4 Things to Consider Before Building a Fence for your Home

Maybe you have pets or young kids who want to enjoy your spacious backyard — but you don’t have any fences or gates to keep them safe. Or, maybe you have one but it’s old and needs to be replaced. Either way, knowing how to install a fence, or even where to begin when buying one can be overwhelming. Follow along for a handful of things you should consider when you’re in the market so you can feel confident in making the right decision for your home.

  1. Fences and Gates—Choosing the Right Height. 

As an overview, a fence has a gate which is an opening or pathway to enter and exit from. According to Home Stratosphere’s useful fence diagram, fences and gates come equipped with a bottom and top rail, handles, hinges, a sturdy base, posts, caps, and a latch for closing and locking. The biggest consideration you will have to make is the fence height—many cities and towns have restrictions based on yard location and other factors. So, be sure to do your research and obtain the proper zoning permits if necessary.

2. Material & Styles

Depending on your preference, the most popular options are either a chain link fence or a wooden fence. However, there are several other materials to choose from such as vinyl, hewn log and branch, bamboo, and split rail to name a few. Once you’ve got a material in mind, make sure it’s suitable for your home and local weather patterns. For example, you may require a sturdier material if you live in an area where it rains a lot—snag our list of recommendations below. Next, consider various styles including dog ear, flat top, gothic, lattice top, picket, privacy, rail, and shadow box. Home Stratosphere also has a great table of contents with images to help you visualize.

    • For cold, rainy climates: vinyl, steel, and wood fences with metal posts
    • For warm, dry climates: log, wood, bamboo, split rail
    • For snowy climates: a wooden or vinyl fence with rails & pickets

3. DIY vs. Professionals

So, you’ve finalized your fencing plans, picked out your material, and chose a style—great! Now it’s time to either learn how to install a fence, or decide to hire a professional service to do it for you. If it’s your first time doing it, we’d recommend calling a friend or family member to assist. Otherwise, you should consider relying on an expert contractor who has the tools and experience to get the job done properly.

4. Maintenance & Upkeep

Once all fences and gates are in place, it’s important to understand how to keep them in top condition so they last for years to come. First, if you’re going to stain your fence, be sure to consult an expert and make sure it’s okay — some wooden fences suggest waiting a year before doing so. Then, consider scheduling a yearly pressure washing maintenance to remove all dirt, grime, and mildew buildup. If you put in all of the work to get it up, you want to keep it looking nice, right?

Overall, there’s a lot of thought that goes behind major home improvement projects like installing fences and gates. Make sure you’re on top of everything, make a check sheet if needed, and start executing safely. Otherwise, consider relying on an expert contractor who has the tools and experience to get the job done properly – like Top Rail Fence, part of our network of home service businesses.

If you’re planning on getting your fence pressure washed, check out our blog to learn what other areas of your home need cleaned. Or, while you’re sprucing up your yard, discover some simple things you can do to refresh your deck area as well.

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