Three Tips For Choosing The Right Fence

Posted on: 24 March 2015

Installing a fence on your property is a great way to improve both its outside appearance and its privacy. However, installing a fence is not a small project, and there are several factors that you should consider before jumping in. Here are three tips to help you choose the perfect fence for your property.

Determine Your Specific Needs

When you ask someone what the purpose of a fence is, most would simply answer "security" or "privacy." Before you install your own fence, you need to narrow down exactly what it is that you want your fence to accomplish for you. If you are simply installing a fence to improve the appearance of your property, virtually any option is available to you. You will most likely be satisfied with an ornamental aluminum or cast iron fence, although in some cases a simple post and rail wood fence may be more suited to your home's appearance.

The main way that fences provide privacy is by obscuring the view of your yard from the streets and from nosy neighbors. This is commonly done around pools, though many homeowners also choose to install a privacy fence around their entire backyard. If privacy is a requirement for you, you will want to avoid all types of open fences. For example, chain link fences can be very secure if they are six feet tall or more, but they allow a virtually unobstructed view of what's behind the fence. Opt for a fence with solid wood or vinyl panels, or supplement a chain link fence with vinyl slats.

Consider Maintenance Requirements

The material that your fence is made of will determine whether you can set it and forget it, or whether it will require periodic maintenance. Wood fences are very popular for their affordability and rustic appearance, but they will require more work than virtually any other type of fence to keep them looking their best. Regularly painting and staining your wood fence is the only way to protect it from rot and warping, but the lifespan of wood is limited no matter how rigorous your maintenance routine is.

If you are looking for a fence material with very low maintenance requirements, you should consider vinyl or aluminum. Vinyl fencing is highly resistant to sun fading and weather damage, and is impervious to rot. You can even find vinyl fencing with faux wood textures to mimic the appearance of a traditional wood fence. Aluminum fencing is another low maintenance option that provides an appearance and strength similar to cast iron, but is much more resistant to rust.

Check Your Local Building Codes

You should always check with local building authorities before you start a fence building project. Your local Homeowners' Association or municipal building codes can influence several factors about the type of fence that you are able to build. It is not uncommon for your local building codes to dictate exactly how tall your fence can be, the materials it can be made from, and how far back it must be set from the sidewalk or property lines. Additionally, your local codes may require you to get a building permit if you are choosing to install the fence on your own. Research your local codes thoroughly so that you are not faced with fines or required to disassemble the fence that you worked so hard to build.

Installing a fence can do wonders for your home by making you feel more comfortable and secure, while also improving the look of your home. Keep these tips in mind if you are considering installing a fence so that your project will be successful and rewarding. Contact a local fencing contractor for more info if you need assistance.