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Old 05-01-08, 06:47 AM   #1
atlantamoi
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Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

Lived in our home for five years and never built a fence around our smallish yard. Our neighbors just had one put in and I'd say about 75% of our 60 home subdivision has them. I'm talking about full on privacy fences (wooden, about six feet tall).

I never really felt the need for privacy, but now that we have an active toddler it might make a little more sense to let her run loose outside with no worries. And I found out the nice fence our neighbors put in could be had around my yard for about $1500 (this is $1000 less than he paid by going through Home Depot... the contractor said he could have done it for $1500, and would have, if he was doing it on his own).

I guess my main question is about increased property value. I might be putting in this fence and only use it for two years. That might not be worth it. One other thing is that my area is a little iffy as far as security goes. I guess a fence could "feel" safer as well. Your take?
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Old 05-01-08, 06:55 AM   #2
jonw9
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I wouldn't use the fence as an investment.

I would also build a fence from scratch, and NOT use those pre-assembled panels.

I don't think the fence would prevent somebody who wants in from doing so, but I could see it reducing theft of opportunity, like leaving a grill outside, now it can't be seen from the road.
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Old 05-01-08, 07:14 AM   #3
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Fences don't add value to the home. Most home improvements don't anyway. At best, they return 50% of what you've invested. Losing half of what you paid is not an investment, it's a cost.

I could see the fence being useful for animals, both keeping them in and keeping them out. If you've got a toddler, you shouldn't use a fence to trust that they'll be OK on their own. And an older child that can play on their own can easily open the fence or run outside.

Privacy is a good concern I guess, since it will keep people from the street from looking into your backyard. But you mentioned it's a small yard and if you live in a neighborhood with 2-story homes, you don't have any real privacy since people in other houses can see what you're doing.

If you've got $1500 and have no better use for it, I'd say go for it. But it doesn't seem like you're making a very concrete case for why it will be useful. (Although the $1500 does seem like a good price).
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Old 05-01-08, 07:24 AM   #4
atlantamoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bus
If you've got $1500 and have no better use for it, I'd say go for it. But it doesn't seem like you're making a very concrete case for why it will be useful. (Although the $1500 does seem like a good price).
I think I agree with you. $1500 is a good price, but that's still a big chunk of change for something I'm not sure about. Certainly not privacy from the 3 story house behind me (basement is above ground). I kind of like the idea of putting a hammock in the middle of the yard under a tree, but that isn't really worth $1500. And I could still do that, but it might look funny. I guess if I was to stay here for 10 years I'd do it w/out hesitating. Another thing is that a fence can look like hell in five years if not taken care of. I've seen it in my own neighborhood.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:02 AM   #5
GradVT06
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A fenced in yard is a selling point for a lot of buyers who have kids or especially dogs. Not that you should do it for that reason, but it was one of the selling points for us when we bought ours along with the many other things we were looking for.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:33 AM   #6
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Do you have a toddler or a dog?
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Old 05-01-08, 09:08 AM   #7
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I'm not a big fan of them. Your yard looks so much larger when you don't have a fence because nobody really knows or cares where your property line is when they are looking out back. When there is a fence up, it's like showing them the survey marker.

If your neighbors put one up you only have one or two neighbors left before your yard is fenced at their expense right?

I would take half the money and put some nice trees and bushes up on your property line..making sure to keep them back so they don't grow into your neighbors yard and they don't get damaged if/when your neighbors put up more fences.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Do you have a toddler or a dog?
There is little difference. I even think some toddlers might try to bite your thigh if they are let out of their apartments without a leash.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:07 AM   #9
Cardiff Giant11
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I helped my brother put in a vinyl panel fence last summer for his yard. His two dogs are much easier to handle now that they can roam free outside when the weather is nice.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GradVT06
A fenced in yard is a selling point for a lot of buyers who have kids or especially dogs. Not that you should do it for that reason, but it was one of the selling points for us when we bought ours along with the many other things we were looking for.
Same with us. Our son was just a baby when we were looking at houses, and a fenced in yard (or at least backyard) was a big selling point for us (I like the increased privacy too). I guess it's like a pool, it's only a plus for some buyers.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangecrush18
There is little difference. I even think some toddlers might try to bite your thigh if they are let out of their apartments without a leash.
That is why they have a Kid Kage.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bus
Fences don't add value to the home. Most home improvements don't anyway. At best, they return 50% of what you've invested. Losing half of what you paid is not an investment, it's a cost.
What?!? That's not what those people on TLC tell me!
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Old 05-05-08, 12:36 PM   #13
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I only really like the look of wooden fences. When I was growing up we had a split rail fence, definitely not the cheapest option, but it looked a lot better than the alternatives. The 6' wooden privacy fences can be nice, particularly when houses are close together.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:57 PM   #14
4KRG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedagogue
The 6' wooden privacy fences can be nice, particularly when houses are close together.
Yep, that is what I built. It cost me a couple grand, but over the years I was really happy to have a fence around my backyard and have the privacy.

Will it help me in the price of the house when I resell? Probably not, but I think it will be another check box on the list for a potential buyer and they would buy my house before buying one without a fence.
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Old 05-05-08, 01:31 PM   #15
atlantamoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG
Will it help me in the price of the house when I resell? Probably not, but I think it will be another check box on the list for a potential buyer and they would buy my house before buying one without a fence.
That's how I felt about upgrading our countertops to granite. I know kitchen and bathroom upgrades can bring back part of an investment, but I was just thinking that it's really a standard for $300k homes now. I'd rather enjoy it now and hope it is just one more reason someone might be interested in our house.

I learned over the weekend of a charter school that could be to our liking which would keep us in our home for many years. The fence looks more likely.
Someone mentioned how I might be able to just attach a fence to the other neighbors, but the houses on my street have garages in the back. None of the fences touch each other since it basically goes up one side of the driveway, one side on the alley/street and two sides in the yard (one small side touching the house where a patio sits.) TMI?
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Old 05-05-08, 03:21 PM   #16
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Your yard looks so much larger when you don't have a fence because nobody really knows or cares where your property line is when they are looking out back. When there is a fence up, it's like showing them the survey marker.

I don't agree with this. I had a thread on here awhile back because I was fighting my HOA to put up a fence in my backyard. I finally won against those SOB's and got it installed last fall and I couldn't be happier with the decision. The houses on my street all back up to a common drainage swale. The lots are all irregular (with mine being the widest and I feel best looking lot as far as trees go) and most of them have a really bad design in that the backyards all go uphill. Some of the yards literally look like they have a suicide hill in back and all they are good for is sledding in the wintertime.

Once I fenced my yard, I could instantly see how much bigger it looked, how less hilly it was and therefore how much usable space it had, and how many trees were part of my property. My neighbors were not happy and the one that I had the most problems with put their house up for sale. All of their homes instantly looked worse because of it. I have heard comments from people touring the home for sale about how the backyard does not look good because it appears so small because I decided to fence in my property. My neighbor's kids do not enjoy the use of my property anymore.

Putting a fence has been the best thing for me. A small price to pay for my being able to enjoy my backyard for the first time in over 4 years of living in my home. My neighbors are out of sight and out of mind. My dogs are no longer a worry for me and my daughter can enjoy the trees in my yard without me wondering if some of the neighbor's older kids are going to come over and harass her. My yard looks larger than ever and I feel it makes my home look better than before.

Cedar fence - $3K
Pi$$ing off and Getting rid of the bitchy neighbor - priceless

Last edited by shifrbv; 05-05-08 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:30 PM   #17
Michael Corvin
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Good for you. Fuck HOA and shitty neighbors.

I'm debating a privacy fence myself. We have a fairly large yard and would probably cost a bunch. Don't really have the scratch for it now and we have a chain link fence up now that came with the house so it isn't a priority at the moment.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:42 PM   #18
4KRG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Someone mentioned how I might be able to just attach a fence to the other neighbors, but the houses on my street have garages in the back. None of the fences touch each other since it basically goes up one side of the driveway, one side on the alley/street and two sides in the yard (one small side touching the house where a patio sits.) TMI?
Attaching buys you one side of the fence at your neighbors expense. If none of the fences touch, then you can't do it

I built mine with a friends help and saved about 1/2 the cost (fence company wanted about $6500, materials and all cost me a little under $3000)

I called the utility company and had them mark all the underground lines. We chalked everything out to correct measurements to locate where the posts would go. Then we rented a gas powered post hole digger from a local rental company for $50 for a day and dug all the post holes.

Once the posts were up, the rest went really easy. Easiest $3000 I think I ever saved I didn't have a tough deadline. The HOA said I could have 3 months to complete construction and have it painted the approved color, so over the course of a summer, I had it built. I think I took a month off of it and then built the gate (no where did the HOA state it had to be gated or a deadline to build a gate)

so for the money I have in it, I am really happy I did it. The back yard is much more useable (private)
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Old 05-23-08, 12:19 AM   #19
NotThatGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedagogue
That is why they have a Kid Kage.
SEE!!!!

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Old 05-23-08, 08:14 AM   #20
kenbuzz
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Good fences make good neighbors. I built one and have never looked back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeden
If your neighbors put one up you only have one or two neighbors left before your yard is fenced at their expense right?
But if you're not a big fan of fences, this isn't a problem for you. And if your neighbors give you a free one at their expense, you're not likely to complain are you?

After I installed my 6' privacy fence, my neighbor asked about who the contractor was because he liked the looks and was thinking of extending the style around his own yard. He said he'd pay me half the cost I paid for the section that runs along our common property line if he went ahead and built. He figured he's saving the half I paid, and I save the half he pays, so we both end up saving some money, just as if we had had both yards fenced at the same time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shifrbv
I was fighting my HOA to put up a fence in my backyard.
Our of curiosity, what was the basis of the HOA's original complaint?
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Old 02-11-10, 12:07 PM   #21
aktick
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Re: Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

I'm probably going to put up a fence in the backyard, primarily for the dog. One neighbor to the back (to the corner, so no shared side) has a 6' vinyl one, it's white and looks kind of ugly and the sun bounces off it pretty bad in summer.

I don't necessarily want it for privacy, so I was thinking 4' - but will that be tall enough with a border collie? He's smaller for a border collie, and I don't really plan on leaving him out back when I'm not home. But the neighbors on both sides have little kids, so they can sort of egg him on sometimes.

It will be about 60' on the sides and 100' across the back.

One of the side neighbors also has a young dog, and might be interested in putting one up as well - if we can share that side, is splitting the cost 50-50 the thing to do?

So fence types...I don't really like the look of vinyl that much, it's more expensive it seems, and I worry about it cracking in the cold WI weather. What types of wood fences should I look at? Any other suggestions?
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Old 02-11-10, 12:37 PM   #22
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Re: Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

For a dog, I would really consider an Invisible Fence.

It is cheaper, les unsightly, and works just as well.

The only real negative is that it doesn't keep kids/animals OUT of your yard.

Vinyl is MUCH more expensive than wood, but is "maintenance free". If you are looking for a 3-5 year solution, go wood. If this is the last house you are going to live in, then consider vinyl.
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Old 02-11-10, 12:54 PM   #23
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Re: Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

If your neighbor just put a fence up, you should offer to pay for half of the fence (just the section you share). Cedar fences look great for the first year or two and then they look like shit once it's rained on them a few seasons. You should consider staining/water treating the fence soon after you put it up if you want it to look nice for a long time. We chose an ornamental iron fence sense our neighbor had our shared side done when we moved in. It's more expensive but there is no maintenance and it still gives the appearance of a larger yard. The downside is that my little dachshund can squeeze through the bars.
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Old 02-11-10, 01:59 PM   #24
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Re: Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

If your neighbors put up fences between your lot and theirs, doesn't that mean you don't need to?
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Old 02-11-10, 02:44 PM   #25
aktick
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Re: Install a fence? I'm on the fence.

The neighbor that put up a fence is kitty-corner, so no shared lot lines. And unfortunately there's something like a 6' easement in the back of each lot, so we wouldn't be able to share that anyways. On the sides I think we can share.
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