Best Fence Styles for Large Yards

chain link fence

You like your large yard, but it needs some structure. A new fence is just the thing to mark borders and boost curb appeal. But what design should you choose? The best fence styles for large yards will be cost-effective and functional, whether you need them for security or decoration.

Luckily, you’ve got several fencing options to suit your outdoor space. Let’s review various design ideas and what materials each one comes in. We’ll also cover the key factors to consider when making your decision.

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Best Fence Designs for Large Yards

Fence design affects visual appeal, security, visibility, and privacy. Every fence style has its benefits and drawbacks. We’ll cover these features in detail to help you decide what fence is right for your yard.

Picket Fences

white picket fence
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Do you dream of a large yard with a white picket fence? This style is a classic choice for a reason. Picket fences are aesthetically pleasing and effectively mark borders. They’re durable, and it’s easy to replace single broken pickets (unless they’re made from metal — those are best handled by a professional). 

Best of all, picket fences are relatively inexpensive compared to privacy fences. Wooden fences are the cheapest material while metal fences are the most expensive.

Choose from various styles, materials, colors, and picket shapes to suit your needs, such as:

  • Colonial pickets
  • Dog-ear pickets
  • Gothic pickets
  • Angled pickets
  • Scalloped pickets
  • Concave pickets

If you’re looking for security or privacy, picket fences aren’t the best choice. Small animals can squeeze between the pickets, and passers-by can see through the gaps. They also tend to be shorter than other fence types, so they’d be easy to jump or see over. But there are advantages to those gaps, such as good visibility and wind resistance.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, aluminum, steel, iron, and bamboo

Cost: 

  • Wooden pickets: $4-$8.50 per linear foot
  • Vinyl pickets: $17-$38 per linear foot
  • Composite pickets: $11-$46 per linear foot
  • Aluminum pickets: $24-$32 per linear foot
  • Wrought iron pickets: $28-$56 per linear foot
  • Steel pickets: $23-$45 per linear foot
  • Bamboo pickets: $5-$18 per linear foot

Privacy Fences

Privacy fence
Photo Credit: Kenny10 / Canva Pro / License

Just because you have a big yard doesn’t mean you want to share it with the world. A 6-foot fence is ideal for privacy, noise reduction, and security. Privacy fences can create a contained play area for kids and pets without easy escape routes or external distractions. 

Vinyl and wooden fences are the most common materials for privacy fences, but you also can use a variety of other materials. Privacy fences have many style options, such as:

  • Vertical board fencing
  • Horizontal board fencing
  • Diagonal board fencing
  • Board-on-board fencing
  • Stockade fencing
  • Framed fencing
  • Solid panel fencing
  • Arched fencing
  • Scalloped fencing
  • Gothic fencing
  • Round top fencing
  • Dog-ear fencing

On average, privacy fences cost more than other styles because of the amount of material needed. If you want to cut costs, use privacy fencing for sensitive areas of your yard and non-privacy styles for other areas. Privacy fences also may not be allowed by your HOA or local laws. Most cities allow 4-foot front yard fences and 6-foot backyard fences.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, masonry, metal, bamboo, and live plants

Privacy Fence Cost: $14-$36 per linear foot

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Semi-Privacy Fences

Maybe you want a mix between privacy and visibility. In that case, semi-privacy fences are ideal. They come in many of the same materials and styles as privacy fences. Here are some examples:

  • Vertical board fencing
  • Horizontal board fencing
  • Diagonal board fencing
  • Shadowbox fencing
  • Spaced picket fencing
  • Framed fencing
  • Arched fencing
  • Scalloped fencing
  • Gothic fencing
  • Round top fencing
  • Dog-ear fencing

Semi-privacy fences use slightly fewer materials than privacy fences, but some of the designs can be more complex. These fences will lose the sound-blocking capabilities of privacy fences but will let more light and wind through.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, metal, bamboo, and live plants

Cost: $16-$24 per linear foot

Lattice Fences

Yellow flowers in a pot hanging from a white lattice fence
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Lattice fencing is perfect for your home garden paradise. This fencing style lets lots of light through while slightly obscuring the view. It’s an excellent choice for portioning off large yards into different “rooms.” Pair it with a trellis for a beautiful visual effect. 

Lattice fencing is a bit more animal-proof than picket fencing since the lattice holes tend to be small. Pick between vertical, diagonal, and patterned lattices in various materials.

A plain lattice fence is already pretty, but it can look even more beautiful with plants growing on it. Here are some vines you can use:

  • Clematis
  • Honeysuckle
  • Cypress vine
  • Carolina jessamine

Remember that adding plants will add to the maintenance. You’ll need to care for the plants and prevent them from spreading to other areas. They also will make the fence more difficult to repair.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, metal, and bamboo

Cost: $4-$30 per linear foot

Rail Fences

Rail fences are sweet and simple: just posts and at least one rail between. They provide little privacy and security, but they’re good for fencing large areas. Go for a rustic look with log or split rails. Planks make for a more polished appearance. Here are some rail fence styles:

  • Post and rail fence
  • Round rail fence
  • Ranch rail fence
  • Kentucky board fence
  • Split rail fence
  • Zig zag rail fence
  • Buck-and-rail fence

Rail fencing won’t keep dogs or other small animals contained, but it can usually contain livestock, which makes it suitable for rural areas. You can install wire mesh between the posts and rails for additional security.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, metal, and bamboo

Split-Rail Fence Cost: $11-$29 per linear foot

Woven Fences

Also known as wattle fencing, these fences are great for rustic aesthetics. They’re made by weaving plants, sticks, branches, shoots, or reeds over and under fence posts like a basket. Woven fences run the gamut from entirely private to open weaves. 

These beautiful fences may be suitable for containing children or animals, but that depends on the fence’s height and strength. The strength depends on the material you use. Thick woven wood or bamboo fences will likely be stronger than reed or willow fences, though the latter two materials are more flexible.

If you like DIY projects, you could weave a fence yourself and even use materials you collect yourself. Some stores sell woven fence panels, though some only offer roll-out screens to attach to existing fences.

Material options: Wood, vinyl, composite, metal, bamboo, willow hurdles, and reeds

Cost: $5-$51 per linear foot

flower with chainlink fence
Photo Credit: Pexels

Want an easy and affordable fence? Chain-link fencing is low-maintenance, budget-friendly, easy to install, and simple to repair. These traits make it great for fencing large areas. 

You can either leave chain-link fences open for visibility or make them private by adding slats. If you install a vinyl-coated chain-link fence, you can choose from different colors to blend into or stand out from your yard.

While chain-link fencing may seem plain, there are ways to customize and decorate them. Even so, they still aren’t the best option for boosting curb appeal or property value. Chain-link fences are popular choices for dog owners, but they’re not as secure when it comes to human trespassers.

Material options: Galvanizes, vinyl-coated, aluminum, and stainless steel

Cost: $12-$33 per linear foot

Wire Fences

Want something rustic with high visibility and a little security? Wire fences look nice in gardens and rural areas. These fences often have wooden posts or frames, which makes them more visually appealing than chain-link fences. You also can install welded wire fences with metal posts. Wire fences are one of the most affordable fence types.

While wire fences can keep small animals secure, their short height makes them easy to jump. Barbed wire fences are much more secure, but they’re not allowed in all areas. Check your local regulations before installing barbed or razor wire.

Material options: metal

Cost: $1-$4 per linear foot

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Things to Consider Before Fencing a Large Yard

Pool near fence
Photo Credit: Pexels

Your design preferences are important, but so are many other factors you may not have considered. Let’s go over the practical aspects of fencing that may help you decide on the fencing style.

Purpose of the Fence

With so many styles to choose from, you’ll need to consider what you want out of your fence. Do you need a front yard, backyard, side yard, dog run, or garden fence? Here are some reasons for installing a fence:

  • Mark property lines
  • Split yards into separate areas or outdoor “rooms”
  • Line paths
  • Protect plants
  • Boost curb appeal and property value
  • Provide privacy
  • Secure your yard or pool
  • Contain kids, pets, or livestock
  • Block noise

Once you know what features are essential, you can narrow down your design options.

Your Yard’s Landscaping

If you’ve spent time planning a beautiful landscape, you don’t want to ruin it with a mismatched fence. Fence designs can be elegant, natural, modern, rustic, or purely practical. Color also can help a fence style harmonize with your landscape design. Include fence ideas in your initial landscaping plans for the best results.

You also may need to pick your design based on existing natural features. For example, sloped yards limit your design options.

Your Local Climate

It’s not just fencing materials that affect weatherproofing. Open fence styles like picket and lattice are best for windy areas. They’re also less susceptible to snow damage in cold climates since snowdrifts won’t build up on one side. If you need a little more shade, privacy fencing styles could provide some (though shade structures are a better solution for warm climates).

Ease of Assembly

If you want a DIY fence project, you probably shouldn’t choose an overly complicated design. You can purchase simple styles like picket, privacy, lattice, and chain-link at many home improvement stores. Prefabricated panels will be quicker to assemble than piecing together all the individual pieces, but they’re not as customizable.

Want to hire a professional instead? An expert can handle more complicated designs, but remember their labor costs will increase the more challenging it is to install.

Maintenance and Repair Needs

Once your fence is installed, you’ll still need to care for it occasionally. Fences are all vulnerable to the march of time and could break, warp, lean, or fade. Consider how much time you’d like to spend fixing your fence. How much surface area is there to paint, stain, or scrub? Is it easy to replace broken pieces? Can you repair it yourself, or will you need to hire a pro?

If you choose a prefabricated style, you’ll need to replace larger chunks of it at once if it breaks. Styles like aluminum and wrought iron fences will need professional attention.

Budget

Whether you’re pinching pennies or have an unlimited budget, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Open styles like picket tend to be more affordable than solid privacy styles. You also can save money with a shorter fence design. You should factor in repair and maintenance costs as well. 

In the long run, the best way to save money is to install the right fence the first time.

FAQ About the Best Fence Styles for Large Yards

What fence style is best for big dogs? 

Privacy and chain-link fences are the best for big dogs. The key features of a good dog fence are height and durability. You don’t want your dog to dig under, jump over, or push through your fence. 

Chain-link fences can be strong, tall, and have concrete bases to thwart digging. A tall privacy fence also can keep a large dog in while blocking out external temptations, discouraging escape attempts whenever a squirrel or fellow canine walks by.

What type of fence is best for backyards? 

It depends. Many homeowners prefer privacy fences for their backyards so they can have a secluded area without staring directly at their neighbors (or vice versa). However, those with a beautiful view out back might prefer an open style like picket or rail so they don’t obscure the scenery.

What kind of fence adds to property value?

Any style that is functional and visually appealing will boost property value. Picket and privacy fences are safe bets; they’re popular, attractive, and practical. Avoid chain-link fences if you want to increase your home’s value.

When to Hire a Pro

Ready to get started? You can DIY many of the fence styles we’ve covered. Doing it yourself will allow you to completely customize your installation. Plus, you can look proudly at the finished product every time you step outside.


Are you thinking, “Who has time for that?” Fence installations in large yards take a while. Contact a fencing pro if you’d prefer to let someone else do the heavy lifting. A fence company near you can provide a quote and install the best fence for your large property.

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Lauren Bryant

Lauren Bryant is a freelance writer currently based in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys long walks and baking in her free time. She understands how essential fences are for privacy and safety and is most interested in long-lasting solutions.