Planning for Your Fence


There are many reasons for wanting a new fence. Take the time to consider how your new fence will be used. That way, you'll understand which of the many types and styles of fencing will work best for you. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Are there restrictions on the size, placement or type of fence you can build?
  • How soon do you need your fence?
  • What purpose or function will your fence serve?
  • Which style of fence is best suited for that purpose?
  • Is your property mostly level, or is it sloped?


At The Home Depot, we offer a wide range of fencing styles and materials to match all your needs. The fencing professional who visits your home can help you understand the options available so you can choose the perfect fence for your property.

Fencing Restrictions

Before you make any decisions about your new fence, find out if there are any restrictions or limits on adding a fence to your property.

  • Discuss your plans with neighbors whose property is adjacent to your proposed fence.
  • Examine your deed for easements. An easement grants a right-of-way through your property to another entity, like a neighboring property owner or a utility company. Easements may limit the design and location of your fence.
  • Review local zoning laws for restrictions on the type, size and placement of your fence. If you live in an historic district, for example, check with your neighborhood association before proceeding.
  • Check your homeowners' association guidelines (CC&R's) to find out whether HOA approval is required.
  • Confirm your property lines to make sure your fence will be installed within your property.


When to Install Your Fence 

Installing a fence is a complex construction project that can take some time to complete. Plan ahead so your new fence is ready when you need it. If you want to have your yard fenced in by early spring, consider installing a fence during the previous fall.

In most areas, fencing can be installed year-round. For more information, contact a fencing professional at 1-800-557-5221.


Fencing defines borders and organizes space. But not all types of fencing provides privacy or enhances security. Understanding the specific purpose or function of your fence will help you find the type of fence that's right for you.

Fencing can be either functional or decorative.

Wood Functional

Functional fences increase privacy, make your home more secure, limit access to a pool or other area, or reduce wind and noise. Functional fences can also add elegance and beauty to your home and landscape. Consider privacy or shadowbox styles in wood or vinyl. Add heavy-duty locks and hinges for more security.

Vinyl Decorative

Decorative fencing complements your home's architecture, adds an elegant accent to your property or draws attention to a beautiful landscape or garden. Popular types of decorative fences include ornamental metal fences or picket and post and rail fences in vinyl or wood.



If your property lines aren't level, your fence may need to be stepped or racked to follow sloping terrains.

Stepped Fencing

Stepping is commonly used in situations where the ground is aggressively sloped. Stepped fences are constructed using pre-assembled panels of pickets or boards. Each panel is placed parallel to the panel next to it (rather than parallel to the slope) so that the fence gradually follows the slope like steps in a terraced garden or deck. Stepping often results in an open space or gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground at one end of each panel. Because of this gap, stepped fences may not be the best choice for keeping pets in an enclosed area.

Racked Fencing

Racked fences are constructed by placing each picket or board individually to conform closely to the slope of the ground. Racked fences avoid the large spaces between the ground and the fence bottom found in stepped fences, but they are more complex and time-consuming to install. Racked fences cannot be constructed with pre-assembled fence panels.

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