Finding the Right Fencing

Posted at 5:45 AM, May 12, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:01:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) --  The white picket fence has been bordering yards in America since Colonial times. So can you still bring it to a modern design? In this Angie's List report, how to find the right fencing.

Chain-link, vinyl, wood or wrought-iron… what kind of fence is right for you?

"You should really think about the purpose of the fence before you make your decision. Are you looking for something decorative or are you looking for privacy? Because that's going to determine what type of fence you should install," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Wood is most popular for privacy, but ornamental fencing adds the greatest value. If budget is driving your decision, chain-link and wood are the economical choices - about 13 and 16 dollars per square foot.

"You need to think about the initial investment as well as the maintenance of the fence throughout its life. Wood fences are beautiful, but remember, they need to be stained periodically. If you want maintenance-free, you might consider aluminum or vinyl," said Hicks.

Vinyl will run you about $30 per square foot; aluminum about $10 more. You may also want to consider steel for just a bit extra.

"Both products have the same aesthetic visual. Your steel products are much more rigid. They're going to sustain more abuse by children, dogs, than say the aluminum. The aluminum doesn't corrode or rust, but most of the steel products on the market have extensive coating warranties provided by your manufacturers," said fencing professional Rod Smith.

No matter which material you use, make sure to hire a pro.

"Most of your fence contractors are going to be able to offer a thicker-walled, better quality product than what you can purchase on the retail market, so using an actual fence company/installer versus buying retail is definitely to an advantage," said Smith.

Most contractors should offer a one- to two-year warranty to cover minor adjustments during the settling period. And try to get it done the winter. Companies are less busy, which could save you as much as 30 percent on the cost of the project.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.