A fence can do several things for your property. It adds privacy, marks property lines, keeps in children and pets, reduces wind and highway noise, and provides an attractive background for your landscaping. Aesthetically, a fence is a nice addition that will increase the value of your property. It is an elegant way to maintain security for your home.
There are several variations in fence styles to choose from. The type of fence you choose should depend primarily on the purpose for which it is built. Over the years, the popular styles of fencing have changed. While chain link and white picket fences are still used, wood fencing is now the preferred choice.
Types If you want a simple barrier, a wire or chain link fence can do the job adequately. However, they are usually not very decorative and provide little, if any, privacy. Post and rail, split rail, and picket fences provide barriers and are more attractive than an ordinary fence. They can be enhanced with shrubbery or rose bushes. Split rail fencing is popular in subdivisions because its natural look complements the wooded areas.
Privacy fences come in stockade, board, or vertical shadow box. They can easily be adapted to most yards. Privacy fences are frequently constructed from spruce or cedar, using pressure treated posts. Privacy fencing is usually six feet high.
Decorative aluminum fencing is both attractive and maintenance free. It is becoming more popular around areas requiring additional security, such as swimming pools. It has the look of wrought iron and comes in colors of white, black, and bronze.
Chain link fencing normally comes in two types, galvanized or vinyl coated. Vinyl coated fencing normally comes in green, brown, or black to blend in with your surroundings.
Another type of maintenance free fencing is PVC or polyvinyl fencing. This type of fencing, while a little more expensive, requires no painting. It resists fading and is very secure. It's ideal for landscape and property borders.
Location Regardless of what type of fence you choose, be sure to know the exact locations of your property line. Have your property surveyed or work out a written agreement on the fence location with your neighbor. In many cases, there are city or township ordinances governing the type of fence you can build. Check with the building department in your local area and make sure you abide by local codes.
Make sure that the proper zoning and building permits are filed, and any fees are paid prior to constructing your fence. A fencing contractor with an occupational license can take care of this for you.
Replacing Posts Most wood fences should be at least 1/2 inch above the ground. This helps prevent decay and makes it easier to trim the grass at the base of the fence. All posts should be set with at least 1/3 of their length underground. An 8-foot post would need about 2 1/2 feet in the ground.
It is a good idea to discuss your decision with your neighbors to make sure everybody is happy with the selection. Coordinating the style of fencing with that of your home increases the appeal and resale value of your property.