It was Robert Frost who intoned over 100 years ago: good fences make good neighbors. A visible boundary around one piece of property to separate it from the next one, a fence is called upon to serve many purposes. But when browsing through hundreds of house plans and considering building your dream house on a new lot, the decision to include a fence can be based on several factors.
At its most basic level, a fence is a safety feature. Designed to protect your yard and your home from unwanted attention, security fences can be anything from solid wood to chain link. Highly security-conscious consumers can set up electrical fencing as part of an alarm system to warn of intruders and dissuade against the impulse to violate the boundary.
Fences are often used to mark out the boundaries of one parcel of land. These can be as simple as occasional markers stuck in the ground to denote a property line or a single wire strung between posts at the corners of the lot. In older pieces of land, the property line can sometimes be marked by naturally occurring divisions, such as a change in landscape or a line of trees or shrubbery.
A fence is also often used as a decorative touch to the overall vision of your dream house. The ever-popular picket fence is just one example among many of this kind of addition. Ornamental fencing can complete the overall look of your home and can be either quite affordable or very expensive, depending on the materials you use. Because the intention of this kind of fencing is aesthetic, the options are unlimited and can be easily matched to the style of home you are planning to build.
As you put the finishing touches on your vision for your dream home, consider the reasons for building a fence as you choose how to proceed. And with house plans that feature wrap around front porches or verandas, some will choose not to build a fence at all, creating an open feel to the yard and enabling the porch railings to serve double-duty as a protective boundary around the home.