A home with a yard is a dream-come-true for pet owners; however, a yard isn't complete until your pets are safe, and the only way to ensure this is with a fence.
Deciding on the perfect fence shouldn't be a quick decision, and it requires homeowners to do their research and consider the many options that are available before making this investment.
Following are a couple of preliminary steps to take if you're considering a fence for your yard:
- Inquire about any homeowners association restrictions in your neighborhood. You may find that certain materials and styles are not allowed.
- Reach out to your neighbors to let them know what you are planning to do. Keep in mind that you aren't necessarily asking for permission, but rather just keeping them in the loop. They will appreciate your efforts.
Once you have done the legwork, it is time to evaluate the type of fence that meets your needs. Consider whether the fence is intended to simply keep your pets safe or if you are looking for a privacy barrier, as well. Perhaps you want to create a safe haven for your young children and add some pizazz to your home and yard. Whatever the case, it is important to give careful consideration to the type of fencing material will work best for your pets and your home.
- Invisible Fencing: If your main goal is to protect your pets, an invisible fence may be the best option. These fences form a barrier around your yard with an AM radio band signal that will transmit to your pets' collars if they cross it. While this type of fence does little for privacy or aesthetics, your pets will be safe and your neighbors won't even know it is there.
- Mesh: Mesh fencing is an inexpensive alternative that can serve to keep both active children and enthusiastic dogs in the yard. It is generally made of strong woven material that stands up against claws, teeth, feet and hands. It is portable, and it may be the perfect option for a homeowner looking for an easy solution. While mesh may not detract from the look of your home, it will do little to improve it. This material is also see-through and it isn't a good option if privacy is on your priority list.
- Chain Link: Chain link fencing is sturdy, durable, and it has become a fixture in many neighborhoods. This is an effective option for pets, although it may be risky for homes with children who have a propensity for climbing. The harsh appearance and lack of privacy are drawbacks, although this hasn't hurt its popularity. Handy homeowners can purchase and install their own chain link fence for anywhere from $1 to $4 per square foot, while professional installation can cost between $10 and $20 per square foot
- Vinyl: Vinyl fencing comes in a variety of styles and colors, and serves as a durable, low-maintenance alternative to wood. It is known for being weather-proof, and given the many options that are on the market, you are sure to find vinyl fencing that meets your requirements for privacy and look. There are downsides, though; this may not be the best option to secure larger dogs or pets who rush the fence. Additionally, you should plan to clean the vinyl frequently, particularly if your four-legged friends are messy.
- Wood: Wooden fencing is sturdy, durable, and, depending on the design, can add privacy and personality to your home. Both pets and children will be secure with a wooden fence, as long as it is built tall enough. You will pay more for this option - prices range from $1,500 to $3,000 for 150 linear feet with installation – although the cost will vary depending on the type of lumber that you select. Redwood and cedar are excellent options for a beautiful, low-maintenance, and long-lasting fence.
- Composite: Composite is gaining popularity based upon its environmentally friendly make-up. You can find composite that is made entirely of recycled materials, and it provides the same versatility and design options provided by lumber. Keep in mind that sustainability comes at a cost, and expect to pay 25 to 40 percent more than wood.
Remember that enclosing your yard is an investment that can provide much-needed privacy and compliment the appearance of your home, while ensuring that your pets are safe and sound.