A wooden fence can be a great addition to your yard, but you can't simply build it without planning first. The following are three things that you must consider as you design your new fence.
1. Know the Regulations
Every municipality has different rules governing fence construction, and some neighborhoods may have its own rules depending on the local home owner's association. You need to check for the regulations on the type of fence you plan to build. For example, many areas have strict maximum height requirements around front yards, where you may not be able to build a fence much more than a couple of feet tall. On the other hand, minimum height restrictions may be in place for fences installed around pools or other hazards.
Boundary fences, those fences on a property line, may require that owners on both sides of the line agree on the fence type or there may be certain restrictions on materials and heights for a boundary fence. Check with your local city clerk or permitting office to verify any regulations that pertain to your project.
2. Consider Your Height Options
Once you know the regulations, you can plan a fence height that meets your needs and falls within the rules. First, consider the purpose of the fence. If you are installing it for security, whether around a pool or discourage thieves, then you want it too tall to easily climb over. If height restrictions prevent you from building a fence over 6 feet tall, you may need to consider other security design options, such as rolling bars that prevent climbing along the top or solid fence panels that don't have rails to aid climbing. If the fence is simply to mark a boundary or to keep a small pet or child contained in the front yard while you garden, then a 2- or 3-foot tall fence may be all that is necessary.
3. Determine Your Privacy Needs
Finally, consider privacy. A solid fence provides the optimum amount of privacy, particularly when combined with height. For this reason, side-by-side picket panels are the most common style of wood fence. If you would like to let light through but still want full privacy, then offset pickets are an option. These fences skip every other picket on one side of the rail, but the missing picket is instead installed on the opposite side of the rail. Light gets through, but no one can see in your yard. If privacy is less of a concern, then open pickets with spaces between them may be sufficient.
For more assistance in planning and designing your wooden fence, contact local fence builders.