A front yard fence is one of the most effective and affordable solutions for enhancing a home's curb appeal. It could also elevate the property’s landscape design and improve security from unwanted visitors. Several options are available to boost your curb appeal with front yard fencing with materials, styles, and structures, so you can easily tailor your front yard fence to suit your needs and preferences.
So if you want to add curb appeal, a front yard fence is worth looking into. Here are some of the most important things to know about fence design and fence installation on your property.
Is a Front Yard Fence a Good Idea?
Putting up a front yard fence is a good idea for many reasons. First, it is an excellent security measure, preventing unwanted visitors from walking up to your front door. It also keeps animals away and prevents them from burrowing into your grounds and foundation.
A front yard fence also offers an added buffer between your house and the street. This makes it safer for kids and pets to play outside without you worrying about having them wander into the path of oncoming traffic.
Well-designed fences also add to a home’s aesthetic appeal. The best fence can improve the outdoor space, and tasteful decorative touches make your home’s exterior look more attractive and increase its value to appraisers and potential buyers.
How High Should a Fence Be?
Height is one of the main considerations when building a fence. If privacy is a primary factor, it would be best to have a structure at least six feet high. A privacy fence of this height should be sufficient to deter curious neighbors and passers-by.
A taller fence‒say, seven to eight feet tall‒will enhance yard privacy even further. But find out if local regulations prohibit the construction of fences this high.
Six feet is also the ideal height for a fence if your main considerations are keeping young children and pets secure. Most dog breeds will not be able to scale a six-foot-high fence. Of course, a higher fence might be a better option if you have a dog with exceptional leaping ability.
Again, be aware the local regulations might prohibit you from building an overly high fence. Many residential communities restrict fences up to six feet.
Some municipalities do allow homeowners to apply for a variance under special circumstances. Suppose you have a particularly good reason to have a taller privacy fence. In that case, you can include a request with your building permit application. Doing so could length the approval process, but you will have the legal right to build a taller fence to accommodate your needs.
How Close Can the Fence Be to My Property?
Most neighborhoods allow homeowners to install their fence two to eight inches from the property line. But in urban communities where space is limited, it may be permissible to build the fence right up to the property line.
If you build your fence back a short distance from the property line, you will still be responsible for the grounds beyond the fence. Even if it is only a few inches wide, you will still have to pull out the weeds and ensure that the grass is cut.
If you would like to build your fence right on the edge of your property, consider sharing the building cost and maintenance with your adjacent neighbor. But be aware that not all neighbors will agree to have a fence installed.
If you go ahead with your plan without consulting them, they may file suit to compel you to take it down. Therefore, the best course of action would be to talk to your neighbor before you start building and find out how amenable they are to the construction and the sharing of repair and maintenance costs.
What Are the Regulations I Need to Be Aware Of?
Depending on the community, there may be regulations governing the height, placement, style, visibility, materials, and even the appearance of a fence.
Most communities have regulations that limit the height of a fence to six feet. However, these may be up to eight feet tall depending on special circumstances, such as blocking out unsightly views or excessive noise. In these cases, the homeowner may apply for a variance that allows the building of a taller fence than the community normally allows.
There may also be regulations concerning the repair and maintenance of the fence. Owners of adjacent properties that share a single fence must contribute equally to its repair and maintenance.
Other regulations involve how close a fence can be to the property line, the fencing material used, and any risks it may pose to neighbors and passers-by. But did you know that there are also rules governing how a fence looks?
In some communities, there are provisions regulating a fence’s appearance. Suppose you purposely build an ugly fence to spite or annoy your neighbor. In that case, you could violate a rule against “spite fences.” You could then be legally bound to take it down or modify it to conform to community regulations.
Does a Fence Add to Curb Appeal?
Installing a front yard fence could add to a home’s curb appeal and property value to homebuyers. Fences are generally considered part of a property’s landscaping features. Since landscaped properties typically sell for 1% to 10% more than homes without a landscape design, adding a fence is a wise decision from a profit and real estate salability standpoint.
How Do I Make a Fence Look Good?
The best way to make a fence look good is to have fencing professionals build it according to industry standards and with a fence design that compliments your home’s exterior. Fence posts should be straight and evenly spaced, and picket fences shouldn’t have unsightly gaps or protrusions.
Even after a fence has been built and standing for years, there are many things homeowners can do to maintain and improve its appearance.
Painting it is the obvious option, but you don’t necessarily have to cover the entire fence. In some cases, you can paint only the fence posts to create more appeal and bring some life back into your fence design.
Any warped sections should be straightened and repaired. Loose boards should also be screwed or nailed in to fix the “gap tooth” appearance of old, rundown fences. This could be done by fencing professionals depending on how serious the repairs are.
If your fence has a lattice that has seen better days, it may be time to replace it. But if it is still structurally sound, you may be able to get away with painting or staining it to improve the worn appearance.
Hanging some flower baskets is an inexpensive way to liven up an old fence. This is an especially effective solution for wooden fences, giving it a quaint and rustic look.
Finally, consider adding some lights to your fence. Options include cap lights for fence posts or screw-on lights for wooden fences. You could even go for fairy lights that add a charming, whimsical look ideal for a modern house design.
What Material Should My Fence Be?
When choosing fence materials, the primary considerations are appearance and durability. The good news is that there is a huge variety of attractive-looking fencing materials, from wrought iron fences to wooden fences, vinyl fencing, aluminum, and even faux wood fence. Any of these can be excellent choices for your front yard, depending on your home design and appeal ideas.
But you also must consider how well the material will hold up to the elements. If you opt for a wood fence, you must treat it with water repellent to safeguard against moisture and animal damage. You could also use pressure-treated wood or aluminum, which hold up remarkably well against the elements.
A wrought iron fence is another good option. A wrought iron fence is much more durable than one made of wood and won’t require nearly as much care and maintenance.
What Are Some Ways to Integrate Plants Into My Fence Design?
Integrating plants into your fencing ideas is a great way to enhance its beauty at a relatively low cost. Three general approaches to incorporating plants are framing, latticework, and built-in shelving.
Framing plants is the most intensive approach, requiring you to design your fence to accommodate the plants. You could create cutouts, design built-in frames, or build the fence to a suitable height.
You could add latticework or trellises to your fence to accommodate climbing plants. This is also a work-intensive solution, but it does allow you to adapt the plants to the shape of the fence instead of the other way around.
The third option is to go for built-in shelving. This is the most flexible solution, allowing you to change plants depending on the season.
What Do Buyers Want in a Fence?
Prospective buyers generally look for monetary and purpose value in a fence. Professional build and quality materials that stand the test of time will enhance the property value to potential homebuyers. And if it blocks an unattractive view or dampens the sound of traffic, it will also serve a functional purpose.
Does a Fence Increase Home Value?
A fence can add value to your property if it is properly installed and made of durable and attractive materials. It is generally best to have a professional install the fence if adding to the property’s value is a primary consideration.
Care and maintenance are crucial regardless of the materials used in fence construction. A fence that holds up to the elements years after it was built will add to the property’s aesthetic and monetary value.
How Do I Go About Installing a Fence?
Installing a fence is a task that is generally best left to professionals. You want the structure to conform to a certain standard and quality level to add better value to your home. If you don’t have prior experience, installing the fence yourself will likely produce amateurish results that could reduce your home’s value and curb appeal.
How to Install a Fence
If you are dead set on installing it yourself, here are the basic steps for doing so:
1. Know Your Local Building Codes
Familiarity with local building codes is the first and most important step. You need to know if there are legal obstacles to the structure you’re planning to build. Pay particular attention to regulations regarding fence height, placement, materials, and design.
2. Check Your Property Lines
You must ensure your planned fence will be within your property lines. You also want to maximize available space and plan for contingencies such as repair, maintenance, and grounds upkeep.
3. Decide on a Fence Design
The design you ultimately settle on depends on your privacy, security considerations, and aesthetic preferences. Deciding on a design first will help you determine materials, placement, and costs.
4. Measure and Mark the Fence Area
Measuring and marking out the fenced area will ensure a perfect installation. Use a measuring wheel for longer spans and chalk to outline the area. Mark where the fence posts will go, and don’t forget to mark the gate!
5. Get the Necessary Tools and Materials
A general list of fencing tools and materials may include the following:
- Post hole digger
- Measuring tape
- Hammer, nails, and screws
- Power drill
- Fence posts and panels
Depending on the type of fence you plan to build, you may need to add to this list.
6. Plant the Fence Posts
You need to plant your fence posts in the ground before the rest of the fence can be assembled. Use your post-hole digger to dig holes about a third of the posts’ height. Posts are ideally positioned every six to eight feet.
Next, pour approximately three to four inches of gravel into each hole. Add six to eight inches of concrete mix over the gravel and insert the post into the center. After making sure the post is level, move on to the next. Allow sufficient time for the concrete to dry.
7. Install the Rails
After the concrete has dried and set fully, you can install the rails. A six-foot high fence will probably need three rails. These can be attached to the post with deck screws or nails.
8. Attach the Pickets
If you are building a picket fence, the next step is to attach the pickets. You can opt for screws or nails to mount them to the picket fencing.
9. Install the Gate
Finally, install the fence gate. You will need fence gate posts to attach them to, which are planted into the ground just like fence posts. After the concrete for the gate posts has been set, attach the fence gate with hinges and install your locks.
How Else Can I Make My Front Yard More Private?
Apart from building a fence, you can make your yard fence more attractive by making a potted screen or installing a faux hedge. You could also grow a real hedge, although it will require more care and maintenance.
Some homeowners conceal the view from the street with a trellis or vertical garden. If budget permits, you could even build a pergola, which gives you an additional living space outside the house.
How Can Modern Aspect Help Me?
Modern Aspect provides a wide range of resources for homeowners and homemakers looking to improve their front yard curb appeal. The company started offering custom house numbers, mailboxes, and other products that added to a property’s aesthetic value.
Modern Aspect offers an online shopping storefront with various products such as address planters and plaques, wall- and post-mounted mailboxes, address yard signs, and more. The site even carries an extensive line of plants.
Rounding out the site is a blog with plenty of useful and relevant information for homeowners. There is also a customer support service where you can get assistance for site-related concerns.