Before choosing between the garden fencing options that are best suited to your needs, it’s important to be clear about the reason you require fencing. The most common reasons for installing fencing are security, privacy, screening, budget and aesthetics. Determining the purpose of your fence and your budget will help you decide which of the many forms of fencing will best meet your needs.
The most common forms of fencing are plastic, wood and steel.
The arrival of plastic fence panels was expected to be a game changer in the same way that acrylic bath and shower unit were game changers in the plumbing industry. Whilst they are very popular in England, they are largely used in America where there is climate adaptability.
Plastic fences can pass for wood at a distance and are low maintenance as they will never require painting. Plastic fencing also doesn’t splinter, therefore making it a child-friendly choice.
Wood is the natural fencing choice for many. Wooden fences are the natural option, and in some situations may be the only acceptable one because listing buildings and local housing regulations may insist on wood in certain circumstances.
Increasingly wood fencing is being challenged over its environmental validity – sustainable wood production can significantly increase the cost of a wood fence, whilst cheap fencing carries an environmental harm factor. Quality is highly variable and very often you don’t know the quality being used until the installation is complete.
Wooden fences have a natural look, can be painted to alter appearance and are available in a wide range of designs and styles. Wooden fences weather quickly however and often requires annual maintenance.
Steel fencing is a light and cheap fencing option. A relatively recent introduction to the fencing market, steel and aluminium has become more popular in commercial settings than domestic and is mostly commonly seen as temporary fencing used around building sites. In hotter climates, steel has become the prime choice for barriers around swimming pools.
Steel fencing is light weight, making it a perfect option for temporary fencing. As it doesn’t corrode, it will maintain its appearance regardless of weather conditions. Environmentally, aluminium ranks highly as it is completely recyclable.
The only downside to steel fencing is that it can be easily bent and if even a small section is damaged, the whole section will need to be replaced.