Fencing to Beautify and Secure Your Property
When it comes to both securing and beautifying your property, a fence is not just a fence. In fact, home improvement professionals consider curb appeal, and therefore fences, paramount to first impressions. Whether you hope to increase your home’s value, enhance its security, or simply make it look nicer, it is important to choose the right type of fence for your home.
But with so many styles and materials to choose from, where do you begin? It is prudent to begin with an understanding of what fencing can do for you, what your purpose for having a fence is, and by choosing the right material to make it both aesthetically pleasing and functional too. Once you have those steps figured out, it is just a mater of putting it all together to both secure and beautify your property.
How Fences Beautify Your Property
Whether it is the character and charm of a white picket fence or the regal and elegant nature of a wrought iron model, fences add to the style of your home. You may want to add fencing to complement existing architectural features on your home or to create a sense of privacy.
Of course the opposite is also true. A tired worn out fence can easily detract from your home’s curb appeal so ensure you keep your fencing in the best possible shape. This includes mending broken sections and either painting or staining areas that may have lost their appeal.
High-Quality Materials Add Value
With the right materials, colors, and style of fencing, it is possible to add value and aesthetic appeal to your home. Rather than settling for the least expensive option, consider the different types of materials available, their longevity, and the overall “bang for your buck.”
Replacing an old and broken fence can also help make a neighborhood feel brighter and well cared for. In the real estate world, curb appeal is everything, and many new buyers rank a fence as one of their top must-haves when shopping for a home, especially if they have children or outdoor pets.
Friendly Neighborhood Fence
Although prospective buyers are one reason to consider investing in a good-looking fence, your neighbors will appreciate it as well. You may even make friends with neighbors due to a new fence, particularly if said barrier is on a shared property line!
After all, they are called “good neighbor” fences for a reason. When you choose a good neighbor fence, you not only add a pleasing visual element to your property, but you also do not block your neighbor’s sight line. Depending on how much fencing you need between the two areas, you and a neighbor may also share costs.
A brand-new fence that is secure and well-crafted can serve as a sort of blank canvas. Choosing a bright and long-lasting paint or stain can make your fence look even more beautiful. You may also want to attach planter baskets, hanging foliage, solar-powered lights, or other features to suit your taste.
On the interior, you may decide to install plants, hooks for hanging lamps or even artwork. Using the inside of the fence serves as further space to get creative outside your home and serve a specific purpose to further your vision or create a special look and feel to the area.
How Fences Secure Your Home
If you worry about intruders getting in or children or pets getting out, fences help you rest easy while maintaining exceptional home security. For one, prying eyes will not be able to see who is in the space or what they are doing. This will help establish a natural deterrent that can keep your family, valuable resources, and even your pets safe from crooks.
Having a fence also makes it a little harder for criminals to access the area. If the fence is secure, they will have to make a concerted effort to climb it or break in. Either way they will be making noise which could alert you or neighbors of the impending threat and give you time to prepare or call the police for assistance.
Privacy and Security
A tall fence is not just for privacy. In fact, a barrier between your property and the rest of your neighborhood can serve as a deterrent to crime. But at the same time, an imposing six-foot-high fence does not have to be unsightly, in fact they can be quite attractive and decorative and still provide a level of privacy and security to protect what is important to you.
Also, many experts recommend maintaining your line of sight across the property for better security. This way, potential trespassers can not hide behind fence posts or narrowly spaced boards. Theoretically, the more of your property you can see, the less chance someone will risk getting caught acting criminally.
Therefore, a fence secures your home both in a physical and social sense. While a straightforward chain-link fence may be simpler to climb than, for example, wrought iron, a higher fence discourages any attempts to breach the area.
At the same time, a fence with high visibility enables you to keep an eye on your property all the way to the perimeter. Gaps in the fencing, or a clear view through chain-link or other material, can also allow you to set up security cameras. With surveillance equipment attached to your fence, you can further enhance the property’s security.
You may not consider safety when discussing the security of your property, but it is an essential component. Did you know that the right fence can help avoid dangers on your property?
For example, a pool safety fence can keep children (and pets) from accessing both above-ground and in-ground pools, spas, and other water features. Unfortunately, accidental drownings are shockingly common, but pool safety gadgets, including fences and alarm systems, can help.
Elements like self-closing and self-latching gates ensure that children will not be able to enter the pool area while unattended. In fact, many local governments have strict rules about keeping even inflatable pools on your property without the appropriate fencing and gates.
Similarly, a high and well-secured fence will also keep animals from exploring your pool or garden areas. Whether it is deer that like to taste test your garden or local bears looking for a drink, encountering a wild animal is not usually high on any property owner’s list of hobbies.
By erecting a barrier between your property and the wild (or domestic) animals in the neighborhood, you can guarantee that they will not harm your property or family, but also that they will not hurt themselves.
Fence Types Worth Considering
Depending on your needs and desires, there are several common types of fences that homeowners use to make their properties more beautiful and more secure. Many are common to all types of houses and a few are often only seen in luxury homes. Check them all out and determine which one is the best fit for your home and family needs.
Whether you want a picturesque fence for your small garden or deer fencing to keep those pesky 4-legged neighbors from snacking on your plants, garden fences run the gamut. In most cases, you will want a garden fence that is low height, allows air and water through, and does not block your plants’ sunlight.
However, in some cases, you may want a critter-proof fence to keep both burrowing and long-necked animals from reaching your crops. With everything from wrought iron to wood picket fencing, companies like Red Fox Fence can create a barrier that suits your garden, property, and personal preferences.
Have horses or other large animals on your property? In addition to a garden fence, to keep both your plants and animals protected, consider a horse fence to keep your biggest critters at home safe.
Popular types of horse fencing include:
- HTP, which uses a combination of steel and polymer to mimic traditional wood horse fences but is maintenance-free
- Polymer line, which uses polymer for lightweight construction and modern look
- Wooden rail, which is a conventional horse fence with wood boards and posts, generally of pine
- Vinyl rail, with PVC rails that install with a snap function
The best part about the variety of horse fencing options is you can select patterns, colors, and textures to suit your property and livestock.
All wood fencing varies in style, durability, and height. Pressure-treated pine posts typically make up the frame of a fence, while the fencing itself can be anything from pine to cedar to select hardwood. Wood fencing is the most popular fence type in the U.S.
With a variety of colors, sizes, and finishes, you can choose a wood fence that suits the aesthetics of your property and home. From short white picket fences to six-foot-tall cedar panels, there is a fence for every style and taste.
Plus, you can customize and further protect your fence with varnishes, paint, or stains. Staining protects wood from moisture, pests, and UV rays, helping it last longer and stay beautiful. Re-staining the fence every few years helps ensure longevity, too.
Iron fences can come in many shapes, sizes, finishes, and styles. It is perhaps the most customizable type of fence because, in addition to pre-fabricated designs, you can also order custom pieces to your exact specifications.
Wrought iron fences come in primed and painted, powder-coated, and pre-galvanized finishes. Powder coating is most popular, as it prevents corrosion from both weather and chemicals. Adquately protected, your iron fence may last as long as your home itself- or even longer!
Chain Link Fencing
Apart from white picket fences, chain link is probably the most recognizable form of fencing. It is both economical and durable, plus it allows for adequate airflow. With chain link, you likely will not need to worry about corrosion or breakage for decades.
And while chain link may not be the most visually appealing fencing method, it does ensure privacy with added polyethylene panels. A tall chain link fence also helps deter would-be trespassers, as it is difficult to climb over and allows them to be seen by the homeowner.
Chain link fencing is a common choice for security, particularly for distinguishing property lines that may be farther away from the home itself.
Personal Property Fencing
You may want to clearly denote a property line with the purchase or sale of a home or to clear up land disputes with neighbors or the county. Regardless, property fencing can be both a beautifying and secure means of fencing your land.
Closing the perimeter of your property is the ultimate way to secure your home and land, and fencing itself is a strong deterrent to trespassers. It also keeps out wildlife or domestic animals that may be “free range” in your local neighborhood.
Add a functional and welcoming driveway gate, and you will not only keep unwanted visitors out but also be able to admit desirable visitors with ease. Driveway gates can be as simple or as intricate as you prefer, matching your fence with materials like:
- Wrought iron
- Custom combinations of styles and materials
Along with a full perimeter fence, driveway gates also help to create a sense of privacy and security. While fencing keeps would-be trespassers on foot out, a secure driveway gate with added security features can keep vehicles out, too. After all, what good is a gate if it allows just anyone to enter?
As mentioned, pool fences have the potential to not only save children’s lives due to accidental drownings but also keep wildlife from approaching your home and family. However, pool fences should follow specific guidelines that are different from standard fence options.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, pool fences should:
- Be at least four feet tall
- Completely separate the pool from the house
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates with latches out of reach of kids
- Incorporate a gate alarm to alert caregivers when someone enters the pool deck
- Accompany rigid, full-coverage pool covers
- Accompany in-pool motion sensors with alarms, in case a child bypasses the security features
If you are concerned about wildlife getting into your pool, you can also add “decks” for small animals to crawl out of the water. Some animals, like raccoons or opossums, benefit from knotted ropes that lead out of the water since they can climb up and rescue themselves.
Depending on the type of wildlife in your neighborhood, you may also want to install shelves for frogs and other small animals to use as steps to exit the pool. Or, consider installing a wildlife pond specifically for quenching the local animals’ thirst.
Vinyl PVC Fences
This type of fencing is often decorative, making up for their lack of sturdiness with longevity and being nearly maintenance free. They come in a variety of sizes and colors although most often they are white. The PVC sleeves slide over the top of wooden posts which ultimately saves money as less wood is used to build the fence (in many cases they are about 1/3 the cost of a wooden fence).
They are available in pre-fabricated sections and are readily available at most big-box hardware stores. Environmentally, they are made from non-toxic materials. They are also UV protected so they will not discolor and are also graffiti resistant too. A quick wash-down with a pressure washer and they will look like the day you had them installed.
Stone or Brick Fencing
You will spend a little more installing a stone, brick, or other masonry fence but it may be worth it as they are incredible durable and can vastly heighten a home’s curb appeal. You can expect complete privacy and low upkeep when you choose this style of home fencing. Brick or stone fencing is also easy to mold into whatever style you desire and can afford.
They can also enhance an existing fence by replacing posts for wood fencing or used with wrought iron to give the outside of a property a completely new look. They often give off a regal vibe, will last for decades, and are nearly impossible for intruders to break through.
Plant some fast growing dense shrubbery, a row of evergreens (cypress is a good choice if your climate can support it), or design and tame hedging to provide a natural living fence for your home. The upside is they are often very cheap to initiate. You just need a little patience as the living material grows high, thick, and wide enough to suite your home fencing needs.
A downside is they require a lot more maintenance as they continue to grow. Depending on the shrubs or trees you plant, you may need to trim them down/back a couple of times a year so they do not get out of hand and become an eyesore. Also, they are not as resistant to intruders who can burrow or cut their way through.
Tennis Court Fencing
Like swimming pools, tennis courts can also pose a hazard to children, pets, and wildlife. This is because tennis courts use nets that can cause strangulation. Fortunately, tennis court fencing can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
You can select from materials such as wood, iron, or even vinyl to create your tennis court fence, adding visual appeal and functionality to the space. The best part is, you will have peace of mind when it comes to both safety and security, especially if you use a secure gate to keep potential trespassers (and children) out.
Other Fence Types
There really is no shortage of options when it comes to putting up a fence. Here are a few more fencing choices to pick from:
- Aluminum – Often used when a sense of style or elegance is warranted. Relatively maintenance free but not as sturdy as some of the other choices.
- Bamboo – Rolled and cane are popular choices where a specific theme is desired. Live bamboo is also becoming more popular but it grows quickly and is very intrusive so ensure you understand this before using it as fencing.
- Farming – Wood slats, woven metal, and barbed wire are popular options. Protecting your livestock is paramount so choose an option that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
- Electric – These are used to keep pets in and will provide any protecting from intruders. Unless of course they are scared off by the pets who are freely roaming the open space.
- Security – Often chain link with barbed wire across the top. They are most often found at businesses, military installations, and even surrounding prisons.
Property Line Laws
You should consider, however, that state law, as well as homeowners’ associations, dictate how and where you can establish property lines. Keep in mind that if you recently purchased a piece of property, any existing fence does not necessarily outline the property limits.
Many cities in Georgia, for example, limit a property owner’s ability to trim or remove native trees. Rules such as these can impact where and how you may construct a fence, even though it’s on your legal property.
Similarly, Georgia also allows for litigation on spite fences, so you may want to consult with neighbors before erecting fences that may impact the views on their property. As with any other home improvement project, checking out your local laws and regulations ahead of time is crucial for the proper building of a fence.
Wherever you live, and whatever the rules are, it is possible to install a visually pleasing and functional fence for any purpose. All it takes is a little creativity, the right materials, and the desire to enhance your home’s aesthetics and security.
Additional Fencing Resources
Kyle Hiscock: Do Fences Increase Your Home’s Value?
HomeAdvisor: Your Fence Resource Center
SFGATE: Privacy Fence Comparisons
If you found this article about the right types of fence for your home helpful, please share it via social media so others can also benefit from the information provided.