How To Choose Fence Panels & Border Fencing

Quality fencing can improve your home's curb appeal as well as provide much-needed security and privacy for your home. But the enormous selection of fence panels & border fencing can be overwhelming and make choosing the right fence a challenge.

To help you find the perfect fence for your home, here is our buyer's guide complete with everything you need to know about the styles and materials used for fence panels.

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Which Style of Fence Panels & Borders Should I Choose?

The style of fence you choose needs to coordinate with the style of your home and landscaping to create a cohesive and inviting look. Some of the most common styles of fence panels & border fencing include:

  • Decorative

Decorative fences are primarily used to enhance the style of your home rather than demarcate boundaries or provide security. They come in a wide variety of styles to suit modern, contemporary, and traditional homes, including laser-cut composite panels that can be attached to existing fence structures, sculptural fences for use around patio areas, or topiary walls to screen off your yard.

Brown Classic Bamboo Rolled Fence Panel
Brown Stylish Composite Fence Panel
Black Contemporary Composite Fence Panel
White Classic Composite Fencing
Green Traditional Artificial Hedge Fencing
Green Classic Expandable Decorative Fence Panel
  • Picket

Picket fences evoke a feeling of nostalgia, making them an excellent choice for classic American, country, cottage, or farmhouse style homes. They are characterized by evenly spaced vertical posts, or pickets, which are attached to horizontal rails. Fence pickets and post caps can come in ornate patterns for traditional homes or clean minimal lines that are perfect for modern and contemporary homes.

White Classic Vinyl Picket Garden Fence
Black Traditional Metal Picket Fence
Black Simple Metal Border Fencing
White Classic Vinyl Fence Panel
Brown Modern Bamboo Self Standing Picket Fence
White Simple Vinyl Picket Fence Panel
  • Post-and-Rail

Post-and-rail fences were historically used for agricultural purposes but can now add stylish rustic charm to your front yard. They use fewer materials that other styles of fence as they consist only of 2-3 horizontal rails attached to widely spaced posts, which makes them an affordable option for a front yard or border. However, due to the open structure, they are unsuitable as a privacy or security fence.

  • Hurdle

Hurdle fences have a similar structure to a post-and-rail fence, but they have a more natural organic look. Often, the horizontal posts are made from narrow, flexible materials such as hazel or willow and woven to form a panel. This makes them a stunning privacy screen or perfect for use as a natural garden border.

  • Lattice

Lattice fences are designed with a diagonally woven diamond pattern and come in open and closed varieties. Lattice is typically used for decorative fencing or as a fence topper. However, they do make excellent garden borders and fences for patio areas.

Lattice is available in wood, composite, and vinyl, allowing you to choose from a wide range of finishes to suit your yard.

Green Traditional Artificial Expandable Fence Panel
White Classic Vinyl Diamond Lattice Fencing
Brown Traditional Bamboo Japanese Kumo Fence Panel
Green Classic Composite Lattice Fence Panel
White Classic Vinyl Lattice Fencing
Brown Traditional Reed Lattice Fence Panel
  • Trellis

Trellis style fences are perfect for creating a living fence, garden divider, or border in your yard. The open lattice structure allows plants to quickly and easily climb and form around the panels to create a thick hedge or screen perfect for use as a privacy screen.

Trellises are made from metal, wood, or vinyl and can be attached to already existing fence structures or secured with a cement base. However, many styles of trellis have low-impact resistance, which means they can be easily damaged in inclement weather.

  • Chain Link

Typically made from galvanized steel, chain link fences are woven into a tight net structure that is suitable for security fences and pet enclosures. The fence is secured using steel posts that are deeply sunk into the ground and panels made up of a steel frame covered in the chain-link material.

Chain link fences offer better visibility than other fence styles due to the open weave structure, but this makes them unsuitable as a privacy fence. You can cover the chain link with a fabric screen for more privacy. They also have a more casual appearance than other styles of fence panels and may not add to the value or curb appeal of your home.

White Classic Wire Mesh Fence Panel
Silver Classic Metal Rolled Chain Link Fencing
Silver Modern Metal Galvanized Welded Fencing
Silver Classic Metal Chain Link Fencing
Green Modern Composite Safety Netting Fencing
White Classic Vinyl Chain Link Garden Fencing

What is the Best Material to Use for Fence Panels & Border Fencing?

The material you choose for your fence determines how well it will function, its durability and longevity, as well as how well it coordinates with the style of your home. Some of the most popular fence materials include:

  • Wood

Classic and timeless, wood is a popular choice for fence panels and border fencing for its stylish appearance and durable structure.

Lumber used for fence panels has a lower upfront cost than many other wood alternatives. To get an even, seamless and stylish looking wooden fence, you may need to pay for professional installation. Wooden fences can be painted or stained with any finish you want so you can customize your fence to suit your home's landscape.

Look for pressure-treated pine, cedar, or redwood when selecting wooden fence panels. The procedure uses a vacuum to preserve the wood to give the panels better durability and weather-resistance. This gives you a longer-lasting fence that requires little to no maintenance or sealants. Cedar, cypress, and redwood also have natural insect repellant properties making it an excellent choice for homes that are prone to termite infestations.

  • Composite

Composite fence panels are made from a mixture of wood and either resin or plastic to give you a fence that has the stylish appearance of natural wood with the hard-wearing, low-maintenance properties of synthetic material.

Composite can be more expensive than other types of fence panels, but you will offset a large initial investment by saving long-term on staining and sealing costs. Composite panels come in an extensive range of colors and finishes to gives you more options to find the perfect tone to suit your garden or yard.

  • Vinyl

A simple and affordable way to create a fence is with vinyl panels. They usually come preassembled and consist of wooden posts sunk into the ground for stability and covered with a vinyl sleeve to which are attached the fence palings and toppers.

While they will not give you the texture and natural appeal of a solid wood fence, they are an excellent option for security and decorative picket fences for your front yard. The finish is extremely durable so they can withstand the elements without the need for continual painting or staining.

  • Metal

Metal fences are exceptionally sturdy and long-lasting, which makes them a suitable option for security fencing around your home. They are also a great way to enclose your home without visually cutting off your yard from view so you can showcase your home's exterior.

Aluminum fencing is amazingly versatile and can be easily installed to fit the contours of your yard. It is low-maintenance and highly-weather resistant. It is also exceptionally durable because it is not susceptible to rust, moisture, or sun damage. You can customize the look and function of your fence with the addition of decorative caps or spikes for security.

Wrought iron is a heavy-duty material that is ideal for security fences as it is difficult to cut through exceptionally hard to move due to its weight. Wrought iron also adds a stately look to your yard, making it an excellent choice for traditional homes. However, wrought iron fences require regular sanding and repainting to avoid rust.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is the most eco-friendly material used for fence panels and gives a casual, organic look to your yard. While you can use live bamboo for fencing as it is an extremely fast-growing species, bamboo fence panels are more durable and versatile.

Bamboo is also inexpensive, easy to install, and ideally suited for privacy fencing around pools, hot tubs, and patios. Using bamboo panels also enables you to  you create natural-looking borders around your garden without interfering with the growth of your plants.

The right height for your fence depends on the reason for building the fence, and it's location. 

  • Front yard fences can range between 2-4ft., although you may need to select a taller fence if you have a large breed of dog or require additional privacy screening if you live on a busy main road.
  • If you live in an area that is populated by deer, a 7ft. fence in the minimum height tokeep them out of your garden beds.
  • Pool fences usually have strict height limits and must not be any shorter than 4ft.
  • Privacy fences used in the backyard and to separate your home from your neighbors should be between 6-8 ft.

While the height of your panels depends on the primary use of the fence, you also need to consider the local planning restrictions in your area. In general, any fence over 6 ft. may require planning permission from your city.

Can I Increase the Height of My Fence Once it is Installed?

If you require more privacy from the neighbors or have a pet that is a climber or jumper, you can extend the height of your fence after installation using post extenders and lattice panels. This enables you to achieve the added privacy you need without investing in a new, taller fence. Check the height restrictions in your city before extending your fence. A fence over 8 ft. typically requires a permit from your local zoning office.

Quick Tips

  • Choose a fence style that coordinates with the aesthetic of your home's exterior and landscaping, and also caters to your privacy and security needs.
  • The material of your fence panels determines how durable, long-lasting, and functional they are. It will also have a significant impact on the visual appeal of your fence and how well it blends with your home. Wood has a timeless elegance, is affordable and easy to maintain, while composite and vinyl panels offer better weather-resistance and durability.
  • To find the right height for your fence, consider whether you need a taller fence for better security and privacy screening, or a low fence to showcase your yard.
  • Your city may also have height limitations for fencing dividing neighboring homes and around pools. Consult your local zoning office before installing your fence panels and border fencing.

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