Choosing The Perfect Fence

When you first buy a home, you might care more about your furniture or your home's facade than you do about your front fence. However, there aren't many home components that play as important of a role as that yard enclosure. In addition to protecting your kids and pets, fences can also dress up your property and make the area look polished. Unfortunately, if you don't know a lot about fences, it might be difficult to choose one when you have the chance. My blog is designed to walk you through your fence options, so that you aren't left wondering how to improve your curb appeal.

Choosing The Right Material For Your Privacy Fence

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It's been said that good fences make good neighbors. But if you want to pretend you don't have any neighbors at all, then what you need is a privacy fence.

Of course, there are other reasons to get a privacy fence. If you live in a noisy area, privacy fences do a better job than open fences at blocking out sound. If your yard is easily visible from the sidewalk, you may not want strangers watching you when you're outside. And if nothing else, a privacy fence can turn your yard into a little sanctuary no matter where you live.

But before you get too far in planning out your privacy fence, there are some important things to consider.

Aesthetics

One of the most important parts of a privacy fence is how it looks. Short picket fences are relatively unobtrusive, and since you can see through and over them, there's a lot more to look at than the fence. A privacy fence, on the other hand, doesn't give you a view – except of the fence. And the material you choose will have a big impact on how well your privacy fence fits with your existing yard.

Wooden privacy fencing is common; installing boards with no gaps or even overlapping makes for a sort of wooden wall around your yard. Wood can be stained or painted in many colors, which means it can fit with many styles of yard.

Brick and stone fences can be very attractive, but they also appear "heavy," making them a better choice for larger yards. Small yards can be overwhelmed by privacy fencing from these materials.

Another option is artificial foliage. By installing panels of foliage along a tall fence, you can create a very appealing and natural look while still completely blocking vision. Some people still associate "artificial" foliage with the cheap Christmas trees of decades past; you owe it to yourself to check out the advances that have been made in this area as modern artificial foliage from companies like Green Smart Decor is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.

Building Codes

It's very likely that your town, city, or township has rules about fencing – although this is less likely if you live in a more rural area. The most common rules limit the height and materials of fences, and they can vary a great deal from place to place. It's crucial that you call your local building department to find out these rules before you begin installing a new fence, or you risk needing to tear it all down again – at your own expense.

Maintenance

Brick and stone fences do well in the maintenance department, being very sturdy. Over time, mortar may wear out and need to be replaced, but if you periodically clean your fence by spraying it with a hose and removing mildew with bleach, you may never run into this problem.

Wood fencing requires the most maintenance. Paints and stains wear down over time, and if you don't sand the fence and replace them, the wood may rot due to exposure to moisture. Extreme temperature changes can also cause the wood to shrink or expand, causing gaps in the privacy fence.

Artificial foliage is also a winner in the maintenance department. While real hedges require a great deal of pruning and care, artificial foliage panels should require no maintenance at all. They are often mounted on sturdy steel fencing, and the foliage itself should come with UV protection that prevents fading in sunlight. Extreme heat and cold make no difference to these panels or the steel they're mounted on, making them a good choice for all climates.

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9 September 2015