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Choosing the Right Fence – Some Important Points to Consider

//Choosing the Right Fence – Some Important Points to Consider

Choosing the Right Fence – Some Important Points to Consider

Fences serve many different purposes in our lives. They help mark boundary lines between our properties and those of our neighbors. They protect pets and livestock and keep them where they should be. They decorate our homes and improve the curb appeal of our properties. They protect our growing plants from errant rabbits and other wildlife. They protect our children as they play in our front and back yards.

No matter what you want your fence to do, it is important to select the right design, material, height and style. It is far less costly to choose the right fence in the first place than to replace a substandard fence when its deficiencies become apparent. Whether you are fencing in the entire perimeter of your property or just a small portion of the back yard, there are some key things to consider before the first nail is driven or hole is dug. Here are some things you should consider when choosing the right fence for your property.

What is the Purpose of the Fence?

Where To Start

The first things you need to think about before building a fence is what that barrier needs to do. Is the fence intended to be merely decorative, used to set off your property and improve the curb appeal of your home? If so, a picket fence, split rail or low wood-look plastic fence would be a great choice.

Do you plan to buy a horse or raise cattle on your property? If so a high-tensile wire fence, electric fence or quality wood fence would be in order. Is the fence designed to make the boundary lines of your back yard and provide privacy from the neighbors? If so, a tall wood fence may be just the thing. Until you know exactly what the fence will be used for, it will be difficult to move on to the next step.

How Strong Does It Need to Be?

The strength of the fence is obviously an important consideration, and you will want to look for that sweet spot when making your plans. A stronger fence may be more expensive to put up, but the extra strength can reduce the risk of damage down the line.

The strength of the fence is very important if you will be keeping animals in that fenced space. A fence designed to contain horses or cattle naturally needs to be stronger than one designed to keep your dogs in the yard. When building a livestock fence, practicality is often more important that looks. You want your fence to look as good as possible, but its number one job is to keep the animals you own where they are.

How High Does the Fence Need to Be?

The height of the fence is obviously an important consideration, and it is one you should think about right from the start. If you want to create a private haven in your back yard, for instance, you will obviously need a fence high enough that the neighbors cannot see over it. If the fence is purely decorative, it can be much lower.

Deciding On A Fence Height

If you are fencing in a specific part of the back yard for a garden, you will want a fence that is high enough to keep out rabbits and other unwanted invaders but low enough that it will not obstruct your gardening or be too inconvenient.

If you are fencing in your pool, be sure to check with the area where you live. Many townships have specific requirements for pool fencing, including minimum height, material specifications and the like. The last thing you want is to build, and pay for, a fence that does not meet the minimum safety requirements.

How Much Can I Afford to Spend?

financing optionsAffordability is always an important consideration when planning a home improvement project, and fencing is certainly no exception. You will need to think carefully about the cost of the materials and how much you can afford to spend when fencing in the allotted space.

You will need to compare the cost per foot of the various materials you are considering. If two fencing materials provide the same benefits but one is less costly than the other, that might be enough to tip the scales and help you make the decision.

Are There Any Zoning Restrictions Where I Live?

Depending on where you live, the choice of fence may not be entirely your own. Many municipalities place severe restrictions on fencing in residential areas, and that can affect everything from how high the fence can be to what kind of materials you are allowed to use.e

Before you call a fencing contractor or buy any lumber, you need to contact your local government officials and find out if there are any restrictions in place. If those restrictions exist, be sure to get a detailed blueprint outlining the height, size, materials and other details. That will help you make the right decision and avoid any unpleasant misunderstandings down the line.

Chances are you will also need a building permit to erect the fence, so be sure to check into that as well. Once you know what you are allowed to build, you can work with your chosen contractor to create the fence you need at a price you can afford.

Things To Think About When Building A Fence

No matter where you live or what kind of property you own, adding a fence can be a smart move. If you live in a rural part of the country, your fencing may serve a practical purpose – containing livestock, marking property lines and protecting the privacy of yourself and your family.

If you live in the city or suburbs, your fencing needs may be more basic but no less important. That urban or suburban fence still needs to protect your children as they play, mark the boundary with your neighbors and protect you from criminals.

In the end, it does not matter where you live or what type of property you own. Choosing the right fence means looking at a variety of different factors and taking many different things into consideration. From the purpose of the fence to the affordability of the materials used in its construction, you need to think about a lot of things before you can call a fencing contractor and get the work underway.


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By |2018-08-22T17:20:47+00:00April 11th, 2016|Fencing|35 Comments

About the Author:

Tri-County Fence & Deck is your top choice when it comes to home improvement companies in Wentzville, Saint Charles and Surrounding Areas. As a leading fence and decking company we offer a comprehensive selection of installation services which includes just about any style, brand and material currently available.


  1. Tyler Meredith May 19, 2016 at 7:25 PM - Reply

    I like what this article recommends about checking local regulations and rules on fencing. I think it could be helpful to check any local rules as it would let me know what to look for in a fence while knowing what to avoid. I’ll have to keep this in mind when looking to install one as I have a very good idea of what I want, but I don’t know if It’d match regulations.

  2. Sarah Smith May 26, 2016 at 3:20 PM - Reply

    My husband and I are thinking about putting up a new fence around our house. Thanks for the advice about checking to make sure that there are no zoning restrictions. Hopefully, we can figure this all out so that we can get a fencing contractor to install a new fence.

  3. Marie Watson May 26, 2016 at 7:20 PM - Reply

    Thanks for putting together some things to consider when thinking about installing a fence. You make a great point about considering what the purpose of your fence is going to be. I would think that the materials you use can differ based on whether or not it is for decoration or privacy. I would think that working with a professional fence contractor will ensure that everything is done correctly so you can avoid any serious problems.

  4. emily bennette May 26, 2016 at 7:36 PM - Reply

    This is some really good information about fencing materials. I like that you talked about how you should think about how strong the material is. I live in an area that gets high winds often and a weak material isn’t going to stand up to that wind. So, knowing how strong the material is would be a very important thing.

  5. Lauren Woodley June 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    I didn’t even think about making sure there aren’t any zoning restrictions. I just assume that if I know where the property lines are, then I should be good to put in a fence. However, I can see how talking to a contractor and looking into any other type of restrictions can help you to be more effective in this project. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Sarah Smith June 17, 2016 at 12:19 PM - Reply

    My parents are thinking about installing a fence. I had no idea that there might be zoning restrictions. I’ll have to tell my mom so that she can make sure they can get the vinyl fences that they want.

  7. judy wilson June 20, 2016 at 4:57 PM - Reply

    Your tip to find out about any zoning restrictions where I live is an important step before I can put a fence around my property. It’s important to know exactly where my property lines are before installing a fence around my horses. This information will let me know about any restrictions on my property before I start installing a fence. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Braden Bills June 28, 2016 at 11:02 AM - Reply

    I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of fence I should get. I didn’t even think about making sure I know what boundaries I’m allowed to build in! I wouldn’t want to break the law by mistake. Thank you for the information!

  9. Lillian Schaeffer June 29, 2016 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to make sure you know the zoning restrictions in your area before installing a fence. My husband and I just moved into our first house, and we want to put a fence up in our backyard. I didn’t realize that there were laws about what kinds you can install, so we’ll definitely do some research before we make any decisions. Thanks for the great post!

  10. Wade Joel July 5, 2016 at 11:18 AM - Reply

    Fencing is really important, especially if you want to keep animals in the yard. I do not know what would happen if my pets were to run away because there was a lack of fencing. I did not know that there are zoning restrictions, I will have to go look those up and see what kinds of fences I can build in my yard.

  11. Kendall Ryder July 20, 2016 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    I like that you point out that you should be aware of zoning restrictions. It would be awful if you put your fence up only to realize it is not allowed! My neighbors actually did this and accidentally went to far into their back door neighbor’s yard! Being aware ahead of time can save a lot of time and money.

  12. Darrick @ AGF Stuart July 30, 2016 at 8:30 AM - Reply

    Yes strong materials is essential to build a good fence, with this we can protect our yard with pet and livestock, we install fences too and we make sure all our customer are satisfied with all the materials we provide for their fence with this it’s improves the appeal of the property.

  13. Kendall Ryder August 1, 2016 at 10:11 AM - Reply

    I like that fences can clearly define your property from your neighbors. They also add such character to a home as well! I love the way it makes the home look more quaint and comfortable. My fence has really added to my home and I love it!

  14. Justin Knox August 4, 2016 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I are hoping to have a pool fence installed soon. We definitely want something strong, as you discussed. What type of fence would you recommend for a safe fence around a pool?

    • Fence & Deck August 4, 2016 at 1:54 PM - Reply

      The Ameristar Montage Pool, Pet and Play (PPP) is an ideal choice for a pool fence.

  15. Braden Bills August 15, 2016 at 8:22 AM - Reply

    I’m trying to decide what kind of fence I would like to have. I didn’t even think about possible zoning restrictions! I’ll make sure the height and width of the fence that I want is allowed. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Kenneth Gladman August 18, 2016 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    I like that you mentioned making sure the fence you plan to install is high enough for your liking. This is something that is easy to overlook and if you aren’t careful you could be replacing soon. If you are looking for extra privacy I would go extra high.

  17. Kody Loveless August 29, 2016 at 7:57 AM - Reply

    I need a new fence. My fence now is starting to rust apart. I will have to be sure to look into zoning laws and see if I need to get a permit for me to put up a new fence. My community is very picky on what we can and cannot do. It would be nice to have a good looking fence again.

  18. Katie Anderson August 30, 2016 at 12:31 PM - Reply

    All this information is very useful. I am in a lot of need of replacing my fence here soon. I’ve been thinking between vinyl fence and a wood fence. Right now I have a wood fence, but I think a vinyl fence will stay looking good for a long time, plus my neighbor just replaced his with vinyl and it looks really good. Thanks for the tips, I will be doing some more research, but I think vinyl is the answer for me!

  19. Sarah Smith September 22, 2016 at 3:26 PM - Reply

    We recently got a new vinyl fence installed. I agree that the height of a fence is important as it can help keep noisy neighbors out. Personally, I would suggest that if you are thinking about getting a fence that you get it installed by a licensed professional.

  20. Richard Stewart September 27, 2016 at 7:47 PM - Reply

    I always find that fences provide a level of comfort and security to a home. These are all big factors, Vinyl is my personal favorite, but a wooden fence at standard is an absolute classic. Glad I came across this site, thanks for providing valuable info!

  21. Erika Brady September 28, 2016 at 11:43 AM - Reply

    We just bought a dog and feel like we should now put a fence up around our backyard so she can’t escape. There are so many things to consider when buying a fence that I did not realize. Even though it might be more expensive to put up a strong fence, I think we will try that just so it doesn’t have a greater chance of breaking later down the line.

  22. siaosi October 7, 2016 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    I think that it is really smart to get pool fences. I would really like to be able to get a metal fence to protect my pool from kids randomly coming and swimming in it. I would really like to be able to get something that is reliable and rust proof.

  23. Rosie Gaudet October 10, 2016 at 9:58 AM - Reply

    Knowing how much you can afford is a good idea because that way you can set up a budget. Setting a budget will help you not to go overboard, which can sometimes happen without a budget. If you end up going out of your price range, you will end up spending more than you want to, or more than you should, on the fence that you want.

  24. Jalu Sakti October 11, 2016 at 2:16 PM - Reply

    I liked your tips here for deciding just how strong you need the fence to be. If you need a stronger fence, you will have to opt for that over how it looks, but if you don’t need as much security, it isn’t a bad idea to invest in a more aesthetically pleasing fence for your yard. We are actually doing this, right now, for our new home that is being build. It is kind of hard to decide just how much security we need, but I think if we can find a balance between level of security and visual appeal, we will be good to go.

  25. Marie Watson November 9, 2016 at 5:28 PM - Reply

    Thanks for sharing some tips for choosing the right fence. You make a great point about how they can have a lot of different uses. I would think that it is important to make sure you have the right style and material to match the purpose of your fence. I want to build a fence for my dogs to be able to play in the backyard, so I will have to make sure I find the right materials to build them a protective barrier.

  26. Sarah Smith December 20, 2016 at 1:01 PM - Reply

    I want to get a fence installed around my house. Comparing the cost per foot of the various materials you are considering is a smart idea. Something else to do is to get your fence professionally installed. That way, you can be sure your fence will be durable and last a long time.

  27. Sarah Smith January 11, 2017 at 10:22 AM - Reply

    My dad wants to install a privacy fence around his yard. I agree that for privacy you should make sure your fence is tall enough that your neighbors can’t look in. Something else to do is to consult a professional about how high is just right for your fence so that you don’t make it too tall.

  28. Jocelyn McDonald August 28, 2018 at 10:28 AM - Reply

    My husband and I moved into a home with no fencing, and we want to add one for privacy and security. Your article had some great tips for choosing a fence, and I liked how you said to consider the strength you will need. The installation process can be more expensive, but this can reduce risk of damage down the line. Thanks for the help; we’ll keep this in mind when choosing a fence.

  29. Duncan Lance August 29, 2018 at 8:53 PM - Reply

    There are a lot of questions that you have to ask when designing your fence. I particularly like that one of the questions that the article asks is about how strong the fence needs to be. After all, if you are relying on this fence to protect your home you will want it to be very strong.

  30. Ellen Hughes September 13, 2018 at 1:51 AM - Reply

    I do like that you talked about the importance of considering the reason why you’ll be needing to build a fence to make sure that you’ll end up choosing the right fence material. My husband and I are getting worried about our garden’s condition because of the presence of deer around our property. I will make sure to consider shopping for a deer exclusion fencing kit as soon as possible. Thanks!

  31. Lillian Schaeffer September 28, 2018 at 11:14 AM - Reply

    Thanks for letting me know that the purpose of the fence has a big impact on what kind of fence you have installed. My husband and I want to put a fence in our backyard mostly to keep our dogs in. We’ll definitely keep that purpose in mind as we choose the material and style of fence we want.

  32. Duncan Lance October 1, 2018 at 6:37 PM - Reply

    Considering how many different kinds of fences there are out in the world you need to do a lot of research before choosing one for your home. I particularly like that the article encourages asking what the purpose of the fence is. After all, if you want a fence to protect your home then you’ll probably want a more sturdy one like steel or wrought-iron.

  33. Rhianna Hawk October 15, 2018 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    Checking for zoning restrictions in my area is definitely a good tip, and I’d completely forgotten that restrictions could apply to my getting a yard fence. I want to get something fairly high to keep my three dogs in when they run around my yard, and two of them are huskies and one is a lab, so it does need to be at least six feet tall to do any good at keeping them contained. I’ll be sure to contact my local government, as you suggest, and find out if we have restrictions in my area and maybe explain my needs to get an exception if there are any.

  34. Jocelyn McDonald November 7, 2018 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    My husband and I just moved to a new home with no fence, and we want to install one soon for security and peace of mind. Your article had some great tips for choosing a fence, and I liked how you said to first contact government official to find out if there are any zoning restrictions in place where we live. We want to avoid and unpleasant misunderstandings down the line, and we’ll keep this in mind when getting the right fence for our home.

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