Brick Walls vs Wooden Fences: What's Best?

February 9th 2021

In this post, we're talking boundaries. Not the personal kind but the line that exists to separate your land from someone else's.

The question is what do you put there? Typically, boundaries are designated by a fence or a brick wall.

But they don't just have to be used at your boundary lines. Have you ever thought about using them as a garden feature?

Whatever the weather, it's important to think about what you have in your garden.

Whether that's because you'll be spending a lot more time in it, come Spring and Summer, or because you need something a little more resistant to the elements in Winter.

If you're stuck on what to go for, we compare the major pros of both options in this blog post. Here are some things to consider.

What Are The Advantages Of A Wooden Fence?

Firstly, we're going to look at the humble garden fence, a common option for many homeowners. But is it always the best?

Here's the main reasons you might choose a fence.

It's Cheaper (In The Short Term)

One reason you may opt for a fence is that they are generally a lot cheaper.

The fencing available from your local supplier will come at various price points and its pretty simple construction means they won't set you back as much as a wall of bricks.

Easier To Put Up

As well as being cheaper, they don't require as much effort to put up as a brick wall. In an average sized garden, you should be able to put up some fencing in a day.

Mostly it's a case of slotting each panel between fence posts or attaching them to a frame. It's getting the posts in that will prove the most work and it may be that you're better off getting a gardener or landscaper to do the job for you.

A Range Of Designs And Colours

Fences can be as distinctive or as plain as you want them to be. Whether it's a particular shade of varnish or colour of paint or simply the style of panel, there's a lot of flexibility.

This means that you can easily and affordably change the aesthetic of your garden.

Takes Up Less Space

The other main thing that may be of benefit depending on the size of your garden or boundary is that fences obviously take up less space than a wall.

You still need a good bit of space to fit the posts in but in general you can slot a fence into a relatively small space.

What Are The Advantages of A Brick Wall?

When it comes to boundaries, our personal favourite is a brick wall, for obvious reasons.

But we're not just saying that. There are a lot of great reasons to consider getting a good brick wall for your garden, even if it's just for part of it.

They Will Last Longer

A lot longer in fact.

Although we said fences are cheaper in the short term, they don't last as long as brick and require annual maintenance.

With a fence you will need to give it a new coat of paint or varnish every couple of years, to protect it from the elements. If it's not maintained it may actually become unstable and need replacing. Not to mention it's more prone to getting blown over in the wind!

Brick walls on the other hand are a much longer lasting and more durable option. A well laid brick wall with good foundations, can last for decades and even centuries without much maintenance being needed.

Greater Privacy

Something that may or may not be a concern where you are, is how much privacy you have in your garden.

If you want the garden to yourself and you're not too keen on small talk with the neighbours, a brick wall is the way to go.

Whilst a sturdy fence can provide this, they often have gaps between the slats which can give unwanted coverage of your personal space. A brick wall on the other hand is completely solid.

Effective Sound Barrier

This is especially relevant if you've got small children. Or the next-door neighbour does.

To keep the peace in your neighbourhood or to create your own little haven of peace and quiet, you'll need something a little more substantial than a fence.

Surprisingly effective at blocking noise from outside and keeping yours in, brick will give you a bit more of a barrier.

Add More Value To Your Home

If you're interested in upping the overall value of your home, one way to do this is to put in a brick wall. If it's got a nice brick bond or pattern it can really add something to your garden.

There's no denying, a nice brick wall with some bullnose toppers (see our blog on special bricks for more on that) looks a lot grander than a simple wooden fence.

Think Of The Features

And it's not just about increasing the value. You could go for a complete garden makeover and include a wall as a feature in your garden.

For example, you could separate one part of the garden from another and create a walled section. A courtyard for BBQ's or a cosy relaxing area. All this can be achieved by simply adding a nice old fashioned brick wall.

Adding some climbing plants to your wall will also make your garden come alive. You can't really do this as effectively with a fence as you run the risk of the plant overwhelming and weakening the fence structure over time.

With brick, as long as you're not picking a plant known for causing damage, it will hold its own for years to come.

Can't Decide? Go For A Combo

If you like the sound of solid brick foundations but your budget doesn't quite stretch to a full wall, why not go for a combination.

A low brick wall with a fence on top is a popular middle-of-the-road option. These can look really decorative and also allow your garden to be a bit more open.

Have it at whatever height you want. If neighbour small talk is your thing, maybe this is the one for you.

Brick Is For Life

We reckon, if you're planning on staying where you are for the long run and want a pleasant garden feature that's going to last, you can't beat a good brick wall.

Get yourself some nice special bricks to give the top a characterful finish and you'll have something you're proud of.

Why not build it yourself? This is a lot more manageable than bricklaying for a building as you don't need to worry about supporting a structure, only the wall itself.

That said you do need to make sure it's got good foundations and is solid brickwork. For tips on good bricklaying, visit our blog here.

For the bricks themselves, head here.