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Fences & Gates

Hardscaping 101: Fences & Gates

We won’t pretend to be fence lovers. For privacy, we prefer hedges because live shrubs are friendlier to neighbors, look better as a backdrop, and release oxygen into the atmosphere.

But sometimes you need a fence: to keep out deer, mask unsightly physical elements adjacent to your property, or protect toddlers from drowning in a swimming pool. Our Design Guides are here to help.

When a fence—and front gate—are the first thing visitors see, create curb appeal with our tips and design guidelines. We’ll help you choose the best height, style, and hardware (latches and hinges) to complement the architecture of your house. We polled members of our design directory come up with some tried-and-true Architects’ Secrets: 10 Ideas to Create Privacy in the Garden.

Start with a few basic design rules: a gate should be at least 3 feet wide to be comfortable to walk through (wider is preferable) and at least 3 feet high to create a visual barrier. A typical fence can be as low as a 3-foot picket fence designed to mark the perimeter of a property or as high as 6 feet for privacy. (Check your local municipality’s zoning code; the rules may vary.)

See some of our favorite designs: Iron Entryways with Curb Appeal, The English Garden Gate, 10 Ways, and Japanese-Style Fences and Screens.

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