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Fence Buying Guide- Fence Regulations, Types of Fences, and Fencing Materials

house with fence

Fences come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and can be used for a variety of purposes. In order to help you pick out the perfect fence, we have compiled a list of things to consider throughout the fence buying process.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Fence

First, if you live in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association – check with them first to see if there are any fence restrictions. Some Homeowner’s Associations restrict the height of your fence, certain types of fences, and even specific types of material.

Next, make sure to check your local city or township planning board about permits needed for fences. Permits and permit requirements for fences will vary from town to town throughout the country, so it’s important to know exactly which permits are required from your township planning and zoning board before you get started. Some townships might also require your fence to be a specific height or style.

Finally, it’s a good idea to determine your budget before you begin searching for a fence. A budget will help eliminate certain types of fences and zero in on what’s best for you in your price range.

As we previously mentioned, fences come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. When you first get started, the best question to ask yourself is “What is my fence’s purpose?” The answer might be as simple as “To keep the dog in the yard” or as complex as “To keep the dog in the yard, reduce noise, and increase privacy”.  Starting with your fence’s purpose will narrow down your search options.

TIP: When shopping for a fence, make sure you’ve written down the purpose of your fence and shared it with a company representative or sales representative at your local fence or hardware super store. This will help them guide you in the right direction.

Types of Fences

Once you have determined the purpose of your fence, the next step is to pick out which type of fence is right for you. Here are the main fence types from which you’ll be considering:

  • Privacy fences: If the purpose of your fence is to create privacy and to block sight lines, you need solid fencing, which means it’ll have tightly spaced vertical boards (pickets or framed panels) to prevent you from seeing out and others from seeing in.
  • Security fences: If the purpose of your fence is to keep people out, you’ll want a fence that’s at least six feet tall to hinder anyone from hopping over into your yard.
  • Decorative fences: If the purpose of your fence is to boost curb appeal, your fence doesn’t need to be nearly as large or obtrusive. You can choose one that’s just two to four feet tall, as well as one that has unique colors and creative designs.
  • Safety fences: To create an area for your dog to run, enclose a pool area, or deter wildlife from trespassing on your property—without changing the view—the most durable option is a wire fence, such as a chain link.

 Fence Material Options

Once you’ve identified which type of fence is right for you, it’s time to begin browsing the many types of fence materials. Fence materials can include wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel, and wrought iron to name a few. Choosing the right fence material is about personal preference, but you’ll want to take into consideration maintenance as well when selecting your fence material. For example, wood might require staining or painting, whereas a vinyl fence is much easier to maintain with an occasional power wash.

Here are some thoughts on the different types of fence materials:


As a quick summary, when it comes to purchasing a fence – consider your local homeowner or township zoning requirements, establish a budget, define your fence’s purpose, and consider your fence’s materials.

If you have picked out your perfect fence, but are lacking the proper funds to make the purchase, consider a personal loan from Mariner Finance. If you are still searching for your perfect fence and need some assistance, we can help with that too! We work with multiple reputable home improvement and fencing companies throughout the United States. Give us a call or visit your local Mariner Finance branch today to see if we can help with your financing needs.

The information provided in this article does not constitute financial advice and is provided for educational purposes only without any express or implied warranty of any kind. This article is not intended as legal, tax, investment, or any other advice, and Mariner Finance does not offer credit repair services. Consider talking with an appropriate qualified professional for specific advice. Blog posts are for informational purposes only.