Common Fencing Misconceptions

different styles of fencing

“Good fences make good neighbors.”

That adage, as well as numerous variations on it, is one of many reasons that homeowners choose to buy a fence for their property. Specifically, many want privacy and protection, and for some it’s also a significant decorative element of their home.

But there are many things’ homeowners don’t understand about the process of installing a fence, not to mention the materials they may be considering. There are plenty of myths out there about both of those things, so let’s take a shot at dispelling some of the most common ones.

You Need (Or Don’t Need) A Permit to Build a Fence on Your Property

This one’s tricky because there’s no right answer, but both variations on this heading are common misconceptions. Homeowners can obviously choose either option, or it’s easy for them to be wrong.

So, let’s review. Technically you don’t need a permit to build a fence on your property in most situations, but the exceptions include situations in which a utility line enters the property in a place where the fence is to be built.

The opposite may be true if the fence abuts a main thoroughfare, or even a side street in some cases. When this is the case, it’s usually spelled out in the town bylaws that pertain to zoning, so it’s important to know what the specifics are if you’re planning to install a fence in this kind of situation.

Either way, know that both statements can be a myth. The truth lies in the reality of your situation, so make sure you know the law and how it applies to your home and your property if you want to install a fence.

Wood Fences are Prone to Storm Damage

Now let’s look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions about the materials used to build fences.

One of the major ones pertains to wooden fences, and according to the myths, wood is the material that’s most prone to storm damage. It gets blown over, fractured, and even ripped apart during severe storms, so it’s a good idea to choose another material if you live in an area that’s prone to storms.

That’s nonsense, of course. While it may be true if you install a cheap wooden fence, that myth would apply to any cheap fence, regardless of the materials.

The fact is that with the right wood installed by a good company, a wooden fence can be installed in a way that allows it to withstand all but the most violent storms.

The type of wood has a lot to do with this, as does the way the fence is anchored. Where the fence is built and how it’s angled and set up is part of the equation, too, and a quality fencing company knows how to make a wood fence as safe and impregnable as any other material.

Your budget plays a role in this, of course, so if you’re looking to install a wood fence make sure you bone up on the types of wood that can be used. Ask plenty of questions, and make sure you get the right answers before you go ahead and make the purchase. If you do and you’re dealing with a quality company, you’ll be fine.

Aluminum Fences Will Rust and Be Unattractive

This is another big myth in the home fencing world, and it’s just as ridiculous as the myths about wood. Once again, it’s all about the quality of the product, so here’s how it works.

Aluminum can be treated with different kinds of coatings that protect them from both water exposure as well as the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Get it in writing, though. It’s worth your while to ask plenty of questions and get the right answers, and that includes print material backing up any claims about aluminum coatings, not to mention covering these issues in whatever contract you sign.

Vinyl Fencing is Weak and Will Fade Over Time

Vinyl is another material that often gets a bad rap in the world of home fencing. According to the myths, it’s thin, weak and it will shatter easily, and it will start to fade quickly and look bad within a few years.

This myth, too, is about the quality of the product. Vinyl can be built thicker to withstand the elements, and it can be coated with materials that resist fading. If you get a high-quality vinyl fence that’s backed by a company selling an excellent product, you won’t have this problem.

[Here’s the piece…I picked out some common myths, went through them, and used the keywords at what seemed like an appropriate level. Please let me know if you need anything else.]


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