What is the purpose of the fence?
1) Safety for your children- Most fence materials will accomplish this purpose. What you should be aware of is the height of the fence as well as the horizontal parts to the fence called rails. Rails can be used as a ladder most kids can climb. For example if you have a 4’ high stockade fence (picket) and the rails face your property (a.k.a. good side out) bottom rail will be 9”-11” of the ground, top rail will be 29”-31” from the bottom rail and will create a ladder.
2) Family Pet- The height of the fence is important in this application if your dog is a jumper. If your dog is a digger you might want to trench it a couple of inches into the ground. A material that does not rot would be wise. Chain link, Vinyl and Ornamental fence can fit these needs as well as last a long time if installed correctly.
3) Pool Enclosure- Be careful with this fence application! There are building code requirements that need to be followed. If you are having a new pool installed all reputable Pool Company’s will secure a building permit and your fence will be inspected. If you are replacing an existing fence your new fence needs to be installed according to the building code even if your old fence did not. You do not need a building permit to replace an existing fence but you are still required to follow the building code.
4) Privacy- The height of the fence matters here and Vinyl or Wood fence will fit your needs. Now as far as price goes a quality wood fence can cost pretty close to a quality vinyl fence. I would recommend spending a little extra on quality products because they will last you a lot longer than the cheaper options. The best choice for wood fence in my opinion is cedar but be careful of cheaper cedar panels. They may be advertised as cedar fencing but the rails are sometime made of spruce and are smaller than the rails of quality cedar panels, which is why they are cheaper. The most important part of a fence panel is the structural part and the posts and rails are the foundation of a fence while the pickets and boards are just cosmetics. A good quality cedar privacy fence panel should start at around $110.00.
The same goes for vinyl fence. Vinyl fence expands and contracts with the weather and needs to be able to go with the flow so to speak. A good rule of thumb is if the vinyl fence panel is glued or screwed together it will be a cheaper option but it will not last very long. A quality vinyl panel will interlock which means the rails will snap into the post and the pickets/boards will snap into the rail. This will allow the vinyl to expand and contract and will last for many years, if it’s installed correctly.
There are many reasons to install a fence on your property. The most important thing to remember is by spending a little more money for quality material and installing it correctly it will last you for many years. A fence is an investment and the money you spend now will save you much more money in the future.