A Beginner’s Guide to Wood Fences

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There are quite a few reasons to fence your home. You may want to keep the neighbor’s pesky dog out, guarantee your kids’ safety from strangers, prevent trespassers from stepping foot on your territory, improve your property’s privacy, or just want to boost curb appeal and resale value. The right type of fence, built with the right type of materials can accomplish all of these tasks and more. To help you out with your decision, we’ve put together this short, but comprehensive beginner’s guide to fencing. In addition, understand there can be occasional upkeep and fence staining that you will need to perform. Here’s what you need to do:

Understand the applicable laws. Check with your local officials to know the local laws, rules, and regulations that may be relevant to the task at hand. These laws may require you to observe a maximum height, proper distance from your property line, and more.

Be neighborly. Maintaining good relations with your neighbors can be quite tricky — especially if, one day, a fence between your properties suddenly appears out of nowhere. To avoid this problem, have the courtesy to consult with, or at least inform, your neighbor that you’re about to build a fence. You never know, they may even propose to split the cost!

Know what you want. Knowing your goals will help you narrow down your fence choices, depending on what you want to achieve. Here are the four basic types of fences:

Privacy fence. If you’re feeling a bit exposed to your neighbors and passers-by, you may want a fence that blocks their line of sight. These fences should ideally be at least six feet tall and have little to no space between the boards, pickets or panels.

Security fence. To protect yourself from trespassers, you’ll want a fence that’s at least six feet tall, has a smooth, flat outer face, and features spiky tops. These characteristics should help you deter any potential climbers.

Decorative fence. If you live in a safe neighborhood with trustworthy neighbors, then your fencing goal may simply be to define property lines, improve landscaping, and increase curb appeal. Therefore, you won’t need a fence that’s as large or obtrusive as the previous two types. A height of about three feet will be more than sufficient for decorative purposes. Moreover, you probably don’t want to block the view as well, so latticework, spaced pickets, and other ornamental designs should be preferred.

Safety fence. For security concerns that don’t demand a project as large as a security fence, safety fences are the way to go. Deter trespassing wildlife, caging your dog, and enclosing the pool area are just some of the reasons for this type of fence. They can be built in varying heights with materials that obstruct foot traffic, but not the view. Safety fences are commonly made of wire, metal mesh or plastic mesh that’s hung on sturdy fence posts.

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