Popular Fence Materials and Styles for Chicago Metro Area Homes
Homeowners and investment property owners throughout Chicagoland can choose from a wide variety of materials and designs for any fence project. In fact, deciding on those options is one of the first choices you’ll make. The materials and the style you choose affect the cost, how the fence fits into your neighborhood, and how it enhances your property. You can get started on this by looking at fences installed in your area. Home improvement magazines may also give you ideas. Visit local home supply stores to check on fence types in their displays. If you’ll be hiring a contractor to make the installation, you’ll see many possibilities during your consultation.
You should also visit the page on this website that lists codes and regulations for your city. Make sure you meet all the city building codes and regulations. With all of the possibilities available, you’ll have plenty of options to consider. Take your time and select materials and the style carefully. You’ll be living with it for years to come. Think, too, about maintenance issues and how it will look ten years from now before making a final choice. Get estimates or calculate the total cost of any materials you choose to make sure the project fits into your budget. The information below will give you basic information on the available choices.
Classic Wood Fences Are Among the Most Popular in Chicago Area
Wood has long been used for yard enclosures. Its natural appearance, variations in grain and color, along with endless design possibilities, make wood an excellent material. Moderate in cost and relatively simple to build, these materials are also popular with DIY owners. Western red cedar is available nationwide and has natural rot and insect resistance, but redwood, pine and fir are also used for fence boards. Preservative-treated wood is the most common material for posts and rails. Wood fences can be left unfinished to weather gracefully or finished with stains or paint. Painted or stained fences do require regular maintenance over time. Styles available include:
- Picket Fences – Low, painted picket designs are classic for front yards.
- Privacy Fences – Solid, tall wood installations are a common choice.
- Semi-Privacy Fences – Shadow box and spaced boards let light and air pass.
- Lattice and Woven Panel Fences – These designs have a custom look.
- Post-and-Rail Fences – These low-cost projects are easy to install.
- Custom Designs – Wood is ideal for unique, artistic projects.
PVC Vinyl Fences Offer Zero-Maintenance Durability and the Look of Wood
Offering the appearance of painted wood, PVC vinyl materials eliminate the maintenance work wooden fences require. Similar in cost to wood, they are available in multiple colors and designs, and are even available in wood-grain finishes. Most often installed by fence companies, they go up quickly and maintain a graceful, attractive finish throughout their lives. The only maintenance required is an occasional washing. All city codes treat this material the same as wood. They’re an increasingly popular choice for today’s homeowners in the Chicago area, and are available in a wide range of fence types:
- Picket Styles – Choose from classic or modern designs.
- Privacy Styles – Enjoy clean, uniform appearance and low maintenance.
- Semi-Privacy Styles – Spaces between vertical elements add an airy look.
- Post-and-Rail Styles – Elegant and open, these are becoming very popular.
- Matching Gates and Accessories – Add your own touches to customize.
Aluminum Ornamental Fences Are Trouble-Free Substitutes for Wrought Iron
Homeowners seeking the look of wrought iron fencing are now choosing manufactured aluminum fences more often than any other material. Light in weight, but offering outstanding strength, their pre-fabricated panels can be installed quickly and are available in residential and commercial grades. From low fences for front yards to tall perimeter fences that offer an elegant, open look, they’re a great choice for many homes. Lifetime finishes in a variety of colors are available, and provide a maintenance-free enclosure for any property. The cost of these fences depends on grade and height, and is comparable to steel fences. Ornamental scrolls and decorative spindles let owners customize their projects. Matching gates are available for every design.
Steel Ornamental Fences Offer Graceful Appearance and Security
Old-style wrought iron fences are costly and mostly used today only for historic homes. Where the strength and durability of steel is your choice, many styles of open decorative fencing are available from several manufacturers. Typically, these are manufactured as panels that attach to matching posts, so installation goes quickly. Cost depends on the height, grade, and your choices of decorative optional features. Matching gates in all widths are available, including driveway gates. Steel ornamental fences are popular for front yard installations and for perimeter borders in side and rear yards. Today’s high-tech finishes eliminate concerns about corrosion, flaking and minimize maintenance.
Chain Link Fencing Is an Affordable Option For Residential Properties
Low in cost and providing good security, a chain link fence is one of the most popular choices for back yard enclosures throughout the Chicago area. Available in heights from 42" to 8′ tall, galvanized chain link woven fabric is installed over a tubular framework of galvanized steel to create an open perimeter fence that is ideal for enclosing rear yards to allow children and pets to play securely. Many Chicago suburbs prohibit these fences in front yards, though, and homeowners associations also prohibit such fences in some subdivisions and developments. Chain link materials are also available with vinyl coatings in various colors and come in various thickness gauges. Prefabricated gates in a variety of widths simplify installation. Chain link fencing is also widely used at commercial and industrial sites.
Wood, Vinyl, Aluminum, Steel and Chain Link Fencing in Chicago, IL
Selecting materials and styles is one of the first choices property owners face when planning their fences. With all of the options available, it can be a confusing decision. You can sort through your options, though, after discussing your ideas with your family and neighbors, looking at what types of fences are common in your neighborhood and thinking about how much to want to spend on your installation. Think about how your new fence will coordinate with your home’s architecture and design, too. When you consult with a contractor or visit home supply stores, you’ll be able to view a wide range of materials and designs. Compare cost estimates for different choices. Don’t rush your decision. Give yourself plenty of time to find the ideal solution.