Choosing the right fence on a budget
A fence is one of those features in a yard makeover that can be customized to be as functional or as fashionable as you want it to be. Depending on your budget, design aesthetic and security needs, there are lots of options for you to explore. Here are my tips on what to consider when choosing a fence.
Photography courtesy of Janis Nicolay
Choosing the right fence
Are you trying to keep nosy neighbours at bay? Prevent the family dog from escaping the yard? Secure a pool? Or are you just adding a decorative element to your property’s landscaping? Before you make any decisions about materials or design, you need to determine what you want your fence to accomplish.
Decide exactly how much maintenance you’re willing to take on. Wooden fences require regular painting or staining and will rot or warp over time. Wrought iron, chain-link and vinyl fences require less upkeep but might not provide adequate privacy, and can be pricey or stick out among the rest of your yard’s landscaping and hardscaping. Price out all the various materials and compare your budget with your needs to find the best choice for you.
As more people extend their living space outdoors, the visual appeal of fences becomes a bigger consideration. Arbours, trellises and gates can add a lot to the look, and you can use lattices, decorative posts and outdoor lighting sources to tie the design into the other elements of your yard. You can also consider mixing and matching materials to keep your costs down. For example, you can use an expensive cedar in the front yard but go with a cost-effective chain-link fence in the backyard, where it won’t affect your property’s curb appeal.
Photography courtesy of Jackie Connelly
- Wrought iron, $20 to $40 per linear foot
- Vinyl, 15 to $25 per linear foot
- Wood, 12 to $28 per linear foot
- Chain link, 6 to $15 per linear foot
Remember: Before you head to your local hardware store, you’ll need to visit your local building office. Fence regulations differ by municipality and will dictate things like allowable height.