8 chic but cheap fencing ideas for beautiful boundaries

Inexpensive replacements to refresh your home's boundaries

Outdoor space with wooden fencing and gate, and outdoor lounge set-up with boho cushions, brazier and festoon lights
(Image credit: Photo: Fiona Walker Arnott)

Surround your front-of-house or backyard in a stylish, functional border with defining yet cheap fence ideas that will add another dimension of texture. Every plot, no matter how cozy or big deserves a bit of privacy and protection, after all, we need to keep those nosy neighbors at bay, and curious critters out somehow, don't we?

Quicker and cheaper to install than a wall, fence ideas come in a variety of styles and materials to suit every scheme and space. Whether you're replacing a fence following storm damage, or looking to refresh a tired looking structure, from blend-in hazel screens to color-pop painted panels, there's a good-looking way to screen and shelter every outdoor space, big or small, without breaking your budget. 

Cheap fencing fix-ups to define your outside space

Design experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk (opens in new tab) comment: ‘Creating a privacy screen is the ultimate easy garden DIY project to gain a concealed area. Apart from nails and a hammer, the quirky yet functional partition can be made solely out of old doors or wooden pallets. Another alternative is wire fencing, as it is quick to install and unbelievably cheap. Growing climbing plants like a colorful clematis or ivy up the wire will create a private space and a great place to nature spot.’

Divide and conquer your territory – from balcony to backyard, combine cheap fencing ideas with backyard screening to fix up and transform your outside space.

1. Wake-up tired panels with an ombre effect

Wood fencing with painted ombre effect on panels

(Image credit: Sadolin)

Give tired-looking timber a new lease of life with a colorful makeover. Choose your favorite Sadolin Rainshield paint (opens in new tab) shades (flexible, fiber-reinforced water and crack resistant waterproofing paint that acts as a preventative measure for areas prone to water leaks), paint a wood fence like a pro, and create an ombre effect with tonal colors, and graduate the shades over different sections. To keep the illusion of added height, apply the darkest shade at the base, working up to the lightest shade at the top.

Tristan Sissons, garden buying manager for Homebase (opens in new tab), comments: ‘Fencing might be a practical feature in your garden, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! At Homebase, we go for style AND substance. Wooden fences have been around for a long time, and you really can’t beat a classic – plus it’s a great money-saving option. By opting for wooded fencing, you can easily freshen up your garden look with a lick of paint in on-trend shades, meaning you don’t have to invest in a brand-new fence every time you fancy a change. Bright pops of color are a great way to make small gardens feel bigger, whereas trendy darker tones are great for making plants stand out.’

2. Introduce an ice cream palette of pastel shades

Tonal pastel shades on wood fencing, with casual garden lounge set-up

(Image credit: Sadolin)

Using the same method as above, radiate your outside space with on-trend calming pastel pops. Continue these accent colors through coordinated garden accessories, including painted plant pots, outdoor rugs, outdoor cushions, and throws, and marvel at your gorgeous color-pop, garden oasis - come rain or shine.

3. Upcycle wooden pallets

Pallet style garden decking and fence with yellow outdoor sofa and lounge chairs

(Image credit: Photo: Chris Snook)

Get your pallet-prowess ON with this simple, cheap, and cheerful fencing idea. Create an instant garden fence or property boundary with repurposed pallets - the possibilities are endless…

Keron Howe, CEO, and co-founder of Property Nation (opens in new tab) comments: ‘The cheapest DIY fencing idea that can look incredibly stylish is creating a fence from old pallets. Pallets are used in the distribution industry and are readily available, low cost, and can be remodeled into dozens of different patterns.’

Howe continues: ‘Design your fence using multiple sized pallets much like a jigsaw puzzle. The pallets themselves have character and a life story. Simply stain them with the best fence stains but leave the wood so their history and age shows through.’

Mark Osborne, director, Country Hardwood (opens in new tab), agrees: ‘Using old pallets as a cheap fencing design is a less expensive option. Check internet marketplaces, salvage sites, and huge local stores for them, which may often be purchased for a very cheap cost or even for free.’

For an easy wood pallet fencing idea to get you started, all you need is a sledgehammer (opens in new tab) from Amazon, and some 4x4 wood posts, not forgetting the pallets of course! Check out Bless my weeds’ (opens in new tab) amazing DIY pallet fence ideas to inspire and guide you all the woodwork (not wayward) way…

But why stop there? Try DIY pallet furniture ideas to create the ultimate, upcycled ‘garden lounge.’ Summer lounging and loving ahoy there! 

4. Create a zen pen private balcony with rolled bamboo

Rolled bamboo fence as background to garden in bloom

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Stuck in a concrete jungle with an exposed balcony, or in dire need of a transformative small backyard idea? Fear not, you can create your own little oasis of calm, and escape to the exotic Orient with functional, flexible, and resilient bamboo. This eco-friendly material is an ideal and versatile choice for every type of outdoor space and brings bundles (pun intended) of natural texture and organic pattern wherever it goes. 

Rolled bamboo is a speedy and effective must-try for balcony ideas or porches in particular - adding privacy, without smashing the budget. Simply attach a rolled bamboo design, like the bamboo fence panel (opens in new tab) shown here from Wayfair, to railings for an instant fix. 

5. Keep beasties at bay with a DIY chicken wire critter fence

Critters wire fencing protecting growing greens

(Image credit: Gardeners)

Keep salad-snackers firmly out, OR keep small animals contained, with an inexpensive chicken wire fence (shop a variety of affordable chicken wire (opens in new tab) options at Home Depot.) You can even use it as a trellis for vining plants - bonus! 

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love (opens in new tab), advises: ‘For a dog fence, consider a mix of pine or cedar posts and cross-braces with mesh filling in the remaining spaces. Mesh or chicken wire is inexpensive and dogs can't get through it.’

If you’re feeling proactive, get out into the fresh stuff, and learn how to build a garden fence with chicken wire (opens in new tab), at UpgradedHome.com.

6. Zone your space with a ‘living trellis fence’

White trellis fencing with hanging planters

(Image credit: Walmart)

Whether you need a relaxing corner to read a favorite book, or a spot in bloom for alfresco entertaining, zone different areas of your outside space with attractive trellis designs

Not only a cost-effective fencing solution, but trellis also marries beautifully with rambling plant species, to create a ‘living fence’ illusion, meaning that your fence becomes part of the natural garden landscape, instead of fighting against it. A DIY trellis with planter boxes is an ideal combo for showing off summer flowers on the porch or patio also. 

Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk (opens in new tab) comments: ‘Seeing your garden as another room of your home is helpful when zoning. Think about what you would like closest to the house. Maybe the kid’s area to keep an eye on them, or the dining area so you can get food straight out of the kitchen.’

7. Paint a pretty picket picture

White picket fence and gate detail with flowering bushes

(Image credit: Fallston Fence)

Keep neighbors on the right side of the yard with bright delight picket fencing, that marks your territory with a look of ‘American dream’ wholesomeness.  

Typically open and low, meaning that your green-fingered triumphs can be admired by passers-by, the large gaps between pickets allow wind to pass through without damaging the fence. Picket styles are ideal for small low maintenance front yard ideas, and only need to be repainted every few years, meaning that you can get maximum bang for your buck. Find the right fencing pick for your yard at Lowe's (opens in new tab)

If you’re still wondering if a picket fence is right for your home, let the fencing experts at Bravo Fence (opens in new tab), help you decide.

8. Fake an expensive look with a DIY gabion wall

Gabion wall idea

(Image credit: Trendey)

Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer, Trendey (opens in new tab), comments: 'A gabion wall is a great option for a solid fence that looks expensive but really isn’t. You can also easily DIY this fencing project. Choose a fill rock material that fits your budget and final look goal.' 

What is the least expensive fencing?

Chicken wire with wooden supports or wood pallets are the most wallet-friendly and versatile forms of fencing and make easy DIY garden projects. 

What should you consider when thinking about different types of fencing?

Garden experts at ManoMano (opens in new tab), comment: 'There are many different types of fencing and each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To find out exactly what you're after, weigh up the following points:'

1. Planning permission - before making any decisions, find out about any local restrictions that might affect your plans.

2. Material - it's up to you to choose the right material based on your tastes and how much maintenance you're willing to carry out.

3. Type - flexible or rigid (bearing in mind that flexible fences are easier to fit around the shape of your garden).

4. Height - be sure to check whether you need planning permission before making your final choice and it's always best to consult with your neighbors out of courtesy.

5. Installation - depending on the type of fencing you go for, you may need to bury your fence posts or buy a supporting surface for your wire mesh.

6. Lifespan - this varies depending on the material of the fence and how well it is maintained. Choose your materials wisely to ensure your fence lasts.

7. Use - think about why you need a fence; to set apart the land, provide more privacy, etc.

8. Length - it may seem obvious but there's a big difference between installing a 20-foot fence and a 90-foot one in terms of both aesthetics and installation (which all comes down to how much determination and ambition you have!). 

9. Budget - to calculate according to the full length of the fence plus all the tools and accessories required.

10. Design - based on any planning restrictions, budget, material, and installation.

Holly Phillips

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 


Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy

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