Our homes are our sacred spaces: A corner of the earth we have earned the right to call our own.
We tend to them with care, welcome those closest to us into their shelter, and we protect them as best we can.
For some, a front yard fence is decorative framework, while others look to guard their enclaves with an equally up-to-task barricade. Whatever your reasons, there’s no denying the aesthetic beauty and inner peace of mind that a well-made front yard fence brings.
Today’s front fencing designs ensure both safety and style, a combination few would have dreamed of years prior. Whether you’re looking to implement an appealing border around your property to increase curb appeal, keep your lively offspring or curious pet within safe boundaries, or deter prying eyes, these front yard fence ideas are both works of art and dependable enclosures. From picket to stone, split rail to wrought iron and chain link fencing, there is a yard fencing option to suit your needs, as well as enhance your home’s look, feel, and value.
With so much uncertainty in the world, you want to make sure that what you worked hard to procure remains in good stead and style, year after year. If you feel your home could use a bit of eye-catching reinforcement, now is the perfect time to cast your gaze outward.
1. Wood Front Yard Fence Ideas
Natural wood is a beautiful material for front yard fences and one of the most popular types of fencing available. It can do so much for your home’s curb appeal. Whether you want to broadcast achieving that classic American dream of a white picket fence, or you long for a privacy enclosure, wood is a flexible fencing option. It can be designed and finished to look fantastic in front of any type of home.
Although your fencing framework may be wooden, that doesn’t mean the entire structure must be made of boards. Hog panel fences are an increasingly popular option borrowed from the farm but beautiful in front of cottages and modern homes alike. These fences incorporate wire grids set between wood frames, pre-coated to protect against rust. They are commonly found with a black powder finish but can be painted any color you wish. Hog panel fences allow your home to be viewed clearly while providing excellent safety for pets and kids.
Purchasing ready-made wood fence panels instead of individual planks makes a faster and more precise job of DIY fence installation. Fence panels often come with decorative features including curved tops, lattice, or dog-eared edges. Spruce up a panel fence with attractive finials made from copper or bronze. You can even design your own panels with lumber and decking boards.
This video can help you understand all the steps involved when installing a wood panel fence:
2. Metal Front Yard Fence Ideas
Metal front yard fence design ideas can mimic the grace of a European estate or match the angles of a sleek, contemporary condo. A formal wrought iron fence’s narrow fence posts and decorative finials make it an openly welcome accent along many front yards. You can even pair a wrought iron front yard fence with a backyard enclosure made from another material.
Metal fences are usually made of aluminum, steel or a mixture of metals and have a powder coating. The most common color for metal fences is black, but you can choose other colors to complement your home’s exterior. Pair metal railings and slats with concrete or stone pillars to make a strong entrance statement. Creative touches on a metal fence are not limited to the shape of the slats. Instead of keeping it all one color, install finials in a contrasting metal, such as copper or chrome.
Running metal fence slats horizontally or on a grid is a popular look in front of modern and contemporary homes. Depending on how far apart the slats are placed, horizontal metal fences could be used as a ladder for certain animals or other intruders to climb into your front yard. Keeping slats close together or installing them vertically helps remove some of this risk.
3. Traditional Front Yard Fence Ideas
We aren’t talking about a chain-link fence here. Perhaps the most traditional front yard fence design in America is the classic picket fence. From simple, evenly-spaced planks, to panels with concave or convex tops, a white picket fence looks beautiful in front of Craftsman, Victorian, and cottage-style homes. This traditional enclosure also fits well around country farmhouses, especially when adorned with gothic tops.
A post-and-rail fence – or split rail – fence is another simple design that feels natural in the countryside or the suburbs. While it’s not effective for keeping small pets or busy children enclosed, it can provide an attractive, rustic boundary around a large piece of land. A two-rail post fence is less expensive to build, while a three-rail post fence provides a better barrier.
Many traditional fence designs are now available in durable vinyl instead of wood or metal. From a distance, you cannot tell the difference between a painted wood fence and a vinyl version. Vinyl fences require almost no maintenance besides occasional cleaning—which is easy to do. If you are considering a traditional fence style, don’t be afraid to include vinyl fencing as an option as you compare estimates.
4. Modern Front Yard Fence Ideas
Modern fence ideas make use of sleek lines, angular profiles, and smooth finishes that replicate the design features of your modern home. Warm, natural, or stained wood surfaces pair well with the Zen-like simplicity of modern and mid-century architecture. Galvanized metal panels enhance the industrial architecture and are helpful when a wind or sound barrier is needed around a home.
As with traditional fences, you can mix metal with wood to achieve a modern look all of your own. Thick, black metal framework with lighter wooden slats adds an interesting warmth to a monochromatic brick façade. Consider a casual nod toward hog panel fencing by stringing 6-gauge wire between wooden posts instead of nailing up solid, wide planks. You can also use wood at the bottom of your fence and wire near the top. This allows passers-by to enjoy the beauty of your home’s exterior.
Installing planks horizontally instead of vertically is a popular way to add a modern slant to an ordinary fence. Even the most basic wooden planks take on a contemporary appearance when arranged horizontally. Offsetting the planks between the posts can make a wood fence take on a brick-like pattern—quite attractive in front of a modern brick façade. Vary the width of your slats to create more visual interest and base the gap size on how visible you want the front of your house to be from the street.
5. Masonry and Stone Front Yard Fence Ideas
If you already have stone or masonry features on your home, your front yard fence is a good place to replicate these colors and textures. But even if your home’s exterior is devoid of stone or brick, you can introduce the beauty of these natural elements in your front yard fence design. Concrete columns can be fashioned to look like carved stone and make a solid, classic statement.
While a low, solid stone fence takes you directly to the English countryside, topping a low stone or brick wall with wrought-iron fencing elevates the elegance. Custom scrollwork between iron slats softens the appearance of metal and stone, and pointed finials not only look great but serve a security purpose as well. Antique light globes atop solid masonry columns look elegant and guide guests directly to your gate.
Modern or mid-century homes can also carry the weight of a masonry front fence. Choose smooth concrete blocks for the base and posts, and run long metal rails horizontally between them. Mixed textures can also work if the color scheme is united. Reflect a range of natural brown shades by mixing a low stone wall with brick columns and stained wooden slats.
6. Privacy Front Yard Fence Ideas
A regular wood plank fence can become a privacy fence if it’s built tall enough and with the planks close enough together. However, slats can be arranged to maximize the privacy effect. A board-on-board weaved design staggers slats, attaching one to the front of the rails, the next to the back of the rails, and repeating the pattern down the line.
If a tall wooden fence is too solid for you, you can add a lattice top to make the upper portion of your fence more transparent without sacrificing your privacy at eye level.
Metal fences are also great privacy fence ideas. If you don’t want to install galvanized panels, you can use metal for your posts and attach tight wooden slats between them. Make your gate stand out by erecting a boxed metal canopy over the entrance to your property.
While many privacy fences are made from wood, vinyl is a great privacy fence option that won’t warp or gap over time. If you’re installing a privacy fence to keep deer or climbing critters away from your expensive landscaping, an 8-foot-tall vinyl fence with a smooth top can be helpful. Deer will think twice before trying to scale a tall structure, and smooth vinyl prevents raccoons and other critters from having something to grab hold of. However, check with your local zoning department before construction to learn the height limits for fences in your neighborhood. A special building permit or variance may be required for fences over six feet tall.
7. Front Yard Fence Gate Ideas
It’s best if your front yard gate coordinates with your fencing, but it doesn’t have to match exactly if you’re feeling creative. As with your front door, you can draw attention to your front gate by painting it a bright color or making it from a material different than your fencing. In modern design, line continuity is honored best by making the gate visually blend in with the surrounding structure.
Sometimes subtle differences look best, especially in traditional design. If your fence has basic white picket posts, use a gate with an arched or curved top. Large finials are an easy way to frame a gate without changing much about the overall structural design.
Your gate area is the perfect place to display your house number. Delivery people and new friends will appreciate the ease it adds to finding your home. Be sure to choose a latch and lock system that looks nice with your overall design and is easy to use.
Also, consider the security provided by a driveway gate. Installed in a security fence, they can provide peace of mind while offering a design aesthetic as no other gate can.
8. Landscaping Ideas for Front Yard Fences
Virtually any trellis-climbing vine or tall-standing flower looks wonderful planted along a fence. Roses and lavender are classic blooms to plant along fences and add a lovely swath of color all summer long. Irises, tulips and other bulbs return each spring and some varieties’ tall leaves remain standing throughout the warmer months. Even a scale-appropriate tree can be a wonderful choice.
Hostas are a good choice in shady areas and add low-lying pools of green foliage in colors ranging from seafoam to dark teal. Tufts of ornamental grass soften modern edges and look good along any type of fence. Flowering shrubs including hydrangeas, azaleas, and gardenias look stunning in front of picket fences.
If you’re limited on yard space between your fence and the road or sidewalk, consider installing planters along your fence’s top perimeter. Fill them with low-maintenance flowers and greenery, and change the plantings with the seasons. This is a brilliant way to brighten up a boring fence without the back-straining efforts required to plant flowers in the ground.
Front Yard Fence FAQs
How often will I need to paint and or replace a wooden fence?
Maintenance concerns may steer some people away from wooden fences, but they are easy enough to care for. Properly maintained, a wooden fence can last 12 to 15 years, with approximately four to five years between paint jobs. It’s a good idea to clean your fence every spring by scrubbing with a mild cleaner made from equal parts of white vinegar and water. Rinse with a power washer on a low setting.
If you do this on an annual basis, it will be easy to see the signs that the fence is due for a new coat of paint. Simply allow the fence to dry well after cleaning, then follow the paint manufacturer’s directions for applying a new coat and sealant, if needed.
How long should it take to install a fence?
The time involved in fence installation depends on several factors, including:
- The size of your yard.
- Whether you hire a contractor or install it yourself.
- How many people are working on the job site.
- What type of fence you choose.
If you hire a contractor to install a basic wooden, vinyl or metal fence, they should be able to finish the job within three days. Beware of companies that ask for significantly more time to put up a fence on an average-sized yard. Keep in mind that masonry and stone fences will take longer to install than other types, due to the craftsmanship involved.
If you plan to DIY, your total fence installation time will vary according to your experience level and how many skilled helpers you have. In most cases, you should be able to erect a basic fence and gate over the course of a long weekend, or two full weekends in a row. If you have no fence installation experience, try to find a helper who has successfully put up your type of fence before.