Picking the Right Fence

Picking the Right Fence

Protecting your yard and privacy

As a homeowner there are many things to consider before building a fence. You don’t want to make an uninformed decision; your choice will impact your lifestyle and privacy as well as the integrity of your yard.

Narrow down your specific needs. Do you have young children? Do you need to keep pets contained? Is your backyard too exposed to neighbors? Or do you simply hope to increase the property value?

Obviously there are other factors to include, such as its cost as well as upkeep. There may be certain restrictions set by your neighborhood committee. Once you’ve got much of that straightened out you need to choose a contractor.

It doesn’t matter if you want a dainty white picket fence or an expansive privacy wall, you need to choose carefully, you are making a serious investment. A new fence will run between $2,600 and $8,000 depending on size and type. If your yard has a slope, you could be looking at some additional costs. There’s a lot to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

First, you’ll need to pick the fence that is best for your circumstances. You want privacy, you want it to be appealing, and you need your children and pets to be protected. It’s an added bonus that a professionally installed fence adds to your property value. So, determine your needs and let those reasons guide you.

Know that an obtrusive privacy fence may have an adverse effect on your home’s resale value. Buyers shy away from any hint of mystery. Picket fences have proven to be more appealing. There are wooden fences that offer reasonable privacy without being overbearing, and there are vinyl fences as well. There have been some complaints however that the vinyl panels are too separated to offer a real sense of privacy.

Of course there’s the classic aluminum fence. To this day one that is nice and upkept provides a sense of class. They’re so well-known and popular some homeowner associations actually require that you install aluminum fencing only.

No one fence style works better than another when it comes to protecting kids or pets. However a good rule of thumb is to keep containment in mind when you’re in the planning stage. Factor in what your pets are capable of. Can they easily dig under, or jump over, the fence? That would defeat a major portion of the purpose.

Another practical question to ask yourself is how much work you want to put in. Fences need regular maintenance. Wooden fencing especially, as it needs painting and staining every couple of years, and those are not simple tasks. However a professionally painted fence will boost your property value. If it becomes storm damaged you can replace the affected boards with ones that blend better.

You’d be looking at less work maintaining aluminum or vinyl fencing. However if you find yourself with damaged panels, locating the exact type again may be a challenge. Manufacturers don’t produce the same styles forever. You’ll never have that problem with a wood fence.

As mentioned previously, you might not even have a say in what kind of fence you install. You need to check with the neighborhood’s homeowner association. There might be standards for materials and height that everyone needs to heed before installing anything. You have to follow their guidelines or face paying fines.

You’ll likely be tempted to install the fence yourself, unless you have much experience with such projects its best to leave the work to a professional. You may know that the process requires certain special tools and a lot of physical labor. Plus a contractor can easily secure all the permits that may be necessary. Even so, always check the contractor’s licensing status and references before hiring them, you want to get it right the first time!

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