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What to Consider When Adding a Yard Fence

February 16, 2022
Exterior of a blue house with a green yard and white picket fence

Building a fence around or near your home can be a big endeavor, but there are many benefits to adding a fence on your property. Yard fencing can offer safety, privacy, and peace of mind while also enhancing the look of your home. A fence can also add value to your home.

Before diving in, spend time on the planning process. You will need to plan the placement of your fence, but also consider local regulations, weather-appropriate materials and, not least of all, the purpose of your fence.

The process of building a fence involves a few key steps. We’ll walk you through them.

Check Before You Dig

When planning your yard fence, it is important to check local regulations first. Fence regulations usually vary depending on how your property is zoned. Check your city or county website to find your area’s do’s and don’ts.

Many cities and counties also have digging regulations. Call your area’s hotline to find out if you or your builder can dig in the area planned for your fence.

Your local utility companies may also be able to help identify gas or power lines, which you will want to know about before you dig.

Go with Neighborhood Guidelines

Some neighborhood organizations and homeowners associations state their own guidelines for fences. Check with your neighborhood’s governing body to see which guidelines affect your property.

Your neighborhood guidelines may include:

  • Fence height
  • Fence materials
  • Fencing types and styles
  • Who is responsible for fence maintenance on either side of a fence
  • How ordinances are enforced

Choose the Right Fence for You

Before building, it is essential to know what you want and why.

What is the primary purpose of your fence? Are you seeking added privacy? Do you want to make your yard safe for children or pets? Are you hoping to keep small animals out of your garden?

These are just a few possible purposes for building a fence.

Five Types of Fence to Consider:

  • Privacy fence - A privacy fence provides coverage for your yard. Privacy fences are often 4’ to 6’ tall and posts are positioned close together to prevent seeing in or out.
  • Picket fence - Picket fences are used to delineate outdoor areas and add decorative flair to landscaping.
  • Post and rail fence - This type of fence consists of rails placed lengthwise across standing posts. It leaves room at the bottom of the fence and often lends a farm or country look to outdoor spaces.
  • Wrought iron fence - Wrought iron fencing adds an elegant touch to a yard while keeping people, animals and objects in or out.
  • Latticework fence - A lattice fence can be used in many situations to enhance the look and feel of an outdoor space. Lattice fencing is especially handy for creating outdoor rooms.

Pool Fencing

Play it safe around your outdoor pool by adding a fence with a secure gate around the perimeter. There are several types of fencing that can be used around pools. If your goal is safety, however, your builder can help you pay attention to the space between posts.

You will want to be sure the spaces prevent children or small animals from sneaking through, depending on your goal. Plexi-glass and similar options offer zero open space between posts and are excellent materials for securing the area.  

When you have determined the role your fence will play in your outdoor area, you are ready to research materials.

Consider Your Materials

Fencing comes in many materials, from wood to plexi-glass to wrought iron and in varying prices. When considering which types of materials to use for your fence, think about the look and feel of your home and the purpose of your fence.

Which style of fencing would enhance your property? Which materials would be most appropriate to the purpose of your fence? Finally, choose materials that offer an amount of maintenance to which you are willing to commit.

Practical Benefits of Various Fence Types

  • Wood or wood composite: Wood and wood composite fences are affordable options that add style. Wood requires more maintenance than wood composite, such as repainting. But if you are willing to do the work, the value is hard to beat.
  • Aluminum: Fences made of aluminum offer an upscale look while requiring very little maintenance. They are generally long-lasting and fairly easy to install.
  • Composite stone: This type of fencing lends a natural look to your space. You can choose colors that blend well with your hardscaping and it is often less expensive than regular stone to install.
  • Vinyl: This is a study option that is easy to clean and stands the test of time.
  • Glass wall: A half-wall made of glass or plex-glass is a handy solution for the pool area. The glass blends with its surroundings, but provides safety, allowing one to see inside and outside of the area.

These are just a few of the many types of fencing materials available. The materials you choose will depend upon the purpose of your fence, as well as the style of your home and your budget.

Prepare for Maintenance

Some fencing materials require more maintenance than others. While vinyl may only demand a quick wash each season, wood fences need periodic repainting or restaining.

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