FencesDefine your Yard
A quality fence does more than just look nice and keeps people walking through your yard.
- improve your home’s curb appeal,
- provide a level of security,
- provide a level of privacy,
- offer protection from the elements, like wind and snow
- help keep kids and pets safe in the yard
Building a fence can appear to be easy, but there is a lot of thought and skill that goes into erecting a quality fence. Whether you are replacing an existing fence or starting from scratch.
Apart from having the right tools:
- post hole auger or similar tool
- short and long levels
What do I need to build a fence?
Apart from fencing material and tools, there are more things you need and should consider before building a fence.
Check the building code for your area.Each city will have a set of codes to follow. Nothing worse than spending time and money on a fence only to find out later that it has to come down because of code violations. There will be height restrictions and possibly other codes to consider.
While checking the building codes in your city and neighbourhood. Check to see if you need a permit to build your fence.
Have a Fence Building Plan
It may sound odd to have a plan for a fence. When all it does is go around the perimeter of your yard.
For safety and convenience, plan at least two paths into a fenced area. You will need to consider the items that will be going in and out of your yard besides people. Ensure that one of these is large enough to accommodate bulky outdoor equipment. Items such as lawnmowers and large garbage cans. You may also want to consider a gate large enough for larger equipment that might be needed to haul in materials for future projects such as hot tubs, pools, patios, sheds, and decks.
Check UndergroundAlways have your property checked for underground utility lines. All fences need posts. Those posts need to be placed in a hole to hold up that fence.There are many utility lines running underground in your yard or adjacent to your yard. Everything from cable television, telephone lines, natural gas, and even power lines. Even if you don’t have a regular phone anymore, there are lines underground that lead to your home and other homes in the area.
The post should be secured 36 inches deep to avoid cracking in cold weather climates.
Fence Building Materials
There are many different materials to build fences with. Some cost more than others and some have little to maintenance.
Wood is the most common fence material. It is also the most economical fence material. Especially if you use pressure-treated wood.
Pressure-treated or bare wood will need painting or staining. This helps to preserve the wood. This will need to happen every 2 or 3 years.
Cedar and Redwood are more expensive woods. They are resistant to rot and insects and can be used untreated. They will fade and lose their natural colour. But, applying a preservative, like an oil or tinted stain will help maintain the original look.
Vinyl has become a very popular choice for fences. Vinyl is available in many colours, styles, and textures.
A vinyl fence doesn’t need to paint or stain and is long-lasting. It won’t warp, splinter, blister, or rot. But, it can still look plastic.COMPOSITE FENCING
Composite fencing, made of recycled fibers, plastics and adhesives. It is often made to mimic natural wood.
It’s easy to maintain, as it doesn’t need staining or painting. Composite is durable, though overtime may fade, scratch and stain. Composite is about twice as expensive as wood.
Other materials available for fencing are metal galvanized steel or aluminum. As well there are chain link fences. Both of these fence materials will make your yard look very industrial.
- Fence Styles
Depending on which fence material you choose, you may be limited with fence styles. Wood fences have the most styles to choose from.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbours …. and Good Neighbours Make Good Fences
Before you start building your fence … be open and upfront with neighbours about your fencing plans.
- A party fence can be built and shared by two or more neighbors. But such agreements should be made in writing. And only after the property boundaries have been professionally determined.
- Installing a good neighbor fence—a wood privacy fence where the finished side (the more attractive, smooth side) faces the neighbor’s property—is considered good etiquette.
- Try not to block their views.
- Don’t build your fence close to items in your neighbour’s yard (such as the air conditioning unit)
- Try not to build your fence inside of their fence. This will only cause issues on maintaining your fence and their fence.
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