Ranch & Farm Fence: Fencing Options That Look Good
When it comes to fencing your ranch and farm, appearance matters. Three types of fencing – wood rail, HTP rail, and vinyl – are favored for their attractive appearances, but you can’t choose a fence based on its appearance alone. Which type of fence is best for your ranch or farm? You’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits of each to find out.
Nothing beats the traditional, classic appearance of a wood fence lining your ranch or farm. Wood fencing can be painted in any color, giving you the opportunity to customize the look of your property. Wooden fencing is visually appealing and is the traditional choice in fencing horse properties and many farms.
Wood rail fencing is strong and creates a physical barrier. It can withstand heavy winds and snow, and is easily visible, which can help to prevent animals from colliding with the fence. If you plan on keeping smaller animals, adding a metal mesh to the wooden fencing can keep them contained, and can also work to keep predators out.
Wooden fencing does have some disadvantages. The materials for the fence cost approximately $6 per foot, and installing the fence is labor-intensive, costing approximately $3 per foot in labor. Additionally, the fence must be maintained. As the weather fluctuates, nails can work loose and must be re-hammered. The fencing must be painted regularly to prevent it from rotting, and damaged or worn boards must be replaced. Additionally, horses may chew or crib on the fencing, so adding a line of electric fence may be necessary (http://extension.usu.edu/smac/files/uploads/EquineFencingBuildingOptions.pdf).
Vinyl fencing provides an appearance that is similar to that of wood fencing, but with less maintenance. Like wood fencing, vinyl fencing is easily visible and can be constructed in any number of styles and colors for an appearance that is appropriate for your property.
Vinyl fence is low-maintenance, requiring none of the painting or re-nailing that wooden fencing does. Its excellent visibility helps to keep your animals safe, and damaged panels can be replaced. Vinyl fencing is designed to be durable, giving you years of use for your investment.
The cost of vinyl fence is approximately $5 per foot, and labor for the fence’s installation is about $3.50 per foot. Additionally, vinyl fence rails can pop out of the fence posts if a horse leans against them heavily. Vinyl rail alone may not make the best fence for a horse, and you may need to add a line of electric fence (http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/buildings/fences/vinyl-fencing/).
HTP rail, or High Tensile Polymer Rail, has the clean, eye-catching appearance of a wooden fence. It is available in a number of colors and creates the same attractive lines that are characteristic of a traditional farm or ranch property.
The cost of HTP rail is approximately ____ per foot. HTP rail is excellent at withstanding the expansion and contraction of weather fluctuations, and keeps its shape. Designed as a single length of fencing, HTP rail absorbs impact without splintering like wooden fencing does, making it much safer for your horse (http://www.redstonesupply.com/collections/high-tensile-polymer/products/cenflex-5-rail-horse-fencing).
HTP rail does require occasional maintenance, but overall the fencing is a low-maintenance option. It is important to choose a size of HTP rail that has a break strength appropriate for the animals that you will be using it to contain (http://www.redstonesupply.com/collections/centaur-5-htp).
It’s possible to have a visually attractive and highly functional fence for your ranch or farm. Wood rail, vinyl, and HTP rail fencing all provide attractive options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.