Your property deserves several things from a fence. Whether you need a fence for protection, privacy, pet containment, or simply as decoration, a fence needs to look great next to the home and landscape features, and it needs to last for a long time. The material you choose for your fence will determine both its aesthetics and performance. If you’re undecided about which material to choose, here are a few major questions to ask before a wood fence installation in Mendham, NJ.
What Are the Advantages of a Wood Fence?
Wood is the original fencing material. It is filled with character, it’s relatively easy to work with, and it can last for a very long time with some routine maintenance. Homeowners primarily choose wood fencing for its natural good looks and sustainability. No other material comes close in providing a unique fence, since each piece of wood has a different grain.
Wood fencing can pair well with both traditional and rustic homes—and every architectural style. From rough-hewn post-and-rail ranch fences to charming picket fences or smooth, sleek privacy fencing, wood is the most customizable material since it can be painted or stained any color you like—or even be left to weather naturally to a silvery gray patina.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Wood Fence?
Wood fencing is very strong, but it can be vulnerable to weather, insects, and UV damage. Unlike other fencing materials, wood fencing requires regular maintenance to extend its lifespan. This means regular staining or painting (typically every three to five years); pest management (termites can make short work of a fence); and over time, replacement of any warped or rotted sections. Even the most well-sealed fence could warp, which can cause fence sections to pull apart. To maintain the looks and integrity of the fence, routine maintenance will end up being a recurring cost for the homeowner.
What Are Some Alternatives to a Wood Fence?
After years of improvements, vinyl fences are becoming more popular than wood fences due to their ease of maintenance. Depending on your intended use, aluminum fences can also do the trick.
Questions to Ask Before Installation
First, is wood the right choice for your needs? If you’re after character and don’t mind regular upkeep, then wood can be an excellent choice for privacy/pet containment; aesthetic uses such as around a plant bed or at the front entry; horse pastures; or as a purely aesthetic property line boundary. Wood fencing is not ideal for pool security or home security (unless you want the fence to do double duty as a privacy barrier).
Second, will you do the installation or will you hire professionals? Although straightforward, fences are actually much more involved than people think, no matter the size of the project. Designing the fence, properly marking the fence line, getting permits/talking to neighbors, working around obstacles, correctly spacing posts, digging post holes (including contacting utility companies to prevent accidentally rupturing utility lines), properly attaching rails and pickets (especially challenging on sloped or irregularly shaped land), installing a gate, and much more—these all add up to a lot more work than it seems. The design process of a fence has to be taken very seriously, as does the installation process. After all, a fence is something you’re going to be looking at for years.
Third, do you know the local regulations? Your HOA and municipality may have regulations in place that will directly affect the type of fence you build.