Fence Me In: Planning, Materials, Design and Maintenance Tips on DIY Backyard Borders
You can transform any yard into an outdoor oasis with decorative fencing. But first, a word of warning: with so many fencing styles, heights and materials to choose from, fence shopping can be a bit overwhelming. The following tips will help you prepare and simplify the process.
Make the Right Fence Choice
Consider what you’d like to accomplish in your space. Do you want complete or partial privacy? Is your goal to grow vegetation, or are you trying to block an eyesore?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right fence for you:
Regulations - Before you decide on the fence of your dreams, become familiar with your city code and your property’s legal boundaries. Check the height limit, permits needed, setback requirements, prohibited materials and any other local fencing laws. Forgetting this step can be a time-consuming and costly mistake.
Materials - Take your budget and needs into consideration when choosing materials. For example, ipe wood is a beautiful material to work with, but it’s pricier than other options. Fortunately, there are many beautiful choices for every budget. Want to try something unique? Plexiglass is a great material if you’re looking to keep a lot of light in your space.
Maintenance - Decide how much effort you’re willing to put into your fence’s maintenance. White plastic fences might be an eye sore, but there is minimal upkeep. If you’re looking for a better looking option without a ton of maintenance, try a wood fence. Without stain, oil, or paint, the fence will grey beautifully. But if you start with a wood fence and paint, stain or oil it, you’ll need to do reapply these regularly. Similar to an untreated fence, corten steel can be left to rust beautifully. If it’s steel and has a powder coat of paint, then simply hosing it off should suffice.
Design - Make sure your fencing complements your home. For instance, if your home has a rustic vibe, you want to steer clear of modern fences with minimalist design. Look at your home and fence as one composition, and design accordingly.
Consider Your Style Options
Now that you’ve started thinking about the big picture, it’s time to consider the details. To get you started, consider these unique fencing styles for your yard:
Traditional solid fencing with applied decorative panel - Solid fencing may provide privacy, but it doesn’t always contribute to your backyard’s beauty. Adding a decorative panel creates interest and helps break up the monotony of solid fencing.
Horizontal slats - Horizontal slats give the space a wider appearance, and can be arranged to your liking. Whether you are using an exotic wood or just painted cedar, horizontal fencing adds a level of sophistication to your yard.
Plexiglass panels - Opaque plexiglass provides a beautiful visual screen while still allowing light to come through. For even more ambiance, add back lighting on the panels for evening get-togethers.
Sliding panels - Sliding panels are a great solution, whether you want full privacy and some shade, or a sunny open feel.
Metal screens - Metal screens create a more intricate visual appeal. Panels can be cut to any design using a CNC machine, so metal screens are the perfect solution for anyone who desires a distinctive outdoor space.
Plants - Plant material is the most common type of fence material. If you don’t feel like traditional hedges are your style, try small clusters of shrubs or even a row of containers with seasonal annuals.