Thursday, February 23, 2012

Considering Varieties of Fencing for Animals, Privacy and Security

                Fencing is a complex subject.  People on farms or on forested areas can often have very different types of fencing than those of us in suburban areas, or even urban ones.   This is an overview of fencing, so that you'll have some ideas should you reach a point where you need to fence to enclose animals or to perhaps to stop foot traffic through your own property.
                 People in urban areas are somewhat restricted in the types of fencing they can use. Most of the time, their city, village, or neighborhood limits the type and purpose of the fencing you may use. I remember in London, seeing a lot of iron fencing.   Iron fencing is expensive but can be quite attractive.  In many places, a painted product which looks a lot like iron is sold, but is actually aluminum.  This might be worth looking into should you need to gate a small area in an urban area for perhaps security purposes.

Iron fencing.  This is heavy, durable and attractive, but also expensive.

                       The aluminum fence above comes in many colors, is highly durable and not only provides high security, but installs quickly by the manufacturer.  A lot of people with swimming pools find that these meet the local requirements for protection of children.

                        One of the most popular and least expensive types of fencing in the US is chain link.
Chain link comes in aluminum, but also comes in brown, black or green vinyl dipped.   In my first house we fenced using brown vinyl dipped, and it looked very attractive.  It also required no maintenance, and lasted a very long time.

This is a vinyl dipped mesh.  This is not only attractive, but lasts a long time.   (Picture: Hoover Fencing Co.)

This is an example of a black vinyl dipped chain link fence.  (Picture: Bergfeld Recreation)

   Chain link also makes some really excellent dog runs. Some people bury it below ground to prevent an industrious dog from digging below, and getting injured trying to exit the fenced area.

                         Often surburban homeowners need fences for a variety of purposes.  Sometimes, they wish to allow their children to play without being seen, or they wish to keep dogs inside their own yard.  Sometimes, they wish to boost their backyard privacy or even boost their backyard security.    Sometimes wooden fences can do this job well, especially when they are a treated wood.   When our eldest children were small, we lived in a suburban house.  One year after receiving our tax return, we replaced our chain link fencing, with wooden privacy fencing very much like this.  We bought it, and my husband installed it at the cost of a torn rotator cuff.
           If you install wooden privacy fence in sections, make sure that you read up on how to make sure its level.  Make sure you follow your communities guidelines for avoiding buried pipelines of different varieties.  Make sure you have assistance to help with measuring and making sure the buried posts are plumb. Use a level.  Power tools are very helpful when securing each wooden screen section to the buried posts.  Plan your gates and gate hardware carefully.  Completing this task well can ensure your home selling for much more than you had planned, as a solid secure fence is a definite selling point when it's time to sell your home.

        Wooden privacy fences come in many varieties.

This is a commonly used and solid style of wooden privacy fence.  This requires more maintenance than a vinyl dipped chain link fence, but can last many years. (Picture: Advanced Fence Systems)


This wooden fence with post can have multiple gates installed. Some will allow a tractor or car to be driven inside and some are small enough to allow the passage of people or animals. (Picture: Advanced Fence Systems)

(Picture: Better Decks and Fences, Lawrenceville, GA)

This is a wooden fencing with wire fencing attached. In this instance it makes climbing the fence to get to the pool difficult, but this would also be an excellent fence to enclose a vegetable garden.(Picture: cwwconstruction)

             Those of us who live on farms have to consider some other types of fencing sometimes.  These are some of the fencing varieties used in rural settings.

This particular fence is a white vinyl and is very popular on local horse farms.  It is also possible to make such a fence in wood and then to paint it, although it would be more maintenance on a continuous basis. (Photo: Aiken-Augusta Fence) It is also possible to get the same fence in black. The vinyl fences also come with a lifetime warranty.
This is a 4 rail horse fencing which is often used for horses, alpacas, or donkeys or sheep.  This fencing can be painted with creosote to help to maintain it, despite the fact that this is pressure treated lumber. (Picture:
Many time in rural areas, the area we need to fence is so large that it is financially impossible or financially impractical to fence in any other way other than this.  Posts are placed in the ground, and then wires run tightly on the inside or the outside of such fencing. This can also be coupled with conventional farm gates.  Keep in mind that when such fences are electrified, it is done less for the animals you wish to keep in, and more for predators you need to keep on the outside. I have been zapped, particularly on the back of the legs many times. This is simply a reminder to people and animals to keep in, or keep out.  (Picture:

This is the type of fencing we had the first year we had alpacas. This is called "Elk Exclusion fencing", and although elk are likely no longer found in our area, this is an excellent and relatively inexpensive fencing. We did not have the wore at the top, but many people include it. (Photo:

     Most of us believe that barbed wire style fencing is unsuitable for animals, and can be dangerous. However, on large acreages it has its uses.  I have four rows of marked barbed wire on metal posts to help to remind others who may be trespassing, that beyond that point, is the portion of our farm in which we practice and target shoot.   Continuing to trespass beyond that point could be more dangerous than the barbed wire itself !    It's also a reminder to people on ATVs not to trespass in that area.

barbed wire   (Picture:
These are styles of barbed wire fencing.  It is essential if you ever install this, that you read all the directions, wear gloves, and wear eye protection while you do so. (Picture:  which is American Fence and Supply) I used the four row style on the top for the back of our forested farm.

       This should provide a smattering of ideas for fencing.  Fencing projects can be very small, as you might need for an herb garden, to very large as you might need for a rural property for horses.  Properly considered and installed fencing can be an incredible investment impacting not only the utility of a farm or residence, but the future saleability of it as well. 


   This is another post including a new innovative ecological type of livestock and horse fencing.
   Please also see this post:



carpetcleaningsydney said...

There are several different types of material commonly used for fencing, including wood, aluminum and brick, although vinyl is one of the most popular. It can be used effectively for pool or yard fencing, privacy fencing or various other applications.

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JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for your comment. Proper choice of fencing and the installation of that fencing cannot be underestimated as a true benefit to a property. Properties become more utilitarian, more attractive and have better resale value when fencing has been chosen and installed properly. Of course, many different types of fencing suit many different purposes and properties.

Unknown said...

With these outdoor privacy screens tips, you are sure to have not just privacy but charming and classy searching fences that your neighbors would like to have.
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JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Mariya, The right fencing can make a difference between getting under what a property is worth when it's time to sell, or sometimes even getting more than the property would normally sell for. It's worth the investment, not only from a personal enjoyment standpoint, but from a "sales in the future standpoint" as well. Thanks for your post.

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JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks so much for your post. Always glad to hear from our Canadian friends, however, I am a ma'am, not a sir. LOL.

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JaneofVirginia said...

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Unknown said...

I am looking into different fencing options for my yard. This is great to use as a reference. It has a lot of different options I can look at. I hadn't seen the black chain link fencing. Is that a specialty fencing?

Alena |

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for your comments. In the US, most fencing contractors offer "brown vinyl dipped" and "black vinyl dipped" chain link fence for slightly more than conventional chain link. Not only are the vinyl dipped linked more durable, but they are quite attractive. I had the brown vinyl dipped enclose the yard on my first home some years ago, and it turned out to be quite a selling point. A lot of people use this type of fencing to enclose swimming pools, although I just used it because I had small dogs I wished to protect when they were out. Best wishes,

Dorothy Hughes said...

If you hire a team to install your fence, the cost may be higher than if you did it yourself, but you are also paying for their experience. A contractor that has been putting up fences for several years is likely to have done it on a large scale. Few homeowners may claim to have taken the same action.

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