Maximum Value Outdoor Structure Projects: Fence

A fence can serve a number of purposes for your home and its surrounding property. Privacy, safety and landscape enhancement are all factors that should weigh into your fencing choice. A fence can do double duty as an attractive feature while also keeping trespassers at bay and children and pets safely enclosed. Fences come in many different sizes, colors and materials, so finding the right fence to fit your home and lifestyle can easily be done on a wide range of budgets.

Fences can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Add security to the property and update the look of your home with a fence that compliments the home's style.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • Good neighbor fence. Allow an unobstructed view of the yard and home with a good neighbor fence. Although not meant for security, a waist-high fence, such as a picket fence, is the perfect decorative addition to your home's exterior. This type of fence has become popular again in recent years because it clearly defines property boundaries, attracts the eye through additional landscaping and updates the look and feel of the home's exterior.
  • Live fence. A live fence is not made of wood, but instead features trees, shrubs and touches of additional landscaping. Leyland Cyprus and White Pine are trees typically associated with a live fence because they grow tall at a fast rate, about a foot a year. Live fences are easy to maintain, more so than a normal fence, and the color, texture and privacy offered by a live fence can be quite eye-catching to a potential home buyer.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, be careful where and how you use a fence. "In higher-end homes, unless there is a real need for a fence, whether it's to shield highway noise or a railroad for example, stay away from it," he says. A fence itself does not add as much value to the home when compared to material and construction costs. It will enhance the value of the home only if there is a true need for such an outdoor structure.

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: Chain link fencing is an old standby and by far the most popular fencing choice because of its low cost and ease of construction. Although some might find chain link fences to lack in aesthetics, landscaping can really play up a chain link fence and aid in privacy as well.
  • Mid-Range: The wooden fence is extremely popular and a good choice if you want a variety of style options to choose from without blowing your budget. Wood fences are also very durable and blend in seamlessly with the natural surroundings.
  • High-End: Vinyl fencing, although more expensive than other options, is extremely durable and will stand the test of time. Unlike other types of fences, vinyl is virtually maintenance free and does not need yearly upkeep. What a vinyl fence costs up front, it makes up for in its long-lasting and worry-free durability.

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