Everyone dreams of their white-picket fenced home. It is becoming commonplace to put up some sort of fence surrounding your land to designate your property border. We can explore what sort of fence option might be the best for your home in regard to both aesthetics and privacy.
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What sort of fence is best for privacy?
Most privacy fences are a fence with little or no space between the slats. While choosing the appropriate height for your fence, have a friend hold a piece of cardboard that is the length of fence you are considering and sit down and stand up in different locations throughout your backyard.
The most important features of a fence for security are having a tall height, reducing the number of places where someone could grip, and a sturdy, lockable gate. This sort of fence should be eight feet high and you can even add a few of trellis on top, so the fence doesn’t look so imposing.
For a security fence, choose a fence without gaps in the boards and one that lacks horizontal rails on the outside to reduce the possibility of someone climbing it.
If you want to block out some of the noise and views of a busy street, consider a fence with small, open slats between the boards to allow some light in. You can layer lush planting on either side for additional privacy and noise barrier.
Should I have a gate?
The decision of whether or not to have a gate depends on if ease of access or security is of greater importance to you. If you prefer ease of access, install a gate. If you prefer security, consider going gateless or installing a gate with a sturdy lock.
What is the right balance between shielding from wind and not blocking the light?
If you are installing a fence for the purpose of shielding wind, but enjoy your view and don’t have a privacy concern, consider a glass fence. Otherwise, any privacy fence with no to few gaps will work just as well.
For the proper height of a wind-shielding fence, consider the height of your seating area and measure accordingly.
What if I need a fence for my dog?
Well, this depends on your dog! Is your dog a jumper or a digger? Does your dog do both? What height can your dog jump with a running start? Are they escape artists? You should be able to answer all these questions prior to choosing a fence.
A 3 to 4 foot fence should be adequate for a smaller dog. If your dog is bigger or a jumper, you will need to choose something taller. If your dog is a digger, dig a trench at least 6 inches underground and fill it with your fence and packed dirt. You can also place hardscaping along the fence line, too, such as rocks or decorative bricks.
If your dog is an escape artist, avoid chain-linked fences or anything that a dog could establish a foothold in. There are some dog breeds that have demonstrated an ability to climb these sorts of fences!
What sort of fence should I put around my pool?
It is important to secure the area around your pool, so no one accidentally wanders in. You can doubly secure the area with a security fence (on the outside) and a fence specifically around the pool area.
You should use a fence that is a minimum of 48 inches tall with a maximum spacing of 1¾ inches between each slat and no handholds or footholds to deter climbing.
The gate to the pool area should swing itself closed and latch itself. The latch should be childproof.
What sort of material should I use for my fence?
Vinyl/composite- This is the top choice of homeowner associations in newer neighborhoods as this sort of fencing can lend itself to have clean, uniform lines. This is a cost- effective option as it is easy to maintain and no painting or sealing is required.
Wood- This is one of the most common types of fencing and it can give your home and yard a traditional look. The longevity of wood can vary; wood fences can last from 10-15 years and they require regular maintenance of cleaning, sealing, and painting.
Bamboo is a preferred wood option because it is considered environmentally friendly.
Brick- This is an extremely aesthetically pleasing option and is most appropriate for historic neighborhoods and stately properties. Brick fences give a high degree of security and privacy. On the downside, brick fences can be extremely expensive to install.
Metals- This category of fences can range in expense and material. An aluminum chain link fence can be inexpensive and quite easy to install, but if offers little privacy.
The other side of metal fences can offer intricate, beautiful designs. These designs can provide greater security as well as be absolutely stunning, but they can be quite an expensive option.
Permit- Before you buy a fence, make sure you look into the codes for local buildings and apply for a permit if it is necessary.
Property Line- Accurately determine where the edge of your property is so as to avoid any disputes with your neighbors.
Underground utilities- Make sure there are no underground electrical lines or pipes in the way of your fence.
Maintenance- When choosing the best fence for your yard, consider how much time you are willing to spend maintaining your fence.
Consider your family and animals in the choosing of a fence. Do you have children who might try to scale the fence? What about dogs? Be selective of slat sizing with these questions in mind. You also need to consider the height of the fence and if the lock on the gate is child-proof.
Purpose- Determine what the purpose of adding a fence to your yard is.
If you want to keep people out of your yard, you are looking for a security fence. The height of a fence is best considered for this purpose.
If you are attempting to keep occupants and pets safe within the fence and dangers like wildlife out, you are looking for a safety fence. With a safety fence, visibility is important because you want to be able to see what is happening inside and outside the fence.
If you are simply looking to add value to you home with a white picket fence, you are looking for a decorative fence. These sorts of fences definitely add a homey feeling to your property. The key to decorative fences is keeping them shorter, so they don’t obstruct the view of the house.
Your neighbors- It is considerate to let you neighbors know what your plans are in regards to a fence. Not only can a fence affect their yard, you might also need to work from their yard in order to install the fence.
If your neighbors do not yet have a fence, but are also interested in installing one, you can consider deciding on a fencing option together. This way, the cost of erecting a fence between the two properties can be split between both parties.
Style- When regarding the architecture of your home, it should make it easy to eliminate which fencing style NOT to use. Older homes with classic architecture look best wit brick or decorative metal fences whereas a more contemporary house might be better suited with a vinyl or wood fence. There should be a connection in design between your house and the fence surrounding it.