Making A Statement Using Non Traditional Fencing Materials

By Piper Smith

Exterior home design and landscaping can be about far more that just maintaining the status quo. Design trends come and go, and while there are certain traditions that seem to persevere through the decades (think white picket fences), you should never be afraid to take a chance and flex your creative muscles when it comes to making upgrades to your home and yard. Stepping outside the traditional style box can be exciting and very rewarding. While many designers focus on paint samples, shutters or window treatments, one of the most oft-overlooked, but versatile, characteristics of any property is its fence. Typically, when one mentions fences, the first images to come to mind include chain-link or tall, wood privacy fences. While these are both valuable (and sometimes necessary) options to meet certain needs, the possibilities certainly don’t end there.

One of the newest fencing materials to make an appearance on the scene is bamboo. This naturally occurring, attractive wood boasts an inherent resistance to the elements and a durability that some might find unexpected. Bamboo is also very versatile, and can be designed to suit virtually any landscape or home. Its flexibility and lightness makes bamboo easy to manipulate and form into different shapes. For the environmentally aware, bamboo is an excellent alternative to man-made materials. It is entirely organic, and therefore, totally green. It is also extremely affordable and makes an easy DIY project for the ambitious homeowner.

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For the homeowner that wants personalization as well as easy maintenance in their fencing, PVC is an excellent option. These durable, attractive panels are available in a wide variety of colors, styles and sizes that are not only long-lasting, but easy to keep clean. Rather than dealing with the ordeal of sanding and painting a wooden fence, a PVC fence needs only a little non-toxic soap and a pressurized garden hose nozzle to get back to sparkly clean. Most PVC fencing comes in pre-formed panels, so replacement can be challenging if only a small section is damaged. However, this vinyl is highly resistant to weather and aging, so replacement should only be needed in extreme circumstances.

Split rail fencing is typically considered a more traditional form of fencing, but you can certainly use it in creative ways. In a suburban or urban setting, this airy form can be used to delineate property lines without blocking the view of a well-landscaped yard or garden. Iron fences can be used to accomplish a similar effect with a more sophisticated air. Iron fences can be very complimentary, especially for older homes where the homeowner wishes to encourage the historic elements of a building or space. Iron can be very dramatic, and serve double duty as an intruder deterrent.

Attention to detail can be very important when a homeowner wants to change or improve the look of their home. The interior of a house is certainly important – it’s where we spend most of our time – but taking the time to consider the outside can make a drastic difference in the overall impression your home makes.

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