wood vs aluminum fence panels to learn more.
4. Decide your budget
All fence panels are affordable, but some cost more than others. You often pay more for a fence panel that lasts longer, requires less annual maintenance, and has a better aesthetic.
For the most common fence panels, you can expect costs that are:
- Timber – Affordable, but require routine maintenance and replacement
- Aluminum – Affordable, long-lasting, and low maintenance
- Composite – Can be pricy
- Chain link – Affordable and durable with minimal maintenance, but don’t offer security, privacy, or aesthetics
- Vinyl – Can be pricy
5. Choose your height
Once you’ve decided which type of fence panel is best for you, it’s time to choose a height. You can select a recommended size for your location, or you can get a custom design to meet your needs.
In the US, most fence heights are:
- Front yard: 3 feet
- Backyard: 4-6 feet
- Pool fence: 4 feet
- Deer fence: 7-8 feet
What Type of Fence is Most Durable?
All fences are durable, provided they have been fitted properly and use high-grade materials. However, fence panels made from aluminum, iron, composite, or stone tend to be the most durable. At Alumission, our aluminum fence panels are fire-resistant, termite-free, and powder-coated to stay looking their best for years to come.
Choosing the right fence panel for your home depends entirely on your personal preferences. It’s easier to consider the purpose of your fence first, then choose a fence panel that meets your needs the most.
Ready to find your perfect fence? Shop our fences, gates, and lock hardware today. Or get a free quote for installing aluminum fence panels on your property. Our products are made in the USA with outstanding quality and durability.