Thursday, December 29, 2011

Residential Fencing Ideas

The sky is the limit when it comes to residential fencing ideas.

The right fence can make or break your overall residential landscaping design. Choosing the right fence from all of the styles available is a decision based on your budget, personal preference and, in many cases, local building codes. Familiarizing yourself with some of the main choices is the first step in deciding which is right for you and your home's exterior decorating scheme. Does this Spark an idea?

Wooden Fences

Wood is a versatile fencing material.

Wooden fences come in many sizes, shapes and colors. Wood is used to create small white picket fences for a charming cottage feel, as well as 6-foot high privacy fencing for those wanting to keep their outdoor spaces to themselves. Anything from straight boards to elaborately carved posts can be made out of wood, depending on your budget. Wood requires regular maintenance to ensure it withstands the elements; choose treated lumber or naturally weather-resistant woods such as cedar.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing does not have to be boring.

One of the most cost efficient fencing material is chain link. It is primarily a security fence to keep pets and children from leaving the yard, yet still lets those walking by to glimpse your landscaping. Chain-link fences also are good trellises for climbing plants. Standard fencing is a silver or grayish color, but the fencing also can be painted or coated with a colored plastic to match a landscaping theme.

Masonry Walls

Stone walls can be customized to match any outdoor color scheme.

With a method called drystone masonry, rocks can be fitted together without mortar to create a wall around your house. Decorative rock also comes in many sizes, color and textures. Garden bricks are another alternative to traditional residential fencing. Standard brick colors are red or gray but both can be easily painted to match a landscaping theme. Masonry fences are expensive and time-consuming to install, but will last for decades, or longer, with little or no maintenance.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron can be made to look elegantly simple or elaborately decorative.

Wrought iron fences are another alternative to standard yard enclosures. Different thickness are available and custom post tops can be forged in many different shapes. The material can be used to frame simple contemporary landscaping designs as well as elaborately themed gardens.

Shrubbery Fences

Use shrubbery walls to create a custom enclosure around your home.

Shrubs can be planted along property lines to create custom residential fencing. The types of bushes and plants that work best depend on the area where you live because of differences in growing conditions, such as soil types and climate. Upkeep is very important, not only to keep the shrubbery looking good but also to keep the shrubs from creeping over the property line into your neighbors yard.

Mix a Few Together

Pick two or more of your favorite materials to create a custom fence.

If you are still undecided about what would work best for your landscaping design, pick a few of the residential fencing ideas to put together. For example, pair stone walls with a wrought iron gates for extra drama, or shrubs planted in front of chain link fences for added color.

Check Local Codes

If you live in an urban or suburban area, local codes may dictate what kinds of fencing you can install and the specifications for such fences. You may also need a permit to install a fence. Even in areas without such restrictions, it's a good idea to consult with your neighbors before installing a fence.

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