Steel Fence vs. Wood Fence: Which is Better?

Wooden Fence

You’ve decided to invest in a fence to protect your family, improve your privacy, and add aesthetics to your home. That was the easy part. Now you have to decide which material is best for fencing, and the options start to be overwhelming.

If you can’t choose between a steel and wood fence, you’re in the right place. While we regularly recommend both options, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of each before you make your final decision.

Types of Fences for Homes

The possibilities are endless when it comes to styles and materials for fencing. The best fencing material is the one that fits your lifestyle and budget best.


Steel is often praised for its strength and outlasts most other fencing materials. Insects won’t make a home in it, pets won’t chew on it, it won’t rot or warp, and galvanized or powder-coated steel won’t rust.  

The most significant downsides to steel are its cost and style. Some homeowners find steel fences to have a cold, industrial feel rather than a warm, homey look. Additionally, most steel fences aren’t designed as privacy fences. So while it will keep out intruders, it won’t necessarily block the view of the road or your neighbors. 

If you want a fence that you can install yourself, steel isn’t an option. Because of its weight and inflexibility, it’s best to leave the installation up to the professionals. 

Steel Fence Pros: 

  • Sturdy
  • Long-lasting

Steel Fence Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for privacy
  • Difficult to install 


Wood is much more versatile than steel because it comes in many designs, shapes, and colors. In addition, it’s easy to paint or stain to match your home, making it more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing than steel. 

If you want more privacy on your property, wood is an excellent option since the panels will block out any street views. Just keep in mind that wood can shrink up after installation, so there may be some gapping between panels. 

Wood is also easy to install yourself if you have the time, tools, and know-how. But, unfortunately, it’s a lot of work to maintain and requires you to sand, prime, and refinish it every couple of years. 

Another downside to wood is that it’s prone to rot, termites and can’t withstand heavy abuse from impact or weathering. Thankfully, if a section is damaged, replacing panels is relatively inexpensive and easy. 

Because wood shrinks and swells with changing temperatures, gates can be harder to open during parts of the year, and warping is common. 

Wood Fence Pros: 

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Customizable 
  • Easy to replace
  • Provides privacy

Wood Fence Cons: 

  • Regular maintenance 
  • Susceptible to temperature and water damage
  • Rotting, warping, and insect damage are common

Which is Better Overall?

Steel and wood fences offer very different advantages. If it’s in your budget, don’t want to worry about maintenance, and like the look of it, steel might be the best option for you. 

On the other hand, if you want to customize your fence to match your home, enjoy more privacy, and want to stay within your budget, then wood fencing is the way to go.  

If you’re ready to start planning out your new fence or would like to learn more about the fencing options we offer, contact us for a free fence estimate.

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