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The Home Depot

Ultimate Fence Design Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fence > Ultimate Fence Design Guide
Ultimate Fence Design Guide

There are two basic types of domestic fences – the closed up high one in your back yard to keep your nosy neighbor from checking up on what the family is doing and the decorative one in front that both marks the boundaries of your property and adds to the appeal of the landscape. It is here that fence design plays an important role.


The main aspects of fence design are the amount of visibility it offers to outsiders and the material it is made from. There are all kinds of options available and finding the pre-made fence that can just be planted into the ground is not a problem. You can also get a fence made to your specific design from the material of your choice.


If you are planning to install or replace a fence and do not want to do the job yourself, you will find information on fence suppliers and manufacturers as well as installation experts in your area with a simple online search.

  1. 1.When Repairs are Too Much

    Fences, whether they are of wood or metal, are exposed to the elements and will show signs of age sooner or later. This can be covered up with fresh coat of paint and small repairs, but not indefinitely. Sooner or later a fence will look so bad that it brings down the look of you home. The only solution then is to replace the fence.

  2. 2.Working with Your Neighbor

    Remember that though it is your fence, it is also seen by the people on the other side, especially your neighbors. And the look of your fence affects the look of his yard. Work with your neighbor when installing a fence so that the end result does not make him unhappy. After all, you would expect the same consideration from him. And keep in mind that you cannot unreasonably block out the light from his yard with your fence.

  3. 3.Choose Your Material

    There are 3 options you can choose from – the traditional wood or metal fence and fences made from plastic. If you want a traditional fence like a picket fence, then wood is the material to go with. However, metal fences, such as those made up of poles connected by layered chains, have also been in use for a long time. Plastic fences are growing in popularity because of their comparatively low cost, and durability. The choice of the fence you install really depends on your budget and how it fits in with the layout and décor of your yard.

  4. 4.Proper Fence Height

    There is no fixed height for a fence. It depends on how much privacy and security you want. The height of the fence must make sense in relation to its design. For example a picket fence offers gaps for those on the outside to see into your yard, so going very high with it will not give you any extra privacy. And a 6 foot high picket fence will look very odd. That being said, the average height for a fence at the front of a home is typically about 3 feet. Of course, in many localities there are codes that govern fence height so this needs to be checked.

  5. 5.Installing the Fence

    Begin at a corner of your yard. Dig the appropriate hole and plant the first fence post. Then do the same at the other corners. Now run a string between the posts – this is the line on which the other posts have to be installed. Now determine the spacing that you want between the posts and go down each line marking you the places where you will need to dig. For wooden and plastic fences, digging a hole deep enough to support the posts and packing them in tightly so they are firmly placed is usually enough. For heavier metal posts, cementing them into the ground may be required. Ensure that all the holes are of equal depth so that the fence is of a uniform height.

  6. 6.Fence Painting

    You can paint a fence any color you want, but there are a few important aspects that need to be kept in mind. Firstly, dark colors and extremely bright ones will look odd in most cases. A black fence for example will give the yard a gloomy look and a bright red or yellow one can look like it belongs in an amusement park. White and natural wood tones are best for wooden fences and for metal fences, whites, brown, and earth tones usually work well. The paint you apply on your fence is not purely decorative – it serves to act as a shield from water, snow and excessive sunlight which can cause damage. Use only paints that are right for the surface you are working on and make sure that it is suitable for outdoor use. Plastic fences do not need painting.

  7. 7.The Fence Gate

    The fence gate is the only moving part of a fence and so it needs to be well mounted and strong enough to withstand constant opening and closing over a long period of time. The important aspects of a fence gate are the strength of the hinges and the type of locking mechanism that it has. Keep in mind also that to keep the gate functioning smoothly, a little maintenance in to form of lubricating the hinge and lock is required.

Your home is your castle – the place where you are king and where you have the freedom to live as you want. The fence that you have is a symbol of your ownership and control over the property it encompasses. And the design it has tells those on the outside what kind of people live within its boundaries. A fence is not just to limit access to your home – with the right design it adds value to your yard and house.

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