Adding a fence to your home can be very stressful, especially when it comes to choosing the type of fencing you want, dealing with neighbors, installation, and maintenance. We understand all of these situations, which is why we wanted to create the ultimate fencing guide that includes the different options of fencing, some tips and tricks, and snippets of information that most suppliers don’t talk about. Let’s start with the many options of fencing material on the market.
Most Common Fencing Material Options
Below are some of the most available fencing materials:
Vinyl – If you are looking for a low maintenance and trustworthy fencing materials, vinyl is a great choice. Vinyl fencing is very resilient to the elements and is overall pretty sturdy. Although they do show dirt, they are super easy to clean. Vinyl fencing is also a smart choice around hot tubs, pools, or outdoor showers.
Aluminum – Aluminum fencing is a top choice among homeowners with pets, large and small. It will keep animals enclosed without the risk of splintering, leaving sharp points or edges exposed. Even though aluminum fence will not rot it, will need some care to prevent rust and other damage from the environment.
Wood – The most traditional type of fence that is most commonly used for privacy is wood. It is reliable and sturdy and will keep pets and children enclosed. Wood fencing does require maintenance especially if you like it stained. You will most likely only need to stain your fence once a year. Stain keeps your wood fence looking fresh and new and will protect it against the elements.
Chain Link – A lot of people are turned off by chain link for residential fencing. However, today there is actually some pretty appealing chain link fence available. A chain link fence can last up to 20 years if installed correctly. It offers the same protection and restrictions as other fencing materials without blocking the view in or out of your yard. Modern day chain link fence is coated and constructed in a better way to hide sharp exposed ends of the metal to prevent injury to children or pets.
Wrought Iron – Ornamental wrought iron fences add security and beauty to any yard. Modern technology and highly trained craftsmanship have made wrought iron a popular choice among homeowners. Since it can take decades to affect the integrity of wrought iron, it is a good choice if you are looking for something with longevity. One of the only things to threaten a wrought iron fence is rust. However, you can easily protect your wrought iron by applying a rust inhibitor.
Bamboo – Bamboo fencing is starting to make its way to the top of the fencing material market. As one of the most environmentally friendly fencing material choices (because it is a natural product), many homeowners are switching to bamboo over other fencing materials. There are three common types of bamboo fencing: live bamboo, bamboo cane, and rolled bamboo. When making a selection take your climate in mind.
Choosing what type of fencing material to use is very important. Not only do you want your fence to provide function like security and privacy, you want it to add to the look of your home!
Splitting the Cost on a Fence Installation
Aside from choosing your fence material, the next hardest thing to deal with is making sure your neighbor is on the same page. They say that fences make good neighbors, which is true, but not being a jerk also makes a good neighbor. Your fence is one of the key items that you will share with your neighbor, so if you are installing a new fence or making repairs to an existing one, make sure to bring the neighbor into the conversation. But my neighbor is weird you say, they do morning exercises outside while missing some clothing and they always park too close to my house. Regardless of their eccentricities, a fence is something you must come to terms on if you want to have a peaceful life. Consider this fence installation advice when dealing with an uncooperative neighbor.
Because a fence is something that sits right on both of your property lines, this is something that should be the financial responsibility of both neighbors. These conversations can be hard, but they are part of being a homeowner. Start the conversation with your neighbor in a non-threatening way with something like, “I’ve noticed that our shared fence is falling down and probably needs to be replaced. Have you thought about what you would like to see be done about this?” Offer up your own ideas and general costs if you have done some research. If they are not up for the conversation, offer to contact fence contractors to come out for a free estimate. Try to get a few different estimates so your neighbor can get a good idea of what the going rate is for a new fence. If you have an HOA, this process will be a lot easier because they will serve as the mediator between the two parties if there is any hesitation. If you are able to handle a larger portion of the cost, it might be worth your sanity to offer to pay for a larger part of the fence installation if the other neighbor can’t afford it. You either want a new fence or you don’t. This isn’t to say that there aren’t frustrating situations that arise, but life happens and you have to get creative.
Clearly Defining Property Lines Prior to Fence Installation
Do you know where your property line starts and ends? Where is your neighbor’s property line? If you don’t know for sure, it’s a good idea to check your house’s plat, which is a drawing that maps out your land. If you are unable to locate this document, you can probably get a copy from your county’s records office. If you are really concerned about being accurate, consider hiring a land surveyor that will clearly define the lines. They will place stakes in the ground so you know exactly where the fence should be installed.
Finished Side of Fence Goes Towards Neighbor
Most fences have a finished side that looks smoother than the other side with the posts and rails showing. General privacy fences are constructed this way, and you might be wondering what is the standard way to build a fence in this situation? The finished side should face toward your neighbor. This is the polite thing to do, because you’re not a jerk, and it’s also the standard way to do it. Additionally, your home will look nicer with the “good” side facing out from your home. If you do it the other way, your fence will look like it was installed backwards.
Maintain your Fence
You’ve spent all this money on your new fence installation, so you want to make sure you maintain it well. If you are using a clear stain or sealer, repeat as often as the fence installer recommends. Replace any loose or rotting boards, so the integrity of the fence doesn’t come into question. Don’t be petty about these fence replacements and repairs. If you’re the one who notices it and has the ability to repair it, just do it. Karma will come back around to reward you for your good deeds as you practice not being a jerk.
We hope we’ve been helpful as your navigate the tricky situation of dealing with a fence installation with an uncooperative neighbor. Communication and patience are the keys to success, especially when dealing with a neighbor whether they are friendly or not.
Now you have choose the material you want for your fence and you have included your neighbor in the process, the next step is installation and keeping up with fence so it always looks its best. The next section of this blog is a Tips and Tricks section that will hopefully help you through the project and the maintenance.
Tips and Tricks
Your fence becomes the focal point of your home once it is installed. The curb appeal of your home instantly rises as well as the value and the design. A fence is a functional way to add some aesthetics to your home, while also providing privacy, security, protection, and it acts as a property line. In this article, we will be going over some fencing tips and tricks for giving your fence new life.
There are multiple different styles of fencing, as well as different dimensions and species. No matter your style of fence or the type of material used to build it, natural wear and tear will kick in. After some years, your fence may look a little sad. Not a problem, because here are a few tips and tricks for putting the life back into your fence.
Number 1: Replace Rails, Boards or Pickets
Now, depending on the type of fence you have, you may be replacing a board. This is commonly used as the term for composite or vinyl, a rail for split rail or ranch rail, and a picket for traditional fencing. No matter how durable a product can be, natural age and wear will happen, and it’s normal to find the need to replace a few things here and there. Every so often, especially after a big storm such as wind or hail, you should go through and examine the entirety of your fence. Keep an eye out for splits, cracks, holes, rotting, and warping. All of these things would be a good reason to replace a section of your fence. With rotting and mold, it is vital that you replace the affected piece, so it doesn’t spread to other parts of the fence. You would be amazed how much of a difference replacing a few boards can make to the overall look of your fence!
Number 2: Restain or Reseal
Color can do amazing things for the aesthetics of your fence. It can also act as a protectant to damage. If you have previously stained your fence, you will have to touch it up over time as the color fades or chips due to weather. Some homeowners prefer to have the natural wood look and use a transparent sealing product. If this is you, consider resealing to prolong the overall life of your fence. If you have never done either of these things to your fence, you can add stain or sealant whenever you want! Add it ten weeks down the road or 10 years- it doesn’t matter.
Number 3: Add Some Décor
Leaving your fence bare with a touch of color is just fine, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it natural. Although, you can add décor to your fence and instantly increase the design of your fence. One idea is adding flower boxes to your fence on the top or along the bottom of your fence to fill in the spaces with color and flowers. You can also be creative and out of the box and paint designs, such as patterns and murals. There is no limit to the things you can do with your fence.
Number 4: Lighting
Add lighting to your fence along with another décor from above. Lights are in instant accent piece that can make any space feel warm and cozy, plus they look great. Lighting is useful in the backyard, especially at night, but also for security and being able to see your backyard space from indoors.
We hope you have enjoyed this article with Fencing Tips and Tricks. Your fence is a centerpiece of your home. It is the first thing that people see when they drive by, and during the summer nights of entertainment your fence will surround them. Do your home a favor and keep up with the daily and yearly upkeep that comes with a fence, don’t let it rot and warp. Trust us, you won’t regret it! If you need to give your fence some new life, consider replacing any posts or pickets.
The Fun Stuff
Now that the nitty gritty stuff is taken care of, of course you want to get into the fun stuff. The main reason you probably considered getting a fence installed is to give your little ones and your pets a safe place to run free and get their energy out. There are certain things you should consider when building your fence to keep it safe, child proof, and pet proof. Let’s talk about the ways to make your outdoor play area safe, and secure for your kiddos and furry friends.
If you have small children, you probably currently have or would like to have a fun and functional outdoor play area for them. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take weekend to build!
Whether you have a small or large yard, you can make an outdoor play area that your children will love!
The key to enclosing the play area is a functional fence. There are a lot of creative ways in which to accomplish this. Not only will the fence that surrounds your backyard play area keep animals and unwanted guests out, it can also provide protection for your children when they are inside.
There are several things to consider before you choose what type of fence you want for your outdoor play area. As we stated before, you not only want it to look great but you want it to be functional as well.
Safety for Your Outdoor Play Area
No matter what amazing toys or structures you put inside your outdoor play areas, kids will often gravitate to the fence. You will want to choose a safe fence material that is smooth and free of sharp jagged edges. Therefore, a wood fence is probably not the best choice. A smoother material like aluminum, vinyl, or wrought iron will be safer.
Another thing to think about when choosing a fence for your backyard play area is the fact that all kids love to climb. Climbing on anything, especially a fence, creates a huge falling hazard.
The best way to combat this is to use a smooth material, build a tall fence, and do not put any horizontal rails up.
Outdoor Play Area & Security
Make sure that your fence design provides you with clear sight lines into the play area. It is crucial that you are always able to see your children to be aware of any injuries that happen at a moments notice. Even though your children may not be not tall, you will want to build a fence that it is. In some cases, your yard may not be enclosed. By building a 5- foot fence or higher you will prevent someone from being able to reach over and grab your child.
Aside from safety and function, you want the fence around your outdoor play area to blend in with your current landscape and be visually appealing. Vinyl, aluminum, and metal fences are quite beautiful and will give your entire yard a finished look. You don’t have to sacrifice visual appeal for performance.
Backyard play areas can be a welcome addition to your yard and will bring your children hours of enjoyment while giving you peace of mind. The fence that you choose for your play area is just as important as the toys you will fill it with.
Next up is dog scaping your backyard. Your dog is a part of your family, so why wouldn’t you want to create a functional and fun dog friendly backyard for your furry best friend? There are many different ways to incorporate a safe and entertaining environment, even for those on a budget. There are more ideas you can pursue than basic privacy fencing and a shaded area- so get your imagination ready!
You know what your dog likes more than anyone else. Are they drawn to water? Are they lazy and like to nap in the shade? Are they known for being an escape artist through your privacy fence? Depending on your budget and space available, here are some ideas for making your backyard as perfect as possible for your 4 legged friend:
Dog Friendly Backyard Landscape Ideas
Before we go any further, it’s extremely important to make sure that your dog has a stable privacy fence to both protect them and keep them on your property. If you already have an existing privacy fence, make sure to walk the perimeter of your fence line to check for any loose posts, broken pickets or gaps in the fence. If you are building a new privacy fence, you have a lot of options that may or may not work for your dog. If your dog likes to look out into the neighborhood, you can consider putting a window with weld wire to allow them visual access to the neighborhood. If you trust that your dog will not jump a shorter fence, you might consider installing a ranch rail fence or split rail fence with weld wire which will give them a lot more visual access to the neighborhood. Just take your dog’s temperament into account before making a decision about which type of fence is best for you.
Outdoor Water Features
Fountains don’t have to just be for the birds or for looks- they can also serve as a refreshing treat for your dog in the summer heat. Make sure that whatever feature you choose has dog-safe materials and the proper filtration and sterilization needed for drinking.
Shade & Protection from the Elements
Shade for your furry friends is vital. Whether it be from trees, a canopy or covered pergola-you need to be able to provide a respite for your dog from the blazing heat. If your dog stays outside during most weather conditions, you might consider building them a well-ventilated and insulated dog house that will serve them in the summer and winter months. This is a great place for them to relax, get out of the elements and stay safe in your yard.
Create a Dog Run
If you know the paths that your dog regularly takes around your yard, you may want to consider building a dog run. Not only will this help them feel safe and like they have their own space, but you’ll help save your yard if your dog tends to be destructive. Consider using materials such as flagstones, pavers, mulch, stone dust, or pea gravel. You can fence this in with standard 6ft privacy fence materials or you may want to consider something shorter like a 4ft fence. Chain link fence is also a great, price friendly option that will keep your pup contained while outside.
Does your Dog Like to Dig?
If you’ve got a digger, chances are you’ve tried everything to prevent this from happening in your yard. Even with the best efforts, a lot of dogs are unable to break this habit. Why not give in and provide them an area where it’s ok to dig? Frame it out with landscape timbers and add dirt or sand. This will keep their mind stimulated and keep your mind sane as Fiddo stops digging up your actual yard.
We all love to people watch- and your dog is no different. Consider building an elevated platform or viewing area near your deck so your dog can take their watchful place as they survey the neighborhood. This can be done with steps on your deck, landscape timbers similar to a terraced yard or anything your imagination can come up with.
Your dog is family, so why not treat them like it? By implementing some or all of these ideas, your dog is guaranteed to appreciate the new dog friendly backyard. Happy Dogscaping!
We truly hope this guide helps you through the fence installation process that can be overwhelming and stressful. Our main purpose was to educate you on subjects that many suppliers don’t talk about or consider important to their clients. When you put the material portion of a fence aside, there are many components that go into the renovation process. If you have any more questions or would like to learn more about the products we offer, give us a call today and talk to a fencing specialist! Happy Renovating!