Is a Hedge Better Than a Fence?

When it comes to separating your house from that of your neighbors or adding a touch of privacy to your yard and garden, there are many different options. The two most popular, however, are to either put up a fence or to put up a hedge, to surround your home space and keep it to yourself.

Hedges have been used for centuries, and are one of the best ways to effectively divide and separate property areas, as well as providing a good amount of privacy for your home. Fences, however, are a more common option nowadays, as they are far easier to install and maintain.

But which is better? Should you choose the hedge or the fence? Truthfully, it completely depends on your own preference, as well as your situation and needs. There are those that will argue for hedges and those that will defend the use of fences, there is no objective answer.

Nevertheless, we can provide you with a good comparison, so you know the differences between both options, and can see how they compare on different factors to take into consideration. Let’s get started!


One of the main factors you need to consider when choosing between a hedge and a fence is the appearance of each one, and what you prefer. Of course, this particular factor is completely down to personal preference, and you can always add bits and pieces to slightly alter the appearance of whichever option you choose.

  • Fence:

Fences have a more unnatural appearance that can sometimes be quite striking within a garden, as they are hard and solid, usually made entirely out of wood. However, this can be very easily camouflaged or softened by adding flowers and small plants along the fence, or by painting it a softer color that helps it blend it with the surrounding area.

  • Hedge:

Hedges are traditionally the dark green, straight-cut bushes that are so commonly found in both homes and public spaces. However, there are many different types of hedges, depending on the plant species used and on how the hedge is cut and designed. Some hedges can even have flowers during the Spring season!

Blocking Out the Noise

When you put up a hedge or fence, one of the main benefits people are after is that sense of privacy and the separation of your own personal space from surrounding areas and houses. It’s a way of making your home and garden your own, without annoyances from the outside world. This is why noise blocking is a pretty big factor to consider. How well does each option block out noises?

  • Fence:

Fences aren’t really that effective at blocking out noises from next door. It can depend on the type and design of the fence, but it will never be amazing at it. A more solid fence with no holes or gaps might block out a big chunk of the noise, but most fences are simply visual separations.

  • Hedge:

Hedges are really good at blocking out noises from the exterior world, thanks to the branches and foliage which will trap and filter any noise that tries to get through.

Building Permits

Sometimes, despite it being within your property, there are rules and regulations as to what you can and cannot build or install. It is important to double-check with your local council if you are allowed to put up a fence, a hedge, or both. This might be a deciding factor in regards to which one you go for, as you might end up only having one option!


The cost is always one of the most important factors to take into consideration and one that can limit your final option. So let’s take a look at which is more expensive, for an average space of 209 feet:

  • Fence:

Materials for a 6-foot privacy fence that cover 209 feet will cost, on average, between $1670 and $3760, depending on the type of fence and the material of your choosing. Fence installers will then usually charge between $25 and $50 an hour, and to put up 209 feet of fence they would usually take between 3 to 5 days.

The average total cost of installing a fence is around $2270 to $5760.

  • Hedge:

The material cost for planting a hedge that covers 209 feet of space would usually be around $1000 or so, depending on where you source it from and the type of hedge. The hedge would then be installed by a landscaper, and they usually charge around $45 to $65 per hour and would require between 15 to 20 hours.

The average cost of installing a hedge is around $1730 to $2350.

So, the installation would be cheaper for a hedge, than for a fence, on average. Although it can depend, as prices vary with both options according to different factors. As for maintenance, hedges are pricier to maintain than fences.

Environmental Impacts

Fences and hedges have different environmental impacts, although the impacts themselves can vary depending on the type of fence, or the type of hedge. But on average, hedges are a lot more environmentally friendly, as they are a living plant and they can also become a habitat for some of the local wildlife.


You can do both installations as a DIY if you’re confident enough and willing to put in the time and effort, but for both a fence and a hedge it’s recommended to call in a professional.

Especially for a hedge, as it is important to plant it in the right place and in the right way!


Maintenance is pretty important to take into account, and there are some differences to consider:

  • Fence:

Fences are super easy to maintain, they’re just there. You can repaint them now and then, double-check on their condition. But they’re super low effort.

  • Hedge:

Hedges require a lot more maintenance. You have to fertilize and water them, you have to trim and cut when necessary… they are a living plant, after all, so require the necessary care.