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How Long Should a New Fence Last? Fence Life by Type

One of the first things people think about when looking for a new fence is the appearance. Shoppers typically consider colors and designs first, checking to see how these match with the overall aesthetic of their home and yard. However, just as important as the look of your fence is its durability and longevity. To pick the best fence for your needs, it is necessary to understand the differences between fencing materials.

Types of Fencing

There are multiple types of fences, with each one offering its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your particular area and aesthetic. Some fence types include:

  • Chain-link: One of the most common fences in the commercial, industrial, and residential markets, chain-link fences offer a clear view beyond your property and make it easy to see anyone lurking around your home. Chain-link fences are the highest selling fence system in the world and offer durability at a low cost. While they are generally metallic in color, there are color coating options available.
  • Ornamental: Introduced in the U.S. more than 50 years ago, ornamental aluminum fencing is a popular choice in coastal areas, since aluminum does not rust. Ornamental fences come in a wide range of styles to suit a variety of aesthetic preferences and needs. Customizations, such as rails and spirals, are readily available to truly make your fence your own.
  • Vinyl: These fences are known for their durability. Vinyl fences contain ultraviolet inhibitors that protect the material from the sun, allowing it to withstand heat and sunlight without requiring constant maintenance. And because the color on vinyl fences is a "through color", scratches and dents don't mean repairs or touch-ups. Since vinyl is not organic, there is no worry of pest invasions or rotting, and it is less likely to break than organic materials.
  • Wood: With a variety of colors and styles available, wood fencing is often the ideal choice for both businesses and homeowners. When people think of wood fences, they tend to picture the classic white picket fence, and for good reason; it is still one of the most popular types of fence and the most popular type of wood fence. Though wood fencing requires a higher amount of maintenance than other fence types, the beauty, longevity, and privacy it provides (with proper maintenance, of course) is unmatched.

Fencing Material Lifespans

Different materials have different life expectancies. However, no matter which type of fencing material you choose, proper maintenance helps maximize the fence's lifespan.

  • Aluminum chain-link and ornamental: These sturdy fences are cost-effective, great for large areas, and require little maintenance. Chain-link and ornamental fences have an average lifespan between 25 and 30 years, though proper maintenance may extend that.
  • Vinyl: Requiring the least amount of maintenance of any fencing type, vinyl fences have the longest lifespan. Highly durable and know for its longevity, vinyl fencing has an average lifespan between 35 and 40 years.
  • Wood: While, stylistically, a great choice to lend your home a classic look, wood fences typically have the shortest lifespan. Wood requires more maintenance than any other fencing material, but with proper care, wood fences can stand for 20 years.

How Much Does a Fence Cost?

It is difficult to provide an exact cost for fencing, as there are multiple factors that contribute to the total price. The size of the property, difficulty of installation, and the fence material all play a role in determining the final cost. Here is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for your new fence:

  • Aluminum fencing has an average cost between $20 and $30 per foot, with totals averaging between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • Chain-link fences have an average cost between $5 and $40 per foot, with totals averaging between $1,100 and $2,700.
  • Vinyl fencing has an average cost between $20 and $25 per foot, with totals averaging between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • Wooden fences have an average cost between $10 and $20 per foot, with totals averaging between $1,700 and $4,000.
  • Wrought iron fencing has an average cost between $20 and $35 per foot, with toals averaging between $1,300 and $4,100.