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   Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Fencing Options
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There are many reasons to add a fence on your property — to create an increased sense of privacy, security for pets or children or to add to the look and curb value of your home, to name a few.
To a large extent, the purpose of the fence will determine the style, although homeowners are advised to keep the house style, and the “feel” of the neighborhood in mind as well. A poorly chosen fence can stick out like a sore thumb, no matter how well constructed.
Fences can be expensive, so before you make that investment, you’ll want to consider the following:
Why do you want to build a fence?
The type of fence you choose will depend largely on why you want one. A white picket fence may look lovely, but not do much for your privacy or security concerns.
What are the by-laws concerning fencing in your area?
You may want to erect a 12-foot high fence to stop your nosy neighbor from peering into your backyard, but regulations may not allow you to do so. Find out early on to save yourself time and frustration.
What style of fence would best suit your home and neighborhood?
Although a chain link fence is cost-effective, it may look out of place in your upscale neighborhood. Likewise, a tall cedar fence may seem imposing on a small lot.
What is your budget?
There are a wide variety of materials available. Know your budget so you can realistically plan which ones you can use.
How willing are you to do maintenance on a fence?
If you are not someone who likes to do regular maintenance around the home, you need to be aware of this when choosing your fencing material. Instead of wood, you could opt for one of the many vinyl options now available. The look is great and the maintenance is virtually nil.
Another thing to consider, although it may make financial sense to share the cost of a fence with your neighbor, before you actually proceed with the plan be sure to get the details of your agreement down in writing. Circumstances change, people move, trees fall down, etc. You have no way of knowing what will happen in the future so make sure you have documented your plan.
The following are some fencing options:
A traditional favorite, wood offers a natural look and can be painted or stained to match other features on the property and suit your personal style. Cedar and redwood are two popular material choices.
The style of your wood fence will depend on its function. A picket fence is charming and welcoming. It allows people to see into your property and show off beautiful gardens. A privacy fence, on the other hand will be constructed using at least six- or seven- foot boards. A semi-private fence is not as tall, and often includes latticework at the top.
For added flair a stylish gate and ornamental caps in a variety of styles can be used on the posts.
Chain link fences are very reasonably priced and easy to install. They don’t, however, provide much in the way of privacy and are often seen as a “cheap” option. That being said, if safety and security of pets is your goal, a chain link fence may be exactly what you need.
Wrought iron fences, combined with stone or brick, are classically elegant and stylish.
A wrought iron fence also provides a sense of security and safety — especially if it is tall with sharp points at the top.
PVC or vinyl
Nearly maintenance free and available in a variety of colors and styles, PVC or vinyl fences are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. They are more expensive than some other options, but they have ease of maintenance and durability on their side.