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Mix It Up: Using More Than One Fencing Material

When you’re designing a fence, combining more than one material opens up design options that are not available using single material methods. Stone, wood, metal and vinyl fencing materials can be combined in countless ways to achieve stunning results that will enhance the overall value of your property. Cinder blocks and brick may also be incorporated, particularly when retaining walls are needed. Property owners may want to consider composite materials, as well.

The first step in creating a mixed-materials fence is to figure out why you’re building a fence in the first place. Below, is a look at common reasons homeowners give for building a fence, along with a suggested fencing material or two for each goal. Here’s a basic overview of how each fencing material can achieve different goals:

Blocking unsightly scenery- Choose solid panels or tightly spaced vertical boards, pickets or framed panels to prevent you from seeing out and others from seeing in. Height should be at least 6 feet; otherwise passersby will be able to see over the top. (Be sure to check the allowable height for residential fences in your city codes.) If privacy is not a concern, you can have spaces in-between fence boards.

Security. Height is key if security is your main concern. A 6-foot-tall fence will keep people (and pets) from jumping over. Wrought iron or aluminum fencing with tall spikes also works well for security.

Pizzazz. Let’s say you want to jazz up your property line with decorative accents. This type of fencing material can be lower (say, four feet in height) and can utilize spaced pickets, latticework or any number of ornamental designs. A mixed fencing design can also provide a clean, modern look.

Safety. A wrought iron or chain link fence might be the best choice for protecting the safety of pets and animals. Chain link fences are very durable, and because they’re translucent, they don’t change the view much.

Once you have a strong understanding of your goals in building a fence, and which fencing materials will serve your purpose, you can consider how to mix materials to greatest effect. Below, you’ll find a few popular and creative combinations of fencing materials.

1. Chain Link Fencing with Wood Boards

You can combine chain link and wood fencing. It is possible to purchase special brackets that allow you to attach wood fencing material to the posts of a chain link fence. If you have an especially tall chain link fence, you may only want to add wood boards to the lower section so as to boost privacy.

2. Stone or Concrete Base with Wrought Iron or Aluminum Accents on Top

Many homes require retaining walls to maintain structural stability and create a flat yard. A retaining wall or short stone wall may easily be combined with aluminum or wrought iron fencing. This design looks especially stately with built-in lamps at the corners of the property. You can also top retaining walls with vinyl or wood fencing materials.

3. Brick or Stone Fence Posts with Wood Fencing In-Between

If you love the look of stone or brick but can’t afford to build an entire fence out of your preferred fencing material, think about building stone or brick posts and filling the spaces between with wood or composite panels. A privacy fence becomes stately with stone columns. One common combination using each fencing material is brick columns with split rails in-between. (Keep in mind that this type of fence will work best as an accent; it won’t offer much security or safety.) Alternatively, you might install white brick columns with wooden picket fence panels. Once your mind starts breaking down the different parts of a fence and substituting various materials, the design possibilities become endless. Here’s one more option: Metal fence posts with clear panels or thick high-tension wire.

Focusing on the shape of each fencing material is another way to add variation to your fence design. For instance, you might choose to install a vinyl fence with a section of lattice fencing on top. Finally, if you already have a fence installed and you’d like to add more visual interest, consider adding wire mesh structure to create a vertical garden.

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