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How To Choose The Best Type of Fence For Your Spokane Valley, WA Home

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People install fences for a number of different reasons like containing pets, privacy, safety, aesthetics, etc.

In recent decades advances in materials and manufacturing technology have resulted in an explosion of fencing options.

All of these options can be a little confusing and a bit overwhelming.

Hence, one of the most frequently asked questions we are asked is, “What is the best type of fence?”

While the answer is never as straightforward as the question, knowing the differences between the most popular fencing materials can help with your decision-making process.

Our aim is to provide you with the information you need about the different types of fences to make the most educated and informed decision possible.

So, without further adieu, let’s explore how to choose the best type of fence for your home.

1. Understand Your Needs

1. Understand Your Needs

The first step to finding the right type of fence for your home is to understand your needs and how a new fence might fulfill them.

You may be considering installing a fence in your yard for any number of reasons.

Some of the most common reasons that we hear about are privacy, security, safety, pets, and aesthetics.

Once properly installed, a new fence will increase your property value.

Why are you interested in having a new fence installed on your property?

Knowing what purpose your fence will serve makes it a lot easier to focus on the best type of fence to fulfill your needs.

Different fence materials offer different benefits and can vary significantly in cost.

For example, wood fences are great for privacy and cost-effectiveness, whereas a wrought iron fence would be terrible for privacy and exorbitantly expensive.

Once you have the reason for installing a fence, you can move on to setting a budget.

2. Set Budget & Determine Project Size

2. Set a Budget & Determine Project Size

The difference in cost between fencing materials varies significantly.

Before you call a local fence installer, you should take a few minutes to determine your budget for fencing.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost for a professionally installed 150-foot fence is $3,041.

The cost typically ranges from $1,729 to $4,396.

On the extreme ends of the fence cost spectrum, you can expect a low-end cost of $400 and a high-end cost of $10,000.

For a detailed breakdown, we published a guide about fence installation costs.

First, consider the size of your yard and calculate how much fencing you need. 

Below we’ve outlined the steps involved in determining this number.

How to Calculate the Amount of Fencing Needed

If you’re like most people and plan to hire a fence installer in Spokane Valley or the surrounding area, they’ll do the measuring.

However, you should take preliminary measurements before calling a fence builder.

Measuring will help guide you in setting a budget and help when communicating with the fence company.

Most fences run along the perimeter of a property.

Therefore, the amount of fencing needed is determined by the size of your property.

To get a more precise estimate for the fence size and materials required for your yard, do the following:

Locate Property Lines

Before you can install a fence on your property, it will be helpful to know precisely where your property ends and your neighbor’s property begins.

This is an important step that, when skipped, leads to expensive mistakes more often than you might think.

If your fence goes up on the neighbor’s side of the line, it may need to come down.

You need to confirm the property lines.

Don’t rely on a guess.

Check county records or have a land surveyor take a look.

Look for Obstructions and Utility Lines

If your property has trees or other permanent features, your fence will need to be planned around them.

Will the fence need to run near the features? In front of them? Behind them?

You’ll also need to have the location of underground utilities like gas, electric, and cable lines marked.

In Oregon and Washington, you can visit the Utility Notification Center or call 811.

The center will notify someone to come to your property and mark the location of utilities for FREE.

How to Measure Your Yard for a Fence

Now that the prep work is complete, it’s time to start measuring.

  • Mark corners with a stake. The corners are where panels meet at a 90-degree angle.
  • Using the stakes as a guide, measure the perimeter of the area in feet. A second set of hands will be helpful to keep the tape taut while you measure.
  • Divide the linear feet of the perimeter by the size of the fence panels you want. Panel sizes typically range from 6′ – 8′. The resulting number will tell you how many panels you’ll need to fence the area.
  • For custom or chain-link fences, the perimeter total is all you’ll need.
  • Once you’ve measured your yard, you can easily estimate the cost of different types of fences and can more easily budget for your project.

Once you’ve determined how much fencing you’ll need, compare and contrast the cost of different fencing materials.

3. Fence Material Comparison

3. Fence Material Comparison

A new fence, whether in your backyard or front does more than just accentuate your home – it protects it.

As mentioned above the type of fence you should get depends on what purpose the fence is meant to serve.

Below we’ll provide an overview of the most common fence materials to help you in comparing your options.

Wood Fencing

Wood Fencing: Low to High Price, High Value  

Wooden fences offer homeowners a great value-to-cost ratio.

Aesthetic value and cost-effectiveness have made wooden fencing one of the most popular choices for homeowners.

However, not all wood fences are created equal and different species of wood perform best in different conditions.

Different species of wood have specific characteristics that make them suited, or not to certain environments.

The features you’re looking for in a wood fence like resistance to rot, aesthetics, durability, insect resistance, etc. will determine the best type of wood fence for your home.

If you live near the ocean or in a climate with a lot of rain, you should choose a wood that’s resistant to warping, mold and mildew growth, and rot.

Alternatively, if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, you should opt for lumber strong enough to withstand the weight of snow drifts.

Below, we’ll provide an overview of a few of the most popular types of wood.

Cedar Wood Fencing: Moderate Cost, Good Privacy

Cedar is well-known for its long-lasting aesthetic beauty wiht its tight grain, fewer knots, and a desirable red hue.

Its resistance to warping and shrinking along with its natural ability to resist insects and decay have contributed to its popularity.

Cedar naturally weathers to a silvery gray, and will require maintenance, including occasional plank replacement. 

For long-lasting color and protection, apply a penetrating sealant immediately after installation and annually thereafter.

Although durable and resistant to rot, cedar wood is not impervious to soil and will likely rot after a few years if set directly into the ground.

We recommend installing it in a concrete base or secure the fence to posts that are treated wood. 


  • Moisture & Insect Resistant
  • Resists Rot, Mold & Mildew
  • Aesthetics & Versatility
  • Privacy & Security


  • Cost
  • Maintenance

Redwood Fencing: High Cost, High Value

Redwood fencing is at the higher end of the cost for wood fences, but offesr a beauty and natural aesthetic that’s hard to beat.

The high cost means that redwood fencing is commonly used to fence small areas: enclosures around spas or pools. 

Like cedar, redwood naturally resists insects, decay, shrinking, and warping from the elements.

Also like cedar, redwood requires the application of a penetrating sealer or oil once or twice a year to maintain their original color. 

A light sanding prior to application will remove surface weathering.


  • Moisture & Insect Resistant
  • Resists Rot, Mold & Mildew
  • Aesthetics & Versatility
  • Privacy & Security


  • Cost
  • Maintenance

Pressure Treated Wood Fencing: Low Cost, Low Value

One of the most cost-effective and popular types of wooden fencing is Pressure-Treated Wood Fencing.

Pressure-treated wood is a popular material for outdoor structures like: gazebos, decks, pergolas, etc.

This type of wooden fence is popular because of its durability and budget-friendly cost.

A lot of homeowners opt for pressure-treated wood posts, as they are able to resist moisture and insects.

When shopping for pressure-treated wood, look for the straightest planks and skip any that look “green,” or damp.

A greenish or damp appearance could indicate that the wood recently came from the manufacturer and is more likely to move as they dry.


  • Moisture & Insect Resistant
  • Resists Rot, Mold & Mildew
  • Aesthetics & Versatility
  • Privacy & Security


  • Cost
  • Maintenance
Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl Fencing: High Cost, Good Privacy  

For homeowners looking to install an attractive, low-maintenance fence that will last a lifetime—Vinyl Fencing is the way to go.

Vinyl fences are not only extremely durable but are available in an endless variety of colors and styles. 

Once installed, a vinyl fence offers unmatched privacy, protection, and aesthetics without the maintenance required by traditional wood fences.

Maintaining vinyl fencing requires little more than a garden hose to clean.

While most well-known for the classic American style, vinyl fences are available in a variety of designs like picket, privacy, ranch, and more.

Although the upfront cost of vinyl fencing is more than wood, its extremely low maintenance costs and long lifespan make vinyl fencing more cost-effective in the long run.

Vinyl fencing may cost more than wood upfront, but given its extremely low maintenance costs and long lifespan, vinyl fencing tends to be cheaper than many other options in the long run. 


  • Low-Maintenance
  • Variety of Designs
  • Durable & Long-Lasting
  • Recyclable


  • Expensive
  • Vulnerable to Extreme Weather
Aluminum Fencing

Aluminum Fencing: Low Maintenance, Good Style

Aluminum fencing is popular for its appearance, which mimics the aesthetics of wrought iron.

Its durable and lightweight construction makes it a great alternative to steel.

Offering homeowners a long-lasting aesthetic appeal, aluminum fencing is a great choice for homeowners that prioritize low maintenance requirements.

Unlike wooden fences, an aluminum fence won’t require annual painting or staining.

Nor will it rust like wrought iron, steel, or chain link fencing.

As an added bonus, cleaning primarily consists of occasionally rinsing the fence with a hose to remove dust and dirt.

Another major advantage of aluminum fencing is its versatility.

This is due in large part to the variety of colors and styles you can choose from to complement your home’s exterior.

Below is an overview of the pros and cons of aluminum fencing:


  • Durable & Long-Lasting
  • Low-Maintenance
  • Versatility & Aesthetics
  • Plenty of Color & Style Options
  • Eco-Friendly


  • Privacy
  • Security
Composite Fencing

Composite Fencing: High Cost, High Value

Composite fencing is manufactured from sawdust, wood fibers, and recycled plastic.

It provides homeowners with a traditional yet modern aesthetic.

Composite fences provide a wood-like look without the vulnerabilities commonly associated with wood fencing.

You won’t have to worry about insects or rot like you would with a traditional wooden fence.

With the exception of wrought iron fencing, composite fences are the most durable fencing material.

Like aluminum and vinyl fences, the maintenance requirements of composite fencing are minimal.

While it does contain wood fibers it doesn’t necessitate annual painting or staining to keep it thriving.

If you’re interested in a wood fence, but don’t want to deal with the maintenance, then composite fencing is just what you’re looking for.

It is manufactured to look just like wood, but it is much easier to maintain.

After professional installation, composite fencing requires only occasional spraying with plain water to keep it looking clean and fresh.

Available in an endless variety of colors and styles, composite fencing is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing fencing materials on the market.

This combination of style and substance runs slightly more expensive than vinyl and cedar.

Like vinyl fencing, composite requires precise installation by professionals. 

Since the material’s quality varies, you’ll want to explore your options and buy composite fencing components from a reputable dealer.


  • Low-Maintenance
  • Versatility & Aesthetics
  • Durable & Long-Lasting
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Plenty of Color & Style Options


  • Expensive
  • Darker Colors can Fade Over Time
Chain-Link Fencing

Chain Link Fencing: Low Cost, Low Maintenance

While their open links certainly don’t do much for privacy, chain link fences offer adequate security for pets and kids at a competitively low cost. 

The materials are among the least expensive fencing options available.

Chain-link fences are a common choice for large rural yards where the amount of fencing needed makes other choices cost-prohibitive. 

While having a fenced yard is better than no fence at all, a chain-link fence won’t do much in terms of property value.

The low-maintenance requirements are certainly an advantage, but that needs to be weighed against the lack of privacy and security.

A chain-link fence offers no privacy and most residential chain-link fences are 4-5 feet tall.

This makes them easy to scale as the fence itself can serve as a steel mesh ladder of sorts.

Chain link can corrode, especially at the junctions where the mesh links meet, but it’s difficult to prevent. 

For a better look and a longer life, consider upgrading to a vinyl-coated chain link.


  • Affordability
  • Effective Containment
  • Low-Maintenance


  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Aesthetics
What is the Best Type of Fencing

4. What is the Best Type of Fence?

We’ve covered each fencing material along with their respective pros and cons, but how do they compare to each other?

Especially on the factors most important to homeowners like price, maintenance, design options, lifespan, durability, and eco-friendliness.

Below we’ll cover each of these factors to see where the different fence materials stand.

Cost / Price

Fence installation costs depend on the fence design, height, material, style, and other factors. 

If you’re on a budget and looking to install a new fence or replace your old one, consider a wood fence. 

That said, while wood is a budget-friendly fence material, its lifespan is shorter than aluminum or vinyl.

It will also require regular maintenance and upkeep to maintain its look.

Here are the typical prices that homeowners pay for popular fencing materials:

Most Cost-Effective: Wood


One installed some fence materials will necessitate regular maintenance to protect them and maintain their aeshteics.

The fence material with the most demanding maintenance is wood, which requires regular sealing, painting, and staining.

In comparison, vinyl, composite, and chain-link fencing require very little maintenance. 

That leaves aluminum fencing, which requires the least amount of maintenance, mostly because there isn’t much material to maintain. 

Plus, aluminum fencing is resistant to moisture and fading, meaning that you don’t have to paint it to sustain its original luster. 

Easiest-To-Maintain: Aluminum 

Styles & Design Options

Both aluminum and composite fences are available in a variety of colors and styles.

Wood fences come in a vast array of style and design options in different species of wood with customizable height and width.

Vinyl fences come in different colors and can mimic the look of other fencing materials like stone and wood.    

Most Design Options: Wood and Vinyl 


Vinyl, composite, and aluminum fences can easily last 20 years.

While the initial costs for those fence materials are higher than wood or chain-link fencing, the low-maintenance requirements and long lifespan make them a good investment.  

Longest Life: Vinyl, Composite, and Aluminum 


In terms of durability, vinyl and aluminum fences tend to hold up best.

Vinyl fences don’t rust, chip, rot, or splinter, so they’re durable against everyday weather and winds. 

Aluminum fencing can also hold its own against time and moderate weather. 

An aluminum fences durability is dependant on the thickness of the material, which will dictate how much force its able to withstand.

Most Durable: Vinyl and Aluminum 


Most of the popular, modern fencing materials available today can be considered environmentally-friendly.

One exception is wood that’s been treated with preservatives like alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ). 

Wood fences in general could be considered less eco-friendly because it requires trees to be cut down.

Vinyl fences can be recycled after they’ve served their purpose, and composite fencing is made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic.

While vinyl and composite fences certainly have their environmental benefits, overall, aluminum is the most eco-friendly fencing material. 

Manufactured largely out of recycled aluminum, it can be recycled again at the end of its lifespan.

Additionally, aluminum fences don’t require chemical products to maintain its charm. 

Most Eco-Friendly: Aluminum

Final Thoughts on How To Choose The Best Type of Fencing

Final Thoughts on How To Choose the Best Type of Fence for Your Home

The right backyard fencing options depend so much on your needs, your backyard style, and your budget.

That’s why we often recommend the homeowners we work with to get quotes from us on multiple styles of fences. 

If you’re interested in moving forward, the first step is to schedule a conversation with our experts. 

We have fence and deck solutions for every situation, free quotes, and world-class customer support.

Let’s get an expert on your side to help you put together the perfect installation plan. 

We have teams of the best fence and deck installers in the Pacific Northwest. 

At Spokane Valley Fence Installers, we are happy to help you choose the best type of fence for your home by answering any questions you might have.

Get your FREE fence or deck installation estimate by Clicking Here or give us a call at 509-213-2700.