What is a Perimeter Fence? | Types, Pros & Cons

White vinyl perimeter fence

In many cases, when looking to buy a property, one of the things that may come to mind is whether or not it has perimeter fencing. If it’s present,  what is it exactly, and how is it beneficial or detrimental to your property? Read on to discover further details on this unique type of fence.

A perimeter fence is a boundary line that surrounds and marks the limits of an area. It can provide privacy, security, or act as part of landscaping. The degree of security provided varies with the perimeter’s threat level. Perimeter fences come in a variety of styles and materials, including:

  • Wooden or timber fencing
  • Wooden hoarding
  • Chain link fencing
  • Temporary fencing
  • Metal hoarding
  • Mesh panel fencing
  • Palisade fencing
  • Vinyl fencing
  • Ornamental steel fencing

What are the types of perimeter fences?

There are a wide variety of perimeter fences available on the market. They can be categorized based on the following criteria:

Design of the perimeter fence

1. Wooden or timber fencing

Making wooden fence

This is usually the most affordable type of perimeter fencing option. Wooden or timber fencing is ideal when security is not the sole purpose of installing a fence. Although they may not be as secure as some of the other perimeter fencing types on this list, closeboard wooden fencing is often aesthetically pleasing. It can still create a solid appearance and deter potential intruders. Other variations of this type of fencing include acoustic fencing and log walling. 

2. Wooden hoarding

Reinforced wooden fence

This type of fencing comprises reinforced wooden boards joined with wooden posts and set in concrete. They can withstand significant pressure and are quite effective at deterring intruders. This perimeter fencing can be painted to blend in with the surroundings or match your preferred aesthetic. Wooden hoarding is commonly seen concealing construction sites or vacant properties from curious eyes. Although they are best suited as a temporary option, the study nature of this type of fencing means it can last for a long time.

3. Chain link fencing

chain link fence

Chain link fencing is a popular option for low-security needs. This versatile perimeter fence can delineate boundaries, provide security, or even around sports courts and pitches. Although chain link fencing might appear oppressive, it can be galvanized or powder coated to make it blend in a little more. If you want a higher level of security for your property, consider installing barbed wire or razor wire at the top of your chain link fence. 

4. Temporary fencing

Temporary fence

This type of perimeter fencing is easy to erect and dismantle. It’s commonly used for keeping people from stepping on recently landscaped ground and at events for crowd control. Temporary fencing is usually available for hire if you only plan to use it as a one-off or to buy if you’d want to re-use it. If you’re going to secure a building site with this type of fencing, consider going for heavy, anti-climb Heras.

5. Metal hoarding

metal hoarding

Metal hoarding is ideal if you want to secure a site for an extended period. Although the initial installation cost is considerable, this type of perimeter fencing is not only more long-lasting than its wooden counterpart but can also be re-used if necessary. Metal hoarding can be painted in a preferred color, and you can also customize it to add more security features such as a barbed wire.

6. Mesh panel fencing

mesh panel fencing

Mesh panel fencing is a popular option because it’s relatively visually pleasing. This type of fencing is typically available in black, green, and several other colors, plus it can be fitted to posts of different designs. It’s commonly used to provide medium security – it allows people to see both in and out without compromising security. This attractive perimeter fence is used for various purposes, including leisure centers, schools, and other public buildings. Although it’s a bit more expensive than some of the options on this list, this perimeter fence is secure, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. 

7. Palisade fencing

palisade fencing

Palisade perimeter fencing is an excellent option for anyone looking for a strong barrier against vandals and thieves. It is custom fabricated from hot and cold rolled steel sections and is available in either a “W” or “D” profile, with “W” offering a higher level of security of the two.

The open slot design of palisade fencing and its wide range of heights, colors, and finishes make it a flexible and relatively attractive option. Furthermore, this type of fencing is almost impossible to climb, and you can make it even more impenetrable by adding razor wire or triple-pointed pales to the top of each steel vertical.

8. Vinyl fencing 

white vinyl fencing

Vinyl perimeter fences offer durability and don’t require as much maintenance. They are pretty affordable and come in a wide variety of eye-catching designs.

9. Ornamental steel fence

ornamental steel fence

You may mostly come across ornamental steel fences in upscale suburbs, but they are also commonplace in large expanses of space that require even and secure coverage. One of the main perks of this type of perimeter fencing is that they are see-through, so you can take in the views outside your property. On the downside, the gaps between the bars of an ornamental steel fence allow smaller animals to slip in and out easily. 

However, if you love the aesthetic of this elegant fence, you can add wire mesh to the bottom half to help keep out unwanted visitors. You might want to choose black wire mesh as it will easily blend in with the fence without taking away from the overall aesthetic.

Security rating

The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) sets the standards for security-rated products, including fencing systems. The body introduced the LPS 1175 certification to help inform buyers of their fences’ strength and security level. To be certified, each fence model must undergo a set test standard and must remain unaffected when subjected to a specific type of attack for a minimum number of minutes. 

Fencing certification typically ranges from SR1 to SR8, with SR1 the lowest and SR5 currently being the highest security rating available for fencing. Below are the standards according to LPS 1175 certification:

1. SR1

Perimeter fences that fall into this security rating can withstand opportunistic attack by applying bodily physical force and stealth using only category A hand tools for no more than 10 minutes.

2. SR2

Perimeter fences with this security rating can remain relatively undamaged when subjected to a determined opportunistic attack by physical force by stealth using category A and B hand tools for up to 15 minutes. 

3. SR3

This type of perimeter fence can withstand deliberate forced entry using category A, B, and C tools (including most battery-powered tools) for 20 minutes. 

4. SR4

SR4 perimeter fences can hold out against an experienced forced entry attempt for up to half an hour using higher-level tools (including categories A, B, C, and D) and heavy tools such as sledgehammers, axes, steel wedges, disc grinders, drills, and jigsaws.

5. SR5

The sturdiest perimeter fence can withstand a serious attempt at forced entry with high-end battery-powered cutting tools used by fire and rescue teams for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Is a perimeter fence necessary?

The importance of a perimeter fence cannot be overstated. The need to put up one can vary from one person to another, depending on your preferences, but here are a couple of reasons to help you understand the importance:

1. Security

Most perimeter fences are installed for security purposes, and they can safely keep intruders out and residents in. 

2. To mark boundaries

Perimeter fences can mark land boundaries and subsequently distinguish two properties. Having them in place can help eliminate disputes that may arise from unclearly marked boundaries. 

3. Privacy enhancement

Perimeter fences are typically installed in gated communities, data centers, military barracks, and anywhere else where a high degree of privacy is valued. Recreational facilities also rely on these fences to keep their clients away from curious eyes. 

4. Aesthetic appeal

You can have your perimeter fence customized to elevate the aesthetic appeal of a property. When combined with beautiful landscaping and stylish gates, or even on their own, perimeter fences can serve an artistic purpose and provide practical benefits. Furthermore, these fences can be used to reflect or communicate the themes of a particular institution.

Where do we usually see perimeter fences?

This type of fencing can usually be seen around businesses and organizations, such as sporting grounds, schools, hospitals, prisons, and construction sites. It’s also common to find perimeter fences around residential areas where security and privacy are top priorities. 

What is the difference between a privacy fence and a regular fence?

Privacy fences are usually made of horizontal or vertically-aligned boards whose primary function is to block the view from pesky neighbors or passersby on the street. On the other hand, regular fences are better suited for delineating boundaries and/or providing security.

Pros of the perimeter fence

1. Crime deterrence

Sometimes hanging a security sign in your front yard is not enough to deter unwanted guests or burglars from trying to access your property. Having a perimeter fence will help to keep away criminals who may want a closer look through your backyard shed or home windows. Subsequently, this will discourage them from attempting a break-in. 

2. Control accessibility

When you install a perimeter fence, you decide who stays out and comes into your property. You can provide a safe place for your little ones and pets to play and control who walks through your gate for your backyard grilling. 

3. Privacy

If you live in a neighborhood where the homes are close-built, it can seem like your next-door neighbor is always in your personal space. When you put up a perimeter fence, you can lounge by the pool or enjoy a family cookout without worrying about the glaring eyes of a nosy neighbor. 

4. Low maintenance

Perimeter fencing is relatively low maintenance. Keep in mind that the level of maintenance will vary depending on the type of fence you have. Still, when compared to other forms of security measures, perimeter fences are relatively undemanding in terms of both cost and time. 

5. Durability 

When you choose a robust material and a high-quality perimeter fence, you can be assured it will hold up against the elements and forced attempts to gain entry. With proper maintenance, your perimeter fence can last for decades.

6. Parking 

Whether you have plenty of land for staff parking or just enough room for parking one or two vehicles, if you don’t fence off this area, there’s a possibility that another motorist will take advantage and try to secure a parking spot. Perimeter fencing will help distinguish spaces and protect you from dealing with opportunist motorists who look for a parking space wherever they can find it. 

Cons of the perimeter fence

1. Loss of visual alert

Although there’s no denying that a perimeter fence allows you to enjoy your privacy, you might notice that it blocks your view of the neighborhood. Therefore, you might not see what’s going on beyond them unless you have security cameras in place.

2. Lawn maintenance

While perimeter fences themselves are pretty low maintenance, you might need to spend extra time with your lawn care around your newly erected fence. Removing weeds or vines or cutting grass are just some of the tasks you might have to complete to keep the area around the fence tidy.

3. Cost

Installing a perimeter fence is far from cheap, especially if you want to put up a high-security one. It’s important to factor in the cost of purchase, installation, and labor when finding the most suitable perimeter fence for your property. 

Final thoughts 

Perimeter fences are essential for indicating a boundary, and they can be beneficial for privacy, security, and aesthetic purposes. That being said, if you opt to install this type of fencing, you may have to deal with the loss of visual alert, cost of installation, and more lawn maintenance tasks.

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Zoltan Szatmari

Zoltan is a test and industrial engineer from Europe who loves learning anything new and working on small projects. When he is not working, he is usually hiking or going to the cinema.

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