Privacy is important to many homeowners, and the quickest way to gain a bit of outside seclusion from the neighbors is to install a privacy fence. Other homeowners opt for a fence as a containment measure to keep pets safe within the boundaries of the property, and still more simply want something to enhance the visual aesthetic of the home. Whatever the reason for the installation, and whether a homeowner opts for a wooden privacy fence, decorative wrought iron, or simple chain link to keep pets in the yard, there are several factors that should be considered before the installation ensues.
First, before any fencing is purchased, it is vital to know the accurate property boundaries upon which the fence will be placed. Going over the boundary line into a neighbor's property is a huge error that could result in extra labor, money, and possible lawsuits in the future when said neighbor requests the fence be moved. Consult a land surveyor, check with neighbors, and ensure all parties are in agreement on the property lines.
Once the boundaries have been accurately established, assess the location of trees, plants, landscaping, rocks, and anything else that might be in the way and require a move. It's much easier to select a fence line that works around what is already present, rather than moving bushes and trees to accommodate the fencing as it is installed. Mark the lines by driving wooden stakes into the corners and attaching string to represent the fence's position. Then, measure to calculate the amount of fencing needed.
Once the location has been established, check the ground along the line. Is it dirt, cement, or rock? There are many options for fencing, some more suitable for certain conditions than others. Also, check on local restrictions for heights and distances from various structures. Some towns may require a permit before a fence can be installed, and if procedures aren't followed to a city's specifications, homeowners may be fined.
Once all the lines, conditions, measurements, and rules have been recorded, it's time to select the style. Head to the local hardware and building supply store armed with the information and present it to a knowledgeable salesperson. Depending on the purpose of the fence, style preferences, and surface the fence will be installed upon, the salesperson should be able to give a list of the fencing available that falls under the specific categories.