Fences can add privacy, style to a home
January 7, 2006
The days of white picket fences in front of houses are gone, but with the right fence, a homeowner can add a certain style to the home's appearance.
Homeowners have many options for fencing in their homes to add security and privacy. Among the options for fencing are chainlink, wood, vinyl, wrought iron and brick.
Most homeowners install fences around their homes for security and safety, said Todd Hawkins, the owner of Hawkins Fence Co. in Yuba City. “A fence will keep children or pets safe.”
Many houses in the Yuba-Sutter area lack fences in the front yard due to ordinances limiting allotted fence height to 3 feet in Yuba City and 3-1/2 feet in Marysville, said Hawkins.
“Ordinances have set back things a bit,” he said. “It's more convenient now not to have a fence in your front yard.”
Townsend said he had been in the fencing business for almost 40 years, and he expected fences in front yards to return.
“It goes in waves - the trend for some periods will be no fence in the front yard, then it will change to the opposite,” he said.
When installing a fence, a professional will provide a better quality job.
“Professionals are good if you don't know what you're doing,” Hawkins said. With fence installation, “you get what you pay for.”
Hiring a professional fencing installer is safer than to self-install a fence.
“A professional (installer) will locate the phone and power lines beneath a home so that they don't become damaged during construction of a fence,” Townsend said. “You can't beat anybody whose trade is fence installation. Your fence will look more professional.”
Installing a wood fence can provide a more traditional look for a home.
“Wood is usually what people want,” Hawkins said. “You can paint it any color.”
However, its main disadvantage is that it will rot and become discolored because of water damage.
But a vinyl fence will not rot, nor will it need to be painted. A vinyl fence is also durable and will last for a long time. A vinyl fence will cost also more, Hawkins said.
Choices in color are limited to only white. But some vinyl fences that resemble wood have been introduced.
The most attractive of fencing is wrought iron fences. “Wrought iron fences are a better quality fence,” Townsend said.
“They look nicer (than the others) and classier,” Hawkins said.
Wrought iron fences are an expensive choice, however. In addition, they do not provide adequate privacy.
A brick fence is the most expensive option in fencing.
“It's like a barrier, (complete) with brick columns,” Townsend said.
Because of the cost of the work involved in creating a brick fence, not many homeowners in the Yuba-Sutter area have them, Townsend said.
“They're available, but they're high dollar.”
Chainlink fences are another common option in fencing.
“It lasts a lifetime, and it's never going to rot,” Hawkins said. “Unless you have a car go through it, it's going to last for a long time.”
A chainlink fence is also more affordable, said Ron Townsend of Townsend Fencing in Loma Rica.
“The average homeowner can buy it and put it up themselves, and it will last between 20 and 25 years,” he said. “It's a great product. It's just not very attractive for a home.”
The unattractiveness of chainlink fences is one of the main reasons homeowners decide against them, Hawkins said.
“Their appearance is bad - they're not pleasing to the eye. People just don't like metal frames,” he said.
A chainlink fence also fails to provide privacy for a homeowner. “Even with slats, you'll be able to see through it,” Hawkins said.
Cost of fencing varies according to the type of fence the homeowner wants, and according to the size of the land.
“You have to consider the configuration (of the area), whether you want gates, and so many other variables” in calculating price, Hawkins said.
The average wood fence will run about $20 to $22 a foot, according to Townsend, while chainlink will run about $12 to $15 a foot.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Josh Kendrix can be reached at 749-4707. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.