Where you place a fence and why is largely dependent
on where and how you live. There are three fundamental reasons for installing
The more stressful our lives are, the greater
our need for a sense of privacy when we're at home. This is one of the most powerful
and common reasons for building a fence. Building a fence between our house and
the next doesn't mean we automatically dislike our neighbors, but that little
symbolic distance can definitely help us relax and enjoy our personal patch of
the great outdoors. In some parts of the country it's a neighborly tradition to
discuss sharing the cost of having a boundary fence installed between their adjacent
In densely-packed townhouse communities, a small fence often
comes with purchase, installed by the builder to visually separate the bumper-to-bumper
patios or decks. A sense of privacy can be enhanced by a short section of fence,
a long low fence or an open grid fence. Sometimes, however, the need for improved
privacy is strong enough to require something as tall and as solid as local rules
A sturdy fence with a secure gate latch
is the best protection for a child's backyard play area. If you own an outdoor
dog that takes his Territorial Imperative duties seriously, the best protection
for your mailman is also a substantial fence.
In thousands of communities
a person's prized daffodils, dahlias or veggie patch can only be protected from
the nocturnal nibblings of suburban wildlife by fencing. In most areas, if you
install a backyard swimming pool, local codes require that you also build a fence
for public safety reasons.
And, naturally, if you keep large animals your
life is a series of fenced perimeters that need constant surveillance, to keep
your ever-curious emus, llamas or horses at home.
Multi-family communities frequently hide the questionable charms of that big blue
trash dumpster behind a plain board fence. Screening the parking area, compost
pile, heat pump all qualify as time-honored ways of using fences for beautification.
But don't forget another reason for considering a fence: There's not a
prettier neighborhood sight than a tumble of fragrant roses leaning over an ornamental
fence that protects or hides nothing at all. Using a fence for ornamental purposes
can enhance the charm and resale value of your home, which makes it a very cost-effective
Let's begin our foray into fencing. This exercise will
help you to plan a design and choose materials that meet your needs and add appeal
to your landscape.
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