When the time comes to start looking at boundary privacy options for your home, the most natural choice is a fence. But what type of fence? An entirely metal fence may not offer the look you’re going for, while a traditional timber fence might seem a little lackluster. Meeting you in the middle, though, is a metal and wooden fence. Here’s what you may like to consider before you decide on building a metal and wood fence.
Metal-Framed Wood Fences
In past years, anyone wanting to use a combination of wood and metal had to make do with unattractive metal poles holding a wooden fence in place. There were just few other options – at least few other affordable options.
Those days are over. You can now purchase metal fence framing that is designed to hold wood infill. You can make the metal framing contrast beautifully against the wood with a dark color scheme like black or denim blue.
Alternatively, you may like to paint it a similar color to the wood – or even white.
The beauty of purchasing metal framing to construct a wooden fence is that you can choose a wood type that works for you. Such framing is compatible with a wide variety of desirable wood panel types, such as bamboo, cedar, pine, cypress, and teak.
Once you’ve chosen your wood type, you can install it in the frame with gaps to allow sunshine to filter through. Or, you may like to overlap them or leave them naturally aligned. The choice is yours.
Fencing With Vertical Or Horizontal Placement
Take a walk around your local neighborhood and check out all the wooden fences. How many of them have vertical fence panels versus the number that have horizontally placed panels? Vertical placement is clearly the most popular choice. Though, as it turns out, it’s not necessarily the most attractive option.
You can buck the trend and place your boards horizontally. Install tongue and groove boards for a snug fit, or leave a gap to let your furry friends keep a close eye on the neighborhood.
Remember, gaps allow sunshine to filter through, but at the detriment of your complete privacy.
When you weigh up between vertical vs. horizontal wood fence placement, it’s also worth considering your post-placement. It’s obvious that a horizontal fence is an attractive option, but it can also be more expensive.
This is because of wind load requirements. Your posts may need to be set apart at six-foot spans rather than eight-foot spans.
Choosing Wood Posts Vs. Metal Posts
If you are not sure whether a wooden and metal fence is right for you, then you may decide to go ahead with the more traditional option of wood.
Though, one thing to keep in mind is that wood rots and warps.
When you place wood fence posts into the ground, it may only be 5-10 years before you’re replacing them with new wood fence posts.
While metal posts can cost more than wood ones initially, their longevity more than makes up for the price difference. Metal posts can also prove to be far lower maintenance than wood over time.
It doesn’t succumb to wear and tear as easily, and termites don’t have an appetite for metal.
You can’t say the same about wood. Lawn care equipment like line trimmers also doesn’t impact metal as much as they do wood.
Working Out Your Fence Post Height
Once you’ve decided whether you prefer wood or metal posts, it’s time to work out their most appropriate heights.
Standard fences are typically four feet, six feet, or eight feet tall. Take into consideration how deep into the ground your posts will be going, and ensure they are placed in line with your local building codes.
As a rule, you can calculate the length of the fence posts you need to buy by adding half of the fence’s height. For example, if your fence was six feet high, its posts would need to be three feet in the ground.
It’s also worth considering your wind load, soil conditions, and local municipality rules when selecting your fence post height. It doesn’t matter whether you choose metal posts or wooden posts; the same rules apply.
What If I Don’t Like Metal And Wood?
A metal and wood fencing combination is not for everyone. Sometimes, you want a fence that’s as character-rich or charming as your home.
Or, you want a fence that’s going to blend in harmoniously with your property’s contemporary appeal.
In that case, there are other options worth your consideration. Look at your options surrounding composite and metal fencing.
While composite materials can be more expensive than wood, they can be far more low maintenance. They are also available in a range of color options yet don’t require repainting.
Or, you could consider a metal-on-metal fence. Such a fence consists of corrugated iron set between metal framing. Choose contrasting metal colors, and you have a recipe for success.
Regardless Of The Fence Type, Don’t Forget…
It doesn’t matter which materials you settle on; there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure you are aware of your property line boundaries.
Even if you are knocking down an old fence to put up a new one, the previous owner may not have followed the boundary lines. By checking these out for yourself, you can be sure that your new fencing is being erected in the right spot.
Secondly, refer to your local building codes before building commences. Failure to do so may result in costly changes or the complete removal of your newly-built fence.
It’s also important to identify any underground lines running through your property. There can be a high risk of making contact with them as you’re putting in new fence posts.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of having a complete plan in place before you dig that first hole. The more planning you do, the more confidence you can have in the final product.
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