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What Is the Most Secure But Least Expensive Residential Fencing Material?

August 30, 2020

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When you’re in the market for new residential fencing, you want something secure, attractive, and also affordable! A new fence installation, especially for a larger property, can cost hundreds if not even thousands of dollars. Maintenance and repairs also add to your ownership costs over the years, but of course no homeowner wants to sacrifice safety or aesthetics just to save a few dollars.

Vinyl, glass, or wood panels are typically considered the most secure residential fencing material, but note that glass offers no privacy and wood requires consistent upkeep. Most glass fencing is also pricier than other materials. Chain link residential fencing is very affordable but also offers little privacy and is relatively easy to climb; adding twisted barbs at the top does provide some security against intruders, however.

If all that information is confusing, it’s often helpful to consider some added details about various residential fencing materials, including their pros and cons and average pricing. You might also note some tips on how to add security and privacy to a more affordable fence, and how to improve the look of a fence as well!

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Remember that a residential fencing company near you can also offer suggestions for the best fence material and style for your property, and that fits your budget. In the end, you’ll have the beautiful fence you need at a price you can afford, and will be able to enjoy your property in comfort and security.

Comparing Residential Fencing Materials and Styles

Before choosing any residential fencing material or style, ensure you’ve checked on local building codes and HOA restrictions, if any. Once you’ve determined any restrictions or requirements for your new fence material, note some vital details about various styles and other features. You can then discuss your needs with a fencing company near you.

  • Chain link fencing is often the most affordable option for any homeowner. This fencing style is typically sold in large rolls, making installation somewhat easier than single panel fencing or wrought iron.
  • Chain link fencing has either a knuckle or barb top; a knuckle has the chain folded over for a smoother surface, whereas a barb or twist top has the chain cut and then twisted. Barbed tops are sharp and help deter someone from trying to climb the fence.
  • Larger mesh is typically more affordable as this means less metal used for the fence. However, smaller mesh offers less of a toehold for climbers, also adding to your property’s overall security.
  • One downside to chain link fencing is the lack of privacy! A homeowner can overcome this with slats inserted between the links or by planting shrubs, flowers, and other such greenery along the fence.
  • Another downside to chain link fencing is that it typically offers a somewhat drab, industrial look you might not appreciate for your residential property.
  • Mesh fencing is typically more lightweight than chain link so it’s easier to install a tall mesh fence; the lighter material is also less likely to simply topple over due to storms or everyday wear and tear.
  • Vinyl, wood, and glass panels are very difficult to climb so they might offer more security than most other fence materials. Vinyl is also very affordable and virtually maintenance free and might only require an occasional power washing to remove dirt and mud.
  • While vinyl residential fencing offers many advantages, note that it also offers an artificial look that some homeowners might not appreciate.
  • Glass fencing is typically more expensive than other options. While it also requires little to no maintenance other than an occasional cleaning, glass fences also offer no privacy! As with chain link fences, you can add privacy with shrubs and other such plantings in front of a glass fence.
  • Wood fencing provides a very rustic, pleasing appearance along with lots of privacy. However, wood fences need consistent maintenance, including painting and sealing.
  • Solid panel fencing not only provides security against intruders but also helps block outside sound, keeping your property quiet. If you have dogs that tend to bark at strangers, keep in mind that blocking their view with a vinyl or wood fence can also mean quieter pets!
  • While solid panel fencing is difficult to climb, note that it can also cut off fresh air circulation. You might not appreciate this during summer months, but reducing wind can help keep a heated pool warm while also reducing bothersome breezes during the cooler months or if you live in a very dusty area.

How to Add Security to Your Residential Fencing and Property Overall

No fencing material choice provides perfect security, so it’s vital that homeowners note some tips for ensuring a safe, secure property. Your fencing contractor might also have added tips for enhancing fence security around your property.

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One simple tip for keeping a property secure is planting thorny shrubs behind a fence and underneath first floor windows. Even if someone should climb your fence, they would then wind up in the shrubs and potentially call attention to themselves trying to remove those thorns and thistles! Thorny shrubs underneath windows also makes it very uncomfortable for someone to hide there while they inspect your property or take the time needed to force a window open.

Noisy gravel also helps alert you to someone on your property! If possible, replace paver stones with crunchy gravel and use it close to your property’s fence, around your driveway, or any other area where intruders might walk. You can also use gravel as mulch around plantings under windows, as this can also alert you to a potential intruder trying to make their way into your home.

A homeowner might also avoid storing items underneath a fence that intruders might use when climbing. Very often scaling a fence is not the most difficult part of entering your property; getting down from that high point is what’s challenging for an intruder! Bikes, a storage or trash bin, bags of mulch, and other items along a fence can offer potential thieves a foothold for a successful climb, so keep items away from the home’s fence and stored securely elsewhere.

Enhancing the Look of an Affordable Fence

For too many homeowners, a beautiful wood or wrought iron fence is simply out of their reach financially. Some building codes or HOA regulations might also dictate that homeowners only erect a chain link, small vinyl, or mesh fence. While these materials are satisfactory for marking property boundaries, they might do little to enhance your yard’s overall appearance.

One way to hide an unsightly or somewhat drab fence is with thick shrubbery, as said. Consider lilac or hydrangea bushes for color and a nice scent. You might also invest in a climbing vine that you can start around a chain link fence and allow to grow through its links. Grapevines and ivy are excellent choices for just about any area and these both can grow to be very thick and lush, hiding those otherwise drab links.

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If you’re considering a chain link fence, ask your installer about slats to go through those links. Colorful slats give an otherwise drab fence a bit of personality and style and also offer a nice backdrop for landscaping. Those slats also provide more privacy in your yard than a plain chain link fence.

To spruce up plain and tall vinyl fences, invest in some hooks or appropriate hangers and screws and hang potted plants or outdoor artwork along the fence. Landscaping trees also break up the look of a long, dull fence and offer a nice complement to your landscaping features.

Bonus Tips for Choosing a Residential Fencing Material and Style

Consider a few bonus tips for choosing the best residential fencing material and style for your home. One vital consideration is your home’s style as well as any outdoor patio, deck, flower garden, and other such features, as you want a fence that coordinates and complements these details! A traditional wood fence might seem out of place outside a modern home, and might mean too much wood in a yard with a wood deck. Choose a glass or mesh fence for a modern style, a vinyl fence for homes with a wood deck, and a wood fence for a traditional brick home with a stone patio.

Flower colors are also an important consideration as you want a fence to provide a nice background for your landscaping. If you have white rose bushes, as an example, avoid a plain white fence! A darkly painted wood fence allows those white flowers to pop, while a white vinyl or wood fence is a better choice behind red or purple flowers.

If you prefer some privacy from neighbors, invest in a solid panel wood or vinyl fence, or a mesh fence with very small mesh. If you live in an area with wildlife nearby, reconsider a glass fence as it’s not unusual for deer and other animals to run into them, not realizing there’s a fence around your property! Not only might your fence cause injuries but you might also need to clean paw prints, marks from animal noses, and other debris from your glass residential fencing material consistently throughout the year.


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