Of course you already have a fence around your pool—that’s the law. But is it the fence of your dreams? (FYI, no one dreams about chain-link.) What other areas of your home could benefit from a good bit of fencing? Robert Frost told us long ago that “good fences make good neighbors.” A good neighbor is a many splendid thing. What’s a “good fence?” It depends on your specific needs. What are they? What’s your budget?
Jason Rose of Long Island’s Rose Fence shares that “A good fence is one that is obviously level and straight. Sturdy posts that are deeply set in the ground. A good fence should also be held together by properly sized—and, preferably, stainless steel—screws. A good fence is a quality fence, homeowners should stay away from cheaper products found at [outlets like] Home Depot.”
Ryan McKinley from Long Island’s The Deer Fence and East End Gates shares, “We love working with our clients to help dream up something unique and pleasing to the eye and complimentary to the client’s style. The ‘best’ can be very different from one person to the next. At The Deer Fence, our main objective is to protect your property and the investments you have in it, i.e. the landscaping. Our Farm and Field, or agricultural, fence is our most popular option as it is highly effective in keeping out deer. This fence is great because it can blend into almost any environment and will become nearly invisible against greenery and landscaping. The way we build is similar to a chain-link style. We brace everything and use tension to make the fence able to withstand almost anything. Over the past 10 years on the East End, the aggression of the deer has grown tremendously. What used to be effective in keeping them out may no longer work now. We make sure to build everything extremely strong so it can withstand the test of time and ensure your property is protected.” McKinley continues, “A good fence can mean many things. First and foremost, we want it to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible and complimentary to the home and homeowner. Whether that be something that is nearly invisible and can be hidden behind a hedge or plantings or something that is a stand-out piece of the property that is beautiful and made to be seen. We do wonderful, handmade installs on-site with custom woodwork and even modern metal fences. We have something for every type of home.”
Indeed, on the East End, aesthetics are always a concern. The look and appropriateness of your fencing directly affects your property values. Does your Shingle style home cry out for a rustic enclosure? Maybe you want a very tall fence to block outsiders’ view to your privacy. Maybe you don’t want to see the fence that encloses your property at all.
Rose suggests, “to improve the aesthetics of wood or vinyl fencing, I would suggest using wider posts. A 6×6” post compared to the typical 4×4” posts give the fence a broader and bolder look. I like using this size post in high visibility areas of the property.”
Fencing is what you make it. “One of the most unusual requests for fencing [we received] was to put Styrofoam inside the fence to help reduce noise. We did make it happen and the customer was satisfied,” says Rose.
Of course a fence needs an appropriate and functioning gate to be a “good fence.” What should you look for in a gate? Rose shares that “To increase the aesthetics of gates, more decorative hardware should be used. Stainless or black powder coated specialty hardware is offered by Rose Fence compared to ordinary hardware found at the local building supply store. This holds true for gate hardware as well, we have a wide selection of traditional and contemporary designed latches to enhance both the look and functionality of gates.”
Speaking of design, consider the gate’s purpose—who will be using it? Should children be able to operate it or not? Is the gate merely decorative?
McKinley points out that “Gates are truly a centerpiece to the fence and property itself. We always ask customers to take pictures of anything they love, or send us images they find online. We love working with clients to build pretty much anything they can dream up. We have made some truly unique and beautiful gates on a very small budget all the way up to a limitless budget. It’s always important to take into consideration the style of the house and surroundings.”
What’s the latest in gate technology?
McKinley says, “Here you can have a little fun if you want to keep everything ‘connected.’ I love installing a set-up that can link directly to the client’s phone. The ultimate convenience is having everything in your pocket. For my own house, I’ve installed a keypad and call button on my walk gate for the backyard. No one ever uses the front door anymore; they just go straight to the backyard! The keypad will call my iPhone and show video of who is there and allow me to unlock the gate from my phone anywhere in the world. I can also change the keypad combination very easily whenever needed. I’m always researching new tech for gates and fences in my down time. I truly love trying out new things and giving my customers the latest and greatest they expect and deserve! Almost anything is possible these days with technology.”