Fences come in many shapes and sizes but before selecting one check zoning and homeowners association regulations about building on your property and in your neighborhood. They sometimes regulate style, size, and placement, or if enclosing a portion of the yard is even allowed in the area at all. Some towns require that a fence be set a couple of feet off the property line. Once you know all the regulations you will be on your way to selecting the style of fence for your house plans.
The purpose of the fence
As you consider the style of fence think about what you want the fence to do. Is the fence intended to keep pets and children in the yard, is it for privacy, or to secure a swimming pool, or is it simply to add style and texture to your yard? Once you know this you will be prepared to select your fence style: privacy, semi-privacy, or decorative.
The style of the fence
Privacy fences are typically constructed of solid panels and are a height at eye-level or higher. Semi-privacy fences usually have solid panels and maybe some lattice work at the top, or there is shadow box style where individual fence panels alternate on either side of the support boards. Decorative fences have pickets which help to keep children and pets safely inside the yard. The other option is to plant a natural, or living, fence. These can be created out of arborvitaes or some other tall hedge bush. They offer privacy as well as being good at absorbing sound.
The style of the fence should match, or complement, the style of the house plans architecture as well as the landscaping. Be sure to research how boards can be cut, the various cap options, lattice options, and if there will be gates in the fence.
The fence material
Once you know what the fence should do and what style of fence you’d like you can select the material that the fence is made of: wood, vinyl, aluminum, or steel. Wood fences have a traditional appeal however, they require more maintenance and need to be cleaned, stained, or painted, periodically to keep them looking nice. Vinyl fences only require an occasional rinsing. Vinyl doesn’t fade or rot and comes in options similar to wood. Aluminum also requires very little maintenance. Steel requires paint every few years to keep it looking nice.
Component vs. panel
Another option to consider is if you’d like a component or panel fence. A component fence is usually wood and is built onsite one piece, or component, at a time which can take a little longer to build but is sometimes preferred since it can more easily follow the natural lay of the land. Panel fences are made of pre-constructed panels. Most metal and vinyl fences are only available as panels and cannot be built onsite. Wood fences sometimes come this way too. Panels can make it easier to build your fence but they do not follow the contours of the land so they have to follow the grade, or curves, in a stair-step manner.
The size, style, and material will all influence the cost. A larger fenced in yard will require more materials than a small fenced in area. A chain link fence or wrought iron fence will incur a different cost than a wooden fence. A short wooden fence will cost less than a tall wooden privacy.
To select the right fence for your house plans consider all of the options. Begin by understanding the purpose of the fence and then you will be on your way to a fence that’s perfect for your home and yard.