There is a fencestyle for every need and desire. Aside from the basics, such as material, type and height, you’ll also want to consider style.
Fences can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, stone, tree limbs and bamboo to name a few. Here are the most common materials you’re likely to encounter while fence shopping.
Woodfences are traditional, aesthetically appealing and, depending on the style, can blend into a natural environment. However, they require yearly maintenance, such as staining and waterproofing, as well as repairing broken rails or slats. Cedar, pine, redwood and spruce are all common woods for fences. The pricing varies greatly depending on the wood used, construction type, design, and other factors. Redwood and cedar are the most expensive woods because they are durable and often treated to withstand the elements.
Vinyl fencing is a popular option for many reasons. It’s easy to install in solid panels, and comes in many colors, including a wood-like finish. Caring for a vinyl fence is easy; it only requires an occasional power washing. Vinyl fencing is not ideal in climates with heavy winters as it can buckle in snow
Metal fences are sturdy, secure and require little maintenance (it needs to be sanded and re-painted every few years to avoid rusting). Metal fence pricing varies considerably. Standard chain-link fencing is the cheapest option
Fence styles are nearly endless — there is a style to coordinate with any kind of home exterior. Here are a few of the more typical styles you will see.
Wood Panel Privacy Fence
The wood panel privacy fenceis commonly used for backyards across the country. There are no spaces between the wood panels, so it provides total privacy. If privacy is more loosely defined for you, an open panel fence is another option.
With shadow panel fencing, the rails are sandwiched between off-set panels, which allows for some but still limited visibility. Shadow panel fences are more expensive than privacy fences, and are considered more formal and decorative. This style of fencing is ideal if you want a wooden fence that will look nice on both sides.
A picket fence is a charming and quaint addition to a cottage or traditional home. They are often white and have an old-fashioned look. Picket fencing can be made of wood or vinyl and comes in a few different shapes.
Chain link fences are great for large backyardsor spaces to enclose pets and add extra security for children’s play or sport areas. Chain link is always metal, left as plain galvanized steel, or covered with a weather-proof, rust-proof coating in black or dark green. It can be combined with wood posts to soften the look.
Different fences serve difference purposes. Keep in mind what various fencing styles and materials offer, such as safety, security, privacy, and aesthetics. Picket fences are neighborly and attractive to delineate yards and gardens, but offer little privacy or security. Wooden fences are pleasing to the eye and, depending on their construction, can meet many different needs. Metal fences are ideal for security and safety.
Height makes a difference, too. Four-foot fences are a sociable height and great for gardens and around the front yard. Six-foot fences are the most common, and offer both privacy and security. An eight-foot fence is all about security and safety; it’s useful around pools or for corralling animals, and depending on the style and material, can offer total privacy.
Do Your Research
Call Before You Dig: Make sure to call cable, water, gas, power and telephone companies ahead of time to have them mark where underground lines are located. The free national “Call Before You Dig” number is 811, dialed from your phone, which will route to a local call center. They will help notify utilities to mark your property before you begin your project.
Check the Rules: Many municipalities have zoning codes on fence heights and styles. Call to check ahead of time. If you have a neighborhood or homeowner’s association they may also have additional regulations regarding fence installation and appearance.