What to Think about before Building a Fence

Thursday, February 6, 2014

If you would like a fence on your property, there are many things to consider before building one. Of course, if you are going to have the professionals come and build it for you, call today and discuss all of these options with them. If, on the other hand, you are going to attempt building your own fence, you will still have to consider all of the same things, and work them out on your own.

Before you even begin thinking about what sort of fence you want and what kinds of materials to purchase, you should check the local building codes for your area, as well as any homeowners’ regulations that apply to your property. These things include whether a fence is permitted, and if so, what style or size is allowed. Along with this information, you will need to check zoning restrictions to ensure that your fence falls within what is allowed. For example, some cities have laws that require you to build your fence inside your property lines by a certain distance. Looking into this can save you the cost and hassle of moving a fence you have just built, so the time it takes up front to learn these things is a good investment.  

Deciding on the Type of Fence You Want
Now that you have a good idea of what is allowed, you will need to decide on the style and materials you want your fence to be made from. This decision will vary depending on your reasons for building the fence. Some people build fences for privacy, others for aesthetics and beauty, and still others for utility such as containing the children or the pets. Likely, you have several reasons for building a fence, and those reasons will help you clarify the materials and style.

Privacy fences are generally made from wooden or PVC panels. These panels top out at eye level or slightly higher and produce a visual barrier. The plastic variety come only in panel form and therefore are built with a stair-step look as the land changes grade along the length of the fence. Wooden panels also follow this same stair-step pattern, though an option exists to build a “stick construction” fence where the individual slats on the fence are attached at different heights, more closely following the gradient of the land. The stick-built variety is just as private, but achieving this look will take longer.

Semi-private fences have a paneled look with a latticework at the top so that they allow a see-though component while also maintaining some privacy as well as solid containment. These come in plastic and wood.

Decorative fencing is usually made of either aluminum or steel and while it does provide containment, it allows passersby to have a full view of the area inside the fence. Steel fences are usually the most expensive variety but can last for decades if treated properly. While wooden fences require the wood to be treated and maintained, and steel fences require a coat of paint every few years, plastic and aluminum fences are virtually maintenance-free, simply needing a wash from time to time. With all of these options to choose from, you may feel a little overwhelmed. If so, you can always go down to your local hardware store and talk to the staff there for any additional information, or you can simply call today and have the professionals come out and do the work for you.

“This is a guest post provided to Up Now and What's Next for its readers.”

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