At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are the Different Types of Fencing for Privacy?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Many residential homes feature fencing for privacy to ensure the yard is contained and out of view from outsiders. Some fencing for privacy might even be built to be soundproof, especially when the home borders a busy street or highway. While the materials used to build fencing for privacy can vary significantly, the purpose and design often remains the same: the fence is tall to keep out intruders, and the posts — if there are any — are set very close together to eliminate gaps. For residential purposes, wood and vinyl are the two most common materials used for privacy fencing. More expensive options include stone and brick, as well as concrete.

Wood fencing for privacy has been in use the longest out of all materials, aside from stone. Wood is easy to work with during construction, and it can be customized easily for height, angles, and decorative purposes. Wooden slats can be placed closely together, and the tops of the slats can be carved, ornately or simply. Trellis fencing can also be affixed to the top of a privacy fence to enhance aesthetic appeal, and wood is easily stained and painted. Wood also needs to be repainted occasionally, and it may rot after years of exposure to the elements.

Wood is a common material for privacy fencing.
Wood is a common material for privacy fencing.

Vinyl fencing for privacy is a relative newcomer to the fencing world, and it is easy to maintain. It looks similar to wood in many cases, and it is generally aesthetically pleasing. Installing a vinyl fence can be problematic, however, as the posts and fence panels are built to tight tolerances. The posts need to be placed just right, or the panels may bend, warp, break, or fall out of place. Vinyl fencing also cannot be cut on site should a post or panel be incorrectly installed.

More expensive options for fencing for privacy include brick, stone, and concrete. These are perhaps some of the most aesthetically appealing options, though they are also the most labor-intensive options for construction. In some cases, a professional may be needed to install such fencing, especially in the case of brick fencing. These types of fences for privacy are more permanent structures, so they cannot be easily torn down for any reason. Concrete fencing often comes prefabricated into panels that mimic the look of other materials such as brick or wood. These panels are quite soundproof, and they make a good option for fencing alongside busy roads or highways. Brick fencing is aesthetically appealing, but installation requires someone knowledgeable in masonry.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Wood is a common material for privacy fencing.
      By: Johanna Goodyear
      Wood is a common material for privacy fencing.