If you’re thinking of installing a more durable, non-traditional fence around your home, a masonry fence might be the right choice. But before installing such a permanent structure around your property, consider the pros and cons of a masonry fence.
Whether you’re looking for extra privacy or enjoy the aesthetics of masonry fencing, there is a wide variety of materials to choose from, such as brick, stone, stucco, or concrete. But there’s more to consider than custom designs and aesthetic appeal.
In this article, we’ll cover:
What is a Masonry Fence?
Masonry fences are built from brick, concrete blocks, stucco, or natural stone. Masonry fencing is held together with mortar and laid in a staggered pattern. These types of fences are used for residential properties and are built with different techniques and materials.
Pros of a Masonry Fence
Masonry fences are durable. With proper maintenance and upkeep, bricks and stone can last over 100 years, while wood fencing only lasts 20-30 years. They are practically immune to most weather conditions, including rain, strong winds, sleet, snow, and heat. Unlike wood fencing, they are also not susceptible to rot or insects such as termites and carpenter ants.
Masonry fences are beautiful, and there is an artistic element to their construction as each stone is carefully fit together, their place determined by shape and weight. Depending on the material used, stone fences provide a rustic or elegant look and lend a natural appearance to your landscape.
Masonry fences create great soundproofing barriers and make your yard feel more private, quiet, and enclosed. They help cut off street noise and noise from your neighbors. Masonry fences also prevent noise from traveling outside your backyard and disturbing your neighbors.
Plenty of Variety
Masonry fencing comes in a wide range of colors, styles, and designs, which will add a unique element to your property.
Masonry fence styles include:
Cons of a Masonry Fence
Can Be Expensive
As far as cost is concerned, masonry fences are something of a gamble.
When it comes to materials and labor, masonry fencing costs more to install than wood or vinyl fencing. Bricks and stones weigh more than wood and require extra labor, which also will add to the cost. If you’re building on uneven ground and require a foundation, the cost will spike even more.
The price of materials completely depends on what you choose. You can purchase stones of varying types at different costs, and some can be cheaper than other fence materials. If you plan to install a fence that is dry-stacked, then you don’t even need to purchase mortar.
Brick masonry does not require highly skilled labor since the shape and size are uniform. Bricks are also lightweight, easy to transport, and cheaper than stones or concrete blocks.
Overall, the approximate cost of materials is $10-$80 per square foot, depending on the quality of the material and thickness of the fence.
Maintenance and Upkeep
For the most part, masonry fences are low maintenance, but they aren’t maintenance-free. They may crack and buckle as the ground shifts since brick and mortar isn’t flexible like standard wood or vinyl fencing. Wood can handle the gradual shifts below ground, allowing for movement without damage. Bricks have low resistance against tension, making them more susceptible to seismic damage. Upkeeping a masonry fence includes:
- Annual inspections
- Cleaning with mild detergent
- Unclogging holes
- Bleaching moss, mildew, and mold
- Sealing with polyurethane
- Repoint aging stone
Not Good For Small Yards
A masonry fence may feel too closed off, especially for smaller properties. Other privacy fences let in light or wind, but closed-style masonry fencing creates a solid barrier around your lawn.
Cannot Be Easily Altered
Masonry fencing is basically guaranteed to remain in the same place and cannot be changed on a whim. You can paint concrete, but paint does not adhere to rocks. Adding more stone can ruin the aesthetic as it creates a mismatched look and makes the fence appear uneven.
Trying to move a masonry fence is a major undertaking of labor, and stone masons are expensive to hire because they do specialized work. It’s nearly impossible to recreate a stone structure in a new location, and it’s difficult to reassemble.
Time Consuming to Build
Building a masonry fence is a lengthy and painstaking process. Builders take the time to find the right stones, haul them to the location and fit them together. This is an arduous process and not a DIY project. Masonry cannot be installed during heavy rain or freezing conditions since the mortar will not set properly.
FAQ About Masonry Fences
Yes, masonry paint can be used on rendering, concrete, and bricks, as well as metal, wood, masonry, composites, vinyl, and plastic.
Masonry fences have a concrete foundation, which will make it difficult to sink posts into the ground. That means you’ll need to fix your posts and gate into the stone or brick pillars.
Moisture seeping into masonry is one of the most common causes of damage. Frozen and thawing water will put pressure on the entire masonry wall.
When to Call a Fencing Pro
Why spend your free time placing fence posts when you can hire an experienced and reliable fencing pro instead? Installing a fence is hot, back-breaking work, and that’s not including the headache of property lines and permits!
If you need someone to take care of all your fencing needs, we invite you to check out Lawnstarter’s extensive list of fencing contractors available in your area!
Main photo credit: Pxhere