Top Fencing Design Tips This Month

Do you believe good fences make good neighbors? Or are you with Gene Autry, looking for wide open country? If you live in close areas with your neighbors, you’re likely in the previous camp — whether or not it’s a fence to keep a dog at home, an aluminum barrier around your pool for safety or a privacy fence to shield naked sunbathing, there are a lot of choices and local fence contractors to choose from. And just like light fixtures, backsplash tile and color schemes, fence is subject to trends.

Melissa and Jerry Haley founded their company, yard Fence, in 1997. Back then, wood dominated the day, both the spaced pickets that call Tom Sawyer to mind, and the panels that create both a barrier and a privacy shield. Melissa Haley said she seldom quoted plastic in those days due to the fact it was so expensive, contrasted to spruce and cedar choices. Now, the contrary is true. Vinyl has come down in price, Haley said, and the price of wood has increased due to the fact of supply issues when it comes to importing lumber. Wood and plastic are commonly close in price, and customers often go with plastic due to the fact it is low-maintenance and long-lasting, Haley said, and the material now comes in a variety of colors, not just white.

“There are areas where just wood will do, due to the fact the property is heavily wooded and plastic would look out of place,” Haley said.

Fencing falls into four categories — in order of cost, it’s chain link, aluminum, plastic and wood. Installation labor costs depend on location, Haley said — the digging is easy in Rotterdam, where it’s sandy, but trickier in Altamont or Cohoes, where the soil is different.

While chain link is cheapest, you can spend as a lot as a new car on fancy fence choices — plastic with aluminum on top to create a decorative element or aluminum fence with decorative panel inserts. Haley said a blend of styles is popular — at her house, she has chain link around the backyard and decorative plastic in the front facing the street.