|Fences can be more than just property dividers. While their primary function may be to divide or set apart, they offer the gardener the opportunity to create attractive visions that blend with the home and its surroundings. The following article offers some great ideas in fence design and how homeowners can incorporate the right style to suit their yard or garden’s needs.
Surrounding your home or yard with a stylish fence that enhances the character of the property is not difficult with the many styles and materials to choose from today. From primitive-looking stone barriers built to keep critters out of the garden to opulent wrought iron gothic gates used to impress the neighbors, fences serve many a purpose and today’s homeowners can buy them at garden centers or build their own. From white picket fences to handcrafted brick structures, fences come in many shapes, sizes, colors and styles.
Before actually purchasing a fence, there are a few things to consider. Number one—the style of type of fence you wish to construct must meet with approval by village or city codes. Unless you live in an unincorporated area without such codes, little can be done until your plans garner approval and you obtain the necessary building permit. In some cases, if not known, you should obtain a survey of your land to determine property lines so your fence does not infringe on someone else’s property.
Before visiting your village or city hall, determine what height your fence shall be because you’ll be asked on your application. Also, determine what building materials you will be constructing your fence from and be sure you know where pipes or underground cables are on your property. It also doesn’t hurt to consult your neighbors and consider how their view could be altered by your construction. While the famous poet Robert Frost once wrote, “good fences make good neighbors,” you may not want to start a border war because you put up a barbed wire contraption to keep out their dog.
In any case, once the village and neighbors (optional) are on board with you plans, you can get to constructing. At this point, you will have your design plans set, but the following information regards different styles for you to consider depending on your garden’s needs and, naturally, your budget. The function of your fence will most likely determine its height. If you are holding back your Doberman Pincher, a high fence seems most appropriate. If you merely want to separate your berry patch from your flowerbeds, you probably want something short and decorative.
Homeowners use fences for many purposes. Fences are often constructed for security and privacy considerations. Sometimes they are required to hide aspects of the yard like the compost heap for instance. Fences are often used to enclose areas around pools and gardens or to protect children and pets. Whatever function you require, there is a fence to suit the need.
Brick and stone fences have been popular since ancient times. Think of the Great Wall of China—the longest fence on earth! Today, stone fences imply a stately significance; they can surround a large manor home or even a small cottage where they are often rustic in appearance signifying old world charm. Before you can build a stone wall, you must consider soil conditions; extremely wet areas may force you to construct drainage holes or pipes to keep your stones firmly grounded.
Metal fences are extremely popular and durable; also, they may be the best choice in terms of their low comparative cost and overall excellent quality. The open designs of metal fences allow harsh winter winds to pass right through and they provide an attractive base on which vines and flowers can climb. Metal fences are essentially associated with Victorian England, but they are popular today on city blocks or surrounding country estates.
Metal fences showcase the craftsman’s design skill and function as an attractive barrier at the same time. And, metal fences lie at the opposite end of the design spectrum in the form of chain link fences which are not so much prized for their appearance as overall function. Nevertheless, metal is suited to most homes and a nice design can often be found at the right price at most garden centers or home improvement stores.
And, metal fences need not be overly ornate or chain link to suit your style. You may simply require a simple mesh for your vegetable garden. There are also many different styles and strengths of chicken wire that may serve your yard’s needs just as well as a larger fence.
Wood fences seem particularly American. From the tall wood spires that once guarded frontier forts to the charming white pickets of suburbia, wooden fences enjoy great popularity today. From simple pine slats attached by wire to elaborate wooden rails carved in the Victorian style, wood is an excellent choice for most homeowners. Whether you choose such styles as classic picket, post-and-rail, vertical board, lattice or basket weave, you will have your choice of wood to build with.
You’ll most-likely want to choose a soft wood that will not easily decay under the conditions of the elements such as cedar, redwood or pine. Choosing a pressure treated wood is a good option. You may want to treat it also with stain or paint. Some landscapers decorate their wood fences with murals and many gardeners allow their climbers to decorate the wood naturally.
Whatever your fencing needs, do some checking around and study various designs before settling on one. There are so many styles and materials to choose from, you will not want to settle on something without knowing all that’s available.