Tips to weigh before closing in on a fence

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014 12:50pm
  • Life

Top-rated fencing pros tell our team that, based on the average price for material type, and a typical fence length of 200 linear feet, here’s what you could spend:

$2,600 for chain-link, at $13 a foot;

$3,200 for wood, at $16 a foot;

$6,000 for vinyl, at $30 a foot;

$8,000 for aluminum, at $40 a foot.

To get the most out of your fencing dollar, be sure to consider these questions:

What’s the purpose? Do you want to create privacy? Wooden fences may be your best bet for that. Need to safely confine children or pets? Other options may work just as well as wood, but be sure you know how high your pup can jump. You may also want to consider an electronic, “invisible” style of fence.

Are you clear on the rules? Your homeowners’ association, or your municipality, may have restrictions that limit your fencing options. Be sure your project meets local standards for materials, height, location, etc.

How much maintenance is required? Wooden fences typically require more maintenance than most other types, often in the form of staining or painting, but they can also be more easily repaired than some vinyl and aluminum options. Wooden slats or boards are readily found, but some vinyl and aluminum designs may be hard to locate years after initial installation.

Have you informed the neighbors? There are a couple of important “fence etiquette” considerations. First, it’s wise to tell your neighbors if you’re considering a fence project. You don’t want them to learn about it during installation. Second, if your chosen fence style looks more on the “inside” than “outside,” there are several reasons — including possible local rules, security considerations and neighborliness — to let your neighbors have the better view. However, it will still be your responsibility to maintain the fence.

A fence can be a rather labor-intensive do-it-yourself project. If you decide to hire a pro, take time to check the company’s licensing, insurance and references. Also, be sure the company will secure any necessary permits, and get all important details, including the payment schedule, in writing.

In addition, it’s a smart move to hire a licensed land surveyor to make sure your fencing plans are based on your actual property lines.

And always, before you dig: Make sure you or your contractor call 811 several days before any digging is planned. You’ll be connected to a local call center expressly set up to locate underground utility lines, pipes and cables, so they aren’t damaged. To learn more, go to www.call811.com.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, www.angieslist.com, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

More in Life

Mark Ellinger works with fire to create unique texture and color on a float. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Glass Quest: Find clue balls to trade in for hand-blown floats

The ninth annual Great Northwest Glass Quest is on Camano Island and in Stanwood through Feb. 25.

See migrating snow geese at birding festival next weekend

The Port Susan Snow Goose Festival in Stanwood features speakers, bus tours and kids activities.

Mixer vs. maker: War for counter space is like Game of Thrones

Is there a correlation between weight gain and the small appliances we keep on our kitchen counters?

Welsh revival: Cardiff sheds rust-belt past for glossy future

Just an hour from major English destinations such as Bath and the… Continue reading

The farm-to-table concept in an easy-to-grow container garden

Through container gardening, you can grow edible plants in pots instead of the ground.

How do plants survive freezing temperatures? With genetics

Plants have evolved to tolerate the weather conditions of where they are growing.

Beer of the Week: Scrappy Punk’s Dark English Lager

The Snohomish brewery’s English-inspired lager was created by a first-time brewer.

Barnard Griffin’s award-winning rose is a wine to fall for

Looking for a bottle of vino to go with your Valentine’s Day weekend dinner? Think pink.

‘Black Panther’ builds a proud new superhero world

The movie presents a vision of what central Africa might have looked like without colonialism.

Most Read