What is the Purpose of the Fence?
Do you want to shield your backyard from nosy neighbors? Do you want to provide a secure place for your young child and pet to run around in? Do you simply want to add an interesting accent or landscaping backdrop to your yard? Before you start looking at fencing options, decide on what the purpose of the fencing will be. A lovely wrought iron style of fence may not keep your small dog from leaving the yard. However, if you enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape, you may not want a fence that completely obscures your view from the back porch.
Upkeep and Maintenance
How much maintenance work do you have time to tackle? Wooden fences have to be stained or painted or they will fall apart after just a few years. Iron fences are beautiful, but if not maintained, will become rusty and unattractive. Decide how much time and energy you have to devote to fence maintenance before you settle on your final design. The charming wooden picket fence that you have in mind may be less appealing when you consider the time it will take to scrape and paint the wood every few years. Remember that you may be able to get the look of wood or wrought iron with less maintenance by choosing an alternative material. PVC or vinyl fencing mimics the appearance of wood, while aluminum is a low maintenance option to use instead of iron. Fencing options like aluminum, vinyl, and chain link need little maintenance.
Consider Insurance Issues
If you are fencing your yard to secure a pool, trampoline, children’s play equipment, or large dog, you may want to contact your insurance company and ask for fencing recommendations. To minimize your liability, you may need a fence of a particular height. You may also need to have a particular type of gate latch to keep neighborhood kids from inviting themselves over to enjoy the fun stuff in your backyard. You don’t want an accident to occur in your yard, nor do you want a lawsuit if a child were to fall from an unsecured play structure.
Do you have a nosy neighbor who likes to comment on the landscaping in the back yard or come over to chat while you are trying to relax? Perhaps you like to work on your tan, enjoy your hot tub, or take a swim without worries that your neighbors are watching. Modern Americans crave privacy while, at the same time, lot sizes are shrinking in neighborhoods. To enjoy the privacy of your backyard, you may want a privacy fence.
Matching the Style of the Neighborhood and Home
Look around in your neighborhood at the existing fences. You don’t want to be the neighbor whose home sticks out like a sore thumb with an odd-looking fence. If you and your neighbors all have stately brick homes, a picket fence will not look as nice as one that has the look of wrought iron. Take hints from the surroundings and choose a fence that will be an asset to your home and the neighborhood.