What You Need To Know About Custom Fencing Materials And Finishes

You've always wanted to build custom fencing on your property—but now that you finally have the necessary funding, you're not exactly sure what features you want in a custom fence. With the various fencing materials and finishes available to you, making the final decisions about your fencing can be a very difficult task. By taking a moment to learn the basics about these options, you can make sure you're satisfied with your custom fencing.


The fencing material you choose will affect the expected lifetime, appearance, and required maintenance of your fence. The most common materials used for residential fencing are:

  • Wood

    • Wood has been used as a fencing material for hundreds of years. Low cost, natural appearance, and ease of installation makes wood fencing ideal for almost any property. However, wood is not very resistant to weathering. For this reason, wood fencing will require annual maintenance—which typically involves replacing warped planks, staining or painting, and pressure washing.

    • Pressure-treated wood is significantly more weather-resistant than untreated wood. However, you must select the type of pressure treatment that provides the greatest protection to your local climate for maximum weather resistance.

  • Vinyl

    • Vinyl fencing has become popular as a result of cost-cutting manufacturing techniques. Although vinyl is still more expensive than wood, it's well worth it—vinyl is much more resistant to weathering than budget-friendly types of wood.

    • If you live in a cold climate, then vinyl fencing may not be your best option. Long-term exposure to cold weather will cause your vinyl fencing to become brittle and crack. As long as your vinyl fence isn't cracked, the only maintenance that's required is an occasional wash with your garden hose.

  • Iron

    • Iron is without a doubt the most durable fencing material and requires minimal maintenance. However, iron fencing is susceptible to rust and corrosion. As long as you reseal your iron fence with a weather-resistant paint when its existing paint begins to crack or chip, you can expect it to provide aesthetic appeal and security to your home for several decades.


If you want to install fencing on your property specifically for aesthetic appeal, then the importance of its finish cannot be understated. The right finish can significantly improve your property's curb appeal as long as it's maintained.

  • Stain

    • If you choose to install wood fencing, then you're in luck—thousands of shades of stain are available for color-coordinating your fence with your home and other external structures on your property.

    • Stains are available both with and without a sealant. If you choose to use a stain that doesn't include a sealant, then make sure to apply a stand-alone sealant over your layer of stain to prevent your wood fencing from warping and fading.

  • Paint

    • Similarly to staining, a painted finish allows for color coordination. However, it's less resistant to weathering. For this reason, a painted fence will require regular touch-ups and occasional repainting with weather-resistant paint.

  • Pre-Fabricated

    • Pre-fabricated finishes are common with vinyl and iron fencing, since these materials aren't porous like wood. Although a pre-fabricated finish on a vinyl fence makes the initial installation of the fencing much easier, it makes maintenance harder. If your pre-fabricated vinyl finish fades or sustains damage, then the entire section of fencing must be replaced to retain a consistent finish with the rest of your fence.

    • Pre-fabricated iron finishes can be recreated with the proper types of paint and sealant. However, corrosion damage can make applying or maintaining your iron fencing's finish a very physically demanding task since it must be removed prior to painting or sealing.

Now that you're armed with this information, you can easily decide which material and finish to select for your custom fencing. However, if you're still having trouble brainstorming the perfect materials and finishes for your fencing, then consult with your fence contractor, like York Fence, for further information about the options available to you.