Fencing: An OverviewBefore you erect a fence, consider the purpose of your fence, the available materials and your budget; the purpose, materials and budget for a low, white-picket fence in your front yard is very different from a high, stockade fence.Why Fences?The first thing to consider when choosing fencing is the purpose of your fence, as this will affect the design, materials and budget. Fences are commonly used for:Animals: Fencing for livestock or animals should be sturdy enough that the animals can't chew through or jump over the fence. Fencing for farm animals may be a simple two- or three-rail style, whereas a fence for dogs might be much taller, making it more difficult for the dogs to escape.Landscaping: Fencing for landscaping may be both decorative and functional. For example, lattice fencing may be used as a trellis for ivy or other vine plants, or you may want to put fencing around a flower or vegetable garden to keep animals away.Ornamental: Decorative or ornamental fences are usually made from ornate materials or designs, since their primary purpose is aesthetic enhancement.Privacy: Privacy fences are typically made from wood, stone or brick. They are often high, and offer privacy from neighbors or passing cars.Security: Fencing for security ranges from tall privacy fences in residential neighborhoods to barbed wire fencing in commercial or industrial sites. Most states require swimming pools to be fenced-in for security and safety purposes.Fencing MaterialsThe fence's function and your budget will also affect the material you choose for your fence. Common fencing materials include:Brick: Brick fencing is often combined with wrought iron for a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing combination. It is one of the more expensive fencing options.Chain link: This type of wire fencing is affordable and easy to install.Vinyl: Vinyl fencing is very affordable, and is commonly used for containing animals and for privacy. It is also one of the easiest types of fencing to install.Wire: Wire fencing is often used for security fences. Welded wire fencing, for example, is almost impossible to cut through and is stronger than chain link.Wood: Wood fencing is popular and very versatile, particularly for privacy fences, keeping animals inside your yard and for landscaping. You can choose from many different types of wood fencing, including oak, cedar or pine.Wrought iron: Wrought iron is expensive but offers many possibilities--it is frequently used for both ornamental fencing and security fencing.If you're unsure of the type of material that will best suit your needs, a fencing specialist or hardware store can help you make the best decision. Need More Help? If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help. The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee! Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!