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If you’re looking to install a fence, there may be a few things you need to know before jumping into the home improvement project. While there are many advantages to having a fence around your property, it is also important that you consider some things before deciding to add one.
Here are seven things you should to know before installing a fence:
1. Know Your Property Lines and Mark Them
Basically, a fence is a good demarcation device for your property lines, and most of the time people lay out their fences on the borders of their property. That’s why before undertaking a project like building a fence it’s important to know exactly where those lines are, because if you build too far out and go into your neighbors yard you might get an unpleasant notice to take it down. Even going a few inches beyond your property line point can give cause for the local authorities to tell you to take down your fence. You can check out the blueprints to your home or go to the local county recorder office or check online. Many counties today have property boundary maps online as well.
2. Be Kind to Your Neighbors and Talk to Them About the Fence Installation
It’s always good to be nice to your neighbors, but when you’re having a fence installed it’s a good idea to get them on your side of the fence with putting up a fence. When you start a project like fence installation you don’t want neighbors to be bothered by the construction or the finished look of the fence. If they don’t have a fence on their property they might have to look at the opposite side of your fence, so it’s a considerate thing to do to let them know you’re having some fencing put in.
Different neighborhoods and counties might require specific fence styles, fence materials or even fence colors, particularly if you have a home owner’s association around. It won’t hurt to get your neighbor’s opinion on what size and style might work best for both of your homes either. And during the actual installation make sure fencing tools are always on your side of your property and your neighbor’s yard is always kept tidy.
3. Beware Utility Lines and Pipes Before Fence Installation
Check with your county utilities for pipes and electrical lines in the ground before ever digging any great depth into the ground. Imagine a sewer line bursting from a hard shovel strike or your internet getting cut off from digging. This could also potentially affect your neighbors, and get the county calling your house asking what happened. Plus you might be forced to pay a fee, so the smartest thing to do is carefully check for any of these types of buried pipes or lines on your property, and where they are laying.
4. Know the Types of Fences Available
There are many different types of fences that you can choose from for your property; however, two of the most popular are wood, vinyl and chain link fences. A wood fence always looks great and is preferred by many people. It can be somewhat more expensive than chain link fences since the raw materials are more costly depending on what type of wood you select.
Chain Link Fences
If you are looking for utility and convenience, then chain link fences are perfect because they are very affordable, low maintenance and serve the purpose of protecting your property. It is also easy to install and maintain over the years. Most chain link fences are the classic metallic color that the raw metal is composed of, but you can, of course, have the fence painted to match a color palette of your choice.
If you plan to go with wood, you have a large variety of material selections such as pine, cedar, and redwood. Wood can be cut into numerous designs, and then further assembled in so many ways that you’ll definitely get the fence that fits you perfectly. This type of fence has a very classic look and it also can be very cost effective initially. Though since wood is a natural material, it will require some more maintenance over the years.
Vinyl fences are one of the most popular fences to have for a home because they look really nice and they are also very easy to maintain while being affordable. Vinyl is basically maintenance free once you install it, unless it suffers some kind of crack or damage from external sources. However, all these perks come at the cost of long term durability. Though vinyl is still a fine fence material with proper durability, it doesn’t match the durability you might get with a metal fence or well maintained wood fence.
5. Considering Your Fence Height
Another thing that you need to consider when installing a fence is the height. If you want something decorative and just a way to keep wild animals out, or your precious pets in, it is best to install a fence 6 feet or higher. Front yard fences that aren’t as utilitarian and more decorative are commonly around 4 feet tall or less. At any height you can still choose from the various materials available, including wood or metal, to make your fence look as beautiful and stand out as much as possible.
6. Climates and Weather’s Effect on Your Fence
If your area is very cold, or gets heavy rain throughout the year, or experiences strong winds, you will have to take extra considerations when selecting a fence. Extreme cold weather can crack some fences, or rapid temperature changes from cold to hot. Wood can be susceptible to persistent damp conditions if not properly protected. Metal fences are good for withstanding colder temperatures, and aluminum is rust resistance for water side property.
For a wind proof fence you’ll need to take more precautions if you get tornados or in the rare case that Atlanta gets a tropical storm passing through. Having a completely solid fence without much spacing makes it way easier to blow over, so having certain designs that provide privacy while allowing wind to pass through is a must.
7. The Professional Fence Installation Option
When installing a fence, you may also consider hiring a professional to help you out. Not all DIY fences are built exactly the right way, and some simple mistakes can cause a fence to be unstable and potentially sag or fail. So hiring professional fence installers gives you a peace of mind that your fence is built and installed to last a long time. Fences are an investment in your property as well, so if you ever decide to resell you have a nice, beautiful fence to highlight your home. Professionals will also give you insight into which fence might be the best for your home, and fill you in on all the choices.
So before installing a fence, consider all of these things to make ensure you make the right choice. By choosing a fence that suits your preferences and your budget, you can be happy with your fence for the many years you’ll spend with it.