Residential fences can be as individual as the homeowners who put them up. For privacy, security, pets, or purely for decoration, wood fences can provide it all. This diversity extends into design as well, where picket, post-and-rail, panel, lattice, and other fence designs are easily installed with wood fencing material. Newer fencing materials are cutting into wood's dominance of the fencing market, but their benefits have yet to seriously challenge the popularity of wood fencing.
Seattle Wood Fencing
The first concern of wood fencing in Seattle has to be the persistent precipitation. The good news is that proper planning and maintenance will give your wood fence all it needs to thrive in the Emerald City's wet climate. The bad news is that you'll need to anticipate and accept the fact that you may need to seal your fence every year or, at least, every other year. For some homeowners, the beauty of a wood fence is well worth the price of this inconvenience. Cedar is a great-performing wood for outdoor use, although some tropical (and exotic) hardwoods may be even more durable. On the other hand, as long as you have your wood pressure treated and properly and regularly sealed, your fence should be in good shape for many years.
Seattle Fences, Homeowners, and Neighbors
Among the best advice we've heard from Seattle homeowners is what this Seattleite told us: "Make sure that you speak to all the neighbors you share a fence with and agree on fence style and cost before you begin." This brief statement touches on several good points. First, if you're not careful with your fence and your property line, your neighbor will have every right to tear the fence down. In fact, even if your neighbor is okay with the fence, there's no guarantee that neighbor will always be the owner of the property. So to be safe, keep the fence on your property. Second, if you're willing to consult with your next-door neighbors, they may be willing to help pay for a portion of the fence that borders their property.
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Cost of Seattle Wood Fence Installation
Both across the country and in the Emerald City, the average cost of installing a wood fence is about $2,800, albeit with a wide range. In Seattle, wood fencing projects have run anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, and to demonstrate that these prices weren't the result of cutting corners or price-gouging, the homeowners rated these contractors between 4.7-5.0 out of ServiceMagic's 5-star rating system. Where your project falls on this spectrum will primarily depend on three things: the size/length of your fence, the species and quality of the wood, and the labor cost of your contractor. To help keep the project within your budget and still get the fence you want, you may need to optimize the cost-effectiveness of each of these areas. Keep in mind, though, no fence is cost-effective if you're not also committed to constructing a quality fence that will remain in good condition for many years.
Seattle Wood Fence Installation
For DIYers, be warned that while you may be able to install your own fence, it's harder than many homeowners think. High winds and loose soil may mean you need to dig your fence posts deeper than is conventionally advised. A hilly yard, common in Seattle, may also complicate things. In fact, you'll want to make sure you clearly communicate your expectations to your Seattle wood fencing contractor. Here's what one Seattle homeowner told us: "I would have asked the contractor to extend the fence down to the ground. I'd just assumed the fence would hit the ground everywhere." By getting multiple estimates, looking at contractor's ratings, and explicitly conveying your expectations, you can be assured of a great wood fence for a reasonable cost.