We all know that adding a fence around your home, or just the family yard provides security, privacy, protection, and can improve your home’s curb appeal.
What kind of fencing do you really need? Is the fence for keeping in the family pet? Are you looking to block noise and add privacy? Or are your wishes complex: You need to protect the family pets and family from the surroundings, but you also want to add a decorative element to your home’s exterior.
Do your Homework! If you live in a gated community or in an association check with the officials regarding covenants that could dictate fencing materials, height limitations, and overall look and placement of your fence. Check with your local city hall regarding building codes to inquire if a fencing – building permit is required.
Do You need to Hire a Professional? If you do need a building permit to build your fence, along with drawings and renderings of what the fence will look like when completed to get it approved by the City you may need to hire a professional. This process could be more than what you want to take on, visit The American Fence Association they can help you find a licensed contractor in your area.
If you do hire a contractor, ask to see fencing jobs that they have completed, and not in just the last year. You want to see how there work also stood up to the test of time and climate. Feel free to call the State Contractors Board and check against their contractors license to see if there are any complaints filed against them with the agency.
Be a considerate Neighbor! My advise is to be open and up front with your neighbors about your fencing plans, and needs – you may find out you have a lot in common. A Common or Party fence can be built and shared by two or more neighbors, but such agreements “should” be made in writing and only after the property boundaries have been professionally determined. You may be the best of friends with your current neighbors, but if they move you will want to have good documentation for any future neighbors. Tip: Do not block your neighbors views unnecessarily!
Choosing your Materials! You may want to go with the classic White Picket Fence, but before you decide to purchase those wood posts and whitewash, think about the maintenance! Wood will require painting almost every other year, wood rot, and warping. You may want to consider the new low-maintenance vinyl fencing that offers the look of wood, or other material options such as wrought iron, chain link, steel, or a block wall. Some material may cost more upfront but may be cost effective when considering maintenance and duration.
Consider Your Climate! Where do you live? Cold northern climates that experience front, concrete anchors are necessary for fence posts. Post should be secured 36″ deep to avoid cracking in a cold snap. For warmer, damper climates, the experts feel that the new vinyl is your best material choice, as wood would be more susceptible to the climate conditions.
Create Your Entrances! For convenience and safety your fenced area “should” have at least two gates. Plan ahead and make sure one gate can accommodate bulky outdoor equipment such as a lawn mower, Bar-B-Q grill, patio furniture, large garbage cans, etc. (You get the picture)
Mix it Up – Mix your materials! You just moved into your new home and you want to add fencing to the front to create that curb appeal, and you also need fencing in the back to secure the family pet. This is the perfect time to mix your materials, add that white picket fence out front in either wood or the vinyl and do the back yard with 5′ high chain link fencing. Not only will this combination save on the installation costs, but it also will reduce the amount of fencing that might require repainting.
The finishing Touch! Once your fencing is in place make your statement by adding a Arbor / Pergola over your walk way to create your curb appeal. Add color to your front yard by planting a row of flowers in front of the fence for a truly welcoming facade, and you will always have fresh cut flowers for your home.
I hope I helped you and gave you some things to think about before you build your fence, most of these tips came from Better Homes and Garden and some are from my 30+ years experience working in the Construction industry.
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