Fencing is used to contain or keep out animals and/or people, while screening is used for privacy, or to block an ugly view. These two are linked together because fencing is one form of screening and some screens can make effective fences. Fencing for dogs: You first need to know how high your dog(s) can jump. The next step is to determine how large an area is needed and where you want to contain the dog(s). If your dog is a digger, the fencing may need to be dug into the ground 6”-12”. If not, it can start a few inches off the ground. The gaps in the fence will need to be just smaller than the smallest dog you own can squeeze through. Dog fences do not need to be at the edge of a garden. Depending on the purpose and the dog you can simply fence off certain planting areas rather than fence the dog in or you can create a meandering fence that follows a pathway etc. Fencing for children: Fences only work effectively for children under the age of about six. After that any determined child can find a way over a garden fence so the purpose of fencing is to slow movement down and discourage spontaneous activity, such as running out to the street after a ball. Types of fences: If your fence is going to be visually prominent I suggest you put a bit of thought into the design. It typically only takes 30% more money to make a mediocre wood fence look great. That money could be spent doing interesting painting, trim detail or simply creating an interesting pattern in the board layout. For ideas do a Google image search for fences. Below are a few basic types. Wood Fences: A basic framework of pressure treated posts and horizontal 2”x4”s can be used to support a variety of boards. You typically want your support posts to be between 4'-8’ apart, depending on the height of the fence, how deep the posts are buried and how much concrete you use in the holes. A fence forms a large wind-sail, which means that it has to be well-anchored in the ground – 2’ deep or more for solid six foot fences.
- Consider “grape stakes” as one possible inexpensive rustic fence design.
- If using a solid board design, inserting 1” lathes in a pattern can make a typically solid fence significantly more distinctive.
Metal Fences: The price of prefabricated white or black metal fences has become so low at places such as Home Depot that it is well worth considering. Wire fences: The cheapest and easiest fence to install uses metal “T” posts (farmers use these and they are readily available at most hardware stores) and a post-pounder. For a six foot fence use 8’ posts and then attach typical farm fencing material to these posts. The fact that it is so inexpensive can save money that can be used to plant shrubbery in front of the fence and/or vines on the fence.
This text is an excerpt from:
Successfully Landscaping Your Marin Home,
Available on Amazon and Marin Bookstores,
By: Dane E. Rose
(415) 455 9161
For pictures of Marin Fences click HERE.
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