Cheap Fence Ideas For A Pretty And Private Yard

You don’t need to spend a fortune to box in your garden. Take these cheap fencing ideas for your garden and budget and run with them.

Orange shipping pallets stacked as a fence
(Image credit: TonyBaggett / Getty Images)

Garden fences are great for privacy, protection, and design, but they can also be costly. If you want a fence in your garden, but price is an issue, consider affordable fencing options. Anything you choose will cost money, but some options are a lot cheaper than others.

Consider the Purpose of the Fence First

The first thing you should do before selecting a type of fencing is think about what purpose it will serve. This is important because not every fence is right for every need. For instance, maybe you found a good deal on a classic wire fence, but you’re looking for privacy, and it just won't cut it.

Consider what you need your fence to do:

  • Create privacy
  • Delineate different areas of the garden
  • Enclose a pool for insurance purposes
  • Keep pets in the yard
  • Protect a vegetable garden from wildlife
  • Create a specific aesthetic look rather than serve a practical purpose

Keep the purpose in mind as you look through ideas for affordable fencing options. Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your garden.

Cheap Fencing Ideas

With an understanding of what you need in a fence, take inspiration from low-cost fence designs, existing fencing, and repurposed or upcycled materials. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Repair or Spruce up an Existing Fence

If you have an existing fence that has seen better days or doesn’t serve your purpose, you might be able to fix or change it. This will be cheaper than buying an entirely new fence. If you have a weathered, unattractive wooden fence, for instance, a coat of paint or climbing vines grown along it will completely change the look. Loose boards or missing or rusty nails are easy to fix.

2. Use Plants for a Privacy Screen

For cheap privacy fence ideas look to plants that can create a natural screen. Something like a living willow fence is great if you need privacy or shade but are not overly concerned about security. For example, a hedge might not keep your dog contained, but it will provide you with an effective visual screen.

Hedges are just one example of plant types that can be transformed into fences. They can be a little expensive, though. Cheaper options are vines, which grow more quickly and cost less to purchase. Use existing structures or a simple and inexpensive trellis to train vines into a thick screen.

3. Upcycle Shipping Pallets and Lumber

Wooden shipping pallets are among the most diverse and inexpensive objects in the world of upcycling. In fact, you can usually get them for free from stores. Placed vertically and secured, pallets make a simple rustic fence. The slatted structure allows you to hang containers or even grow plants directly in the pallets for both a fence and a vertical garden.

Another cheap option for upcycling is to find reclaimed lumber or sleepers (used in railways). These pieces of timber are often inexpensive or free, depending on where you look. You can use them to build a fence in your yard.

4. Use Chicken Wire to Keep Animals Out

Chicken wire and a few reclaimed or inexpensive wooden posts are easily assembled into a fence. If you’re looking for aesthetics or privacy, this isn’t the best option. But chicken wire is useful for keeping wildlife, or your digging dog, out of a vegetable bed.

You can find wire mesh with various hole sizes depending on what kind of protection you need. If burrowing animals are an issue, bury up to a foot of the fencing material into the soil around the bed to keep them out.

5. Stick with a Chain Link Fence

One of the cheapest options for a sturdy, long-lasting fence is the classic wire, or chain link, model. It provides good security for pets. A lot of people reject a chain link fence as an option because it isn’t very attractive, but don’t let that stop you. A wire fence can be made more attractive with the right plants. Cover it up with tall plants, busy beds, and vines, and you will have invested in a beautiful flowering fence that should last many years.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.