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Hardscaping 101: Design Guide for Fences (Height, Styles, and Cost)


Hardscaping 101: Design Guide for Fences (Height, Styles, and Cost)

August 25, 2016

Wondering where to start when it comes to fencing? If you’re planning to build, design, or install a fence, start with our Fence Design Guide:

We’ve explored the pros and cons and design details of picket fences, hog wire, wrought iron, painted fences, and deer fencing. Maybe privacy is your greatest concern. Or deer proofing. Or matching the style of your house.

For fence facts and prices–and design tips to maximize curb appeal–we’ve rounded up 10 of our most popular fence posts:

Black Fences


Above: An elegant fence. Yes, if it’s black. See our favorite dark backdrops in Trend Alert: Black Fences. Photograph courtesy of Martin Veltkamp.

How high should a fence be? For privacy, make it 5 or 6 feet tall. If you’re installing it to add curb appeal and don’t care about privacy, a fence that’s from 2 to 3 feet high will draw the eye and frame a view.

Horizontal Slats


Above: Make a small yard look more expansive with a horizontal slat fence. See our favorite examples in Fence Fashion: 11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal with Horizontal Stripes. Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

Wrought Iron


Above: Wrought iron, the ultimate in fence materials, is stately, strong, and secure. And pricy. Get the details in Hardscaping 101: Wrought Iron Fencing. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

Colorful Paints


Above: Photograph by Meredith Swinehart.

Before the 20th century, ironwork was not black. Find out what color the Sissinghurst Castle gates (and other British iron fences) were painted in Victorian times in Paint Colors for Iron Fences and Gates.

Wood Stains


Above: Photograph via Design Within Reach.

If you install a wooden fence, you can stain it instead of painting it. For more ideas, see Curb Appeal: Wooden Slat Fences.

Favorite Exterior Stain Colors, Gardenista

Above: Photograph by Meredith Swinehart.

Looking for the perfect color of stain?Some of our favorite colorful exterior stains for fences are (from L to R) Behr Semi-Transparent in Cape Cod Gray; Timber Pro UV Semi-Transparent in Ebony; Olympic Solid in Forest; Olympic Solid in Wedgewood; Behr Semi-Transparent in Chatham Fog; Behr Semi-Transparent in Colonial Yellow; Olympic Solid in Winning Red; and Behr Semi-Transparent in Slate.

Bamboo Fences


Above: Photograph by Marla Aufmuth for Gardenista.

For a quick fix, try panels or rolled bamboo fencing or other instant fences. See our favorite choices in 10 Easy Pieces: Instant Fences.

Hog Wire Fences


Above: Photograph by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

An attractive option for a tight budget is a hog wire fence. Hog wire keeps varmints out and keeps costs low. For tips on how to install one to keep deer away, see Hardscaping 101: Hog Wire.

Deer-proof Fences


Above: Photograph courtesy of Lisa Bynon Garden Design.

Hamptons-based garden designer Lisa Bynon designs stylish deer-proof fences for kitchen gardens. She reveals her secrets in The Landscape Designer is In: Elegant Deer Fencing, Hamptons Edition.

For more of our favorite fences, see:

Finally, learn how to successfully design a fence for any landscape or garden project with our Hardscaping 101: Fences & Gates guide.

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