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Building Fences

Helping You Decide on Materials, Design


Fence decorations dress up your structures. This picture shows a diamond design cut into a fence.

Fence decorations dress up your structures, converting them from boring to creative. This picture shows a diamond design cut into a fence.

David Beaulieu

When it's time to build a fence for your property, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options from which to choose, both in terms of materials and design. Those two factors are intimately related (the choice of one affects the choice of the other), so materials and design will be considered together in this FAQ.

In the planning stage of building a fence (or having one built by a professional), most homeowners will want to give equal consideration to the following:

  1. Form (i.e., stylistic considerations)
  2. Function (i.e., what practical purpose the fencing will serve)

The links below will take you to answers to frequently asked questions on fence materials and design. As a pictorial aid to use in conjunction with this FAQ, please visit my photo gallery of fence pictures.

What are the basic components involved in the construction of a wooden fence?

I have leftover lumber and want to build a wooden fence. What do I need to know?

I want my fence installation to run smoothly. What preparatory work should I do?

What tools do I need for fence building? What if I don't have a post hole auger?

What if I'm undecided between building a fence myself or hiring a professional?

What's the big deal about setting fence posts? Sounds easy enough.

How do I match fence design with my home and landscape styles?

I need a fence design for privacy and prefer wood fences. What are my options?

I live on a highway. What fencing can I use to serve as a noise barrier?

What are the pros and cons of vinyl fences?

What are the advantages of aluminum fences?

Why is chain-link fencing the best material for security fences?

How do electric dog fences work and what are their pros and cons?

My problem is deer. What types of deer fencing are available?

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