Choosing the Right Fence and Gate for Your Home

Whether you are looking to improve your curb appeal, create more security or privacy, or cordon off a side garden, a fence or gate can be a practical and creative solution. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which material is best for your home. By focusing on your budget and which materials best complement your home, you’ll eventually find your answer. Here are some options to get you started in your search. 

Different Types of Fencing

Consider your priorities before choosing materials. Perhaps your fencing will serve the exclusive purpose of providing a designated area for pets and/or children to play, or you’re more focused on matching the wood grain with that of your home, or maybe you’ve simply always dreamed of having a white picket fence. When compiling your budget, account for materials and labor if paying a professional. If you plan to install on your own, know that a fence installation can be a physically demanding project. If your fencing is going into soft soil, you’ll have an easier time with installation. But for those who will be post-hole digging into rocky dirt or gravel, you can expect a challenge. 

Natural Fences

Consider using a natural fence such as shrubbery, hedges, or trees to create a perimeter around your property. Natural fences create a barrier while bolstering your landscaping design and help to create a flow between your garden beds, yard, and the house itself. In comparison to other fencing solutions, natural fences may be a more affordable option, especially if you can plant them on your own. However, unless you’re buying full-grown shrubbery, natural fencing will take time to grow, whereas other types of hard-material fencing are functional as soon as they are constructed.

White Picket Fence

White picket fences, though traditional and simple in design, are effective. They are easy to maintain while complementing various home styles. Due to their sturdiness, they do well to keep pets in your yard and provide a safe designated area for them to roam. White picket fences reflect light and can make the colors in the shrubbery/plant life surrounding them pop. For the green thumbs that aspire to grow a flourishing garden, a white picket fence may be the perfect solution for magazine-quality grounds. However, with white picket fences, their strength is also their weakness. White is more prone to noticeable stains, meaning you can expect to set aside time for touch up painting at least once a year if you want to keep your fence purely white.

Wood Fences

There are many types of wood to pick from when choosing fencing. Local climate looms large in the decision-making process. It’s important to understand how the wood will hold up throughout the seasons and what kinds of treatments and/or stains are required to keep it from weathering. Wood fences work with many home styles. You’ll often see natural wood-colored fences used to reflect the aesthetic of Craftsman homes, while different paint colors and stains may be used to complement a more modern home style.

Different Types of Gates

Garden Gates

  • Ivy or Flower Archway: Use a simple wooden arch gate to allow flowers, ivy, or grape vines to grow along the gate creating a framed, lush entryway.
  • Vintage Gate: Use an old, wired gate to create a rustic vintage feel that leads to your personal garden.
  • Driftwood: Create your own gate by collecting wood or driftwood. You can then use twine, wire, or rope to create your own design.

 Driveway Gates

  • Security Gates: Using a security gate is one of the easiest ways to make your home safer and more secure.  There are many types of security gates, but steel provides protection without the need for much maintenance.  
  • Side Yard Gates: If you don’t have a driveway gate, consider getting a side yard gate for added security and privacy.
  • Ornate Gates: Ornate gates don’t always create privacy but can create a beautiful entryway while also offering more control over who has access to the property.

For more on home improvement, read our guide to home lighting: How to Find the Right Lighting for Your Home

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Landscaping Tips That Can Increase Your Home’s Value

When you own a home, there’s a natural desire to invest in landscaping projects that help beautify your yard. But for those who are preparing to sell, the emphasis should be on specific projects that boost your home’s curb appeal and add to its value. The following landscaping tips can help you position your home to sell at the best price. We also recommend talking with your agent about the best landscaping ideas for your home that buyers in your area are looking for.

Landscaping Tips That Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Flower Beds

Beautifying your flower beds is a matter of making improvements in two areas: the flower beds themselves and the border surrounding them. Flower-lined pathways leading toward your home’s front door help guide buyers’ eyes and create a natural aesthetic order to your front yard. Plant colorfully to inspire a vibrant look or choose fewer flowers for a more uniform consistency. Add fresh mulch or beauty bark to your flower beds to make them pop. Creating a border with stone, brick, clay, or another similar material will help delineate flower beds from grass while delivering a clean, refined aesthetic to your property.

If you’re designing new borders to your flower beds, think about the traffic patterns, the orientation of the house in relation to the rest of your neighborhood, and your front yard’s location to ultimately settle on the best sight lines. Spend time weeding the area where your border will go. To dissuade future weed growth, consider adding a thin layer of sand or gravel between the dirt and your border pavers. Finally, clean your hardscaping with an outdoor cleaner or pressure washer to get rid of built-up dirt and moss.  


Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Elenathewise


Lawn Care

A fresh lawn will make a solid first impression on prospective buyers. Here are a few basic lawn care tips:

  • Fertilize at the appropriate time of year for your local climate
  • Set your lawn mower blades at the proper height to ensure you’re not cutting your grass too short
  • Water regularly to keep your lawn healthy

If you live in an arid climate, grass alternatives may be a more popular local choice. No matter where you live, once you’ve decided to sell, you can rest assured that spending time and energy on caring for your lawn will pay dividends once you’ve staked your “for sale” sign.

Landscaping Lighting

Once you’ve fixed up your garden beds and tended to your lawn, you’ve done well to ensure that your home’s landscaping will look its best—during the daylight, that is. To ensure that buyers feel the work you’ve put into your home around the clock, consider installing landscape lighting. This will help to put your home’s qualities on full display during the nighttime, while also adding a welcoming touch for potential buyers and passersby.

Front Porch

Add planters to your front porch to create flow from your front yard to your entrance. For the ultimate front porch aesthetic, think of ways that you can create symmetry with your planter boxes. Nest them along the borders of windows, select planter boxes with dimensions that compliment a seated bench, or place identical boxes on either side of your front door. This will direct attention to your home’s front entry and helps to instill that all-important first impression in buyers’ minds.

To learn more about quality landscaping projects, read our blog post on 5 Design Projects to Improve Your Backyard.

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