Fence Designs - Fencing Design Considerations

Fence design begins with one fundamental question: What is the fence supposed to do? As silly as it sounds, beginning with the end in mind is something that will go a long way toward make your fence installation meet your expectations.

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For instance:

Does the fence design allow me to to keep people or animals in or out? How secure does it need to be?

Do I want a fence design so I am able to see through the fence?

Is the fence part of the architectural impact of the property, or is it more utilitarian?

How much maintenance am I really willing to do on the fence once it's installed?

Once the question of purpose has been fully answered, it's time to ask:

  • What is my budget? Certain fence systems are more costly than others, and some fence systems almost require professional installation. Do not skimp on component quality – any fence you put up will provide a first impression to people coming to your property, and fence longevity is directly tied to component quality.

  • What are the attributes of the property I'm fencing? Smaller dwellings on smaller plots of land are nicely augmented with picket fence, split rail fence or lower versions of stockade fence. Larger, more formal structures are nicely offset with iron or aluminum fencing. Specialty fences for pools, deer control, pet control or gardens are also available. For more security, privacy fencing or security fencing might be additional choices to consider.

  • Can I install this myself? Most styles of wood fencing or vinyl fencing is within the capabilities of do-it-yourselfers, as is the installation of pet or wildlife fencing. Metal and aluminum fencing, chain link fencing, and concrete or masonry wall construction is often best left to the professionals.

  • Are there any significant installation issues to consider? Impediments such as foundations or outbuildings, trees and plantings, sidewalks or driveways, large stones and the like can make an easy project difficult. Additionally, soil quality is important for fence post installation – rocky, sandy, or poorly draining soil all present installation obstacles to overcome. Also, topography can play a role – are there steep slopes that need to be fenced?

  • How do I gate the fenced area? Fence gates should be strongly designed, as they get a lot of use. This can also provide some interesting problems, particularly when fencing is installed to contain pets or small children, or to keep wildlife out of the yard and garden. Also, be sure to gate natural areas of egress – it is often the case that a non-existent gate encourages attempts to go over the fence.

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