No matter your style, there’s a fence to suit your home

Thursday January 12 2017

When the bougainvillea is planted next to an open fence, such as one made of chain link or wire, it will naturally climb up the fence. The bougainvillea branches can be woven through  the spaces in a fence until they cover the fence. PHOTO | FILE

When the bougainvillea is planted next to an open fence, such as one made of chain link or wire, it will naturally climb up the fence. The bougainvillea branches can be woven through  the spaces in a fence until they cover the fence. PHOTO | FILE 

By BARACK ODUOR
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Security and the need for privacy are the most obvious reasons home owners erect fences. However, beyond these basic functions, a fence contributes greatly to a home’s exterior décor.

A good looking fence, whether it is made of wood, chain link, metal or plants, makes a statement about the home. 

Before erecting a fence, you should look around and find the cost of the various types available within your budget and suitability for the home.

While security and privacy are the main reasons people put up fences around their homes,  design and creativity should not be ignored.

Mr Douglas Ochieng’, a civil engineer, says that you should also consider the stability and safety of a fence.

“It is important to involve professionals when building a fence to ensure that it provides security and is safe for the homeowner,” says Ochieng’. 

Stone

Perhaps the most popular fencing, particularly in urban areas, are stone walls.  This is mainly because they not only offer privacy, but are also hard to break through. However, if you want to put up a stone fence, it is important to note that the height and size of a fence will greatly affect the price.

A stone or brick perimeter wall is made from brick and mortar, much in the same way one would build a house. However, care should be taken to ensure that only very good quality stones are used to ensure that the fence is sturdy and durable. 

Wood

You can also use wood to fence your compound. It is important to note that the quality of a wooden fence will depend on the type of wood you choose. However, wood has the disadvantage that it can be destroyed by termites and other insects, although you can overcome this by treating the wood. Still, since wood is a natural product, it is easily affected by the elements, which can greatly reduce its lifespan. 

Wrought iron

Then there is also the possibility of using wrought iron for fencing. One major advantage of wrought iron in comparison to other materials is that it is both strong and durable.

To keep a wrought iron fence looking good, you can repaint it every few years.  

Plants

If you are a nature lover, you can fence your compound with plants such as cypress or bougainvillea. The bougainvillea is a climbing flower that has a sprawling collection of woody and twisting branches which have thorns.

Mr Calisto Otieno, a florist, says the bougainvillea is a natural climber, so it isn’t hard to train it to grow up a fence and create a beautiful display as the flowers bloom. “When the bougainvillea is planted next to an open fence, such as one made of chain link or wire, it will naturally climb up the fence” he says.

The bougainvillea branches can be woven through  the spaces in a fence until they cover the fence. 

To control the plant’s growth, you need to tie it to the supporting fence You should weave any branches that over grow into the fence or prune them. When choosing a plant for a fence, it is advisable to go for those that climb. 

Chainlink

Chain link fences are common but have spaces in between so they don’t offer any privacy. They are comparatively cheap and require little maintenance compared with fences made from other materials.  

Corrugated iron sheets

A common type of fence, particularly in low-income residential areas, is the corrugated iron fence. While it offers lots of privacy, it is not particularly beautiful. It is easy to maintain since all it needs is occasional repainting.

An iron sheet fence is not very expensive to erect and given its low maintenance costs and long lifespan, it is much cheaper than many other types of fences. 

Combination

You can also have a combination fence, where you have the basic fence made of chain link, barbed wire or part-stone and part-metal and then have a climbing or creeping plant on it for additional privacy. 

Electric fence

In many urban areas, people electrify their fences for enhanced security. It involves placing a wire above the stone wall that gives a mild electric shock to would-be intruders.