Any visit to a hardware store or lumber yard will turn up a multitude of fencing supplies for any possible fencing needs. From wood fence panels to chain link fence posts, the availability of fencing supplies makes just about any fencing project possible. The types of fencing supplies can be broken down by category: posts, panels, hardware, and other materials. Posts are the supports for the fence; panels are the actual upright slats of the fence; hardware attaches it all together; and other materials may include concrete, chain links, decorative items, gates, paints, and stains.
Of all the fencing supplies available, fence posts are probably the materials the builder will purchase first. The posts are uprights that are sunk into a hole dug into the ground. They are secured most often with concrete footings, though some fences do not require concrete. Other types of fence posts may be made entirely from concrete, or even from brick. Wood and metal fence posts are secured with concrete, however, as are vinyl fence posts. The type of posts used on a fence depend on the builder's preferences and the intended use for the fence. Wood posts are perhaps the most common, followed by metal posts. Vinyl posts have gained popularity over the years, and they are often used for residential purposes.
Fence panels are the next fencing supplies on the list to be purchased. Panels are often prefabricated sections of the fencing that will be attached to the secured posts. They can be made from wood, metal, or vinyl, and they are usually cut to a specific, regular length for ease of installation. Individual fence pickets can also be purchased and installed, though this takes more time and skill to do. Chain link fence does not use panels; instead, such a fence uses a roll of chain link that is secured to metal posts using smaller pieces of metal twisted around the post and chain link.
Hardware for fencing includes screws, hinges, brackets, and other types of supports. These items are perhaps the most important fencing supplies, as they often dictate the strength and longevity of the fence. Cheaper materials will rust or corrode when exposed to sun and other elements over long periods of time, whereas higher quality hardware can extend the life of a fence.
Paints and stains are also an important purchase, as untreated wood is likely to warp or rot. Stains and waterproofing chemicals can help keep moisture out of the grains of the wood, and it can keep water from pooling into crevices in the fence. Paints come in a wide variety of colors and textures to fit any yard or outdoor space.