Building a fence is a time-intensive project with many technical and creative aspects involved. If you get it right, you can increase the curb appeal of your home as well as its safety. Get it wrong, and you may be dishing out the money to get it taken down or stuck with a fence you aren’t happy with. Today, we’ll be looking at the second and final installment of the top 10 things you need to consider when starting a new fence project. If you want to read the first installment of this post, check out Part 1 of this series!
Be a Good Neighbor
Being a good neighbour means that you discuss any large changes or additions to things such as a new fence with them before the job begins. Sometimes neighbours even join forces to build a “mutual fence.” However, this should be a written agreement, and the property lines should be clearly identified by a professional to prevent any disputes over the fence in the future. There’s proper etiquette when it comes to building a fence as well. Your neighbour should get the nicer side, even if you’re putting it in to spruce up your decor. After all, this will also be an addition to their backyard, and you need to be considerate of that.
Consider the Climate
In a cold climate like that of Canada, frost lines need to be determined and addressed. Making sure that the footings for the fence posts are down below the frost line will prevent frost heaving during the winter months. This will help ensure your fence lasts through several of these iconic Canadian winters. Look into which materials might be better for your climate and the maintenance associated with each of them, and realistically consider the amount of maintenance you’re willing to perform on your fence. If you live in an area that is prone to rainfall and moist weather, know that a wooden fence is susceptible to water damage and rot, so vinyl may be the clear winner. Also consider the size of your yard when building a fence. A bigger backyard means a bigger bill, so be prepared financially! You should also consider the current lumber prices as they tend to change frequently.
Entrances to and from the yard are essential for both safety and convenience. These should be easily identified and large enough to get large outdoor furniture and projects into and out of the yard when necessary. Most yards have at least two entrances, typically on either end of the yard.
There are many different kinds of entrances you can choose from, so don’t be afraid to perform some research and find out which you like best. If you have a large budget for this project, for instance, you may prefer to go with a slightly fancier option for a main entrance and a smaller fence for a secondary route. Have a plan in mind before you start building, if you decide you want a two-door gate in your fence halfway through the project and your measurements or budget don’t line up, it will become a problem.
Dress it Up
Don’t be afraid to add things like decorative posts and finials. Sometimes a splash of colourful paint or accents can help tie the fence into the style of the home. Planting flowers and small bushes along the fenceline (on your side only) can also help turn the fence into a nice backdrop for your landscaping, and even make it more of a focal point in the yard. Similarly, if you have a well-established backyard with beautiful outdoor decor, an unattractive fence can take away from its appeal. Plan for a fence that fits seamlessly into either what you already have or your landscaping plans for the future.
Some of the fence additions you can get now are functional as well as stylish. For example, a fence post cap will add a pop of colour and elegance to wooden fencing while also protecting the top, where it is most porous, from the elements. This reduces the likelihood of your wood developing mold, mildew, and/or rot from inclement weather. These caps also make it harder for rodents to dirty your fence posts. Lattice tops are another popular choice when it comes to fence additions. They sit atop privacy fences, and yet still provide the homeowner with visibility. The lattice can be cut in squares or diagonally to suit your preferences.
Be a Part of the Process!
Building a fence is better left to professionals, it’s true. It can be a daunting and intimidating process if you’re uncertain of how it’s done. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get involved and ask questions! This is key to ensuring nothing will be simply assumed by yourself or the builder, avoiding needless complications. Most builders would rather answer all your questions than do a job that the homeowner didn’t want in the first place. Being part of the process means asking questions, knowing what the builder is doing and why, and ultimately getting the fence you wanted and deserve!
And there you have it, the top 10 things you should consider when building a fence! If you’re in the National Capital region or elsewhere closeby, and are looking at building a fence, contact our friendly and dedicated team here at Ideal Fence. With a combined experience of over 50 years, our in-house construction experts install residential and commercial fences of all shapes, sizes, and material compositions. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!