As the weather warms up, the flowers start to bloom, and birds start to sing again, many minds turn to spending longer evenings outdoors. With that in mind, you probably look out at your yard and only see the things that need to be done — trees that need to be trimmed, flower beds that need refreshing, weeds that need pulling, and of course, that old, rickety fence that needs replacing. Many people will want to get in contact with outdoor fence companies to get quotes for new fence installations.
Spring is a great time to turn outdoors, but fence installations this time of year have their own set of considerations to keep in mind. The weather can have important impacts on any fence project you decide to undertake, and not all of those consequences of warmer days are beneficial to fence installations. It may seem counterintuitive, since spring is such a pleasant time, but there are definitely potential roadblocks that come with putting up a fence this time of year.
Read on for all the pros and cons of getting a new fence in the spring so that you’re well informed before you contact outdoor fence companies.
Con: Wood Warping
We’ll start off with some of the bad news. If you want a wood fence, the fall and winter months are better options than spring for fence installations. This is due to the potential for the wood to warp when it is exposed to heat and UV rays, which are more prevalent in the warmer months.
It’s not a given that your wood fence will warp if you have it installed in the spring, since outdoor fence companies can work around this with different stains and techniques, but it is definitely something to keep in mind if you’re wondering what time of year is most optimal for your fence installation.
Of course, if you want a fence made out of a material other than wood, then you have nothing to worry about here. There are a lot of great options on the market — vinyl, composite, and metal fences all can be durable and stylish choices. Outdoor fence companies can help guide you to the right material choice for your specific needs.
Pro: Soft Ground
Maybe this one’s obvious, but it’s still good to keep in mind: Fence installation is much more difficult and time consuming if the ground is frozen. This can result in unsturdy posts, which completely negates the whole point of getting a new fence. Once spring comes, you don’t have to worry about that, and outdoor fence companies will have a much easier time getting your fence in the ground.
Con: Soft Ground
Yes, we know we just listed this point as a pro, but hear us out. While it’s still true that hard, frozen ground is no good for fence installations, it’s also true that the ground can be too soft for the posts to settle properly. Spring can bring heavy rains and therefore thick mud, meaning it might not yield ideal ground conditions for your fencing project. As the ground dries, the posts might shift, which would be a real bummer. Outdoor fence companies can assess the ground and let you know if they can go ahead with the installation or if it needs to be postponed for better conditions.
Pro: Increased Market Value
According to Zillow, May is the best month to put your home on the market. That means the early spring months are probably filled with many home improvement projects to get the property ready for sale. A new fence is a great one to add to your list of things to get done — outdoor fence companies can help you increase your home’s curb appeal, privacy factor, and just general attractiveness. So, if you’re looking to sell your home in the peak months, fence installations can give you another nice little bump in value.
And even if you’re not looking to sell your home this season, if it’s on the horizon at all, it’s a good idea to start checking off to-dos before it’s really imperative that you get out of your current place. Fence installations might seem like a big hassle, but outdoor fence companies can make them completely manageable.
Con: Outdoor fence companies are busy.
Many people are trying to get their yards summer barbeque season ready. That means outdoor fence companies are in high demand in the spring months. If you’re ready to pull the trigger and get that long-overdue fence project started, do it as soon as possible. You don’t want to get stuck behind all the other fence installations on their schedule and then have to wait until next summer to truly enjoy your yard.
Since warmer months are peak season for fence installations, that also means prices might be a bit higher than those you would see in the fall and winter. Keep that in mind if you’re on a tight budget. Waiting for the offseason might mean the perfect fence for your yard is more attainable, but it also means going another summer season with your old fence — or no fence at all.
Pro: Spring fences bring summer shindigs.
If you are able to get your fence installed in the spring, that means you’re all set for whatever summer has in store for you and your yard. Wiffle ball with the neighborhood kids? Clear outfield boundaries, covered. Getting a new puppy? A safe, contained place for her to learn to potty, check. Fourth of July barbecues? A stylish fence to impress all your guests is a must, not to mention the increased privacy a new fence can bring. If your neighbors are out enjoying the weather just as often as you are and you’d rather not hear about all their troubles every time you go out, a privacy fence can be a great solution.
No matter what kind of outdoor fun summer has in store for you and your family, the right fence is a great backdrop, and getting that project accomplished in the spring paves the way for that to happen.
Con: DIY Doom
Some would-be handymen might take a fence-building project upon themselves and forgo consulting with outdoor fence companies. Trying to get that done in the springtime could spell disaster. It tends to be a busy time for everyone, what with spring cleaning initiatives and projects around the house popping up at every turn. If you start fence installations and can’t finish them because some other pressing project comes up, that won’t do your yard any favors.
It’s a safe bet to contact some outdoor fence companies before you try to do anything yourself, especially in the busy spring months.
Pro: DIY Doability
If you do decide to tackle fence installations on your own and don’t make the mistake of starting something you can’t finish, the spring weather can be very hospitable. As long as you’ve done your research, picked the right materials, and made sure you know where your property lines actually are, spending some time outdoors being productive as the weather warms up can be really nice. You’re probably more likely to want to get out there and get your hands dirty when it’s not blazing hot or freezing cold. And any friends you might coerce into helping you out will probably be much more willing to lend a hand if they’re not worried about copious sweat or frostbite.
That said, outdoor fence companies are always a great choice if you have any concerns about your ability to get a sturdy fence in the ground.
General Fence Installation Tips
Now that you’ve considered all the pros and cons of springtime fence installations, let’s get into some of the more general things you should keep in mind when you’re contacting outdoor fence companies or attempting to put up a fence yourself. Much of this advice really does go for any time of year — check with your neighbors about splitting costs and property lines, make sure you don’t have to get a permit before building a fence, inspect the ground conditions before you get started, all of that. And if you go with professional fence installations, they should already be aware of best practices. However, if you’d like to give it a try yourself, read on for some tips to get the job done.
First, you’ll want to be sure your intended fence line is marked clearly. You don’t want to freehand a border that should (hopefully) last for years to come. When you’re planning where to put your fence, keep any slopes you might find in your yard in mind. Those can affect the type and placement of your fence.
During fence installations, be mindful of how deep you’re putting your fence posts into the ground. A standard depth is anywhere from 36 inches to 48 inches. The important thing is that posts are at least six inches below the frost line, and that they’re in the ground deep enough to keep your fence stable. As a bonus tip, at the bottom of the holes you dig for your fence posts, you can add gravel to help water drain out of there.
The posts should be secured with mixed concrete or a similar product. Don’t rush this step, since the stability of your fence is the most important thing. If it doesn’t stand up straight or blows over in the first wind storm, it won’t matter how nice it looked. And of course, always keep checking that your fence is level and straight as you’re putting it up.
This might all sound like a lot to keep in mind for a simple fence, and if it sounds like too much work, outdoor fence companies are literal pros at fence installations, so calling them up and getting a professional to do the job is always a great option for those among us who don’t possess much skill with tools. But hey, if you end up doing it yourself to try and save some money and it comes out a little squiggly, you can always tell your neighbors it’s a new art installation.
To wrap things up, let’s go over the ways you can make sure spring fence installations go smoothly:
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Do some research so you know what you’re getting into, and call outdoor fence companies to have them tackle projects that are more than you can handle.
- Take note of the ground conditions before you start any fence project. Too soft or too frozen can spell disaster for your fence posts.
- Contact outdoor fence companies early to ensure you can get a spot on their lists before the weather really heats up.
- Make sure you’re picking out a fence made of a material that will suit your needs and be able to be installed properly — wood fences might warp if the proper precautions are not taken.
- Consider waiting for the fall if your fence need isn’t urgent.
- Look into getting your lot surveyed, and make sure you’re aware of the building codes in your area before you begin any fence installations.
- Definitely put a new fence on your to-do list if you’re looking at selling your home.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, if you’ve got a rotten, rickety, reviled fence on your property, you have to replace it for safety’s sake. You don’t want your dog (or a neighbor’s dog, for that matter) to be able to break down the fence when he gets excited, and you don’t want just anyone to be able to wander through your garden. The right fence can give you peace of mind, privacy, or just a nice aesthetic flourish to finish off your landscaping. And if you’re planning on selling your house, a fence is still a good investment to entice a potential buyer. So, even when spring isn’t the exact ideal time to get things done, if you need a new fence, there’s no time like the present to get in touch with outdoor fence companies.