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

Bob Jepperson’s Wild Love Story

A perfect circle of sounds, pictures and storytelling from the Anacortes author.

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globe nominations

“The Post” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also collected a number of nominations.

Mukilteo Police Chief Cheol Kang is known for his people skills

The city’s top cop’s calm demeanor and holistic approach earns him the nickname “Yoda.”

Three posh places to escape this winter in north Puget Sound

Whether it’s wine country, backcountry or the seashore, a relaxing retreat is close at hand.

Getting a glimpse of what’s coming as we age

Everett Public Library reading to help you understand the changes ahead in your elder years.

This author is throwing a virtual party for book lovers

Jennifer Bardsley is hosting a Facebook get-together for young-adult book authors and readers.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Taylor Johnston waters a philodendron at her home on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Three guidebooks to help the novice houseplant gardener

Indoor plants are popular again — and we’re not talking about your grandma’s African violets.

Bustling Dublin offers big-city sights and Irish charm

The dynamic city has a great story to tell, and people who excel at telling it.

Most Read