Many people enjoy the many benefits of fences. Whether you're looking to install a fence in your back yard or front, however, there are many factors you must consider to ensure you choose the perfect one for you. If you are planning on installing a fence soon, check out these six factors you must consider.
Your Fencing Goals
Start by determining what your fencing goals are because that is how you'll choose which materials to use and which type of fence to choose. There are several reasons to build a fence. In the back yard, people tend to prefer privacy fences and those that will secure their back yard from intruders while also keeping children and pets contained in the yard. In the front yard, however, your goals may be more aesthetic than functional. For example, a white picket-fence adds curb appeal by defining your yard and giving it a pop, but it won't do much to keep anyone in or out.
Whether a Gate is Necessary
If you only have a small white picket fence in your front yard, and it doesn't completely close in your yard, you probably don't need a gate. Even if the fence is completely closed, you may prefer to simply have an opening in the fence at your walkway. However, for many fences, a gate is necessary, whether it is in the front or back. One of the biggest reasons people install a gate is so they can easily access their yard but also secure the area from strangers.
The Types of Materials
The next decision you must make is what type of materials you will choose, and there are lots of different materials from which to choose, including wood, composite, vinyl, stone, iron, etc. While some materials can be used for different kinds of fences, such as woods (white picket-fence and wood-privacy fence), other materials are best for different fences. A steel fence is most likely going to be a chain-link fence, which is great for security but not for privacy or aesthetics. Your fencing contractor will be able to help you choose the perfect material for your fence.
The Cost of the Materials
Next, unless you're lucky enough to not have a budget, you'll want to consider the cost of the different types of materials. Wood fences are actually one of the cheaper options, and they cost between $5 and $10 per foot. Fancy wrought iron fences can cost you closer to $100 per square foot. However, don't worry if you dream of a beautiful metal fence because there are some alternatives. Aluminum can be shaped to look almost exactly like wrought iron, but it is cheaper.
The Maintenance Necessary
Different materials will also require different levels of maintenance. If you aren't committed to the upkeep, it could mean wasting money on a fence that doesn't last long or requires frequent repairs. Wood fences are popular because of their versatile, beauty and low price. However, wood requires one of the highest levels of commitment toward maintenance (painting, staining, bug protection, etc.). Again, there is always another option with fencing materials. Vinyl is a little more expensive, but can look almost exactly like wood and requires only routine cleaning.
Local and State Laws
You can often get into trouble when building a fence if you don't know the laws. While you may want to build a tall privacy fence in your back yard, keep in mind that they typically can't be taller than six feet. In the front yard, the laws may be stricter. In a lot of cities, you cannot have a tall fence in your front yard. Don't forget that if you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association, there may be other rules you need to follow to avoid a costly penalty and additional costs to replace the fence.
If you are going to install a fence in your yard, make sure you know exactly what you're signing up for. Don't choose one that requires too much maintenance or money. Let your fencing contractor help you chose one to meet your needs and budget. For more information regarding fencing materials and costs, contact a fencing contractor in your area today.