Explore new ways to fence your yard
Move over, white-picket fence. Today’s homeowners are thinking outside the box. That’s because in addition to enhancing security and privacy, fences play a big part in creating curb appeal and enjoyable outdoor living spaces.
The latest trends in fences are eco-friendly and alternative materials and unique designs. When selecting a fence to fit your needs, consider these non-traditional options:
“Living Fences” Homeowners who want to define property boundaries or create a natural privacy screen are opting to plant fast-growing trees, shrubs or bamboo in lieu of installing wood or metal fences. These “living fences” can even disguise old, worn fences, sheds or children’s play equipment. An added bonus: Living fences support the national Green Building Initiative and benefit the environment.
Reclaimed and Recycled Materials Using reclaimed and recycled materials is yet another way to stay on-trend with green building. Reclaimed barn wood or siding can be used for fence railings. Scour the local flea market for old, decorative finds to use as a garden gate. Recycled plastic is used in many composite-fencing products. Ask your local building supply store for more information on eco-friendly materials.
Artistic Expression Accent a traditional white-picket fence with a gate painted in a bold color such as apple-green or cherry-red. Top fence posts with decorative post caps, finials or tiny birdhouses. Adding interesting curves, cut-outs and details to fence pickets is easy and inexpensive. Mix materials—Pairing an iron gate with a wood fence is a good combination. Reflect your personal style.
Faux Finishes Is it wood, or is it composite? Iron or PVC? Stone or engineered granite? The alternative fence materials on the market are pleasantly deceiving. Often, they are less expensive, more durable and better for the environment than traditional materials. And the look couldn’t be better.
choices, choices, choices
Avoid confusion and wasted time. Identify the purpose of the fence before shopping around for best results. This may help narrow down your choices.
Is your fence intended to:
➤ Add decorative interest?
➤ Block sound?
➤ Assist with drainage?
➤ Provide a boundary?
➤ Enclose pet and/or children’s play space?
➤ Safeguard your property?
➤ Ensure privacy?
Keep in mind that fences can do double-duty too. For example, an engineered-stone wall can serve as a beautiful backdrop and noise-blocker as well. That’s more bang for your buck!
For help with choosing the right fence material, check out the American Fence Association’s consumer product guide: www.americanfenceassociation.com/Consumers/ProductGuide.aspx