Your property's fence is very important; it provides a boundary line as well as protection from potential intruders and trespassers, and it helps to keep children and dogs safely contained in the yard. It also serves as a backdrop for landscaping features and gives you some privacy and noise insulation from neighbours and nearby roadways. Since the fence you choose for your property is so important, note a few differences in their styles and materials and a few tips for choosing the right fence for your yard.
Privacy fences are any type of fence made with solid panels or with slats that are spaced so closely together that they seem to create a solid panel. These are good for small yards where your home and outdoor area is very close to a neighbour, but note that a plain wood privacy fence can make the space seem closed-in and claustrophobic. You might choose a wood fence you can paint white for a brighter, more open look or break up the panels with sections of posts or wiring where you don't necessarily need privacy, such as along the back of the property.
Security fences are difficult to climb over; many are wrought iron with pointed, sharp finials at the top, and bars that don't provide much of a toehold for climbers. However, these fences can look very imposing, and may be restricted in some residential areas. A tall picket fence, which is a wood fence with points at the tops of each slat, can be a better option. The solid panel or slats don't offer much of a toehold for climbing, and the pointed slats may not be dangerous but are still difficult to climb over. Picket fences are also not typically regulated as often as other types of security fences.
Decorative fences may mark off the boundaries of your property, but are not meant to be tall enough to afford privacy or security; they may work to enhance the look of your property's landscaping. A smaller white picket fence is very popular; the short height, perhaps about knee-level, doesn't block the view of your home, but allows for a nice white backdrop that shows off your flowers and shrubbery. The pickets at the top of the fence also keep it from looking too uniform and dull. Opt for a taller picket fence that still doesn't block the view of your home, but which works for hanging flower baskets or outdoor light fixtures, to create a very welcoming backyard.