3 Popular Types of Fences (+9 styles to look at)

May 24, 2022

Time to repair or replace your fence? It can be overwhelming to understand what fence styles are available and hard to know which fence styles are right for your yard.

We’re a fence company that has completed over 7,500 fence installation projects for our customers. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the most popular choices and the important information to know about each.

Wood fences

There are many benefits to wood fences. Many types of wood fences provide versatility when it comes to design and finishing options. You can select the type of build (nail up/dog ear, horizontal, picture frame, etc.) elements like the lattice or kickboards, different types of wood (like natural wood, redwood, etc.) and different stains. If you need help decoding fence jargon, here’s a guide that will help you understand some of the terms used by style of fence and what they mean.

Wood fences can provide a great deal of privacy for your property, which adds curb appeal and can even serve the purpose of reducing unwanted neighborhood noise. A wood fence can be built to different heights depending on the privacy needs (a pool fence, for example).

3 Most popular wood fences styles

Nail Up Fence

The classic “nail up” fence is simple and sturdy. This fence normally consists of non-overlapping, side-by-side boards. Typically, this style will use “dog-fence” boards or regular flat top boards. It’s a great way to add privacy to your yard, and this style is often the most economical.

Nail Up Fence

Picture Frame Fence

The picture frame fence gets its name from the cap and bottom rail that “frames” the fence. Sometimes these fences can be known as “good neighbor fences,” because the overlapping boards can make the fence look the same from both sides. Adding a lattice to a Picture Frame Fence can provide more privacy to your yard. Typically, a lattice will be around one foot in height and consist of crisscrossing strips of wood. In addition to the privacy benefits, a lattice can complete the aesthetic look you want for your fence.

Picture Frame Fence

Shadow Box Fence

If you want more dimensional or decorative fence elements to your nail up fence, a shadow box fence can be a good option. This style has pickets alternating between both sides of the fence rail.

Shadow Box Fence with Gaps


Want to learn more about fencing options in your area? Use our FREE online tool to browse fence ideas, design and edit a 3D image of your fence and review your custom fence quote!

Chain link fences and Hybrid fences

Chain link fences are a great economical option for your front yard or back yard. Chain link fences are metal fencing and usually come in limited colors, for example, black, green, brown or silver. The material choices are also limited, with the vast majority of chain link fences being constructed out of galvanized aluminum and coated with vinyl.

Hybrid fences are the fence style that combines wood posts with metal or plastic wiring in-between. This type of fence goes by many names, a deer fence, a hybrid fence, a wood and wire fence, or, as we call it, a box wire fence. Homeowners love the fact that this fence style doesn’t obstruct their view!

3 Most popular chain link and hybrid fences styles

Chain link fences are a versatile type of fence that’s ideal for commercial properties and can be used on residential properties as well. Chain link is often more affordable than other fence material options, requires little maintenance, and it’s also strong and long-lasting. A well maintained fence can last around 20 years. Chain link fences can also be used as temporary fencing, which is common at construction sites and for other events that require fences for a short period of time.

Traditional chain link fence

A standard chain link fence can be a variety of different heights and consists of interlocking metal wires that create a mesh. This uses galvanized steel that’s more resistant to corrosion.

Traditional Chain Link Fence

Chain link fence with privacy slats

Chain link fences don’t provide as much privacy due to the spaces in the mesh material rendering them essentially see-through. There are things you can do, however, to add some privacy. One option is to add slats in the chain link material to make it not see-through.

Chain Link Fence with Privacy Slats

Hybrid (box wire) fence

This fence style is not only practical, but can be a stylish and cost-effective option for any property. The primary advantage of choosing a box wire fence is the ability to keep animals in or out. Additionally, box wire fences can add a barrier to your property without obstructing the full view like a traditional wood fence, and with a bit more style and aesthetic appeal than regular chain link fencing.

Box Wire Fence

Vinyl fences

Vinyl fences are constructed using plastic-based material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Vinyl fences are more low maintenance than wooden fences, as they won't warp, rot, or blister. They also will not attract insect damage as traditional wood fences do. Vinyl fences can add aesthetic appeal to your property and are generally available in different colors. Vinyl fences will stay true to their original color for long periods of time, as well. Whereas wood fences can require painting or staining to restore their look after weathering, vinyl colors will stay looking brand new for longer.

3 Most popular vinyl fence styles

Solid Privacy Fence

This style is traditional and will offer the most privacy for your property. Typically, solid white privacy fences will have 7/8'' x 6'' Tongue & Groove Boards and 5''x5'' Posts. The tongue and groove pickets will ensure no gaps are present in your fence, which is ideal for keeping animals or small children inside your yard. This fence style, while great if you want privacy, has the potential downside of entirely blocking your view beyond your property line.

Solid Privacy Vinyl Fence

Solid Privacy Fence with Lattice

If you’re looking to add something extra to your privacy fence, a lattice fence can be a great option. There are different lattice types, like diagonal (top) or piano key (bottom). The lattice can add a bit more visibility to the top of your fence line, versus the complete coverage you would get from a privacy fence without a lattice. Adding a lattice will also be an extra cost to your fence project.

Solid Privacy Fence with Lattice

Closed Picket

If you desire the traditional look of the ‘white picket fence,” then a vinyl closed picket style is perfect for you. This style has 7/8'' x 3'' pickets, 4''x4'' posts with caps, top and bottom 2'' x 3.5'' rails and a metal bottom rail stiffener. The small gaps between the pickets allow you to enjoy visibility through the fence, but are too small for animals or children to pass through.

Closed Picket Vinyl Fence

Cost of a Fence

You may be worried about the fence cost. There are many reasons why installing a new fence is a  wise investment. In addition to adding curb appeal, a well-built fence lets your family enjoy your outdoor space in a safer and more private way.

Installing a new fence can even save you money on your taxes down the line!

Even though it may seem tempting to DIY your fence, we always recommend using professional contractors.

Our experts can help you choose the best fence for your property by answering questions you have about different types of fences. We even offer financing options to take some of the stress away from starting your fence project.  


Ready to get started? Join the over 10,000 happy customers who have had fences built by Ergeon. We specialize in fence installation and repair and hold a 4.6 average rating!

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