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Four Important Fence Questions to Ask Yourself




There are tons of reasons to add a fence to your home. Maybe you have a new dog, maybe you have nosy neighbors, maybe you want the added security, or maybe you just like how they look.

Regardless of the why, the how can get a little complicated. Before you pencil in a “fence installation weekend” or start calling contractors, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Why Do I Really Want This Fence?

Like I said, there are a ton of reasons to want or need a fence. Before you put up your fence, figure out why you’re doing it because your answer will affect a lot of your upcoming decisions! Do you want to keep people out? Consider a tall fence with very little visibility. Is it really going up to keep your small dog in? Then you’ll probably want to opt for a fence that’s a little lower with some space in between posts.

2. What Style Do I Like?

Do you know the difference between Estate and Paddock fencing styles? More importantly, do you know which one you like better?

Once you’ve determined why you want a fence, we suggest visiting Pinterest and creating an inspiration board. That way, you can zero in on the look you want, and you’ll be able to communicate your expectations clearly (plus Pinterest is fun). Pay attention to the language used to describe the fences you’re drawn to. Whether you’re installing the fence yourself or hiring someone to handle the job, you’ll need to describe your vision to someone (even if it’s just an employee at Home Depot).

3. What’s the Best Material for Me?

Just like your home’s siding, there are many options for fencing material. The cost of your fence will vary greatly depending on your location. To get an estimate, check out Home Depot’s Fencing Project Planner. Here are a few of the most popular to consider:


Wood fencing is generally considered attractive, and it’s fairly inexpensive. Plus, you can paint it any color your heart desires. Before you choose a wood, though, take your home’s climate in consideration. For example, if you live in a humid climate, cedar is a good option because it’s naturally resistant to moisture. Regardless of the wood you choose, you’ll probably have to treat or stain the wood for added protection. Also, maintenance is going to be a bigger deal with a wood fence than other fence types.


Vinyl fencing comes in a wide range of looks and styles, and is easy to install. Plus, it has basically no maintenance, so it’s a great option if you want to be hands-off with your fence. It is more expensive than wood upfront, but the maintenance trade-off basically evens these two out in the end.

Chain Link

A chain link fence is super easy to install and inexpensive. But, there is a down side: It’s an eyesore, and they’re  prone to rust. But if you’re just trying to install a functional fence in your backyard, this may be the best option for you.


While aluminum costs more than wood, there is basically zero maintenance required. So if you want an attractive fence, have a healthy budget and don’t like the idea of regular rence maintenance, this may be the way to go.

Wrought Iron

Known for its beauty and charm, wrought iron fences are not for the faint of heart (or the lazy). There is maintenance required, and this is by far the most expensive fence option.

4. What's the Best Way to Make My Fence Dreams a Reality?

If you choose to install your fence solo, take the time to research your fence type and read about proper installation practices. Also keep in mind that an average 150-200 foot fence will take 3-5 days of work to install. If you’re opting for a fence type that’s tougher to install (like wood) we highly recommend passing this one off to a pro. Check and see if there are any local fence professionals who can help you out.

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