There are several reasons to put up a fence: privacy, borders, and architectural enhancement to name a few. No matter the reason, there's a fence system to suit your home and landscape. From chain-link fencing to electronic pet containment, use our guide to decide which fence system fits your needs.
Wood Panel Fencing
Wood panel fencing is commonly used as a decorative means of providing privacy for homes in neighborhood settings. It's also a good choice for setting boundaries for small children and pets. The wood fence panels usually come in 6- or 8-foot sections, 4 to 6 feet tall. The panels are available with either dog-eared or pointed pickets. Paint or stain your fence to match your landscape or keep them natural. The panels are pressure-treated for above-ground use and pre-assembled for faster installation. Composite fencing is an alternative to wood. It's made from recycled wood and plastic and offers lower maintenance with the look of real wood.
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Split Rail (or Post-and-Rail) fencing adds a rustic or country look to a home's landscape. Use this fence to define specific areas in your yard or provide an easily visible separation along property lines. The rails are available either split or round in lengths from 8 to 11 feet. The two-rail posts range from 3 to 5 feet above ground.
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Vinyl fencing is an attractive, relatively maintenance-free type of fencing. It's available in forms similar to both wood panel and rail fencing. Vinyl fencing isn't subject to rot, fading or other effects of weather and time as wood fencing. Vinyl is a good choice for an attractive, easily maintained fence system.
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Before beginning any excavation, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies.
Decorative Metal Fencing
Decorative metal fencing offers the appearance of wrought iron, yet is made from powder-coated steel or aluminum. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, the components are easy to assemble, making this type of fencing a great do-it-yourself project. For ultimate ease of installation, look for fencing with a "no dig" option, using a pronged post support that is driven into the ground.
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Chain-link fencing (sometimes called hurricane fencing) is an economical way to enclose an area. Chain link is a good choice for keeping pets in or other creatures out. Made from galvanized steel wire, the fence material itself is referred to as "fabric." Chain-link fencing comes in 50 foot length rolls 3 to 12 feet in height. If you don't like the silvery look of the bare fence, it's available with a weather-resistant vinyl coating, usually green or black. Single and double prefabricated gates are available to complete the project.
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Garden and Utility Fencing
Garden and utility fencing is normally used to contain pets or to keep animals out of gardens. The material is available in rolls two to four feet high and up to 150 feet in length. Like chain-link fencing, it's also available with a vinyl coating, usually green or brown. When used with rail fencing, welded wire makes an effective pet containment fence for large areas.
Poultry netting, or chicken wire, may be the most economical type of containment fence available. As the name implies, it's generally used to fence in chickens. It's also a good choice for small dogs, rabbits and other small pets.
T-posts, U-posts or wooden posts are commonly used to support utility fencing.
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Farm fencing includes pre-fabricated gates and panels, heavier gauge galvanized welded wire and barbed wire. It's primarily used for feedlots, pens, corrals or pastures for larger animals.
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Electric fencing is normally used to contain livestock. With low-output chargers, electric fencing is also used in residential settings to keep animals out of gardens. Chargers are powered by regular AC current or solar energy.
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Electronic Pet Fencing
Electronic pet containment fencing is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a pet containment solution without any visible sign of a fence. The system consists of a thin gauge wire, a transmitter and a collar. Form the fence into any shape you want, to conform to your property. Put the collar on your pet, and if it gets close to the fence's perimeter, the pet receives a warning signal through the collar. Wireless transmitters are also available.
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Check your local building codes or Home Owner's Association regulations before installing a fence.