Choosing a Fence: 3 simple steps

A great-looking fence adds tremendous value to your home – whether it’s resale value or your own enjoyment of it over the years.   Before building a fence, you should take the time to consider both your needs and your personal style.  Once you’ve determined those two factors you’re ready to go.

Easy, right?

Not always!  Perhaps these are the two things that have added confusion to what should really be an enjoyable project.  Think about it, you don’t have to move around furniture, deal with drywall dust or worry about where to take a shower!

If you’re having a tough time of narrowing your options down check out the three simple steps below and remember these two cardinal rules before starting:

  • Be nice to your neighbours.  Talk to them before you do anything. Choose a design that looks good from both sides, and make sure you know exactly where your property lines are.
  • Think outside the box.  You may not need to surround your whole yard to get the privacy you want. Consider using a fence to screen in a sitting area or create an outdoor room.

Step 1: Determine your needs for a fence

First, figure out the purpose of your fence. Do you want it to provide privacy? Beautify your yard? Keep kids or pets in? Comply with pool safety standards? Define your property lines? Add to the value of your home? Determining your needs can help you choose the right fence for you.

Step 2: Choose the style of fence

  • Private. A solid-board fence blocks an unattractive view completely, but it also cuts out light and breezes and can make you feel boxed in.
  • Semi-private. This style, which can have subtle spacing, louvers or lattice to let in light, is friendly, comfortable, and makes your yard feel bigger.
  • Open. Great if you want to enclose your property but don’t want to block it off visually.

Step 3: Select material for your fence

Your options are limited only by your imagination and, of course, your budget. Here are some common types.

  • Chain-link. Definitely the most cost-effective choice, but not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing. It’s good for defining boundaries, keeping kids and pets in, and maintaining a sense of openness. If you’ve got a big yard and a small budget, this is the way to go.
  • Wood. Styles range from split rail and picket fences to board-on-board styles that look great on both sides and offer privacy, yet let in air and light. The downside to wood? It needs regular maintenance to look good over time.
  • PVC/vinyl. Vinyl fencing looks just like painted wood, but you’ll never need to paint it – all you have to do is clean it once a year.
  • Iron, aluminum or steel. Use it if you want an open, formal look. Aluminum, which looks like wrought iron but is less expensive, is the most budget-friendly choice. If cost isn’t an issue, custom ironwork is an excellent way to incorporate a fence or gate that’s completely unique.
  • Natural “fencing.” Hedges and shrubs reduce noise and dust better than a fence, are less expensive, and look lush and beautiful. You’ll just have to be patient while your “fence” grows in.



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