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Good fences make good neighbours!

Fences say a lot about the people living behind them. Some are so foreboding that visitors might hesitate to ring the doorbell. Others are friendlier, with softer natural colours that can make people feel welcome. Homeowners often make the mistake of focusing so much on security or privacy that they forget the ways in which fences reflect their personality – and beautify their property.

Joe Pozeg, president of New Trend Fencing, takes fencing to a whole new level by creating state-of-the-art structures that have a sculptural design. Bored with the offerings from mainstream companies, Pozeg invented Fencerts, an insertable fencing device that holds patterned panels in place.Framed with wood, steel or PVC fence posts, and cut from solid steel, Fenserts sand black powder coating is scratch resistant and provides both durability and security.“People are putting their money and energy into their homes more than ever before,” says Pozeg, who patented Fencerts in 2006. “What we give them is the opportunity to translate any design imaginable into a fence panel. The creativity is in the hands of the client.”

The cut-out design creates a silhouette effect that allows light to penetrate through. Made in Canada, the most popular panels include the diamond lattice formation, mixed falling leaves, and hummingbirds. People often mix and match the panels within a single area.“You can really transform a backyard patio area with decorative panels,” says Pozeg, “and guaranteed they always become a conversation piece.”

Bamboo fencing is an enduring trend in residential fencing. “It’s one of the strongest fibres known to man,” explains Pozeg. “But beyond that, it’s also environmentally friendly because of its quick regeneration period.” Unlike the harsh chemicals used in pressure-treated wood (the most common material used for fences due to its accessible price point), bamboo fences are all natural. Sourced from Vietnam, New Trend offers them in two colours – a natural “yellowish” look, and a darker bamboo that’s been physically smoked.

Horizontal wood fences are also popular, according to Liam Morin, owner of Good Looking Homes and exclusive contractor for The Deck Doctor. Morin says horizontal slats allow for a lot more natural light to come through, especially when compared to traditional vertical slats, “which, for the most part, obstruct light completely.”

When it comes to materials, Morin says it’s all about cedar. “People who are price-conscious will still go for the $16-$20 per linear foot cost of pressure treated wood,” says Morin, “but cedar looks (and smells) that much better.” With cedar running up to $35 per linear foot, Morin admits: “It can definitely get pricey.”

For more elaborate fencing structures, Morin integrates trellises into his work.

“They’re perfect for a unique look, a walkway or to create a structure for ivy or other vegetation to grow across,” he says, adding that people should consider their space carefully to decide how and where to place these design elements.

Whether you’re seeking privacy – or simply a more decorative surrounding – fencing, with all its flourishes, can give your property the security and the facelift it deserves.

Choices, Choices

With the wide array of options for fencing material available these days, it can be a challenge to pick the right one.Here’s a quick reference guide to some of the most popular choices.

Wood

Cedar has emerged as the ultimate contender for wooden fencing, because it’s less likely to warp compared to other cheaper options. Easy-to-stain and long-lasting wood fences can also dramatically reduce noise pollution. New composite woods provide even greater durability and never need restaining.

Wrought Iron

Made from fabricated steel, this fencing gives residences a stately and sophisticated look. However, there is a risk of rusting. If rust does occur, it can be repainted easily with a rust-inhibiting primer and paint.

Bamboo

While environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing, bamboo fencing is susceptible to rot. Applying the right sealant is essential to waterproof the fence. Without a sealant, bamboo could easily split or crack after a heavy rain season.