Backyard fences are common. However, while front yard fences are not as popular, they’re certainly not unusual. You might be considering putting a fence around your front yard as a security measure, to increase curb appeal, or as an added safety measure for kids or pets to play outside. If a new fence sounds like a good idea to you, check out these questions to think about when adding fencing in your front yard.
Can you put a fence in the front yard?
The short answer of course is yes, you can certainly fence your front yard. But it may be more complicated than a simple yes or no. Does your neighborhood have a homeowners association? If so, you will likely need approval or to follow their guidelines regarding a fence on your property.
Some cities have ordinances preventing front yard fencing, or limiting the type of materials, location,front-facing, pass-through, lawnmowers, or height of the fence. Additionally, you will want to find out if your fence project will require a building permit. A quick online search or phone call to your local city hall or HOA will give you the information you need.
Do I need a survey before putting up a fence?
Before you start your fencing project, you’ll need to know where to put the fence. To make sure that you accurately build your fence on your own property and not partially on your neighbor’s land, you should get your property surveyed. A property survey is a document created by a surveyor that establishes a property’s boundaries and rights of way. If you’ve lost your property survey, you may be able to get it from your county’s records office.
Having a property survey is a way to protect your investment in the fence and ensure that you won’t need to remove it because it’s encroaching on a neighbor’s property or public property.
How tall can a fence be in the front yard?
Look around your neighborhood: do other houses on your street have front yard fencing? If so, how tall are the fences? If not, do you have an HOA that prevents fencing in front yards? A good rule of thumb is to follow neighborhood trends when adding a front yard fence, in terms of both size and style. A front yard fence typically has to be set back 2 to 8 inches from sidewalks and property lines, and some cities will have additional requirements about height and location.
Whatever your practical reasons are for installing a fence, you’ll want to be careful to add to your home’s value and not detract. For that reason alone you may want to consider the overall look of homes in your area, regardless of whether or not there are specific restrictions or guidelines for fence installation.
How can I make my front yard more private?
To make your front yard more private, you’ll want to carefully consider your fencing materials. While picket and wrought iron fences can be very visually appealing, they tend not to offer as much height or privacy as a wooden fence. A traditional white picket fence is usually no more than 3 feet tall.
Another option for more private fencing is a chain link fence with added slats for privacy and style. If you do opt for fencing with more gaps between slats, you could also plant bushes, trees, or other shrubs along the inside of your fence to decrease visibility from the street.
What materials can I use for my front yard fence?
Fences come in a variety of materials for different price points and climates. For warmer, wetter climates, vinyl is the best material choice, as wood is more susceptible to water damage. Nowadays most traditional-looking white picket fences are actually vinyl/PVC, not wood. In very cold climates, wood, PVC, and metal (aluminum, steel, or chain-link) fences are the most durable. What we think of as wrought iron fences are now typically made of aluminum and powder-coated to add color. These do require a bit more upkeep than other materials, so factor that into your decision.
Natural wood is a popular material for front yard fences and quite a versatile option. It can be designed and finished to coordinate with just about any style of home. If you opt for a metal fence, you can still add variety and style by adding wooden, stone, or brick columns or posts. A professional fencing company will be able to help you choose the best materials for your climate, budget, and home style.
Does a front fence add value?
Adding a front yard fence can increase your curb appeal which may boost your property value. But to ensure the best return on investment, you’ll want to carefully consider styles and materials that will complement and accent your home. Touring your neighborhood to see what other homeowners have done and researching trends online can help you narrow down the perfect aesthetic for your new fence.
What is the best time of year to install a fence?
Installation depends a lot on the climate where you live. In colder climates, frozen ground can make installation more complicated. However, if you’re not concerned about snow and ice, winter can be a great time to install your fencing so it will be ready by spring. Spring tends to be the busiest, most popular season for fence installation, so keep that in mind when planning your project timeline.
What do I need to know before putting up a fence?
Along with following regulations and choosing your design and materials, there are a few more topics to consider before you begin a fencing project:
Keep in mind that landscaping accounts for about 15% of your property’s value. On the one hand, this means that installing new fencing can be a great investment to boost your home’s value. On the other hand, it also makes sense to consider your other reasons for the fencing. You’ll want to find a good balance between your budget and your intended usage to ensure a beautiful and practical final result.
Being a good neighbor
You should also consider neighborly fencing etiquette. After you’ve checked all the boxes with a land survey and local fence laws, have a conversation with your neighbors. Let them know you plan to build a fence, as it may change how their property looks, too.
When installing a fence, you also need to plan out gate entrances. Fences should typically include at least two gate entrances, with one of them being slightly wider to accommodate bulky equipment. For the front-facing gate, a 3-foot wide opening will easily accommodate pedestrians. However, for a side gate, you should opt for a wider entrance for items such as trash bins, lawnmowers, and other yard equipment. Usually, a 4-foot wide gate entrance is large enough to allow for easy pass-through of equipment; however, take note of the equipment you have and how much clearance would be needed.
How do I get started installing a front yard fence?
Fence installation is harder than it looks, so it’s best left to the professionals to ensure a beautiful, safe erection. You’re also better off hiring a fencing pro if your home project involves an automatic driveway gate, stone or brick elements, or any other feature that’s more complicated than your basic fence panels. When you hire a licensed company like Bravo Fence Company, you have the quality assurance of bonded and insured professionals.
Fences don’t have to be just for the backyard. With plenty of front yard fencing options, you can enhance your home’s landscape design and make better use of your space.