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A fence or fencing creates an enclosure designed to confine or avoid movement beyond a marked periphery. It is of a light construction, unless designed as a security fence.

A wall is usually a solid barrier made out of rigid brick or concrete and cement, and restricts passage as well as vision beyond it.

Security is all relative of course as a small wall is no impediment whereas a tall fence is.

There are many different fencing methods. Budget is a big factor, and required security. Fences might have solid boards or panels, or have an open structure with gaps between boards.

Fence styles are made up of several factors: fence height, board width, the spacing of boards, and board top designs or profiles.

Fences and walls can be customised with your choice of materials, elements and colors during the construction and finishing. Exterior painting of the fences should be done by professionals and checked because if they are not painted in all corners and sides, they wear out sooner. If doing it yourself, be careful to get paint or varnish into all the corners.

Fences having several coats of strong paint or varnish are more durable. So proper care should be taken to clean, re-color and protect the fences which ultimately will protect you and your home, and add value. Make sure you keep up paint and varnish quality as it will not only look better but ensure longevity.

Security walling and fencing

Above: Security walling & fencing, temporary signage & letter box

Wooden fencing with a sign

Above: Wooden fencing with a sign (the gates are to the left). Note this is in very poor condition with uneven slats, fading, and even a gap.

Metal fencing around a Tesco building site with sign

Above: Metal fencing around a Tesco building site in Johor Baru Malaysia.

Foundations are required for fences as the base of the columns that hold the fence boards must be rot-free and waterproof. This is a large topic and we will add more later.

It should however be kept in mind, that in housing developments, rules exist for the style, size, location, or type of an enclosure by way of either subdivision agreements or development planning constraints.

For example, custom fencing and walls are not allowed within admittance and drainage areas. Typically, a fence or wall should not be closer than 2 feet to any public sidewalk or above 4 feet in height on side or front yard lines or property lines. Communal clashes over the position of a wall or fence at borders of private or public housing can be awkward to sort out, so always check with your neighbours and and lease documents.

In the UK in a typical terraced back garden, each house is responsible for the right most fence as well as the rear fence. This is to share the cost and mainteneance.

See our other article on Driveways & access >

And Paint & painting >