Whether serving strictly decorative purposes or as a physical demarcation between spaces, fences and fencing are important and necessary additions to all landscape designs. At some point, most homeowners with any sort of outdoor space will need a fence, so it’s helpful to know which fence style and material will provide the longest and most beneficial service to you.
When looking to purchase a fence, ask yourself the following questions to help you pick the perfect fence for your home.
What are you using the fence for? For privacy and seclusion from neighbors, consider a more solid wood panel fence or a chain link style that can easily grow vines or hedges. For an entry or ornamental fence, consider a more decorative post and rail or low picket fence. For safety, especially around children, make sure to pick a fence style that is sure to be safe for your kids as well as prevent them for entering the pool area or any other space you may want to keep out of bounds.
What material do you want for your fence? Fences are available in all building materials, ranging from brick and stone — which can be combined with metal and wood — all the way to vinyl and plastic varieties often times designed to resemble the first mentioned materials.
Stone and metal fences are the ultimate when it comes to safety and security. For a more decorative metal fence, consider wrought iron. Although more expensive up front and requiring some maintenance in order prevent from rusting, it is a beautiful choice. Aluminum or stainless steel provide excellent security at a more affordable price. Consider growing vines or implementing a modern and minimal design heavy with architectural details. Stone walls can be solid or built of concrete block and faced with stone or brick materials. A combination of metal and stone makes a beautiful entry fence and privacy wall.
Wood fences are extremely versatile and can capture any house style or character ranging from the traditional colonial, with a cottage style picket fence, all the way to mid century modern with geometric horizontal slat paneling.
Vinyl fences are used primarily because of their maintenance-free materials, lightness, and ability to mimic other fencing materials. Surprisingly vinyl may be a more expensive fence initially, the fact that you will never need to paint them, worry about them weathering, or really tend to them at all, often times makes vinyl the more affordable option. Vinyl fences are often times sold in kits and can be easily installed. In more extreme climates, vinyl fences can weather the environment more easily than wood. While vinyl fences can resemble wood, it often times is an aesthetic preference that people will opt for wood fences over vinyl.
Which additional features will you need to consider? If you’re building a fence, you will need to also have a gate or some sort of access through the fence. Whether your gate is designed to blend in with the design of the fence, or to really stand out on its own, it’s probably a necessary feature to be considered. For fences that are to be used for specific safety purposes, like pool fences for example, it’s important to be aware of legal codes and regulations specific to area that may affect height requirements or distance between pickets.