A good fence can serve a number of practical and aesthetic purposes for a home. Practically speaking, a fence normally serves to define a boundary and provide a level of privacy or protection to a homeowner. While carrying out all of its practical function, a great fence can add to the overall design of your home or even stand alone as a work of creative architecture to itself. Depending on your needs, budget and the area in which you live, the right fence can serve a number of functions all at the same time.
By the standard, simplest definition, a fence is a barrier that encloses a certain area. But within this broad generalization, there are many variables and factors which a homeowner will need to consider before planning, designing and building a new fence. Materials, budget and the amount of land to be covered are all important considerations, but the first and most important thing that will determine everything about the fence is the practical purposes for which it is needed.
While the design, look and other aspects of a fence are important, any fence is still a functional structure, first and foremost. You will need to consider other factors, but they will all be complementary to the primary purpose of the fence. Do you need a high, solid partition that will give your pool a level or privacy, or do you need a rugged, sturdy construction that will keep animals in or out of designated areas?
Most fences will be needed to serve more than one purpose, and you will need to take all of these into consideration before deciding on the type of fence you need. For example, most pool fences are built to keep unsupervised children out, but many also serve as privacy fences. A backyard chain-link fence could be necessary to define the boundary of your yard, but it could also help keep neighborhood dogs out of your garden. Try to consider all the needs you want your fence to meet before moving forward with any design ideas.
Depending upon your needs, your fence could catch the eye as an impressive piece of landscaping architecture or blend into its environment to the point where it is barely noticeable. If you simply want a traditional privacy fence, you may just want plain wooden fencing, or you may want something that is more striking. A fence could also be an opportunity to display some of your creativity, by using unorthodox materials for your fence or painting a mural along a traditional wooden fence.
The practical purpose and intended look of your fence will determine what materials should be used, but budget will also play a role in this. While traditional wood is still a favorite for privacy fences and front yard picket fences, vinyl is becoming increasingly popular for these same purposes. It is more durable and will last longer, but it will be more expensive.
Chain link is also still common for simplicity, and wrought iron is more readily available than ever before. More creative individuals may even use unconventional materials such as repurposed wood, bicycle wheels or even surfboards.
Make sure that you understand all that is involved in building your own fence before diving in. You may be better off contributing to the design but leaving the actual construction to professionals. The purpose, price, looks and material of your fence will also determine the type of contractor you need. A Miami temporary & chain link fencing expert will have different qualifications and specialties than a Kansas farm fencing shop, and they will both be different than a high-end fencing company in New England.