The best fencing materials depend on what type of fence you need for your yard or space. Security fencing is best built with metal or chain link fencing, while the best materials for a privacy fence might be wood or vinyl. If you are looking for a material that is low maintenance, vinyl is the best choice, but for aesthetics and strength, wood, brick, or stone are the best fencing materials. Regardless of the materials used for the fencing panels and posts, be sure to choose hardware made from stainless steel or other strong fencing materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion.
Metal fencing materials include aluminum, steel, and wrought iron. Wrought iron is the most expensive and rarest of the metal fencing materials, but it is also highly decorative and strong. Installing wrought iron fencing is not terribly difficult, but the sections of the fence must be pre-cut and measured to a specific length. Choose wrought iron if you want a highly decorative fence that will last a long time, and cost is not a concern.
For security purposes, chain link fence is the best option. It is versatile and easy to install, and it is extremely effective at keeping unwanted visitors out of the yard or space. For added security, barbed wire can be added to chain link fences. Choose chain link fencing materials that are made from thicker metals. Cheaper, thinner metals will save you money to begin with, but thinner metals are more likely to bend, break, or need maintenance down the road.
Garden fences are made from wood or vinyl and are usually not incredibly strong. They are made to look good and to keep animals out of the garden. While vinyl is a good choice for a low-maintenance fence that will not need to be stained or painted, wood is a better choice if deer or other large animals are getting into your garden. For decorative purposes, consider wood or vinyl trellises that vines can climb up.
For privacy, a variety of materials can be used. Brick as a fencing material is a great choice for both privacy, security, and aesthetics, but installing a brick fence can be quite difficult and expensive. Wood is the easiest material to work with for a security fence, as it can be cut to specific lengths and widths. Vinyl is a good choice, but installing a vinyl fence properly takes a fair amount of skill and patience.