Fencing your new home can boost your curb appeal, add privacy, and give kids a safe area to explore. It's also a home must-have for pet owners.
If you're ready to explore fencing solutions, it's a good idea to give your decision a little extra thought. You may be surprised to learn there are dozens of options - from beautiful wood fencing and no-care vinyl to wrought iron and aluminium.
Here's what you should know about fencing your home in Calgary.
What Is the Purpose of Your Fence?
Before you can choose and install a fence, you need to decide its primary function. If your fence will be solely utilitarian, such as keeping in a dog, a chain-link fence can work. If you want something functional and decorative, wood, steel, or aluminium may be a better option. If privacy is your biggest concern, you will want something at least four to six feet tall with a solid infill.
The material you choose for your fencing will determine its longevity, cost, and strength. Some styles of fencing also require certain materials.
Wood is the standard choice for a fence as it's durable, attractive, and can be adapted to many styles. Wood fences are fairly affordable to install and add a warm, traditional look to your home. You can choose from style options like a classic picket fence, a post and rail fence for a larger backyard, or privacy fencing. Wood fencing can be further customized with stains that add to the longevity of the wood and its appearance.
The main downside of wood is it requires substantial maintenance. Stains usually need to be reapplied every two to three years. The posts of the fence can also be affected by wood rot, which causes the posts to split, warp, or pull away from the fence. Wood fencing also needs to be cleaned occasionally to remove mildew and mould stains.
Vinyl fencing is a popular alternative to wood as it offers a longer life and flexibility. Quality vinyl fencing can last for more than a decade without fading and it can be used for many styles of fencing, including picket fences, lattice panels, post and rail fencing, and privacy fences. Vinyl will not rot, blister, split, or crack. It's also resistant to fire, cannot be damaged by pests, and will not grow mildew.
If you want a low-maintenance fencing solution, vinyl is a good choice. Aside from regular cleaning, vinyl will not require maintenance to remain durable and attractive for at least a decade.
Aluminium one of the most affordable metals for fence construction. It won't rust like steel yet it's strong and long-lasting. Aluminum fencing comes in a huge variety of styles, including elegant designs that can show off your new home landscaping. You can achieve the same look as wrought iron with aluminum at a fraction of the cost.
Modern steel fencing is a good choice if you want an elegant, strong, and long-lasting fence. Steel is more expensive than aluminum but it tends to last much longer while offering the look of traditional wrought iron without the high cost. A steel fence won't require much maintenance, but it does limit the styles of fencing you can choose.
Chain link is a popular choice for homeowners who want long-lasting, affordable fencing. Chain link fences are designed to be functional, not attractive. What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in longevity and strength. Chain link requires no maintenance and it can be somewhat customized with colour-coated finishes. If you want privacy, you will need to add slats or mesh.
Chain link fencing does have clear drawbacks, however. It's considered a very generic fencing solution. While it may work for a backyard, you probably wouldn't want chain link fencing for your front yard. It offers very little security or privacy without the use of slats, which can add to the cost and maintenance of the fence.
After choosing a material for your fencing, you can decide which design will match your needs with your style of home. This will depend on your budget, your needs, and whether you are fencing your front or backyard. Here are a handful of common styles of fencing in Calgary:
Post and Rail Fencing
Post and rail fencing is a contemporary look made with a three rail design: three square horizontal rails are connected to heavy square posts. Post and rail fencing can be made from metal, vinyl, or wood and it's ideal for a front or backyard because it doesn't obstruct your view. The drawback to post and rail fencing is it's not ideal for keeping in pets, although you can add mesh or welded wire to keep small pets from escaping.
Picket fencing can be used to create the classic neighbourhood look and add curb appeal to your home. This style of fencing is fairly inexpensive and it maintains the sense of open space. Picket fences may be made from vinyl or wood and they come in a huge variety of options. You can also customize your picket fence with different post tops and posts.
Lattice panel fencing is usually from wood or vinyl with wide bottom and top rails to add stability. Lattice fences can also be personalized with decorative post caps and posts. A lattice fence is a good choice for adding warmth and curb appeal to your home. Its tight design can also keep pets safely in your yard.
Board-on-board fencing is a style of privacy fence that's made with an overlapping pattern of vertical slats of wood or vinyl. This style of fencing offers the ultimate privacy, but it can be expensive as it requires extra boards to create the overlapping effect.
Privacy fences are designed for security and privacy with a height of four to six feet. Privacy fences are usually made from wood or vinyl and may come in many styles like board on board or lock board. You can choose the amount of privacy you want based on how closely boards or panels are placed.
Calgary Rules for Fencing and Permits
Before you get started, determine whether you will need to get a permit based on the design of your fence. Calgary does not require a permit if your backyard fence is no higher than two meters and your front yard fence is no higher than 1.2 meters. The maximum height for a gate is 2.5 meters.
If you have a corner lot, you will also need to consider visibility regulations. Calgary requires maintaining a line of sight "triangle" where front yard fencing does not exceed 0.75 meters for the first 7.5 meters of the cross streets that make up your corner. This ensures that pedestrians and motorists can see cross-traffic.
If your fencing project exceeds these limits, you will need to apply for a permit.
Fencing is a great investment in your home that improves your home's value and curb appeal while giving you more use of your outdoor space. Just remember, fencing isn't a spur-of-the-moment decision. When choosing the right option for your new home, take the time to explore and prioritize your needs and wants to balance longevity, durability, maintenance, and appearance.