Installing a fence without careful planning can lead to many costly mistakes. However, if you take this checklist into consideration, you can surely make the venture a piece of cake.
1. Know Your Need
Is it for security alone? Or, it has more to do with privacy and curb appeal? No matter what the reason, it is always better if could figure out your ultimate purpose in advance. Say, if you want to keep your dog in the yard, you can opt for a basic chain-link fence. Similarly, if you want to get rid of noise or add privacy, tall and solid fences can serve the purpose.
2. Decide Your Material
Today, you can find a gamut of fencing materials in the market. But your climate and the style of your home play a colossal role in selecting the best one. Below are some of the most popular options – along with their basic features.
- Timeless appeal
- Natural look
- Can be stained or painted
- Varieties of designs and styles
- Rotting problem
- A bit heavy price
Cost: Between $13-$19 per linear foot
- Can last for more than 10 years without fading
- Can adapt different architectural styles
- Low maintenance
- Limited to white and light tan color
- Pretty expensive
Cost: Around $25 per linear foot
Wrought Iron Fence:
- Made of modern steel which is extremely flexible
- Pretty affordable compared to other traditional fences
- Best option for traditional homes like Victorian and colonial
- It rusts quickly
- Chances of a wave or bulge
- $22 per linear foot (for residential grade at 6’ height)
- $14 per linear foot (for residential grade at 3’hegiht)
- Visually diverse
- Easily available in the market
- Not as strong as iron. However, it doesn’t rust
- Modern architecture perfect for straight lines
Cost: $24-$32 per linear foot
- Ideal option for decorative screens
- Perfect for privacy fencing
- Installation is easy
- Environmentally friendly
- Highly preferred in Asian inspired gardens
- They can be carbonized or burned to get a richer color and dark tortoise shell effect, respectively
- Prone to a rotting problem
- Regular maintenance is needed
Cost: $9-$11 per linear foot
- They are long lasting
- Perfect option for sport courts, dog areas, or any area where a temporary boundary is needed
- Galvanization can make the fence stronger making more resistant to corrosion and rust
- Not visually appealing
- For privacy, slats or mesh must be added
Cost: Between $12-$14 per linear foot
- Long lasting
- It needs low maintenance
- Money-saving option
- Today, picket fencing is available in vinyl also. Vinyl will last much longer then wood but will be a bit more expensive in the beginning.
- It has issues with the contact of the wood with the earth
- Usually needs to be replaced quickly
Cost: Between $11-$14 per linear foot
3. Think different and mix it up!
If your budget is an issue, try to mix different types of fences. As wood fences are visually appealing, you can place them at the front of your home. But, they are relatively expensive, so you can try other options, such as chain link fencing, in the back side of your home. This approach will not just potentially save your installing costs but will also lower the amount of fence that might need repainting or other maintenance stuff.
4. Research is always crucial
A thorough research can make your fencing project extremely easier. So, inquire with proper parties regarding covenants that dictate fencing features such as look, material and height. You can discuss about this with neighborhood associations, various homeowners and municipal building code officials. Similarly, city and neighborhood rules can come helpful on this.
You can also know how far a fence to be set back from sidewalk and property lines and figure out if the project will need a building permit.
5. Go green!
Landscaping is a natural cosmetic of your home. It protects your living-space from weather, add curb appeal and mark boundaries. But when you do this, make sure that your planted materials don’t cross the restrictions provided by local building codes and neighborhood fence rules.
6. Call a Pro!
Fence installation is a complex process and there’s a tad more to it than meets the eye. Tearing down an existing fence, hauling them away, digging holds for the posts, adding the concrete, unloading the materials – these tasks are really labor intensive. But, all of these issues can be handled easily if you have professional installers in your kitty. Apart from working efficiently, they will also give you various ideas in advance that can turn your dream project into a reality.
7. Be a nice neighbor!
Always open up with your neighbors about your future fencing plans and make sure that your fencing step doesn’t hamper their property. Say, if your fences block their views then it can lead to many hassles in near future.
Sometimes, you and your neighbor can even try a party fence which can be shared by both of you. However, such contract should be made in writing and only after property boundaries have been officially determined.
8. Don’t overlook climate!
If you live in a cold region that faces snow and frost, you need to have concrete anchors for fence posts. You can avoid cracking in a cold snap simply by securing the post 36 inches deep. In a warmer and damper climate, the most ideal fencing option would be vinyl, as wood is susceptible to water damage.
9. Consider a proper Entry/Exit area
By having 2 or 3 paths into a fenced area, you can add safety and convenience. But, make sure that one of your entries is big enough to accommodate big and bulky outdoor equipment such as dust bin, garbage cans and a lawnmower. You can have pergolas or stepping stones to indicate the area of gates.
Once you install a fence, you can customize it with several decorative posts or finials and boost the style of your home. You can also complement the look of your house by painting the fence with some contemporary colors. Another great idea would be planning a row of flowers in front of it for a really welcoming façade.
Once you tick the checklist from 1 to 10, you can certainly turn your fencing project into a success story.