Cornerstone Blog

Types of Fencing To Consider


If you are remodeling or renovating your home and want to add a bit of privacy, nothing is easier than adding some fencing. But fencing these days is not just either the picket fence of Mark Twain times nor that DIY white vinyl monstrosities you see hanging crookedly everywhere, like a bad set of false teeth. Today there are fencing options that owe more to an artist’s perspective than what is on sale at Home Depot this week. A fence is not just an afterthought, but can actually set the entire tone of your yard, by framing your space.

First, talk to your remodeling company about the type of atmosphere you want to create and make it clear to him or her that, though you are looking for a barrier between you and the rest of humanity, you are not looking to “fence yourself in” as though you are a prisoner yourself.

Think about what a fence represents to you—privacy surely, but have you considered noise? How about safety? Establishing what you want from your fence first puts you on the right path to getting one you love.

Maintenance is important. Though you may like the idea of a solid wood fence, think about Southwest Florida’s monsoon rains and sodden ground and realize that the wood may require more upkeep than you are willing to give it. Wood must be painted and/or sealed regularly and you have to keep an eye out for damp rot where the wood meets the ground. Manmade materials may suit you better, but read on…

A wooden fence does mean you may paint it any shade you like (barring homeowner association restrictions). A restful slate blue makes a lovely backdrop to the greens of a tropical garden. White will appear mud-spattered after heavy rains and glossy black will bring fond memories of that pied-a-terre you visited in New Orleans. Or you can tie your fence color into your home by matching your shutters or front door and who said a fence need only be one color? Mix and matching pastels can make it feel like you are visiting Jamaica.

How about making use of upright glass slats instead of wood? Such a look can be striking though hosing down the glass might be a chore unless you go with a frosted glass. Sea glass colors would be a good fit with our near-the-Gulf location. Use of such a material in your remodeling project certainly can enhance a view. To fence in a pool without losing the beauty of the installation, consider clear glass panels all around.

Though technically not a fence, a wall can be erected, studded with hanging plants for beauty, and serve as a perfect noise barrier. Woven wood can act as a sound baffle (such as you see on the highway, only prettier.)

Speaking of pretty, having high berms set into the landscape and a screen of trees and bushes take a page out of our gated communities page. Using such natural barriers to separate yourself from your neighbors is one way to add to the beauty of your space without creating too big an imposition on your neighbors. Such foliage has a noise cancelling effect as well.

Metal sections make for an interesting industrial look and such materials weather into gorgeous shades of red (known as rust in lesser applications) and green (copper) or in their natural silver shades (aluminum) add a luster and shine to any backyard.

To frame a garden, go rustic with thick wood stakes. Make the fence lower than it is wide (it will still keep kids and critters out) and consider large opening chicken wire for that country chic appearance.

Wrought iron fencing and edging make for a lovely look, hearkening back to French maisons and Victorian mansions. You may be even able to find an antique gate to grace the opening. Such a fence is not much on privacy, unless backed by some tall hedges, but is long on gracious beauty.

Lastly, consider bamboo. This fast-growing tree grows like a literal weed in our tropical weather, but a bamboo fence is the perfect accompaniment to a Zen garden and a green solution for an endangered planet.

Cornerstone Builders’ talented designers can help you choose the perfect fence for your renovation project. Our crack remodeling team will visit your home, be happy to exchange ideas with you, and give you a free estimate. Please call us today.