Fencing to add value to home style, design

Ideas for fencing.
The basic function of a fence is to secure and enhance the privacy of our homes. But a fence is not just a functional feature; it is one of the most important design elements in your home and garden.

It is the face of your home to the public and it should add value to the design and style of the home. Certain architectural styles lend themselves well to certain kinds of fences.

For instance, a Victorian house will feel complete within a picket-style border. Here are a few fence ideas you could consider for your home:

Masonry walling

Masonry walls are by far the most common type of fences today. Done well, they are durable and beautiful.

But this is rarely the case. Many times they are bland and only designed to keep away intruders.

If you go for a solid masonry wall, try softening it with living hedges and vines. On the inside, you could also turn sections of the wall into garden features such as a theme wall, planter or even instal a water jet.

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Palisade fences or grills can make good variation or additions to a solid masonry fence.

They have hardened plastic panels of metal members with spiked or shaped tops, connected by a horizontal rail and set into a stone or rendered masonry base.

Timber

Timber fences are derived from the classical picket fences. They consisted of pickets fixed onto horizontal rails spanning between posts.

The spacing of the pickets was traditionally the same as the width of the picket which were either rounded or pointed at the top.

These traditions have been replicated in many modern timber fences. They are classy and beautiful, but they have the inherent disadvantage of wearing down fairly quickly, especially in our hot and humid climates. They also don’t offer as much privacy and security compared to the masonry fences.

A solution to the durability issue has now been found in PVC or vinyl fences.

While they have been used extensively elsewhere, not very many people have ventured there locally.

Live fence

Living fences have immense benefits to you and the environment.

On their own, they may not offer impenetrable security, but they do perform wonders in creating privacy.

Hedges and vines are beautiful, inexpensive and offer all the environmental benefits of any biological solution.

Live fences may also be used to complement the other types of fences with amazing results. For instance, when creatively used alongside a solid masonry fence, they soften and bring it to life, breaking the monotony that is so typical of such fences.

- The writer is a landscape architect.  

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