What fencing material is best?

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What fencing material is best?

The options for fences are extensive, if you don’t have a clear plan then it can be quite overwhelming.

This blog will hopefully help clarify which material type is best for your fencing needs; it will go through the three different materials and their strengths and drawbacks with each choice. The three materials in question are metal, plastic and of course wood. Generally, people will overlook metal and plastic fencing when choosing a fence material and go straight for wood, the traditional option. However, is it really the best???


First up is metal fencing. The material is by far the strongest and most secure of the three options. Metal fencing posts are particularly strong compared to wooden and plastic alternatives. Therefore, it is primarily used in commercial settings. Furthermore, it is the most readily available in taller sizes which increases the security that the fence offers around commercial sites. Another major positive of metal fences is that they are low maintenance and will be fairly resistant to the elements, so they will remain secure. A key example of this fence in use is where children are present, schools and playgrounds like using this fencing as it offers the most security out of all the options.

Another large benefit of metal fencing is that it will work out as the cheapest option, especially if you’re looking to erect a large area of fencing. However, the good price leads to the largest negative of metal fencing: it is the least visually appealing of the three options. This leads to it being a less popular choice with homeowners. Furthermore, with metal fencing, you don’t have the ability to add caps and finials as you do with the other two options.  However, given that the main use of metal fencing is for commercial use, the visual appearance isn’t the main characteristic that commercial properties want in a fence so therefore it weakens the criticism.



Plastic garden fence panels are an interesting option, and we know that it is not everyone's cup of tea. This option is possibly the least used of the three. However, plastic fencing can be great in the right setting. One major advantage is that it comes in a range of colours and textures which means it is easier to have a colourful border without the hassle of priming and painting wooden panels.

The advantages do not stop there though, the plastic fence panels slot together and therefore it is extremely easy to construct a fence. Once they are up, they are a brilliant low-maintenance alternative to wooden fencing. Furthermore, they are weatherproof and won't rot, rust, corrode, chip or crack. Plastic fencing also has one up on wooden fencing for gardens as it is splinter-free which means that it is more child-friendly and makes it perfect for family homes with young children.

Now the drawbacks. Firstly, plastic can be very expensive to construct an entire fence as you have to buy pieces to slot together rather than entire panels. The high financial cost of construction may put people off, but it is worth considering the low maintenance costs compared to wood, although it won't entirely offset the high initial price it may make the option of plastic fence panels a financially smart decision in the long run. 


Wood fencing is classic, it is usually people's first choice when they are considering a fence. Security is not an issue for wood; although it may not be quite as secure as metal, it is very secure. They are fairly strong however it should be noted that wooden fence panels are the option which is most susceptible to the elements, so it has that as a weakness compared to plastic and metal. However, if there are strong storms, falling trees or other freak accidents then all forms of fences are vulnerable.

The main attraction of choosing wooden fencing is that it is widely considered the best option visually and has a more natural look than metal and plastic alternatives. However, the aesthetic appeal comes at a price though, wooden fences require the most upkeep of all the options despite most of it being treated. Therefore, wooden fences generally lend themselves to personal gardens rather than large commercial sites as they require considerably more work to maintain than metal.

Furthermore, since wood is generally seen as the most attractive, it has the greatest chance of being the fence a potential buyer would be looking for in a house. This is a considerable positive that wooden fencing for gardens has over metal and plastic and can even affect the price demanded when looking to sell your house.

As a final point, wooden fence posts are the only option where you can use the other materials as caps and finials to complete the look. So, if you did choose wood then the option is there to incorporate metal or plastic if you liked them as well.



To sum up the article, there is no real definitive answer as to which fence is the best, which I know sounds like a cop-out but it really is true. The decision boils down to personal taste, why the fence is needed, and the size of the fence.

However, at Fencing Essentials, we lean towards wooden fencing being the best. The decision may be because of tradition but we believe that a fence must look great as well as fulfilling its duty, which wood certainly does. If you think a traditional wooden fence doesn’t look quite the part then you can add a range of finishing touches to it, including metal or plastic finials. It is worth stating that if you do choose wood you have to be aware of the upkeep and potential vulnerability to the elements but as long as you are proactive this is manageable. However, we understand that wood isn’t right for everyone and if that’s the case, both plastic and metal are great alternatives.

We also hope this blog post was helpful and that you have all the information you might need. However, If you have any questions or need any more advice don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@fencingessentials.co.uk or call us on 01980 669900.