Building Fences

| 1/19/2017 1:13:00 PM

Tags: Fence building, Cassie Lewis, Arkansas,

Cassie LewisThe first thing we knew we'd have to do before we could go too far down this homesteading path was put up a fence around the majority of the back yard. Two things made this abundantly clear. First: we have two, 50-pound dogs who were as anxious as we were to have the space. We wanted to let them off the leash and let them have space to run and play; they were going to need contained. The second way we knew a fence really couldn't wait? Two days after planting my celebratory fruit seedlings, the deer showed us that they were a force to be reckoned with. Looking at those bark-less, leaf-less twigs, I knew that we were going to need a convincing “Keep Out” sign.

There are a few decisions that need to be made before you start a fencing project.

First, what is the intent of your fence? Is it purely decorative or, like ours, does it need to be sturdy and practical? Chain link can be built sturdily, but it's not that attractive in my opinion.

Second issue is size. We wanted to fence as much of the yard as we could, but we had to consider price and we know that, down the road, we needed to build a big shop on the property. So we had to make a general decision about the location of the shop so that we didn't have to tear down the fence when we get to that project.

Third — I referred to it above — cost. Can you afford to hire help? We couldn't. Some materials are more expensive than others. Your budget may limit what kind of fence you can afford to build. We considered vinyl, but the expense!

Fourth, you need to consider the maintenance after it's built. We brought vinyl back into the discussion here — no painting or water treatment needed! But we also knew that if we did have a small portion of the fence that needs replaced, it's easier to replace a picket than an entire section.

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