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How to Choose a Fence | The Allstate Blog

3 Things to Consider Before Installing a Fence

From local regulations and safety codes to material options, there are many considerations when it comes to building a fence. Here are a few points to think about before installing a fence on your property: 1. Do Your Research It's important to be aware of any local restrictions or requirements… Allstate https://i1.wp.com/blog.allstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/vinyl-fence_istock.jpg?fit=1700%2C1129&ssl=1
White vinyl fence in backyard.

From local regulations and safety codes to material options, there are many considerations when it comes to building a fence. Here are a few points to think about before installing a fence on your property:

1. Do Your Research

It’s important to be aware of any local restrictions or requirements before you install a new fence. Some cities or counties require you to apply for a permit before you can put a fence in, and there may be restrictions when it comes to how high or close to the curb your fence can be or what it’s made from, The Spruce says. Check the rules of your town as well as your homeowners association, if you have one, to make sure you comply with any rules.

A few days before you plan to start digging, call 811. You’ll be asked to describe your project and wait for local utility providers to survey the area. Each utility company will mark any underground utility lines for you to avoid during fence installation.

2. Select Your Materials

Fences come in a range of materials and styles. It’s a good idea to think about the purpose of your fence when considering your options, Angie’s List suggests. For instance, if you want to add visual appeal to your yard, a simple picket fence may be an option. But if you want a privacy fence, a taller wooden fence may make more sense. You may want to also take maintenance into consideration, Angie’s List says. While a vinyl fence probably won’t require much upkeep, wooden fences may need periodical cleaning, painting or staining. The kind of care your fence may need, as well as how long it’s expected to last, may be factors in choosing the right fence for you.

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3. Determine the Right Height

It’s also a good idea to make sure your new fence is the right height for its purpose. For instance, if you’re installing a safety fence around your backyard pool, local codes often dictate how tall the fence needs to be. Or, if you want your new fence to prevent your dog from leaving the yard, it’s important that that the dog can’t jump over it — but that it’s also within height regulations.

If you’re shopping for a privacy fence, keep in mind that part of the fence post will need to be installed underground. So if you plan to have a 6-foot fence, you may actually need to purchase 8-foot posts, Angie’s List says.

While you want your fence to look nice, it’s also important that you choose the appropriate material and height for your needs and that it complies with your community’s requirements. With a little preparation, you’ll be on your way to buying the fence that it right for you.

Originally published on April 5, 2016.