The old expression “Good fences make good neighbors” is true, but it’s only half the story. This refers strictly to perimeter fences that surround a homesite. But fences play a more diverse role in landscaping where they help solve problems and create opportunities within a homesite. These interior fences may be called “partitions”, because they work just like walls indoors to enclose a space such as a swimming pool vegetable garden. But partition fences also help to define space in a more open way, improve homesite safety, and control views.
Fencing design is as much about location and configuration as it is height and detailing. Due to the flexibility of fencing, it can take on virtually any alignment from long sweeping curves to small box like enclosures. Fencing can be a strong design element or it can be made to disappear into the background of the landscape. All these decisions are made by your landscape designer in the process of creating an overall site plan that is both attractive and functional.
Within this world of fencing there is a new emphasis on security and technology. Video cameras and entry gates with buzzers and intercoms are making homes more secure and offering greater backyard security. There are a few very important kinds of fences that are whole realms unto themselves. For example, deer fencing is particularly challenging due to the scale of rural landscapes and the cost of fencing expansive areas. Recent innovations have yielded new and unusual designs that prove equally effective as very tall barriers. For historic or cottage style living, the picket fence has become totally maintenance free. Integration of steel posts has also solved problems with rotting earth to wood anchorage.
No matter what your architectural style, your site requirements and the regional limitations, there are fencing solutions available. Key is understanding the newer options and evaluating whether or not they are an improvement to the traditional wood fence. It is all governed by characteristics of your homesite, your budget, the local climate and availability of quality contractors. When all these factors are met, your fence choice will last its full life expectancy and ultimately maximize every dollar you spend.
Boundary Survey for Fences
The property lines of rural properties and even some suburban lots can be murky. It is important to know exactly where the property line runs during the design process and particularly before you finish with the cost estimates. In many cases it is worth the additional expense of a legal survey before construction of a fence. It may be just setting the corners of the property, or you may need a full property line survey if the parcel is irregular. Insist on a licensed land surveyor for this job to avoid future boundary disputes. To save money, neighbors will sometimes work together to share the cost of the surveyor for mutual property lines, which also ensures both are satisfied with the proposed fence.