Property Fence Options

There are Literally Hundreds
of Unique Styles to Select From

By: Gene Wright

When fence shopping you should consider everything from function to styling and the amount of maintenance itíll need. By choosing the right fence it can be any of those things There are literally hundreds of unique styles to select from, plus a number of different materials to build it with, each having their own prices and maintenance requirements. Also you must be sure your new fence doesnít stir up any neighborhood animosity or violate local ordinances. Hereís the way to avoid those dangers and end up a long-lasting beautiful fence that goes with your home and with your budget.

Go By the Rules
Fences come under your local zoning ordinances, which have a bearing on the maximum allowable height, the property line set back requirements, and if theyíre even allowed in to be front yards. So talk to your zoning department up front, Also, if you reside in a historic district, a neighborhood Homeowner's association, or a newer area, you may be looking at further restraint over fence height, style, plus location, so touch base with your local representatives

Be a polite Neighbor
Robert Frost once wrote that, good fences make for good neighbors although they can make angry neighbors, particularly if the fence shows up out of the blue one day without notice. Make every effort to talk with all neighbors whose property about your proposed new fence to provide them with a heads up in order to emotionally prepare for the change. (You might even get them to share if the expense if you're flexible on a design element that they would prefer.) Additionally, unless your lot was recently surveyed, talk to your your neighbors for confirmation about your understanding of the property line locations. The last thing you want to do is to come back move an entire fence over by an inch because the homeowners were mistaken about where the property line is.

Contemplate Your Goals
The very first thing any fencing sales person will ask of you is the reason you need a fence and your response will help narrow down your selections.

There are four primary groups to select from:

Privacy fence: If tour goal is to obstruct a view from sight lines, you'll require a solid fence, which probably means itíll require framed panels, tightly spaced vertical fence boards, or pickets (pointed stakes), to visually obstruct you from looking out and other people from peering in. It needs to be a minimum of 6 feet high so the majority of people canít see over the top it. Higher if your neighborís teenagers play basketball on a local team. If a bit visibility is alright, then use pickets which can have some space between the pickets or you might employ a lattice or other decorative patterned style fence.

Security Fence:
Keeps people out, again you'll need a fence at minimum of 6 feet high or taller to thwart anyone from simply jumping over it. Pickets or other spike tops help to discourage climbers, particularly if the fence features a smooth outer side, so there is no spot to stand on. For fences containing horizontal railing on one side plus vertical standing pickets on the opposite side For most fences, this means turning the pickets to the outside.

Decorative fence:
If the goal is to establish property lines, add a structural element to the landscape or boost curb appeal, your fence doesnít need to be nearly as large or obtrusive. You can choose one thatís just two to four feet high, and with spaced pickets, latticework, or all sorts of ornamental designs that donít block the view, but enhance it. Or you can go totally simple, with a rail fence (just posts and two or three horizontal members) like the ones used on horse farms.

Safety Fence:
When creating a dog run, enclosing a pool, or dissuade wildlife from coming onto your property without altering your view, the most stable option becomes a fence made of wire, such as a chain link. At their most lowest prices, these are made of galvanized metal meshing, although augmented with a green or black vinyl coat helps in making the fence practically disappear from sight. Or, for a more economical fence, you could use a plastic or metal mesh hung from metal stakes or posts.

Select Your Material

Once youíve made a decision on your type of fence, then select the material it is made of. That will determine the final price, the amount of maintenance it requires, and the warranty type. (Note: These are only ballpark prices. Costs change wildly around the U.S. and even by fence companies located within an identical ZIP code.) Wood: By the most widespread fence material by far, wood gives a traditional appearance at modest prices. Depending upon which species you select, from inexpensive pine to more expensive redwood or cedar, your fence installer may recommend a treatment of wood preservative or stain to guard it from rot, insects and ultraviolet rays. Plan on repeating this treatment every three to five years. For an unpretentious split-rail fence, the cost installed: $7 to $10 a foot, A 6-foot tall privacy fence. installed from $20 to $50 a foot, Warranty period: From 0 to 15 years, depends upon wood species and of course, the installer

Vinyl and Composite:
Faux-wood fences made up of either a mix of plastic resins and wood fibers or from solid vinyl. In either situation, the material is then formed into pickets, rails, and other fencing parts that are then assembled one piece at a time just the same as wood fences. Their colors are normally white, although they are made in a number hues, embedded right into the material and they'll never require paint. The better of these products appear identical to real wood, so if you desire a wood painted fence, this is the way to have it without requiring all of that maintenance of wood. Cost: is $40 to $60 a foot, installed 6-foot tall privacy fence. Warranty: Runs from 20 years to lifetime, dependent upon the manufacturer.

Iron and Aluminum:
Classic wrought-iron fences can be all the way from an decorative ornate property-line indicator to a spiky, tall enclosure providing the highest in security. Although, these days, these fences are not really solid wrought iron. Theyíre made up of welded tubes of aluminum or steel. And because of factory coatings, a quality metal fence will virtually require no routine maintenance, though you need to touchup any spots wherever the coating becomes cracked or is peeling to stop corrosion. Cost: is $25 to $30 a foot installed (4 foot tall fence), plus an additional $5 to $10 a foot for ornamental rings and finials. Warranty: Anywhere from 20 years to lifetime, dependent upon the manufacturer.

Chain Link and Wire:
The least expensive of fences, also chain link has the benefit of virtually disappearing into the landscape, particularly if it has a green or black plastic coated mesh. Although if, you'd rather not see through it, you can have it with vertical slats pre-woven within the mesh. Cost: $12 to $15 a foot installed (f4 foot tall fence); additional $4 to $5 with vinyl coating plus another $6 to $10 for those privacy slats. Warranty: From 12 to 15 years, depends on the manufacturer. New Article Aug 11, 2011

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