Everything You Need to Know About Fences & Gates


Curb appeal starts at your fence or gate. It’s the first thing visitors see—and also one of the first big investments you may make when you buy a house. The average cost of installing a new fence is $2,388, according to HomeAdvisor.

Use our brand-new field guide, Fences & Gates 101, to learn everything you need to know about the best styles, including deer fencing, to complement the architecture of your house.  Maybe you’re installing a new fence (for privacy, to keep out deer, or to mask unsightly physical elements adjacent to your property). Or maybe you’re merely upgrading the hardware on an existing gate (latches and hinges). Either way, we’ve got tips to help you choose the best materials, height, and durability.

Fences & Gates 101 is part of our new Garden Design 101 section, offering design tips and practical advice on such hardscape topics as Decks & Patios, Exterior Hardware, Gravel & Decomposed Granite, Outdoor Lighting, Retaining Walls, and Pavers.

Hog Wire Fence

A mainstay on ranches for decades, hog wire panels been discovered by homeowners and landscape designers as an affordable, low-profile solution for maintaining a wide-open view while keeping animals out. They even possess a certain elegance.

Instant Rollout Fences

Made of natural materials such as bamboo, willow, reed, or wood, instant rollout fences are easy to install (just unfurl and attach to posts).

Woven Fences

Woven fencing can largely be divided into two types—hurdles which are moveable panels that can be slotted into the ground and then bound to other hurdles with posts, or continuous woven fencing, which, as the name suggests, is installed onsite to any dimensions. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Dry Stone Walls

Dry stone walls have been created for thousands of years and, if done well, will look as if they have been in place for at least that long.

Japanese-Style Fences

The calming simplicity of a Japanese-style fence, with its emphasis on natural materials and minimal distractions, creates a serene backdrop of bamboo, wicker, or wood.

Picket Fences

A picket fence built of 2-by-2-inch pieces of clear cedar and a standing-seam metal roof are a nod to classic farmhouse style.

Gabion Walls

Used for thousands of years by military and structural engineers, gabions provide an attractive, effective, and inexpensive fence or retaining-wall system.

Privacy Fences

In a Pacific Palisades, California landscape, Grow Outdoor Design used a combination of sliding wood gate, Cor-ten steel panel, and jasmine-covered hog-wire fencing, which “all harmonize to create privacy,” according to firm partner Joel Lichtenwalter.