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When you are driving around any neighborhood, you are likely to see various styles of fences around homes. While the old standard chain link or wooden fences are still in abundance, newer fence options are becoming more popular.
"Today, we are seeing more vinyl fences than anything else," said Paul Temerowski of Mulligan Windows, Siding and Roofing, (888) 425-0071, www.mulliganwindow.com. "While white and tan are still the most popular colors, vinyl fence manufacturers are offering a wide array of colors to choose from. Someone simply brings me the color swatch they want to match."
The color palette for vinyl fences looks just like the choices for exterior paint, and the same is true for aluminum.
In addition to wood, chain link, vinyl and aluminum fences, homeowners can also can get a more customized look. Ornamental fences, vinyl fences with pre-formed rock pillars, chain link fences with privacy slats and pre-stained designer wood fences with textures, just to name a few.
From the cost perspective, Temerowski said that chain link and pressure-treated wood are on the low end while cedar, vinyl and ornamental fences are usually double the price. The good thing is that the labor cost is the same no matter which style of fence you choose.
You also need to make sure you check with your city or homeowners association to determine if you need to have a permit to erect a fence, and what fencing guidelines you need to follow.
Lynn Martin, the chief zoning inspector for the City of Warren, www. cityofwarren.org, said residents in her city will need to get a permit to install a fence, and it must follow the guidelines outlined in the city's ordinance. She said that residential fences can't exceed six feet in height or be erected in front of the house.
While Warren does allow most types of ornamental-type fences on residential property, the rules are different for homeowners with a corner lot.
"Any fence constructed along the exterior side and rear yard of corner lots must be a chain link fence that you can see through and can't exceed four feet in height," Martin said. "Homeowners can't install a fence on a corner lot that extends beyond either the front of the house or into the front yard."
Martin said this ordinance is designed to ensure a corner-lot fence doesn't block a driver's visibility when exiting a driveway on an adjacent lot.
If you plan to install a fence yourself, remember that city ordinances may also dictate the depth that fence posts need to be sunk, and the distance between posts, such as three feet deep and 10 feet apart, as outlined in Warren's ordinance.
"Homeowners also need to realize that if they plan to put up a privacy fence next to a neighbor's chain link fence, they have to make sure they cut the grass and weeds that can grow in between the two fences," Martin said.
Like all projects around the home, buying and installing a fence will require some research and prior planning to ensure the fence fits your budget and home's style, along with your city's or neighborhood association's requirements. But like any project that you undertake, the results can improve the exterior look of your home and give you something to brag about.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email email@example.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The HANDYMAN SHOW can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.
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