Fencing in your yard isn't something you do on a whim. It takes careful planning to make sure you get the fence that you need that also meets your specific concerns. Answer the following questions before settling on a fence design.
1. Why do you want a fence?
Fences can serve many purposes, and some fences must be designed to serve multiple purposes. The most common reasons for building a fence are privacy, security against intruders, to contain children or pets, or to protect others (such as a fence around a pool). Before selecting a fence type and style, determine what your primary reason is for wanting the fence, along with any other reasons for the fence. If you simply want a fence to keep your dog from running off, for example, chainlink is a cost-effective option. On the other hand, if pup containment and privacy are both important, then a solid fence like vinyl or wood is a better choice.
2. What are the local restrictions?
Local laws and homeowner association rules will also impact your fence design. Most localities have codes in place that govern the height and placement of fences. You can generally find this information in your local building code or by calling your municipal building and planning office. Homeowner associations also have rules that may dictate the material, height, and even the color of the fence.
3. How much maintenance are you comfortable with?
Some fences require nearly no maintenance while others require a bit more. If you want a no maintenance, then chainlink or aluminum fencing made to resemble wrought iron is your best option. If you are okay with a little maintenance, then vinyl fencing provides an excellent option -- other than washing it periodically to remove dust or mildew stains it requires little care. Wrought iron fencing will require cleaning and repainting every few years to guard against rust, while the wood will need to be stained or painted every couple of years to guard against rot.
4. What is your budget?
Once you have a basic idea of the type of fence you need and that is allowed, you need to find the options that fit into your budget. Generally, chainlink and wood fences are your most cost-effective option. Chainlink is the least expensive in the long run, however, due to its longevity and low maintenance needs. Vinyl, wrought iron, and aluminum fences are a bit more expensive, but they will last a lifetime.
Contact a fence company in your area for more help.