The poet Robert Frost said "good fences make good neighbors," but unfortunately he didn't give us any instructions on how to actually build a good one. It can be a daunting project.
Beyond property lines, there are several considerations: height, level of screening desired, and material—to name a few. Then, there is the cost and time involved. Custom fencing is a great option if you have lots of both. If you are a budding carpenter, a fence can be a great DIY project. For many of us who land somewhere in the middle, pre-made fencing can be a great solution.
There are many varieties of pre-made fencing that appeal to different needs and tastes. Most come in panels or rolls, ready to be mounted to posts or pre-existing fencing structures (not included). You can hire a contractor to help with installation, or refer to many of the installing instructions available and do it yourself. Here are ten options to consider.
Above: The Bamboo Good Neighbor Fence crafted in the US with high quality Tonkin bamboo woven with copper clad wire can be attached to wooden rails, with or without a wood frame. Available in a four- or six-foot height and in eight-foot rolls. The Bamboo Fencer offers detailed instructions on How to Install a Bamboo Rolled Fence; $168 and $198 depending on size at the Bamboo Fencer.
Above: For a more natural look, consider the Bamboo Twig Fence made from stiff bundles of bamboo branches securely woven with galvanized steel wire. This fencing can be used with wooden capping across the top, or with the twig ends exposed. Offered in 6-by-15 foot rolls for $126 each at the Bamboo Fencer.
Above: An affordable option is Reed Fencing. Crafted from reeds woven together with vinyl-coated wire, it can be attached to an existing fence or to posts of your own. The reeds weather to silvery gray; $89.95 for a set of two 78-inch high, 13-foot long sections (for a total of 26 feet) at Gardeners.
Above: Gardman Willow Privacy Panel Fencing is made with long-lasting willow wood reinforced with steel wire. It can be attached to an existing fence or used as a stand alone fence; $59.99 for the 39-inch-tall, 13-foot roll at Hayneedle.
Wood Panel Fencing
Above: Handcrafted Hazelwood Hurdle Fence Panels are woven from the coppice wood of the hazel tree. The panels can be installed on nearly any type of fence post, but are very appealing when paired with the peeled round Cedar Fence Posts. Available in five-by-six ($245) and five-by-four ($195). The Cedar Fence Posts come in ten-foot and eight-foot lengths for $23 and $14 respectively at Detroit Garden Works.
Above: The horizontal orientation of the boards on the Redwood Flat Top Wood Fence Panel have a decidedly contemporary feel. The panel measures six-by-six feet; $76.28 each at Lowe's.
(N.B.: Designing a garden? See "10 Easy Pieces: Pathway Lighting."
Above: There is something about traditional white cedar picket fencing. The New England Wide Picket Fence shown with a beveled post comes in a choice of four heights from 30 inches to 48 inches and in a choice of four-, six-, or eight-foot sections; from $95 to $155 per section depending on size at the New England Cedar Fence Company. Samples are available.
Above: A good solution for a short fence (like picket fencing) with a contemporary look, the Three-foot Redwood Flat Top Fence Panel; $50.32 per six-foot section at Lowe's.
Above: Back to Basics. The White Cedar Dog-Ear Fence Panel measures six-by-eight feet; $48.97 each at Home Depot.
Above: Spotted in Dwell, a creative idea by architect Peter Kuczia to transform a simple fence using strategically placed swatches of bright paint.
Explore more: Exteriors and Facades.