Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Materials for Your Outdoor Fencing

Shane Chapman / Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman

Backyard Building Expert
See Short Bio

When we step into our backyards, we often envision a host of possibilities for creating beautiful and functional spaces. Selecting the right fencing is a critical decision that not only defines the aesthetic of your property but also enhances privacy and security. As experts in DIY deck and fence projects in Saskatoon and Regina, we understand how impactful a well-chosen and well-maintained fence can be for homeowners like you.

Choosing the best materials and learning proper installation and maintenance techniques can seem daunting. However, with the right guidance, anyone can transform their outdoor area into a secure and stylish environment. In this article, we will walk you through various fencing materials, each suited to different aesthetic tastes and functional needs. We'll also explore essential factors to consider when selecting these materials, ensuring the finished project aligns with your expectations.

Additionally, we'll provide a detailed, step-by-step installation guide designed to simplify the DIY process for you. Whether you're installing a small fence around your garden or securing a large perimeter, our tips will help ensure a sturdy and lasting construction. Finally, understanding the crucial steps for maintaining your fence will keep it looking great and functioning well for years to come. Let us help you make your fence both a practical and attractive addition to your home.

Understanding Different Fencing Materials

Choosing the right material for your fencing is crucial as it significantly impacts the longevity, aesthetics, and functionality of your project. In our experience, homeowners have a variety of materials to choose from, each with distinct benefits and challenges. Wood, for instance, is a traditional choice that offers a warm, classic look. It's versatile but requires regular maintenance to prevent decay and damage from pests. Metal fencing, including options like aluminum and steel, provides durability and strength, which is ideal for securing a property. Although often more expensive up front, metal fences are low maintenance and resistant to damage.

Another popular choice is vinyl, which provides a clean and modern appearance with minimal upkeep required. Vinyl fences resist moisture, making them perfect for climates prone to rain or snow. Composite materials, which combine wood fibres and plastic, offer the aesthetic appeal of wood with the durability of plastic, a superb choice for those seeking a balance between looks and longevity. Understanding these options helps us tailor solutions that meet our functional requirements and integrate seamlessly into our existing landscape designs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Fencing Materials

When we select fencing materials, several critical factors influence our decision. Here’s a clear rundown to guide you through:

  1. Climate Compatibility: The local weather plays a significant role in our choice of material. For instance, wood might not be the ideal choice in very humid or rainy regions unless treated for moisture resistance.
  1. Durability and Maintenance: How much effort are we willing to put into maintenance? Materials like vinyl and metal offer longevity with minimal upkeep, unlike wood, which might need frequent staining or sealing.
  1. Purpose of the Fence: Are we looking for privacy, security, or simply an aesthetic boundary marker? High, solid fences like stone or wood provide excellent privacy, while wrought iron offers elegant security without obstructing the view.
  1. Budget: Our budget can often dictate the type of material we choose. While initial costs for materials like composite and metal might be higher, their durability and low-maintenance features may prove more cost-effective in the long run.
  1. Aesthetic Appeal: The material should complement the home’s exterior and the surrounding landscape. The right choice enhances the property’s overall curb appeal, potentially increasing home value.

Considering these factors ensures we not only choose the most suitable material for our fencing projects but also optimize our investment in terms of both functionality and aesthetics. By addressing these elements, we lay a solid foundation for making informed decisions that align with our specific needs and preferences.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Your Own Fence

Installing a fence by yourself can be a rewarding project that also ensures you get exactly what you want in terms of design and functionality. Let’s walk through the installation process together, ensuring we cover all key steps so you can enjoy a sturdy and attractive fence.

First, start by setting clear demarcations for where the fence will go. This involves measuring out the length and marking the ground using stakes and string. It's essential to check local utility companies before digging to avoid any underground lines. Next, dig post holes approximately 2 feet deep and spaced according to the fence design. Using a post hole digger or a powered auger can make this step much more manageable. Place posts in the holes and ensure they are level and perfectly vertical. Then, secure them with concrete, making sure to fill the holes almost to the top, and allow them to set for at least 24 hours. Once the posts are set, attach the fence panels to the posts using brackets or nails, depending on the type of fence. If necessary, add gates, making sure they align correctly and swing smoothly.

Maintaining Your Fence: Tips for Longevity and Appeal

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your newly installed fence stands the test of time and continues to look great. Different materials will require different care techniques, but there are some general practices that apply to all fencing types.

Firstly, it’s important to keep your fence clean. A gentle wash with a garden hose or a soft brush and soapy water can remove dirt and debris that may accumulate over time. For wood fences, consider applying a stain or sealant annually to protect against weathering and rot. Metal fences may require rust treatment, and specific coatings can help prevent corrosion. Vinyl fences are relatively low maintenance, but check for any signs of cracking or brittleness due to climate conditions.

Regularly inspect your fence for any damage, such as loose panels or posts, and repair them promptly to maintain structural integrity. Keeping vegetation under control near the fence line can also prevent damage and overgrowth from obscuring or harming the fence.

By dedicating a little time and effort to maintenance, you can greatly extend the life of your fence and keep it looking as good as new.


Remember that building and maintaining a fence is not just about marking the boundaries of your property or enhancing its security. It's also about adding value and visual appeal, creating a cohesive look that complements your home and landscape. By following the guidelines and techniques we've shared, you’re equipped to tackle your fencing project with confidence.

If you're looking for high-quality fencing materials or need some expert advice to kickstart your project, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at The Ultimate Deck Shop. We’re here to help ensure your outdoor fencing project is a success, providing the best materials and advice suited to our Saskatoon and Regina climates. Let us help you build a fence you'll be proud of for years.

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About the Editor...

Shane Chapman // Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman, President and Co-Founder of The Ultimate Deck Shop, is a seasoned expert in the deck building industry. A former award winning deck builder (Fresh Decks), he now leads Canada’s top destination for backyard building materials.

Shane is committed to simplifying the shopping experience, providing exceptional customer service, and empowering both DIYers and professionals with his expert advice.

Get in touch with Shane to connect, collaborate or ask questions at LinkedIn.