The correct fence height really depends on a number of variables.

Do you want the fence to keep animals in or out of your property? Maybe you want a bit of privacy around the backyard and want a fence to keep prying eyes from looking in?

On the other hand, in many gardens a fence may be wanted as a boundary marker, as well as being part of the landscape design and height may only be a secondary concern.

There are a few ways of looking at fence height and it can all be a bit of a doozy.

When considering how high your fencing should be, think of these few points:

  • What Do You Want The Fence To Do?
  • What Exactly Are The Legal Boundaries?
  • How About The Neighbors?
  • Think About The Shade
  • How Much Is Enough?

Let’s take a closer look at each point and see if we can find the answers to the height question.

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What Do You Want The Fence To Do?

If you want a fence to keep animals, such as horses, from wandering, then you will need a fence that is at least five feet from the ground level.

This is a recommended minimum but should keep most animals safely in the fields.

The same height should keep a dog from jumping over, but you will need a panel type fence rather than a rail fence to stop them from sliding through to freedom.

For privacy and security, you will need to see how much you are overlooked from the street or by the neighbors.

Six foot of a privacy fence should keep the property safe but take heed of legal requirements and local ordinances.

What Exactly Are The Legal Boundaries?

Laws on height differ from state to state and even from county to county and within local districts.

As a general rule, the height for a front yard fence is usually set at the three-foot limit, while the backyard guide is between six and eight foot.

You are already hitting a problem here with that too high privacy fence.

A fence too high in the front yard may affect the view of traffic coming around corners, or even the safety of children who run out without looking.

Always check with your local building officials before putting up a fence, especially in the front garden but take your guide from the neighbors to get a good idea.

How About The Neighbors?

Speaking of neighbors, always, always consider them when putting up a fence.

They will be the first to complain if something is wrong and remember that a fence which looks great to you may not be as welcome next door.

A fence which is too high may affect their exposure to rain and wind and may even block the light from reaching their plants.

The neighborhood association may want all fences to be of equal height, to give a pleasant, uniform view of the street.

Think Of The Shade

You don’t want to be in the shade just for the sake of a few inches on the fence.

Take a walk around the garden on a sunny day and consider how much light you will lose by having a fence that is too high.

Your neighbors won’t be happy if you are blocking their light or putting their garden in the shade.

A very high fence can cause a lot of damage to a garden, so try to keep it around four or five feet where the sun shines through.

White vinyl privacy fence

How Much Is Enough?

How long is a piece of string?

Before putting up your fence consider the above points.

Do you really need to make a fortress of your home?

A fence will add to the value and look of your house and one that is just right will catch the attention of family, friends and those all-important neighbors.

Check out this great blog: Where Should You Use A Semi-Privacy Fence

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