Choosing a fence for your garden or yard is an important process that cannot be approached lightly – after all, you are choosing something that will define how your property is going to look to the outside observer for at least the next ten or twenty years.
What may seem like a little mistake right now can both ruin the aesthetic appeal of the fence and cause unexpected yet entirely avoidable expenses. In this article, we will cover the most important things you should consider before making a final decision.
1. What do you want from the fence?
First, you have to decide what your requirements for the fence are. Some styles offer better security than others, some concentrate on providing greater privacy; still, others are primarily concerned with making particular types of properties look better with them.
For example, the privacy fence is not a very good idea if you intend to resell the property in the foreseeable future, because it often negatively affects property value.
Decide what your goals of installing the fence are and consult the contractor – a good contractor should not only answer your questions but offer valuable advice that will help you make a choice.
2. Maintenance and repairs
Ask yourself how much time you can afford to spend maintaining your fence. The most maintenance-heavy are wooden fences because their paint degrades pretty fast and requires repainting every couple of years. However, many believe them to be the most aesthetically pleasing, which makes them a go-to choice if you want a surefire way to increase the value of your property. It also has an added benefit of being easily repairable – individual boards are always easy to replace.
Metal garden railings, on the contrary, require little to no ongoing maintenance and, when carefully selected to complement the property, can be just as pleasing to the eye. And although they are much sturdier than their wooden counterparts, if they do get damaged repairs can be much more complicated.
3. How long should it take?
The time necessary to install a fence depends on the size of the job, but in most cases, it takes from 1 to 3 days. If the contractor says otherwise, it may be the sign that it is overextended and just doesn’t have enough staff to deal with all its orders reasonably fast. There is no need to wait between different stages of the work, and don’t believe those who tell you otherwise – they simply try to conceal the fact that their work organization is not up for the task.
A reliable fence contractor should give you an estimate of how much the entire job is going to cost, including potential changes in price due to particular contingencies (e.g., if rock formations are discovered beneath the soil in places where the fence posts are being installed). You should always remember that although some things are not easy to predict, an experienced contractor will always provide you with several estimates based on potential surprises, and the price won’t change beyond that no matter what. If the contractor doesn’t give you such a guarantee, don’t deal with him.
A good way to make sure you are going to get a fence of high quality and that the installation crew is going to show up at the agreed-upon time is to get references from the contractor. Make sure to check the reality of these references. If possible, contact previous customers of the firm and see if they are satisfied with the quality of its work. You may even visit the locations to take a look and see for yourself.
6. Inform your neighbors
No matter what your relations with your neighbors are, installing a fence is always a significant disruption, and informing them about such an enterprise constitutes basic courtesy. If you make sure to tell them about your plans beforehand (when and how long it will take), they will be much less likely to find any problems with it.
Choosing a fence may be confusing, but having a clear idea of what you want and finding a trustworthy contractor will help you successfully deal with this predicament.