The basic function of a yard fence is to provide a line. That line can be to mark a property, provide a security barrier or to provide privacy.
But there’s no reason to limit a yard fence to its basic purpose. It can be beautiful, too.
There are dozens of ways to satisfy all those goals and more. An electric fence for dogs can be hidden to provide an invisible line. Or, it can be above ground. Either will keep pets safe and within sight, and out of the neighbor’s property.
At the same time pets are kept in, other animals can be kept out. Rabbit fences and deer fences keep pesky animals out of your garden and flower beds. They can encroach on a garden or lawn and turn all your hard work into a meal for themselves.
Building a garden fence is easy and inexpensive and it’s the surest way to keep that problem to a minimum. Installing fence posts is usually the hardest part of the whole effort but, done properly, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Some larger properties have the same needs but on a bigger scale. That makes the fence potentially much more expensive. But there are designs that can minimize that problem. Simple post and rail, wire or mesh, and many other types are relatively inexpensive and very easy to erect.
One special application of that situation arises for those who choose to board horses. That’s much more common these days than in the past few decades, as former suburbanites move farther and farther from traditional neighborhoods. Fortunately, building a secure and safe border to enclose horses is simpler than many other styles of fencing.
Any yard fence, regardless of application, brings the need to choose a material and a style.
Wooden fences are a traditional yard fence and one that remains hugely popular. There’s just no getting around the inherent natural beauty of real wood.
Today, there are hundreds of wooden fence styles made from a variety of species, such as cedar or redwood or pine. All require some type of treatment, such as fence stains, shellac, oil or fence sealers. Thanks to contemporary technology there are many choices, all of them effective in the right application.
Other types of technology have increased the options in fencing, as it has in so many areas of the home. Vinyl fencing can often closely resemble wood and provides an attractive and very long lasting option that is ultra-easy to care for. Composites come even closer to having the look of real wood and many require no treatment.
Chain link fencing has even advanced beyond the traditional gray metal to become not only inexpensive and sturdy but highly attractive.
That last element, after all, shouldn’t be neglected. A yard fence has to be practical, but it should also be ornamental. Whether it’s an old-fashioned picket fence, wrought iron spear, or a contemporary geometric design, a barrier can add beauty while it offers protection. That’s a feature that may evolve, but it never goes out of fashion.