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    Tractor Supply Company

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    A buyer’s guide to picking the best fencing for your home

    Fencing really brings a yard together. Or a garden. Or a pool area. Or a special section just for pets. Whatever the need, quality fencing can provide privacy and security, give people and animals guides for how to navigate an area, and also provide safety. With several options to choose from, Tractor Supply Company can help you find the fence you need to create the boundary you are looking for.

    Choosing and building a fence – what to do before getting started

    Before doing anything, you’ll want to have a good idea of what you can do regarding fencing. Consider the following, first.

    1. Check local regulations on fencing – these rules could affect height of the fence, color, distance from the road, any number of things. These regulations can come from the county, city or town, or even the local homeowner’s association. Good to check the rules before moving forward.
    2. Call before you dig - or text before you dig, whatever resource your area has to help you know know what’s under your yard. This is to avoid running into any power, water, gas, communications, or other municipal lines when installing fence posts.
    3. Measure area - Once you know what type of fences you can build and where you can dig, measure the area you plan on covering. This will help you determine how many materials you need and determine a budget.
    4. Think about budget - It’s a good idea to get an idea of what you can budget towards the project from both a monetary and time spent perspective before exploring options, this will put you in the best position to get the best fence for you.

    Once these basics are covered, time to start exploring options.

    What kind of fence do you need? A guide to the three types of residential fencing

    With the first to types referred to here, the process is relatively similar. Plan out posts, install posts, and then establish panels between them (this can be done a variety of ways). This also applies to wire garden fencing. Decorative garden fencing is installed more simply, with pre-made panels just being pushed into the ground.

    What is the best type of fencing for a whole yard? Privacy Fencing

    If you’re looking for a privacy barrier between an area of your property and the rest of the world, you’ll want a six to eight foot fence, either wood, composite, or vinyl in a rail or board style. The spacing and style arrangement of the pickets, rails, and boards will determine how much privacy, light, and airflow the fence provides, as well as the look.

    What is the best type of fencing for a pool or pet area? Specialized fencing

    Specialized fencing provides a hindering barrier with less privacy and, often, more style. These fences are usually about 4 feet in height. Aluminum is popular and provides a classy look in a variety of styles, but wood, vinyl and composite options are also available. This type of fencing is perfect for guiding visitors and animals or sectioning off areas of your property like a pool or pet area.

    What is the best type of fencing for a small garden? Garden fencing

    Garden fencing can refer to two kinds, one is wire fencing that can be four feet or so, designed to keep animals OUT of a garden, and the other is smaller wire fencing, about 1.5 to 2.5 feet, that is more decorative. The decorative kind is more of a guide to people and animals.

    What material of fence is best for my yard?

    The materials available will be mostly related to the type of fence you’re going looking to build.

    Privacy fence: wood, composite, or vinyl.

    • Wood fencing provides a classic look and is known for its sturdiness. Wood fencing will often need to be treated, painted, and/or stained, and require more maintenance than other types.
    • Composite refers to a type of wood material that is a mix of wood, plastic, cellulose, or other elements, heat-treated to form a durable product. Composite boards tend to last longer than wood boards and typically do not require painting, treating, or staining.
    • Vinyl is technically a plastic (usually polyvinyl chloride or PVC), but it’s the most durable and maintenance-free material on this list. It comes in a wider variety of options and colors and styles as well. It does not need to be painted or otherwise treated.

    Specialized fencing

    Almost all study metal fencing is made from aluminum. Aluminum is the preferred choice due to its weight, durability, and low cost.

    Garden fencing

    This is usually aluminum or steel wire welded into a specific shape.

    What styles of fencing are available?

    Fencing style affects both form and function. It helps dictate the look, amount of privacy, light, and airflow of the fence.

    What are some styles of privacy fencing?

    Vertical Fencing – board types

    • Square board or flat fencing – this is just that, a board with a flat top. They can be lined up side by side, alternated or otherwise patterned with other types of boards, or topped with cap and trim.
    • Dog ear board fencing – Very similar to square board, but the boards are slightly rounded at the top.
    • Other board variations – you’ll find traditional (slightly pointy) and French gothic (ornately pointy) boards among others. All the types of boards can be organized in various fashions to create different styles.

    Vertical fencing – board arrangement

    The variations here are about how you arrange your boards or pickets, and how far away from each other they are spaced..

    • Privacy fencing – this refers to the standard arrangement of boards or pickets being lined up next to each other.
    • Good neighbor fencing – standard vertical privacy fencing will leave one side looking nice and crisp, and the other with a rail going across the boards or pickets. The idea behind good neighbor fencing is to alternate the panels showing the rail so each neighbor gets some of the good side.
    • Shadowbox fencing – an alternative is shadowbox fencing, where pickets are placed on either side of the rail in alternating fashion, making both sides of the fence uniform and attractive. Shadowbox fencing can reduce the amount of privacy a fence provides but increase the amount of airflow and sunlight. How much depends on the spacing of the pickets.
    • Board-on-board fencing – This provides the most privacy of any option. In this instance, the boards or pickets are actually installed overlapping each other.

    Horizontal fencing

    Horizontal fencing has increased in popularity in the past several years due to its increased privacy (in certain configurations) and modern look. Posts in a horizontal layout tend to be more visible, allowing for more customization options. It often requires specialized fenceposts.

    • Horizontal privacy fencing is just vertical-style fencing on its side. Experiment with fencepost color, toppings or trim, or even lattice or other style “windows” towards the top of the fence for a unique look.
    • Split rail and ranch rail fencing refers to horizontal fencing with the rails spread out between posts. Split rail features two rails and ranch rail features three.
    • Lourved is a style of horizontal fencing that provides maximum privacy while still allowing airflow, due to angled boards. It is perfect for fencing equipment that requires privacy but also circulation. Specific lourved fenceposts will be helpful here.

    How to install the fence

    With so many variations, each fence is installed a bit differently, follow the instructions that come with your fencing product for specific steps, but overall, for privacy and specialty fencing, these will be followed:

    1. Measure and mark – use spray paint to measure out panels and fenceposts
    2. Install posts – install the fenceposts where you’ve marked. This usually requires digging and some concrete, although a concrete alternative is available, as are NO DIG fencing options.
    3. Install rails or panels – these are the boards that go horizontally. Connect them to the posts using slats in the post or with hardware.
    4. Add trim – post toppers or total trim, finish off the look the way you like
    5. Stain, paint, or treat – crucial for wood, may not be needed for composite or vinyl, not needed for metal.