Are Privacy Fences Worth the Cost?

Are Privacy Fences Worth the Cost?

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Privacy fences are cropping up around homes everywhere. Homeowners interested in improving the security and value of their homes are installing a privacy fence to keep important stuff in and bad guys out. While privacy fences are not cheap, most would agree their cost is worth the benefits.

Four Benefits of Privacy Fence Installation

Added security

When casing houses for easy access to out-of-sight doors and windows, privacy fences present an obstacle, most burglars would rather not deal with. They would have to find a way to either scale the fence or remove a section of it, and both options would increase their chances of being detected. Privacy fences also prevent someone from pilfering your collection of yard equipment in the backyard and walking off with it.

Keep pets (and kids) in

Fencing is a must if you are a pet owner or have small kids, and deciding what type of fence you need depends on a number of factors. If you have a large dog, it is possible they will be able to jump over shorter picket or chain link fencing. Larger dogs may also have an easier time burrowing under flexible fencing. Another concern is the curious fingers of a neighborhood child reaching through a fence to pet Fido, who has none of it and tries to take off a child’s finger. If you share these same concerns, consider a privacy fence. They are taller, more structurally sound, and have no openings for Fido’s snout.

Increased privacy

As the name suggests, privacy fences improve privacy around your lot. For more homeowners, that alone is worth the installation costs. No more kids peeking through the chain link when you’re out sunbathing. No more neighbor’s dogs are chasing you back inside your house. As the saying goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Add value to your home

Privacy fences are one of the few upgrades you can make to the exterior of your home that actually holds some value should you decide to sell. Other projects are often not worth the added cost. Privacy fences are aesthetically pleasing, creating separation from neighbors and protection from would-be burglars while providing a safe surrounding for children and pets.

How do you build a privacy fence step by step?

Here’s a step-by-step list of what you’ll need to do and the equipment that is required to start this home project.

Marking the Desired Location

First, you’ll want to have your local utility company come out and mark where all of the underground lines are so you don’t risk causing any damage. Once you’ve done this, you need to put down stakes along the perimeter of where the fence is going to be and connect them with some twine. You’ll then need to mark where the posts are going to rest. This is usually every 6 to 8 feet. You can mark these spots with an X with spray paint.

Setting the Posts

Using a post-hole digger, you’ll need to dig about two feet into the ground at roughly a 10-inch diameter. Start by placing a few inches of gravel at the bottom of the hole for drainage purposes. Then place a 4×4 post that’s 8 feet tall in the hole. You’ll then need to level the post, so it’s not crooked. You can use a post level to make sure all the posts are plumb. After this is done, you’ll put some into the hole, around the post, and some fast-drying cement. Let this cure for 48 hours before continuing further.

Attaching the Railings

Railings run no more than 8 feet long and are made from 5/4 inch deck boards. Position the top rail 20 inches from the top of the post and 20 inches from the bottom of the ground. You’ll want to use either a nail gun or 2-inch galvanized deck screws to attach these posts at even intervals.

Placing the Pickets

Using 6-foot boards, you’ll then want to attach them at even intervals along the railings. You can also use pre-assembled fencing sections at a hardware store. Be careful to keep the spacing even. Otherwise, the job will look unprofessional, and you might end up having to redo the job later.

If all of this seems far too daunting to take on all by yourself, you can ask a friend or relative for help. You can also hire a local contractor to come and build a fence for you. This is quite expensive, but for those who aren’t good at building, the added cost might be worth it. Just be prepared for the cost because having a fence built can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the size of your yard.