While it's fun to look at various fence styles and colours, when planning a new barrier, you also need to be practical and consider other aspects. For instance, clarify in your mind what you want the fence to do or what its purpose is. Also, consider how much maintenance you're willing to engage in and what the costs of the fencing will be long-term. Read on for more details.

Work Out Its Purpose

Firstly, make sure you're clear about your fence's purpose. Do you want a low front wall to delineate your property from the street? Or else, do you crave a private space in your front garden so you can enjoy the space? If so, you'll need a high privacy fence rather than a low picket or tubular metal fence with gaps between the railings. Do you have pets that you want to contain? If so, a chain-link design may suffice. The main reasons for a barrier typically are privacy, security or to delineate your property boundaries.

Material and Maintenance Needs

You'll also need to consider the fence materials and their maintenance needs. To create a privacy fence, you can use vinyl or metal panels. Chain mesh typically consists of steel, while with tubular styles, you can select steel or aluminium. Picket designs might be wood or vinyl. 

Timber requires regular maintenance. Paint can peel and flake and will thus require resanding and repainting. Vinyl and aluminium virtually look after themselves. Vinyl endures all weather conditions, and unlike timber, it's water-resistant. Similarly, aluminium can endure the elements as it automatically resists rust. If you live in a wet, humid region, vinyl and aluminium are ideal choices. 

Stainless steel repels moisture, but other steel types can succumb to rust, which can add to their upkeep. To make them less weather-prone, however, treatments such as galvanising cover the metal with a protective zinc film. Colorbond sheets have a zinc-aluminium coating as well as polyester paint that resists all kinds of harsh environments without decaying and requiring maintenance. 

Metal fences might also be powder coated in a process which fuses a hard paint layer onto their surface for additional protection. This baked-on paint film resists chipping and flaking. 

Long-Run Costs

Rather than only factoring in the initial fence installation cost, don't forget to think about long-term expenses. Fences that require a lot of upkeep use up weekend leisure time and supplies. For example, buying paint to repaint timber and wrought iron add to their cost over the long run, especially if you hire contractors to do the work.

Contact a fence installation company to learn more.