So you’ve just moved into a home, and you want a fence. It’s a worthwhile investment but not a small one so you’ll want to plan carefully. Likely, the fence you choose now will be around for the next several years.

Choosing a fence is one of the investments that should be made based on your needs over your wants. It would be unfortunate, indeed, to have a stunning architectural fence installed around your yard only to find that it doesn’t provide any privacy from the neighbors or that the dog can easily escape. So, before you schedule with your contractor, consider the following factors. Once you have identified your needs, you can explore fencing options that will fulfill those needs while still adding the visual appeal you have always wanted.
 

Secure Pets

One of the top reasons for fencing in the yard is to keep dogs and other pets from escaping. Owning a dog does not necessarily mean that you have to jump straight to a standard privacy fence. Depending on your particular pet, there are other options.

Smaller dogs can usually be contained with a 3 to 4-foot fence. However, if your dog likes to dig, you will want to either bury the fence 6 inches below ground or use hardscaping around the perimeter of your yard under the fence.

Barking dogs can be a nuisance to neighbors, especially if you get a lot of car or foot traffic past your property. Installing a fence that blocks the dog’s view of passersby can help calm the dog and limit excessive excitability and barking. The best solution will depend on your dog’s size and temperament.
 

Improve Pool Safety

If you have a backyard pool, fencing can be essential, especially if you have kids or expect to have young visitors at family gatherings. Even if you don’t expect kids to be in your yard, a backyard pool can look very inviting to neighborhood children on a hot summer day. It is best to play it safe. Fencing the yard is the first step to keep out uninvited guests. Keeping the pool out of sight can keep it out of mind as well.

Placing a fence around the pool itself that meets the standards suggested by the US Consumer Products Safety Commission will ultimately be the step that saves lives. They suggest that pool fences be a minimum of 48 inches tall with no handholds or footholds that would allow children to climb over. The fence should also have a self-closing and self-latching childproof lock on the gate that opens outward from the pool. These requirements all work together to prevent young children from gaining access to the pool without adult supervision.
 

Additional Privacy

Front porches are a great place to visit with passing neighbors. However, when it comes to the backyard, many homeowners like to be alone with family and friends without worrying about prying eyes. While a solid, 6-foot fence is the most common solution to this issue, there are other factors to consider before you start building.

Compare the height of your yard to that of the neighbor’s yard and deck. If their yard is lower than yours, you may not need a very tall fence to block the view. However, it may take a taller fence if they have a second story deck overlooking your firepit. To determine the proper height for screening your yard, try holding up a piece of plywood or cardboard of varying heights to see what works.

It may not be practical or desirable to build a solid 10-foot fence around the whole yard, though. It would close in the yard and make it more claustrophobic than anything. Alternatively, you could consider building a small section of fence around the firepit, grill, or hot tub area to give you privacy where you need it. You may also choose a tight weave lattice interspersed with ivy or other plants as a more visually appealing option. This same idea could be applied to a backyard trellis to obscure views from elevated areas outside the yard.
 

Protect Your Garden

Deer can be a problem for growing plants, and with the ability to jump up to 8 feet, they can be challenging to keep out of the garden. A solid fence works well because it blocks the plants from view. Deer are less likely to jump into the garden if they cannot see that it is safe. However, this also blocks your view of the growing plants, which may defeat the purpose of having a garden.

If you want to see the garden, you will need to extend the fencing so that deer cannot jump in and help themselves to the fruits of your labors. Installing netting on taller poles works well. Widening the fence by planting hedges along the fence line is another option. Deer cannot jump as high if they have to jump farther as well.
 

Improve Appearances

When you head out to enjoy the seclusion of your yard, you probably don’t want to see passing cars. The right kind of fence can improve the view and make your yard a more enjoyable place to be, whether you’re enjoying your morning coffee, soaking up rays or hosting a backyard soiree. A fence made of frosted glass helps to block sound but still allows the light into the yard. With plants layered on both sides of the fence, you can create your own outdoor sanctuary. When choosing the right style for your fence, take cues from your house. The two should be complementary, or one will look out of place.

Choosing the best fence for your yard can be a difficult decision. However, if you identify your functional needs first, it will steer you in the right direction. From there, you can choose fencing materials and styles that will add to the curb appeal of your home and make your yard an enjoyable place to be.