Do you consider great fences make great neighbors? Or are you with Gene Autry, looking for large open country? If you reside in close areas with your neighbors, you’re likely in the previous camp — whether it’s a fence to keep a dog at home, an aluminum barrier around your pool for safety or a privacy fence to guard naked sunbathing, there are a lot of options and local fence contractors to choose from. And just like light fixtures, backsplash tile and color schemes, fence is subject to trends.
Melissa and Jerry Haley founded their company, Backyard Fence, in 1997. Back then, wood ruled the day, both the separated pickets that call Tom Sawyer to mind, and the sections that create both a barrier and a privacy guard. Melissa Haley said she seldom quoted vinyl in those days because it was so expensive, compared to spruce and cedar options. Now, the opposite is true. Vinyl has come down in price, Haley said, and the price of wood has increased because of supply issues when it comes to importing lumber. Wood and vinyl are commonly close in price, and customers often go with vinyl because it is low-maintenance and long-lasting, Haley said, and the material now comes in a variety of colors, not just white.
“There are places where just wood will do, because the property is heavily wooded and vinyl would look out of place,” Haley said.
Fencing falls into four categories — in order of cost, it’s chain link, aluminum, vinyl and wood. Installation labor costs depend on location, Haley said — the digging is easy in Rotterdam, where it’s sandy, but trickier in Altamont or Cohoes, where the soil is various.
Although chain link is cheapest, you can spend as a lot as a new car on elegant fence options — vinyl with aluminum on top to create a decorative element or aluminum fence with decorative panel inserts. Haley said a blend of styles is typical — at her house, she has chain link around the yard and decorative vinyl in the front facing the street.