There are dozens of reasons to build a fence, and when done properly, it can add tremendous value to your home. But there are also several factors that will affect your decisions. We would like to make you aware of them before you make your plans. If you're considering one of the lovely St. Louis homes for sale, you may want to think about fencing before you buy. Here's what to know before adding a fence to your property.
- Know the Rules
Local governments and homeowners associations often have complicated regulations with respect to height, materials, and placement. Before you have your heart set on a particular design and style, make sure you understand all restrictions and limitations. Be aware of easements. Information regarding access through the property should have been disclosed in the closing documents when you purchased the house. If they aren't listed or are incomplete, property deeds on file through the county describe nonowner rights of usage. Our real estate agents can order a title report during the purchase process and advise you accordingly.
- Check with your Neighbors
A fence along your property line can affect them, too. On the positive side, they may agree that a fence would be beneficial to both parties and agree to share the expense of both building and maintenance. If, however, they regard a fence or wall an encroachment on their rights or block a view, you may be asking for a longstanding feud. Talk before you plan. They may not appreciate a wall but would be fine with another type of fence. Whether or not they have legal rights, a simple conversation might help you avoid conflict of any kind.
It's also important to verify property lines so that you don't inadvertently build on part of their property.
- Match the Fence to its Purpose
Picking a type of fence is easier when you consider why you want one in the first place. If for example, you wish to have your dog roam in the fenced-in yard, make sure it can't dig under it, wriggle through it or even jump over it. If you need the neighborhood children to stay off your lawn, you may need a short garden fence. Different materials provide different barriers, and it's important that the fence you build provides the benefits you are seeking. If your goal is privacy, you may wish to consider a hedge instead of a fence, but that will provide little in the way of security.
- Consider the Cost
A brick wall may cost $45 or more per square foot, while stone costs upwards of $80 per square foot. Fencing costs also vary according to materials from $5 to $20 per linear foot, and lumber costs are rising. Consider the length of the fence. Will it surround a large property or just circle a small yard? You may need to mix fence types in order to address your needs economically as well as functionally. Rural properties may benefit from wire fencing to block wildlife, but make sure you don't disturb migration patterns or access to water.
- Learn about Required Maintenance
Wooden fences require a good deal more upkeep than alternative materials but cost far less than most to construct. The beauty will fade when slats warp or decay. You'll need to make regular repairs to keep it looking attractive. Vegetation must be trimmed around the base of the fence. All of these issues should be discussed with your neighbors before you come to a decision.
Contact us for more information about the St. Louis real estate market. Our agents look forward to hearing from you.