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What are my options for a fence?

Henriëtte Mulder Henriëtte Mulder
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Fencingis primarily there to keep something in – in most cases it would be animals or to make sure that little kids doesn't end up dead in the road – or to keep something out, like other animals or criminals. Fencing is used for privacy and security.

Having a fence around the property might not be something that everybody likes, but it is rather necessary in today's environment. The thing with fences is, they don't need to give the impression that you are in a jail, you don't necessarily need a fence that is 4 meters high and block everything in view from and to the street.

Luckily there is a number of different types of fences one can choose from if you so desire. Choose a fence that would suit your preferences, the house style and see what a difference it makes to the property. Have a look at Atkinsons Fencing's work.

Here is a few different ways you can use (or not) a fence around your property.

Wooden Fence

Wood has been used in a lot of things for a very long time and this includes the architecture, like small garden sheds, small houses and beach houses that are made of wood. This also includes wooden fences. Wooden fences can take any form and the most popular wooden fence is the all American white picket fence.

This wooden fences can be any height, from a mere 1 meter to any height you want it to be. The fences can also be different style, like a fence that give the idea of barn door, to a more decorative fence, a tightly packed wooden fence or something that is more rough around the edges.

There is various advantages to a wooden fence, for example it is easy to install and alter – you can even try it yourself. You can easily customise such a fence by putting a decorative panel in the fence. 

It is durable, as long as it was installed correctly and maintained. Wooden fences is also rather cost effective and adds to the visual appeal and even value of a house.

Metal fence

Metal fencing is the default fencing you see when driving around the neighbourhood, with palisades the most dominant. There is different kinds of metal fencing, like solid metal sheets, but normal bar type of fencing is by far the most common type. This is because it is cheaper to create a fence with open spaces than one out of solid metal/steel. Bar type of fencing can also be decorated with ornamental finials (goes on top of a metal bar) or patterns created with the metal, thus becoming an entirely ornamental fence – with security aspects of course.  

Metal fences can be created with chain link, wrought iron and aluminum and from these is the wrought iron the most durable, but also the most expensive. A definite advantage of metal fences is that it isn't prone to infestations of insects, but care should be taken beforehand to prevent rust. These fences can be used for years and if you want a change just change the paint colour.

Brick fence

Just like wooden and metal fences there is wide variety of brick fences (or one should rather say walls) that suits everybody's style. There is the normal plain brick wall, then you get the walls which looks like it is framing the inside of the wall that is a different colour, to walls with palisades inserted (as seen in picture) and even decorative walls. These fences also comes in different heights.

A major advantage of brick is, is that it doesn't have a lot of maintenance work and it looks good for long, especially if it is exposed brick. This also brings down the cost of maintenance. Brick is also made from natural ingredients and can be recycled – either cleaned and used in another project or crushed and be used as mulch. An enclosed fence like most brick fences/walls also give the house and people a protection to a certain degree against strong winds and fire. Lastly a brick wall creates the impression of permanence.

Stone fence

Want to bring some old world charm to your property, then a stone fence is the right option. These fences looks so much different than any other fence, but finding stone masons that can still use stonework like the old masters is easier said than done (though they are out there). Using stone is also expensive, but at times you might be able to get rock or boulders off of the property you own, or you can try to buy from somebody who doesn't want the ones on their property. The end result, if done properly is a beauty. This fences also varies from a smooth surface to a roughly done wall and ones with designs in it.

Just like brick, stone is very durable and if constructed properly it can last years and years. They are also very resistant against natural elements, so this is probably a option if you live in a place prone to a lot of these elements like strong winds, rain, hail, heat and cold. It also doesn't get infested insects and can easily be incorporated into the rest of you landscaping.

Unfortunately is it difficult too repair and not so easy to change the appearance once it is constructed. It also takes a long time to build such a fence.

Hedge fence

A hedge fence can be created with various trees and shrubs and can easily incorporate other types of fences like the brick, wooden or even metal fences. These fences can be vines growing entirely over an existing fence or can be shrubs and trees that is trimmed until the desired effect is found.

A hedge fence give the impression of a maze, even if there is no such thing in sight. These fences do attract wildlife like birds and for them you can put out some feeders, so that they don't destroy the fence. This also give privacy, as much as a solid wood, stone or brick fence would have, as long as the hedges are tall and thick. 

One big downfall to having a hedge fence is that it has to be maintained, unless you want to live in your own personal jungle. Make sure that whoever trims the hedges, doesn't cut away to much of the fence otherwise you will loose the privacy you waited so long for.

Fence or no fence…

that is the question. To put up a fence or not is still the home owner’s own choice, but there are definite plus points on having a fence around your property.

First it help with everybody's security and if you are a stay-at-home parent, a fence not only keeps the kids in and out of the road, but it also keeps possible children-snatchers at bay. If you have animals it is also a good idea, no neighbour want the entire neighbourhood's dogs in their yards, so why aggravate them with an open yard.

Fencing a property can also help with the selling process by increasing the value, as well as getting some privacy from curious eyes and unwelcome visitors.

Then there is the option of not having a fence. Firstly it is cheap, very cheap, seeing that there was no initial costs and no maintenance cost. It also creates an open space and a yard looks a lot different without a fence than with one. Lastly if you live in a community driven environment, is this a rather useful situation, people can just walk up to the door and knock.

Just remember the choice is all yours and in a country like South Africa is there minimum places that says you can't put up a fence, but do make sure that the fence you want to put up satisfies the body corporate or municipal laws.

Have a look at the houses to see how fencing was used or not.  

Did you like any of these fences? Or do you prefer not having one? Tell us why below!
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