birmingham al wood fence

10 Factors to Consider When Installing a Fence

We all know that a good fence makes a good neighbor. But what kind of fence should you install? This article will help answer that question by walking through the 10 factors to consider when selecting a fence for your property.

But before we get into the factors, let’s talk about some of your fence options.

Types of Fences

As you would expect, many different types of fences are available to suit just about any purpose or design taste. Some examples include:


Great for security and visibility without obscuring views. Price can vary a lot depending on the material used, height, and chain type.


Lots of choices in design and materials are available. They can be expensive to maintain if they are not painted or stained regularly (every few years). They can also rot, warp or crack over time.


Great for security and can be very attractive, depending on the material used. Metal is an excellent choice for a fence that will receive foot traffic. Like wood fences, metal fences require regular maintenance to prevent rust and oxidation. Fence installation Birmingham AL has many options of metal fence styles.

Wrought iron or ornamental steel

These are the most expensive fencing types to install, but they are also the most secure. They can be very attractive if chosen carefully and installed correctly. However, installation costs vary widely depending on design choices.

Slats or pickets

Suitable for security and privacy, especially in high-traffic areas. Unless privacy slats are chosen, visitors can see through the fence from one side to another. In addition, they must be regularly maintained and replaced when they become warped or loose.


It may be required by homeowners associations (HOA) depending on location. Barriers designate an area and prevent people and animals from entering. Fence installation Birmingham AL is an excellent option for barrier fences and more.

What are the factors to consider when installing a fence?

  • The purpose of the fence

If you’re installing a barrier or other type of simple border, such as a property line, something like a chain link would be all you need. If you want to add some privacy and security for your family along with that barrier function, then wood or metal could be a good choice. If you’re installing an ornamental fence around the perimeter of your yard, then wrought iron or ornamental steel could be a great way to go.

  • How high do I want it?

Is this for security purposes, privacy, visibility, or all of the above? A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you can see over it. If you’re installing a privacy fence, make sure the slats are no more than 4 inches apart. A high fence will likely require an experienced fence company Birmingham AL to install it. If your fence installation Birmingham AL is completed by an experienced contractor, you can rest assured that your fence was correctly installed.

  • What about the bottom of my fence?

Do I need to protect the bottom of my fence? If so, what type of protection is required (for instance, something like a half-inch pressure-treated board might work great but may not be pretty)? Is this because of weather conditions (snow, rain, or sun)? Do I have little kids who could get hurt from falling off the fence? If so, you should always install a barrier at the bottom of your fence to prevent accidents.

When you’re installing a fence Birmingham AL, you want to consider not just the top of your fence but also the bottom.

  • How much maintenance can I handle?

Wood fences need to be maintained regularly to prevent rot and insect damage. Metal needs to be painted regularly to prevent oxidation, rust, and corrosion. Wrought iron requires no regular painting or staining but must be maintained periodically. If you are planning to install a wood fence, make sure to choose a type of wood that requires minimal maintenance and can stand up to whatever weather conditions you may have in your area.

  • What are my fencing options?

Fence installation Birmingham AL is an excellent option for homeowners who want a fence and more. Several fence styles to choose from include chain link, wood, metal, vinyl, and more. When choosing a fence style, make sure it meets the criteria you are looking for in your fencing Birmingham AL needs.

  • How much will it cost?

As with any significant purchase, you should always shop around for the best prices on fence installation Birmingham AL. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and neighbors if they can recommend a reputable contractor (and check their references). Someone you know may have already had a fence installed and can tell you about their experience with the contractor.

You will also want to be sure that the contractor is fully insured, has all necessary licensing, and has recommended the right fence for your needs. As with any major project you undertake, it’s always a good idea to get several estimates so you can compare prices and services offered.

  • Will I need a permit?

A fence installation Birmingham AL will require a building permit for more than 30 inches high. Check with your local authorities before you begin to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork. One way to avoid potential problems from arising in the future is to have a licensed contractor come out and take measurements before the installation process begins.

  • Will I need to provide all the materials?

In most cases, no. The contractor should provide you with an estimate for all of the necessary materials and supplies required to get the job done. If you plan on doing some or all of the work yourself, though, be sure to get an estimate on the number of materials you will need. A contractor should provide you with a rough estimate of how long it will take. Still, sometimes this number cannot be accurate because many factors are outside the control of any contractor or do-it-yourselfer.

  • How long will installation take?

As with any project, the time it takes to install a fence is contingent upon many different factors, including geography, climate, topography, and even your schedule for the day. If you have a busy life and a contractor needs a total of 8 hours to get your fence done, be prepared to have a fence installation Birmingham AL that lasts an entire day. Of course, it may take more or less time depending on the conditions, but be sure to discuss this with any contractor you hire, so there are no surprises. This is an important consideration to make before you begin a fence installation

  • What are my options?

Your fence installation Birmingham AL will help you determine what style of fence is best for the type of security you need. You may also want to consider secondary fencing or a perimeter fence for added protection. You will also want to decide whether your fence is more suited for function or looks, as this will also affect the type of fence you get.

How can you maintain a fence?

A sturdy, well-maintained fence is often the number one priority of many homeowners to provide protection. However, it’s essential to make sure that your fence installation Birmingham AL requires minimal maintenance in addition to being sturdy and strong enough for its purpose.

Types of fencing material, including wood, metal, vinyl, or others, will determine the necessary upkeep. Below we will be discussing some of the steps you can take to protect your fence. This will not completely stop the damage, but it should help with the process.

Metal Fencing

One way to protect your metal fencing is by applying a sealant to the surface of the fence. This helps provide additional protection from the elements and can even help prevent rusting of your fencing. Aluminum fencing is fairly resistant, but steel will require extra care and maintenance due to its vulnerability to corrosion over time.

Wood Fencing

You can protect wood fences by finishing them with a natural stain, varnish, or paint. These coatings have been known to protect the wood from water damage and keep it free of mold or mildew, appearing if left untreated.

However, it is essential to note that regular wood fencing treatments are necessary to protect natural elements.

Vinyl or Plastic Fencing

You can apply a sealant to your fence on an annual basis which helps protect the unit from ultraviolet rays and other factors which cause damage. This product is essential if you have ground-level slats as the fence could absorb direct sunlight for hours on end.

You can also consider using grout or caulk to fill in any small gaps between your fence and the surrounding area. This will help protect the wood and keep moisture and other elements from entering your fencing system, which could cause damage.

Finally, an excellent way to prevent water damage is using a pressure washer on your fence once or twice per year. Many types of fencing materials, including vinyl and wood, have absorbed water from rainstorms. Using a bit of soap in the process can also help remove dirt and other debris, which could cause damage over time.

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