5 Different Types of Fences and Styles

March 31, 2024

It's true what they say: humans are social creatures. We have our limits, though, and that's why we use fences.

For homes and businesses alike, the right fencing can serve a variety of purposes. It can keep you and your property safe, or keep your pets and livestock in check. It can let you enjoy your outdoor space without the prying eyes of neighbors and passersby.

Before you can get everything you want out of your new fence, you need to know your options. Start with these popular styles and types of fences.

Fence Styles

When you choose a style of fence for your property, you're choosing function and form at the same time. Consider which of these styles has the look and features you want.

Classic Picket Fence

This is the typical residential fence everyone pictures when they think of the American landscape. A picket fence has posts with a series of vertical slats in between them. Most have several inches between each slat.

These fences are primarily meant for style and property marking. The open air between the slats makes it easy to see through, and most are too short to add privacy as well. They will, however, keep kids and many pets inside your lawn.

Privacy Fence

With a privacy fence, the purpose is clear in the name: it's meant to block the view into your property.

Most people use privacy fences around the sides and back of their property to prevent neighbors from seeing in their yard. They are common around swimming pools too. In the front of the property, though, many people trade the privacy fence for a picket fence.

Regardless of how you arrange your fence, a privacy fence has tall slats that are close together. They form a solid or near-solid wall and tend to extend higher than many other types of fences, often above eye level.

Post and Rail Fences

You may not know the name, but you have seen post and rail fences before, likely around horse stables and pastures. A post and rail fence uses posts with horizontal rails between them instead of vertical slats.

There are a few different ways to do this. The more modern look uses clean rails that are consistently straight throughout the fence. For a rustic look instead, you can choose a split-rail fence, which offsets the rails between the posts.

These fences tend to be more economical when you want to fence in large areas like pastures. They also work well to keep large animals inside a property, but they are too open to keep in small animals or offer privacy.

Lattice Fences

These fences are less common than the others on our list, but you can still spot them in some areas of the country.

With a lattice fence, we use a series of small, thin wooden slats to create a grid pattern. Think of it as a gingham look with wood instead of fabric.

Lattice fences still have enough space to see through, so they aren't used for privacy. However, the pattern does a great job of keeping people and animals in or out. It has a beautiful charm, especially when you decorate it with vines.

Chain-Link Fences

Everyone knows the trusty old chain link fence. Homeowners and business owners alike use these fences to protect their property, keeping pets in and keeping intruders out.

A chain-link fence is the most economical type of fence in most cases. It's also helpful for occasions when you need a temporary fence because it is easy to install and remove.

Types of Fences

When you've chosen the fence style you want, the next step is to choose what type of material you want. With the exception of chain-link fences, your fence can use any number of materials to get the perfect look and feel for your property.

Wood Fences

The wood fence is a traditional choice that has withstood the test of time. Part of the reason these fences are so well-loved is because they're so easy to customize.

Wood fences come in a variety of wood types. You can choose the wood breed you want based on your local climate, the look and features you want, the wood's sustainability, and more factors.

On top of the wood variety, you can choose any color for your wood fence too. There are countless wood stain colors on the market, so you can select the exact shade that complements your property. You can even change that color whenever you choose.

Of course, there is a downside. Wood is not naturally weather-resistant. It takes ongoing maintenance to keep your fence sealed against the elements.

Vinyl Fences

For people who want the look of a wooden fence without the maintenance, vinyl is the answer. Vinyl fencing is built to stand up against the weather so you don't need to keep sealing it or treating it.

The issue to keep in mind is that vinyl comes in many price points. Higher-priced products can be durable enough to keep looking great for decades. Inexpensive products may not have the same advantages.

Aluminum Fences

An aluminum fence looks elegant and classy, but it has all the functions to match too. Most aluminum fences are picket-style but with thin bars that have plenty of space between them.

As beautiful as an aluminum fence can be, it's a perfect choice for security too. The bars are strong and resilient so intruders cannot get through. As an added bonus, aluminum fences are low-maintenance and tend to keep their like-new look for many years.

Designing Your Ideal Fence

If you're thinking about installing a fence, you have a specific reason in mind. Maybe you want the added security or privacy, or perhaps your main focus is giving your property a more finished look.

Each property owner's goals are unique, so understanding the styles and types of fences above will give you a starting idea of what you want. To put your dream in motion, call our fencing team to discuss your options and begin the process.