Fences are usually designed for two purposes: to keep things in and to keep things out. In some cases, they are simply used to designate property lines or to contribute to a fashion statement.
When choosing the proper fencing for large plots of land measured in acres, there are several factors to consider.
WHAT IS YOUR FENCE INTENDED TO DO?
Do you want to protect animals from wandering away and to keep predators out? Are you a farmer who wants to protect his crops from two-legged and four-legged pests? Do you want to mark your property lines to keep neighbors from encroaching on your land? How much are you willing to spend and how quickly do you want the fence installed?
When you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to choose the fencing material and type of fence you want to enclose your acreage.
Wood fences have traditionally been the favorite choice of building materials because wood was usually available nearby.
The most common wood fence to enclose acreage is the post and two rail design. Generally, they are the fastest and easiest to install and are at the lower end of the cost schedule.
Today, the hardwood that was used by farmers and ranchers and lasted for generations is not generally available. Softer and more common woods like pine or Douglas fir are used today and are cheaper and easy to work with. However, they do require a regular schedule of painting and staining in order to maintain a decent life expectancy.
BARBED WIRE FENCES
Barbed wire was first used in Texas to fence in cattle ranches around 1853 because wood was so scarce. Because it’s difficult to install, and because it can cause injury to animals and humans alike, it’s only recommended for use on acreage that holds animals threatened by wild predators like coyotes.
In some states, barbed wire is illegal in certain areas. In other states, a legal barbed fence is limited to four-strand barbed wire. Be sure to check the fence codes in your area before installing any barbed wire fence.
WOVEN WIRE FENCES
Some animals like sheep, goats and chickens can climb, dig under or fly to escape fenced areas. The use of woven wire fencing is the most popular material to contain animals of this nature. Horse owners in particular like woven wire fences because their animals are less likely to get entangled and injured than with barbed wire fencing.
A woven wire fence should last up to 20 years without a need for much maintenance. Cost wise, a woven-wire fence with metal posts is in the low to moderate price range.
HIGH TENSILE WIRE FENCES
One way to lengthen the life of a wire fence is to use high tensile wire. It is extremely strong and durable and can last up to 50 years or longer. The initial installation cost will be higher due to the specialized material, equipment, and skill needed to construct it. But when amortized over the longer life span of a standard wire fence, it is actually a better bargain price wise.
Synthetic fencing first came on the scene in the 1970s. Today, there are many types of synthetic fencing to choose from. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) fencing is one of the most popular. It consists of hollow PVC rails sunk into heavy-duty posts.