There’s no “right” fence height, but it’s important that you know why you’re installing a fence. Most people install a fence for safety, security or privacy. Others want to establish a boundary between their property and their neighbor. No matter the reason for the fence, there are some mitigating circumstances that can curtail the height of the fence you want.
Anyone that’s governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA) will need to check with the organization first. HOAs have very strict rules about the height, type and materials for fencing, if it’s allowed at all. The second obstacle could be local governmental regulations that limit the height of a fence and how it must be erected. For instance, stockade fencing must be installed with the “pretty” side out.
Fencing for boundary lines can range from 3 to 6 feet in height. Some homeowners choose to have a 3-ft. fence in front with a 6-ft. fence for the back of the property for added privacy. In many locales, your neighbor may have to approve the fence and its height prior to installation.
If privacy is your primary goal, you’ll need a fence of at least 6-ft. in height. That height is sufficient to prevent passing strangers and nosy neighbors from peering in. For the ultimate in privacy, fences are available in heights of 7-8 ft. However, obtaining approval for a fence that tall may prove difficult.
A 6-ft. fence is typically tall enough to discourage most forms of wildlife. The exception to that would be deer that are capable of jumping an 8-ft. fence. Keeping humans out of your yard is a little more difficult. A 6-ft. fence will usually discourage a casual intruder, while a motivated burglar may not be so easily deterred even by an 8-ft. fence. For those instances, spikes and similar embellishments can be added to the top.
Kids and Pets
Anyone with children or pets know how quickly they can go over or under a barrier. Never underestimate a youngster’s ability to climb and crawl. To keep young children in, a 4-ft. fence will suffice, but to prevent contact with passersby, choose a 6-ft. fence. This is also true for canines – they can jump over, crawl under, slip between pickets, and even crawl up the fence if they can get a toe-hold. Make sure a self-locking secure gate is included in the design and specially designed barriers for small dogs and puppies.
Pools and Gardens
A 4-ft. fence is typically sufficient for gardens to keep out rabbits and other wildlife and regulations usually stipulate a 4-ft. fence for pools. Other safety measures will be mandated for pool fences and height from the ground.
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