Gates, entrances, and cattle grids over driveways can add elegance to a property and prevent deer and wild animals from entering and eating shrubs that shield one house from another.
For the majority of homeowners living in the East End, only a high wire fence can prevent deer from grazing.
“The most popular type of fence is the agricultural farm and field,” said Shane O’Neill of The Deer Fence LLC, a local plumber. The best color for a fence to get out of sight is black, he said.
Michael Marran of East Hampton Fence & Gate agrees. “Most of this is about the deer, so it’s a combination of holding the deer and not seeing the fence.” Choosing black or a combination of brown and green can help camouflage a wire fence. “The idea is it merges,” said Mr Marran. “We hide wire fences in plantations, weave the fences in the plantations.”
Rabbits and turkeys can prove destructive to other homeowners, especially residents who grow vegetable gardens. “We dig 2 feet, with 1-inch wire installed a foot underground for bunnies,” said Mr. O’Neill, describing the types of fences for backyard gardens. “Your next concern is turkeys because they can fly. Turkeys the size of dinosaurs are dangerous. They pull things like perennials out of the ground. “
Height and width restrictions for gates are also listed in the city codes. There are height and width restrictions for new gates that are installed over driveways. The size of a new gate is based on the requirements of the fire department so that fire engines can get to the house. “Every property is different,” said Mr. O’Neill. “People should go through the ARB because you won’t have a problem in the future. What the cities allow today is the most difficult. “
New York architects and landscape designers hired by the owners of large real estate may not be aware of local laws that regulate the height and width of fences and gates. Property owners searching for city codes in advance will save time and money.
Keeping deer out of yards may require a front gate or full size livestock grating – cement grating or piping running across the driveway -. “You can be effective,” said Mr. O’Neill. “We build deer grilles out of steel. Concrete are cattle bars. “However, severe winter weather can cause cattle grids to become ineffective. “If they fill and clog – if there is an ice sheet, deer will come in,” he warned.
Mr. Marran installs “Deer Clear”, his own brand of cattle fence. “It’s not really unique,” he said. “We have put them together. We have made some high quality deer grids from metal subway grids.
“We have different designs. I installed a few hundred at different prices, ”he continued. “They prevent deer from walking across the driveway.”
Cattle bars are sometimes not safe for people to cross, and structures for pedestrians and bicycles are best. According to Marran, the cost of a specific model can range from $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 and a model that is best for passenger transportation can range from $ 35,000 to $ 15,000.
Bad winter weather can ruin the purpose of the cattle fence. “They tend to fill up with snow and ice in winter,” he said. “It requires a backup plan – an extra piece of wire or a backup gate.”
Materials for gates and fences include Azek, a composite that looks like painted wood and lasts much longer than natural wood. “There is no expiration date,” said Mr. O’Neill. Given the current prices for clear cedar or mahogany, he recommends either mahogany or azek for gate construction. He feels that local regulations and their enforcement can be fickle. He believes in reviewing city regulations before proceeding with a plan. “I can’t be the one to say yes and no. Sometimes people can’t get approved, it should be. “
Fences and gates can be installed at any time of the year if the ground is not frozen. “We install year-round,” said Mr. O’Neill. “A 3 acre lot that takes 2,000 feet takes about four days.” He compares the current demand for so many types of fences to the deer population. “Our business has done a lot like the deer,” he said. “The deer move from neighborhood to neighborhood every year. Realities are changing. “
Decorative fences and gates at the East End show a wide creative spectrum of design, details and colors. Attractive solutions within the city and standards of the Architectural Review Board are key. Fences and gates that lead to higher property values for individual owners are also a boon for the neighbors.