Things to Know Before You Build a Fence

Fences are the finishing touch to a home. They are the framework of your property. A picket fence in front of a suburban home, a split-rail fence in front of a country cottage, or a wrought iron fence in front of a historic Colonial help to define the character of the house. The right type of fence in the right place makes a house a work of art.

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Types

There are many types of fences that you can choose for your home. There are solid fences like the stockade and basket weave that cannot be seen through. The traditional chain-link fence is open but can have strips of aluminum woven in to give privacy. Security fencing will prevent anyone from gaining entry to your grounds. The traditional picket fence sets off many a suburban home. Post and rail fencing give the properties a country feel.

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Features

Once you pick the type of fence that is perfect for your home, you have to pick the particular features that will set your fence apart from your neighbors and make it your own. For instance, stockade fencing can be made of many different woods; spruce, white cedar, red cedar and pressure-treated pine are popular choices, but lately bamboo is showing up more. It is eco-friendly and gives a good appearance. You can change the color of the wood by using different stains. Chain-link is one of the most economical. Post and rail and picket fencing come in both wood and vinyl. Security fencing can be made of polymer or wrought iron.

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Function

Not every fence serves the same function. Taller fences give you privacy. Lower fences are mostly decorative. The type of fence will depend on where it will be–in the front of the house or in the rear. Front fences tend to be decorative, and rear fences are used for privacy and keeping children and pets from roaming the neighborhood. One of the most important function of fences is enclosing a swimming pool. Many communities have laws reacquiring pools to be fenced in for safety reasons. The laws apply to you even if you do not have children in your household. Check your local regulations about fencing requirements for a pool.

Effects

Fencing can add value to your home. In the front of a home, a picket or split-rail fence adds to the curb appeal. A split-rail fences can look very special with a flowering vine trailing along it. A privacy fence in the yard is something home buyers look for. On the negative side, it can cause trouble with neighbors, who might feel that it is being put up as a spite fence, like you are putting up a barrier between your family and theirs. It may sound silly, but many a fence has caused friction between neighbors. Make sure the side of the fence facing your neighbor’s property looks nice and adds to their home value as well as yours.

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Warning

Different communities have different laws regarding fences. The closer together the houses are, the more restrictive they will be. For instance, many communities have restrictions on the height of a fence. In most cases, it is 6 feet, but in some cases, the law will also say that your fence may not block the sunlight from reaching your neighbor’s house. Also, make sure the fence is entirely on your property. And that includes the cement used to hold the fence in place. It must be poured so that it does not go over the boundary line. Some communities also have laws regarding the style of fence. Check the regulations first, or you may have to take down the fence you just put up.

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