You're looking for a durable but attractive fence. Perhaps you've considered some classic materials such as wood, stone, or wrought iron. Vinyl, aluminum, and composite are relatively new materials that might be ideal for your fencing. Which you choose depends on the style and up-front cost you want.
As Home and Garden TV points out, vinyl fencing is one of the most expensive options. While temperature extremes can be a problem, in general vinyl fencing is one of the most durable choices. It requires far less maintenance than wood, yet it can mimic this material. In fact, many homeowners choose vinyl fencing that resembles wooden pickets. It's also possible to have a wood-look privacy fence made out of vinyl.
Vinyl comes in limited coloring—typically white, light tan, and dark tan. However, some companies produce more variations of the tan colors. It's also possible to special-order vinyl fencing that resembles stone.
Vinyl is a good choice if you want a virtually maintenance-free fence and don't mind some up-front cost.
While chain-link fencing is a common budget choice, aluminum fencing can offer more style options. Innovations in manufacturing have made aluminum fencing very customizable. For example, powder coating means you can choose virtually any color for your fencing. You can also choose aluminum panels cut into designs, though this does add to the cost.
Standard aluminum fencing comes in tubes that manufacturers use to create a grid. While aluminum isn't as strong or rigid as wrought iron, it also doesn't rust. It's strong and very long lasting.
Aluminum is a good choice for a modern appearance or if you want more color options.
The newest kid on the block for fencing is wood composite. Composite fencing is basically a cross between wood and vinyl. It originated from the installation process of vinyl fencing, namely using hollow vinyl posts with a wood core. Now manufacturers are mixing recycled wood and recycled plastic to make the whole fence.
Because it's a mixture of vinyl and wood, composite fencing does a better job of mimicking natural wood fencing. The manufacturing process also means the material comes in a wider range of colors than straight vinyl. Composite fencing costs are similar to high-end hardwood, but composite fencing is considered a sustainable option. The vinyl component also makes composite fencing far more durable and low maintenance than any wood..
Composite fencing is a good choice if you want a rustic or wood-look fence without the maintenance.
Choose a manufactured fence that complements your home while staying within your budget. Talk to a fence contractor to get started with installation after you have made your choice.