With today's smaller residential lots, the need for adequate privacy fencing becomes more important than ever. Fortunately, many materials and styles are available to keep your yard comfortable and free from curious eyes. Style, material, maintenance and cost will determine what is best for your needs. Choose one of the top 10 most popular fence ideas for both privacy and security.

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Wood provides good sound insulation and a natural appearance.

Wood Plank Fencing

Wood planks create a good sound barrier to eliminate street noise and sounds from neighboring houses. Pine, cedar, redwood and locust are just a few of the types of wood used for wood privacy fencing, according to the HooverFence website.

Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo fencing comes in both rolled reeds and planks in light and dark colors to provide a number of options to match your home landscape design. Bamboo needs only an occasional washing to keep it looking good for years.

Composite Wood Fencing

Composite wood uses recycled plastics and wood products to make a material that has the appearance of wood but lasts for years and needs little maintenance. Composite wood fencing costs about 50 percent more than the price of wood, but savings in maintenance can make up for this.

Ornamental Metal Fencing

Ornamental metal fencing uses molded and extruded steel and aluminum that is bent, curved and welded into an almost infinite variety of designs. Ornamental metal fencing is expensive, however, and can cost two to three times the price of wood fencing.

Chain-Link Fencing

Chain-link fencing, also known as cyclone fencing, is made from thin metal wires in an interlocking pattern. The open links are often woven with plastic to provide privacy from street traffic.

Evergreen Shrub Fences

Arbovitae, cypress, holly, privet and magnolia are just a few of the plants that are grown along property lines to provide privacy and sound insulation for yards, according to the LivingFences website. These shrubs require some maintenance but provide an attractive, natural background for outdoor activities.

Climbing Vine Fence

Plants that spread, twine and climb make good privacy fencing that can also provide flowers to brighten your yard and berries to attract birds. Ivy, wisteria, bouganvillea, and clematis can climb on simple wood or metal trellises.

Brick Wall Fence

A brick wall is a solid fence that will last for years and needs no maintenance beyond occasional washing. Brick is an expensive material, however, and must be constructed by an experienced contractor.

Stone Wall Fence

Stone fencing is another long-lasting material with a high initial cost. It is almost indestructible, however, needs no maintenance, and provides good sound insulation.

Container Plantings

Gardeners can also plant small trees and shrubs in containers for a unique way to provide privacy for small yards. This option allows you to choose different plants to give the yard an interesting change in design from year to year.