Should a fence be level or follow the ground?
When you are planning on building a fence around your property, it can be very tricky to determine if it should follow the ground or if it just needs to be level. After all, not every landscape is consistently straight which can pose a challenge to your fencing project.
In many instances, experts would primarily make this choice depending on the slope of your property. For example, if your area only inclines slightly, then leveling the fence would be applicable. On the other hand, if your lawn has a high incline, then it would probably be best to follow the ground.
Although it is more convenient and faster to install a level fence, it may not look good if your area has an inconsistent slope. If grading the lot is not yet an option for the moment, it will always be a good idea to factor in the topography of your yard to make your decision. Of course, whichever method you choose will highly depend on your preference. When it comes to fencing, doing either of the methods can totally work when the owner wants it to.
Should a fence touch the ground?
For this question, the answers may depend on who you are asking. Many property owners prefer their fences to touch the ground to achieve utmost privacy. However, if we are asking professional contractors, they will say that a fence is not supposed to touch the ground at all. In fact, they will recommend at least having a couple of inches of space between the two.
But why are experts so adamant when it comes to giving a bit of space between the fence and the ground? The reason for this is that the material of the fence can eventually swell or rot, especially when it is wood. If they often touch the soil, this will mean that they can be continuously exposed to high amounts of moisture, especially during the wet seasons. As a result, the fence will eventually warp until it fails or is no longer useable. In a way, having the fence touch the ground drastically lowers its lifespan.
Also, giving it a few inches of space allows the fence to look more appealing. Since it is less likely to stain or bent after being exposed to wet soil, this will mean that not only will you have a stronger fence, but you will also get a beautiful enclosure that can catch the eyes of your neighbors. A well-built fence can also increase the value of your property. Who does not want that?
The things you need to do before building a fence
1. Inspect your lawn
Before buying the materials and preparing the tools, the first step to any fence building project is an inspection. You can do this yourself or by hiring a professional to examine your property.
At this stage, you should determine the slope in your area. Is your yard generally level? Or are there some gaps or slopes around the property? This allows you to plan for your project while also determining your budget. Since it can be more expensive to fence an incline, a thorough assessment can certainly allow you to prepare your resources.
2. Look into the possible fencing types and materials
After having a general idea of the slope in your property, you can now do your research on the appropriate materials and type of fence you will use. You can base your decision on your property’s topography, the look you want to achieve, and how much you are willing to pay. If you plan to do it yourself, make sure that you have the time to complete the work before starting it.
a) Wooden fences
The most popular type of fencing material that is cheap and can be painted to match your desired look. They require more maintenance and may rot when not properly taken care of.
b) Chain link fences
The type of fencing material that is often best for public areas as they offer high visibility. They are also stable and do not require too much maintenance.
c) Steel and aluminum fences
The types of fencing materials that are both rigid yet attractive. They work best in dry areas and can easily last for years when it is maintained to prevent rust buildup.
d) Vinyl fences
The type of fencing material that is expensive but truly worth its price. Since they are strong, durable, and do not need as much maintenance, vinyl is one of the best options for the owners who have the extra budget.
e) Wrought iron fences
The type of fencing material that is usually custom made and looks appealing but can certainly cost more than the other materials.
3. Decide whether to DIY or to hire a contractor
Depending on the topography of your area and the type and material of fence you want to install, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you. Make sure to ask your local municipality if permits are required and if it is legal to DIY a fence to avoid trouble.
How do you close the gap between fence and ground?
Do you have pets you do not want to let out of your property? Is your location near to some wildlife? Having gaps on your property can let animals in or out of your yard. Not only that, but those spaces can also be an eyesore. No worries – there are some options that will allow you to close and seal that gap off.
a. Use chicken wire or wire mesh
One of the most popular methods to close the gap is by adding a mesh or chicken wire. Doing so can keep wildlife away and also makes your property more secure for your pets.
b. Add gravel
Deep gaps are challenging to close, but gravel can certainly do the job. Just add the appropriate amount of gravel around the area or you can also make a trench to discourage displacement.
c. Install a wall façade
If you really want to close the gap off, look into adding a stone wall for added appeal. Although it can be more expensive, it can also add a retaining feature to your area that can lessen erosion.
d. Make use of concrete
Pouring concrete under your fencing is also possible. Since it can give off an ‘industrial’ look, you can always opt to paint yours to match your fence.
How do you block the bottom of a fence?
Is the space on the bottom of your fence bothering you or sacrificing your privacy? If you are in this situation, blocking the bottom of your fence to hide the space may be a thing you want to do.
Here are some of the options you can choose from:
1) Use an L-shaped footer
To secure your animals, blocking the bottom of the fence with an L-shaped footer cab certainly keep them safely strolling around your property.
2) Install a horizontal board
Another option would be to install a board on the bottom of the fence by digging a small trench and then replacing the cavity with a backfill.
3) Plant some hedges or add some greens
An attractive option that will allow you to hide the bottom of the fence is to add some hedges or start a gardening project.
4) Add some rocks or boulders
If you have an abundance of rocks or boulders in your area, strategically placing them on the bottom allows you to cover the space.