Welcome to our guide to picking out the bamboo fence that’s right for your home!
Bamboo fences are a fantastic way to add a privacy perimeter that is as beautiful as it is functional.
Bamboo has long been a building material used widely throughout Asia, used both for its strength and flexibility, and in no small part due to its abundance.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing trees, with some varieties growing up to an inch every forty minutes! When it is harvested, the tree simply regrows the stalks, which is in contrast to other trees, which die once harvested.
For this reason, bamboo is one of the most sustainable options to build your fence out of. Whether the fence is made out of classic stalks of bamboo tied together with wire, or you opt for smooth bamboo planks or slats, investing in bamboo is a decision you won’t regret.
You have a lot of material options when it comes to building or purchasing a fence, so we’ll lay out the pros and cons to purchasing bamboo:
- Bamboo is strong – it has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete, and rivals steel in tensile strength.
- Environmentally friendly – harvesting bamboo doesn’t kill the plant, so you can feel good about how sustainable your fence is.
- Varying colors – like other wooden fences, bamboo does need to be stained and sealed, so you can choose a stain color that suits you if you don’t want the natural color of bamboo.
- Hardy – bamboo is resistant to heat, UV rays, rain, and snow, even before sealing.
- Easy to install – you can install panels to an existing fence easily.
- Distinctive style – this is arguably both a pro and a con. Bamboo fencing is associated with Asian design, particularly with Japanese Zen gardens, where they are used decoratively. They look nice in Zen gardens and some modern gardens, but might not be right for other styles.
- Pricey – Bamboo is expensive, more so than traditional solid hardwood, metal, or vinyl.
- Availability – despite its abundance throughout Asia, depending on the climate where you live, you may need to special order your materials.
- Sturdiness – if you live in a windy area, your bamboo fencing might need the support of a sturdier fence.
- Research – there are tons of varieties of bamboo that range in hardness and size, so you’ll need to figure out which variant you want.
Once you’ve decided if bamboo is right for your fence, you’ll need to shop around. Since bamboo is pretty pricey, you should expect to spend more than if you were putting up a chain link fence.
Most bamboo fences consist of tight rolls of contiguous stalks bound together with galvanized steel wire. The prices vary depending on the variation of bamboo used and the square footage available on the roll, but you can expect to pay between 70 and 100 dollars for taller fences, and under 40 for shorter fences. (Sources: Home Depot, Hayneedle)
The cheapest variant is natural reed bamboo, which is thinner and lighter than other types, and appears brushy.
If you’d prefer bamboo slats, you can expect to pay about 100 dollars per pack of 25 fence sections. (Source: Hayneedle)
Overall, when building any bamboo fence, a good guideline to stick to is between $9 to $11 dollars per linear foot. (Source: Landscaping Network)
So far we’ve only talked about harvested bamboo fences, but live fences are an option as well. Bamboo grows quickly, so with plenty of care, you can grow a living privacy wall.
However, bamboo is invasive, so your living fence will need much more maintenance than a typical harvested bamboo fence.
Not sure if bamboo is right for you? Check our definitive guide to fences!
Now that we have some background on what to expect out of a bamboo fence, let’s take a look at some gorgeous examples of bamboo done right!
Another double-layered fence, with a natural thick bamboo privacy fence supported by a taller black wrought iron security fence. A sunken planting bed is decorated by a lovely bamboo fountain with a stone basin.
Source: Zillow Digs™
Bamboo can be used as a simple decorative barrier as well. This fence is used to separate a garden visually, and consists of thin bamboo stalks crossed in a triangular pattern. These fences can simply be pushed into the ground by way of installation.
This is a beautiful, rustic example of a bamboo and reed fence. Thicker stalks of bamboo form horizontal support bands, while the interior is packed with dense reed bamboo to create a thick barrier.
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