Using a Fence to Enhance Your Home's Value and Security

by Allison E. Beatty

As you glance around the exterior of your home, consider how a fence could change the view. Whether you decide to install a tall fence or a short one, use wood or vinyl, the added definition could do wonders for your yard.

Why Build a Fence?
Many people buy fences to define their boundaries, keep children and pets in the yard, or enhance their privacy. Others simply like the natural look of a wood fence or the crisp, white lines of a vinyl one. A fence can do one or all of those things if the project is planned and executed properly. If your goal is to keep the kids and the dog in the yard, a solid panel fence is the answer. If you just want to define your flower garden, fencing material with open spaces between the slats can work just as well.

A fence can also improve a home's value if it adds curb appeal and increases the functionality of the yard. This is particularly true if you live on a busy street, where having a fence in place is a major selling point. Many buyers want a house that's in "move in" condition. A well-crafted fence can help you make that happen.

Privacy is another reason you may want to add a fence. Whether it is a six-foot wood fence with lattice at the top or a four-foot vinyl fence, you can protect your yard from the prying eyes of your neighbors. And if your house is a little too close to your neighbor's, or if your neighbor has unsightly items around his yard, a fence can take the stress out of living side-by-side.

Planning Your Fence Project
When planning a fence project, call your local zoning department to get the height and material requirements for your area. You may also have to get approval from your homeowners' association. Some towns won't let you install a six-foot fence on a corner lot, for example, as it may block visibility. And some neighborhoods require you to use wood as a fencing material instead of vinyl or chain link.

Installing a fence is a great way to add value to your home. By understanding your goals and the look you want, you can find the fence that fits your needs.

About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home improvement columns for 15 years.

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