Fencing in a yard seems like an easy project, doesn’t it? Just hammer in a few posts, secure your fence, and off you go. Well, that’s one way … but it’s not the smartest.
Careful planning will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle once you’ve actually installed your fence. I spoke with Joe Raboine, the director of Belgard Residential Hardscapes, about what to research and what to look out for before fencing in your yard.
The bottom line, Joe warns, is, “Make sure you don’t do anything that later costs money … or needs to be replaced!”
Laws and guidelines
Make sure your plans comply with local regulations. Your homeowners association is the starting point; Most will require an architectural review before new fence plans are approved. Interestingly enough, Joe points out, “The city will normally submit to the HOA.”
If your city requires a permit to install a fence, have it ready before you start work. And find out if there are underground utilities or cables running where you want to dig.
Determine your exact property line so you don’t accidentally install the fence on your neighbor’s lawn. Refer to the plat card (if younger than 5 years old) or hire a surveyor. Local law could provide for an additional setback of several inches per foot.
Comments Joe, “Soil can play a huge role in your fence design. For new builds, you want to make sure the soil is set. Otherwise, it should be thoroughly compacted.
“Additionally, depending on the region of the country, you may need to reinforce the fence posts. If the ground is very solid, like heavy clay, you can often just wrap it around the posts. But if it’s really sandy, you can do it you have to Use Sonotubes ™ filled with concrete to keep the sand from collapsing as you prepare for the posts to be set.
“In some areas, you come across bedrock or boulders that may require drilling or special equipment. If you receive offers for fences, discuss how to use them.”
Modern fence options include natural wood, composite, vinyl, aluminum, steel, chain link, wrought iron, and bamboo. (Read more about fence materials here.)
Four key factors will help you narrow down your choices:
1. Purpose: privacy, safe play area for children, animals getting in and out, etc.
3. Taste and style
4. Maintenance effort that you want to provide for the finished product: e.g. paint a wooden fence
To illustrate, while a chain link is a cheap way to fence in a garden, it can conflict with the style of your home … and it’s not entirely suitable as a privacy screen or noise barrier.
Plan a fence that will suit your landscape and landscape (present or future). Consider bringing heavy equipment, perhaps to pour a concrete patio. Of course, this should be done before you have installed the fence.
Talk to your lawn sprinkler company to decide if the equipment needs to be repositioned. You don’t want your new fence to be in the way of the lawn sprinkler spray.
How many goals do you need Expect at least two or possibly more – for example, if your driveway goes through the fence. At least one opening should be wide enough for outdoor use such as dustbins or snow blowers.
Fence pillars are trendy these days, according to Raboine, for decorative purposes and to keep the lighting in place. Joe recommends that you carefully plan the lighting design with your fencing company for the best results.
Trellises or vertical gardens built into the fence are also popular. Not only does this soften the appearance of your fence, it also provides you with fresh vegetables or flowers. Particularly suitable for new houses with smaller lots.
Fencing in a courtyard – numbers that you have to know
– Cost of fencing a yard: $ 1 to $ 45 per linear foot, depending on the type of material (excluding labor).
– Cheapest Fence Material: Barbed wire and electric (invisible) fence start at $ 1 per linear foot.
– Most expensive fence material: composite material such as Trex ™; upscale styles cost up to $ 45 per linear foot.
– Average fence permit cost: $ 40.
– Average land survey cost: $ 500.
– Fence Height: generally 3 foot limit for the front yard; 6 feet elsewhere on your property (pool fences have special regulations). Sometimes there is a minimum height of 30 inches. Confirm with your local building authority.
– Fence post spacing: a maximum of 8 feet apart.
– Posthole depth: at least 3 feet in cold climates (6 inches below the frost line).
– Door width: 36 inches for a person walking and / or using a mobility device. 48+ inches for lawn equipment.
– One-call number for calling before digging: 811.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.