When you want more privacy for your front or backyard, fencing is the obvious answer. However, while it may seem like a simple project, installing a privacy fence requires quite a bit of planning to get it right. If you’re thinking about adding a new privacy fence to your property, there are several factors that you should take into consideration so you don’t run into any issues securing the privacy that you want.
Before you call a fencing company or head to the store for supplies, you must check local zoning codes to determine what type of privacy fence is permissible in your area. Most jurisdictions have height restrictions for fencing. HouseLogic notes that common limits are 6 feet for side and backyards and 4 feet for front yards. Some areas may also have rules about the type of materials that you can use and what direction it can face. Ensure that you understand all zoning rules before planning your fence. If you’re subject to neighborhood association or subdivision restrictions, ensure you’re aware of those as well. If you build a fence that doesn’t conform to local restrictions, you may have to tear it down.
Be a Good Neighbor
In many cases, you’ll want to place your privacy fence on the border between your home and the neighbor’s property. While you’re not required to, it’s a good idea to inform your neighbors of your plans so they’re not surprised when you start constructing your fence. If there are any disagreements about the property line, get them settled before you install the fencing. Usually, you install your fence with the finished side facing your neighbor’s property. If you don’t want to be stuck with the unfinished side facing your yard, opt for one that is finished on both sides.
While the goal of your fence is to create privacy, there may be some areas of your yard that don’t require as a high a fence as others. In fact, in smaller areas, a tall fence may make the spot feel closed in and cramped. It might even block a particularly attractive view. Don’t assume that your privacy fence has to have the same height or design around your entire property. You can vary the height to fit your needs and even vary the materials that you use. If the back of your property faces a wooded area, you might want a solid wood or vinyl fence in that area. Simple chain link fencing may work in this spot to preserve your view of the trees. In the front of your home, you might want your privacy fence to have a more decorative look since it faces the street, so a wooden style with lattice panels at the top may work best. Using multiple materials for your fencing allows you to keep your budget down, too.
Create a Test Fence
Before starting the installation of your fence, test your design to ensure that it will provide effective privacy for your home. It’ll save you the expense of having to buy new materials if your fence isn’t tall or solid enough. You can create a test fence by hanging old sheets in the areas where you need privacy. If there’s nothing to hang the sheets on, have a friend or family member stand in various spots around your property with a piece of cardboard that’s the same height as your fence, so you can walk around and see how effective the height will be.