Designing Your Fence

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   Deciding to introduce a fence into the landscape of your property should be well thought out prior to committing to a particular design or fence type!

   The first determining factor should be how long you plan to reside in that location. If you do not see yourself ever leaving, then you should put up whatever your heart desires; if not, then you should consider how the fence will later enhance the value and saleability of the property. Keep in mind that you not only want to complement the style of your home, but also the existing or planned landscaping. A fence should complete, not contradict, its surroundings. That being said, there are practical questions to guide the initial "framing" of your design.

   A main function of a fence is to keep people, animals and things in, as well as out, which brings up the question of security. Do you need security? If the answer is yes, you need to determine if height is enough, or do you need a solid fence. Note that for commercial properties, chain link with barbed wire may be more than sufficient. Other things you need to think about around the security issue are bathroom and bedroom windows, air conditioner, and garage doors. Do you want them inside the fence?

   The next item to decide on is the question of privacy. Do you want it? If the answer is yes, then you need to decide between wood, vinyl, or chain link with slats or screen. Following these decisions should be the practical consideration of entry into the fenced area. Additionally, the grade or slope of the property should be considered, as well as, curves and bends affecting the area to be fenced. Don't forget maintenance - this will differ with fence type.

   You obviously will need at least one gate, but would more than one entry make life more convenient for you? Make a list of activities that will involve going in and out of the gated area. Your list should include: Do you need to drive through a gate? Do you have a riding lawn mower, or use a lawn service that would require a larger gate? If you are going to set your fence in from the property line, do you need access to the area behind the fence to mow, trim, etc.?  Other things to consider when thinking about gates and their placement is the grade of your property - is it flat or is there a slope? And finally, does the gate need to be automated?

   If your fence encompasses the front yard you may want to consider automating the gate, especially if you don't have children that will get out and open the gate for you. If your fence is for your business or your gated community, your automatic gate can be set to open and close at specific times and days of the week, if necessary. Your gate system can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it!