So, you’re ready to install a new fence? With the wide variety of style and material options available today, it’s more important than ever to do some planning before you get started. Not only is a well-constructed fence a big investment, but with the right choices it can add value to your home.
So, before you get started, ask the following questions:
There are a myriad of reasons for wanting to install a new fence.
1. Why do you want a fence?
- Curb appeal. With a variety of styles and colors available in todays’ market, the right fence can easily add beauty to your home.
- Establish boundaries. If you want to make it clear where your property begins and someone else’s ends, a fence can be an ideal solution.
- You don’t have to dislike your neighbors to prefer a little privacy of your own. Whether you want to create a backyard oasis or just drink coffee on the back patio in your pajamas, a fence can provide all the privacy you need.
- Pool. Even if your extended yard has a fence, it can be a good idea to fence around your pool area for added security. According to the CPSC, more than 360 drownings occur in pools every year, so extra precautions are always a good idea.
- Whether you want to provide a playground or just a place to let some steam off, a fence provides safety and security because it keeps kids in and intruders out.
- Dog. Although walking a dog on a leash can be good exercise, sometimes it’s nice to simply open the door and let your pet have a little freedom to do his business.
- Gardening. When you invest time and money in a nice garden, it’s a good idea to protect it from uninvited guests.
2. How much do you want to spend?
With the variety of fence styles and materials on the market today, there’s a good chance there’s one that will fit your budget. But knowing how much you want to spend will help narrow your choices.
Sometimes mixing fence materials can be a good way to help you afford the look you want. For instance, if your home faces the street but the back is wooded, you could combine a wood fence on the areas facing the street with a chain link fence on the backside. An experienced fence contractor will be able to help you make the right choice.
3. What materials do you like?
Always practical and attractive, a wooden fence is a popular choice for homes. Not only is it cost-effective, but a wooden fence is long-lasting, available in many heights, and looks great painted in whatever color you choose. Although a good wooden fence should last about 15 years, keep in mind that ongoing maintenance and repairs are needed to keep it looking its best. Also, since wooden fences tend to attract pests, it’s a good idea to inspect the fence regularly
- Ornamental steel and aluminum
With the look of traditional wrought iron, there’s nothing quite like the style and elegance of an ornamental steel or aluminum fence. Available in many styles and colors, the beauty of an ornamental fence adds both value and security to a home. Since neither rotting nor warping is an issue, the fence requires little maintenance. Although its durability can make it a sound long-term investment, an ornamental fence normally requires a higher front-end cost.
Although a vinyl fence is more costly than a wooden fence, it’s virtually maintenance-free. Since the color goes all the way through the vinyl, scratches and dents are not noticeable and wear and tear is minimal. Also, insects, pests and rust are not an issue. Not only is a vinyl fence strong, but it can be styled to look like a picket, privacy, post and rail, or ornamental fence.
- Chain link
Because a chain link fence is both practical and economical, it remains a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties. Since it provides a clear view, a chain link fence doesn’t give intruders a place to hide. With newer vinyl-coated styles available in a variety of color choices, today’s chain link fence can be both stylish and resistant to rust.
4. What are your neighborhood covenants and city or town regulations?
To ensure that you don’t install a fence that later must be modified or moved, if you’re a member of a homeowners’ association it’s important to find out what regulations, if any, your fence must meet. Some associations regulate colors, styles, materials, height, or how far your fence must be from a sidewalk. Your city or county will likely have regulations for a pool fence, but some may also have requirements for the fence around your yard.
5. What about your neighbor?
Although you’re free to install a fence regardless of your neighbor’s wishes, it’s always a good idea to let a neighbor in on your plans. (In some cases neighbors may even agree to share the cost of a fence that benefits them.) During the installation of your fence your neighbors may be affected. In addition they may or may not have strong opinions about the height or style of your fence. Nevertheless, it’s never a good idea to allow a fence to be a bone of contention simply because you neglected to let your neighbors know your plans.
6. Who should install?
Hire a professional fence contractor. Although fence installers are easy to find, make sure the one you hire is licensed and certified. Not only will a professional contractor make sure you end up with a quality product, but they’ll still be there after the installation is complete. Without exception, a good fence contractor will be willing to educate you about fence styles, materials, and installation, and they’ll be open to any questions you may have. (And make sure your fence contractor provides workman’s compensation insurance.)
To find a professional fence contractor, a good place to start is with the American Fence Association. Next look up the contractor’s website and go to their social media accounts to find customer reviews.
Now get started!
After asking yourself the right questions, go ahead and install that fence you’ve been planning for! With your homework done, you should end up with a product that will enhance both your home and your lifestyle.