Before You Buy That Fence…

  • Check local building codes and apply for a permit if necessary
  • Find out where your property line is. Hire a surveyor to map it out for you if you are unsure.
  • Be sure there are no underground utility lines in the way (call before you dig).

Adding a fence around your property can provide you with instant privacy and a sense of security for children and pets. Fences can also add beauty, character and certainly value to your home.

But before making an investment in a fence it is important to consider several factors and to take a look at all the available options.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Fence

What purpose will the fence serve?

For most homeowners, there is usually a specific reason driving their decision to install a new fence. Some of these are:

  • Privacy Fencing: Depending on how much privacy you want a fence can provide either a complete or partial shield from the outside world.
  • Security Fencing: Children and pets can be kept safely contained in an enclosed yard and to a certain extent “strangers” can be kept out.
  • Appearance Fencing: The right fence properly installed can dramatically alter the appearance of your property as well as add substantial value and improve “curb appeal”.

What is your personal taste?

There are so many choices in materials and styles of fences one of the first things you should do is take a look around your neighborhood and surrounding areas and begin to take notes of the style and appearance of fences that appeal to your own personal taste. Considering the basic architectural style of your home and landscaping will also help you make the right choice.

What is your budget?

The cheapest fence to install is not always the most economical in the long run. Considering factors such as maintenance and installation costs will help determine the total cost of a fence over its lifetime.

4 Tips for Choosing the Best Fence for Your Yard

Make an informed decision when preparing to fence your yard so that your choice will fit the needs of your yard, family and lifestyle.

Get quotes from up to 3 fence companies!

You must also take maintenance and cost into account, investigate neighborhood restrictions and make sure you hire the right fencing contractor to install it.

Whether picking between a white picket fence, a wooden privacy fence, carefully consider the type of fence you choose before making an investment.

A new fence costs between $2,600 and $8,000 on average, depending on the size and type you buy, so you want to make a good decision the first time. Other factors, like your yard’s slope, also affect the cost of fence installation.

Highly rated fencing companies recommend the following tips to pick the best fence for your home and family:

1. Pick the best fence for your yard

Homeowners install fences for privacy, visual appeal, or for the safety of pets and children. If done well, fences are one of the key landscaping features that increase property values.

Ask yourself why you need a fence and let that answer guide your decision making. Prioritize your needs over your wants, not the other way around, professionals suggest.

“You might want a privacy fence, but need a picket fence,” say experts, adding that they generally caution against privacy fences, which may affect resale value. “When you go to sell your home, potential buyers are going to wonder: ‘What are they hiding in there?’”

If you do need privacy, wooden fences tend to work best, although vinyl fencing is sometimes another viable option, say experts.

However, with certain vinyl fences, panels may be too far apart to provide enough privacy.

Customers who don’t need privacy can turn to an aluminum fence, which gives a yard a classy, open look. In some areas, it will fit into the building codes.

As for containment, if you mainly need a fence to protect a pet or a child, no particular type of fence necessarily works best over the other, say experts.

Just make sure to build the fence with containment in mind. For example, if you want to build a fence to keep a pet confined in your yard, understand what your animal is capable of in terms of digging and jumping.

“The last thing you want is to build a new fence, let your dog out for the first time, and have him jump over it,” say experts.

2. Consider fence maintenance

Ask yourself how much time you want to spend maintaining your fence.

Wooden fencing requires the most maintenance because of the fence painting and staining required every couple years, but it can boost your property value by making your yard aesthetically pleasing.

Aluminum or vinyl fencing requires little ongoing upkeep, which makes those fence options appealing to many homeowners. Wood fences offer the benefit of being more easily repaired than metal.

If a storm damages a few boards, you can replace them and make it blend in with the rest of your fencing.

But if you need to replace a section of a vinyl or aluminum fence, you may find the fence manufacturer no longer exists or sells the product, making it hard to find fencing that matches what you already have in your yard, experts warns. Sometimes customers end up replacing an entire fence despite isolated damage to only a few sections.

“The bottom line is, if you build a wood fence, it will always easily repairable and replaceable.” It is very important to keep in mind that you live in Ottawa Canada where weather plays a major factor.

3. Check with your By Laws

You may not have a say in the type of fence you can build if the city bylaws governs your neighbourhood. Make sure the fence you want meets the city standards for materials and height before moving ahead with a project.

Follow city bylaws, guidelines and procedures, or risk facing legally enforceable fines.

4. Pick the right fence contractor

You can try fencing a yard on your own, but the process requires specialized tools and hard labor. Consider hiring a professional, but first check the company’s licensing status and references.

Also, make sure the fence contractor will secure all the building permits you may need through your city or region.

Your local planning and zoning department can provide you with a plat map of your property, so you can properly designate your property boundaries and better plan the fence’s location.

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