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3 Things To Consider Before Installing A Wood Fence

Construction & Contractors Articles

A new fence can add tremendous value to your home. And the kind you get will be determined by a number of variables. If you're leaning towards a wood fence, you certainly have a plethora of options when it comes to style. But when weighing the pros and cons, here are three major factors that may affect your decision before beginning the project.

Neighbor Etiquette.

If you have neighbors, the first thing to do is notify them of your plans to install a fence. Confirming the property line on your deed or with the county records office and then further discussing that with the neighbors can save you a lot of grief and potentially hundreds in repairing the problem after the fact. Many fencing companies will recommend installing the fence at least one foot inside the property line. If you have a Homeowner's Association, be sure to check with them as well.

The other point to ponder is the view that your neighbors will have. You see, with a chain link fence it doesn't matter so much, but when it comes to wood, it's generally deemed polite to face the outside of the fence—or the aesthetically pleasing side—towards your neighbors. So, if your fence has an unfinished side with posts and crossbars, it should face you. This can also help prevent unwanted guests from climbing over and into your yard.

Maintenance

Caring for the fence. Wood fences don't usually last as long as a chain link (10-15 years vs.15-25 years respectively). But treating it beforehand will go a long way towards maximizing its life expectancy. One of the best ways to do that is by applying a sealant with a preservative. This will guard against rot from moisture.

At least once every three years, plan to clean and remove any existing mildew, followed by an application of stain or paint. If your fence lacks paint or stain, plan to seal it once yearly.

You also need to be aware of potential damage from insects. Cedar and redwood both contain oils that act as a natural repellent, or you can invest in pressure treated wood.

If you simply want the look of a wood fence without nearly the maintenance, you can opt for a composite fence. These fences are made from a mixture of plastics, fibers, and multiple binding agents. And the good news is that, unlike vinyl fences, they are completely environmentally friendly. They are not, however, immune to scratches, stains, or fading, so bear that in mind when selecting. They also cost, on average, more than regular wood. But they don't require any sort of staining or painting before installation, and cleaning is pretty simple: just scrub problem areas with some mild soap, spray with a garden hose, and you're generally good to go.

Also remember that you, not your neighbor, will be responsible for maintaining both sides of the fence, not just the side that faces you. This is another reason why it's crucial to avoid putting the fence directly on the property line. It give you plenty of room to walk to the other side of the fence without trespassing, in order to remove weeds, shrubs, and other debris that might be crowding the fence.

Caring for your yard. If you have a neighbor with lots of trees, and those trees tend to blow leaves into your yard during the fall months, there's not much you can do about it legally speaking, even if those leaves clog your gutters and cause damage. But consider this—a solid board fence (one that lacks gaps between the pickets) can help prevent those leaves from blowing onto your property much more efficiently than a chain link. And it's one of the few reasonable solutions to what some homeowners consider a huge nuisance.

Cost.

For the most part, how much you spend on your fence will be dictated by the current market price of the material. And generally speaking, chain link tends to be the cheapest at about $13 per linear foot. However, wood really isn't that much more at around $15-$16 per foot. And a composite fence will run you around $20-$25 per foot. You can learn more about your options by contacting companies like American Secured Fence.

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19 November 2015