Pros and Cons of Security Fences

Feeling a little uneasy about your property’s security? Maybe you think a security fence would give you some peace of mind that your family and belongings are well-protected. It might. The important thing is to carefully investigate what a security fence can and can’t do for you.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of security fences.

What is a Security Fence?

A security fence is any kind of enclosure that prevents unauthorized access to a home, business or property. It’s different than a privacy fence, which is really just designed to screen your home from the view of the street and your neighbors. And it’s definitely different than an ornamental fence, which is designed to improve the visual appeal of your property.

That doesn’t mean a security fence can’t also provide privacy and can’t be attractive. It can. But it has to also feature some qualities that a privacy fence and an ornamental fence don’t necessarily offer.

Keep in mind that no fence is intruder-proof. Given enough time, a motivated creep will find a way to breach your defenses. Rather, a security fence is intended to deter the average bad guy and slow or frustrate the truly determined ones. The right fence and features will determine how successful you are at deterring and frustrating these miscreants.

Pros of a Security Fence

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Crime Deterrence

The most obvious advantage of having a security fence is to deter criminals from entering your property or making it difficult for them to succeed. 

Researcher Joseph B. Kuhns at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte conducted a study in which he interviewed 422 incarcerated burglars about why they chose the homes they burgled and the factors that deter them from robbing others. The study indicated that for many burglars, tall fences with tops that were difficult to climb over (such as wrought iron fences with pointed rails) deterred them because escape would be difficult. 

Insurance Discounts

You could be eligible for a discount on your homeowners insurance if your fence meets specific requirements, such as height, fence material, and the presence of a self-closing gate. Check with your insurance provider to determine if you’re eligible and what the requirements for your security fence would be.


Some security fences provide plenty of privacy for backyard and poolside relaxation. Privacy-prioritized security fences in front yards also prevent people from seeing through the front of your house.

Beware: Privacy fences can have security drawbacks. Many burglars are drawn to privacy fences because they can do their bad guy stuff without being seen. Neighborhood watch patrols cannot keep an eye on your property if it’s obstructed by a privacy fence. 

Accessibility Controls

A security fence with a locking gate will help ensure unwanted visitors and animals remain out of the safe space you’ve created for you and your family. 

Property Value

A security fence increases the value of your home. This is particularly true if your security fence is aesthetically pleasing enough to boost your home’s curb appeal

Cons of a Security Fence


As you might’ve guessed, installing a security fence, or any type of fence, is usually a costly undertaking. The average backyard security fence costs anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000, depending on the length and materials. You’ll have to weigh the cost with the benefits, but many decide that the added protection and peace of mind are well worth it.


Decorative and privacy fences generally While these materials might be better when considering which fences offer the most privacy, we can’t deny that they also provide security, often at lower rates than their metal counterparts. Vinyl and composite in particular are so low-maintenance, you’ll save on maintenance costs by not having to paint or stain them regularly.

Whether you choose wood, vinyl, or composite might require further research to learn about their differences. Vinyl (PVC) and composite can be cost-effective in the long run because upkeep is so minimal and you don’t have to paint or stain them.

Types of Security Fences

Now that you know what benefits you’ll gain from installing a security fence, what should you look for when choosing one? 

Whatever the style, these are the security features you should look for. The best security fence for you will be determined by your specific security needs and personal aesthetic.

Photo Credit: Evan-Amos / Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0
  • Traditional chain-link fences are not great for security since
  • make changes or additions to your chain-link fence to transform it into a security fence
  • purchase residential chain-link fences with holes too small for climbing.

Palisade and Wrought Iron

security fence
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  • high degree of security
  • nearly impossible to climb. 
  • steel or wrought iron pales, rails, and posts narrowly bolted together, often with sharp prongs on top.

High-Security Ornamental Fence

  • made from thicker, tougher metal. 
  • Wrought iron fences, aluminum fences, and palisade fences can be ornamental
  • spikes at the top, and the fence infills are too close to climb

Welded Mesh Fencing

security fence
Photo Credit: Pixnio
  • hard to climb and cut open with a wire cutter. 
  • stand alone without horizontal rail support because they’re so rigid

Wood, Vinyl, and Composite

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  • Reliable security and privacy
  • Often more affordable than metal
  • Can modify with anti-climbing devices 


masonry fence
Photo Credit: Pxhere
  • Incredibly strong
  • Create a visual barrier
  • Difficult to climb
  • Can be modified with spikes on top
  • More expensive than other types

Qualities of a Dependable Security Fence

  • See-through to deter intruders and vandalism
  • At least six feet tall
  • Hard to Climb
  • Difficult to Cut or Bypass
  • Has a Security Lock

FAQs about How to Choose the Best Fence for Security

How much will a gate cost for my security fence?

Depending on what type of gate you install, it will usually add $175 to $1,200 to the cost of your fence.

Are there any steps I need to take before installing my security fence?

Check your homeowner’s association rules to ensure you can build one in your area. Also, check your city’s codes to see if there are any special rules or zoning restrictions about building fences in your town. 

What can I do to make my wood or vinyl fence more secure?

Building a tall fence, installing security cameras and anti-climbing devices, and adding anti-climbing paint are a few things you can do to increase your wood fence’s security. 

Insecure about Installation?

Security fences tend to be pretty heavy-duty; the same goes for installing them. Especially if you have uneven terrain, building a fence can be arduous. There’s a reason why professionals are specially trained to install them, because the job often requires finesse and expertise. If you’re not a fan of DIY, a fencing pro will take care of your security fencing installation.

Main Image Credit: Pxhere

Zach Bridgeman

Zach Bridgeman

Zachery Bridgeman is a writer who grew up in Alabama and currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys writing fiction, painting, and exploring the city in his free time.