Fencing, Fencing Everywhere – An In Depth Look

Fencing, Fencing Everywhere – An In Depth Look

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Planning a new fence? here are some thoughts on fencing by Franklin D. Gulliver


Fencing, Fencing Everywhere – An In Depth Look

by Franklin D. Guliver

Drive down any street in neighborhood, in any town and you will see an entire myriad of fencing uses and options. Fences serve two purposes – keeping something out or keeping something in. In most cases people think about the use of fencing to keep out trespassers and to provide a since of privacy and a since of ownership and control. And on the other hand perhaps you want to keep something contained within a certain space. Think about a dog cage or even a prison which serves that purpose well. Whatever you need is there are thinks you need to familiarize yourself with.

First off determine if local ordinances require that you obtain a building permit. Many jurisdictions you do not need a permit whatsoever if your fencing project falls within certain parameters. In my town and neighborhood I am allowed to put a fence within my yard up to the property line to 6 feet tall without a building permit. That is pretty straight forward but there is a twist. From the front 5 feet of my lot to the sidewalk the fence cannot be more than 40″ tall. I wondered why the exception so I asked one day out of curiosity at the building department why that rule. He explained because the city believes that will keep people from making their homes look like fortresses while keeping vicious animals out of the front yard. I guess that makes sense because I don’t want to live in an area where you feel like you are in “lock-down”. So this rule serves a purpose and if you want to do something that is different you will need to get a permit which can be quite the hassle.

When building your fence you must decide the type and material usage. Many are wood but some are chain-link, concrete block, brick, and steel and so on. All will have a different look and vary in price widely. So when trying to plan you must keep an eye on the cost to avoid budget overruns that may cause you to have a half completed fence. Another area of thought is do you hire a reputable contractor or do it yourself. That will obviously be based on your skill set, budget and time available.

Material cost range from relatively inexpensive wood with a post and slat design to ornate custom designed wrought iron fencing. Depending on the total length of the fence, number of gates, obstruction removal, drainage concerns and ground stability these cost can range very wide. So in planning your new project determine the number of feet the new fence will be and then start costing the material based on that measurement. Many of the home improvement stores will have everything you need including all the tools to build it properly.

One tool you will need is a post-hole digger. If you ever used one the use is straight forward. But if you ever used one, especially in hard or clay type dirt you will hope you need just a few dug because that can be quite daunting. There are two solutions you can use. First you can buy or rent a motorized post hole digger which will take two people to operate or you can hire a company to dig your post holes. In this case you will have to have vehicle access as they usually have the drilling tools mounted to a truck that will dig the hole and then move to the next and drill that. They can drill about 15-20 holes an hour, if accessible. That may be a good use of money to hand that over to somebody who can do in 2 hours what will take you all weekend to complete by hand.

This article is a short primer of what to consider when planning your fencing project. It is not rocket science and really is a DIY project if you plan it correctly. There is plenty of information available on the web that will assist you with your new fence project.

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