How to Choose the Right Fence: What Fence Height Is Right for Me?

March 31, 2024

“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”

There are many reasons why this cliché is absolutely true. Whether you need a fence for privacy, to keep your kids and pets safely inside your yard, or to improve the aesthetics of the home, choosing the right fence height can help keep both you and your neighbors happy.

Keep reading to learn about some of the most important questions to ask before you start your new fence project and the ideal fence height for meeting various goals.

Important Questions to Ask Before Deciding on Your Fence Height

When choosing a fence, remember that there are important considerations beyond your personal preferences. Before you make your final decision regarding your fence height and material, make sure to ask the following questions.

  • How much will the installation cost?
  • How difficult will it be to maintain the fence?
  • Are there any local or homeowners association (HOA) rules you need to follow?

There are a lot of options when it comes to residential fencing. Once you’ve considered the questions above, the next most important factor is the overall goal you're trying to achieve. 

The Best Fence Height Based on Your Goals

Understanding the reason why you want to put in the fence in the first place will help you choose the perfect fence height. It’s common for homeowners to have more than one goal. In this case, you’ll want to choose the highest of the recommended options.

Take a look at these six common goals and the fence heights needed to meet them.

1. Establish Property Boundaries

Many homeowners simply want to install a fence to clearly separate their property from that of their neighbors. These fences are usually fairly short. If the land is undeveloped and the purpose is to keep trespassers out, then a 3-foot fence height is usually sufficient.

In a suburban setting, consider a 3-foot fence in the front and a 6-foot fence in the back. This will help make your home look inviting while setting up a more significant boundary for the backyard.

2. Provide Privacy

Creating a sense of privacy is one of the most common goals homeowners have when installing a fence. After all, who wants a nosy neighbor peeking into your yard or curious passersby checking out what you’re doing.

While a 6-foot fence might be sufficient, for privacy, one that’s 7 or 8 feet high is a much better option. Keep in mind, however, that you might be limited by local height restrictions.

In addition to height, you’ll also want to choose the right material. Wood or solid vinyl are your best bets for ensuring privacy.

3. Keep Animals and Trespassers Out

The right height for keeping animals out will depend on the type of animals you’re trying to deter. In most cases, a 6-foot fence will work.

However, white-tailed deer can jump up to eight feet in the air. If you need to keep them out, you’ll want to opt for an 8-foot fence.

Human trespassers create more of a challenge. Most people can easily scale a 6-foot fence and a determined burglar will find a way to get over an 8-foot fence as well.

If you’re really concerned, consider putting pointed edges on the top of your fence. Installing a security system in addition to the fence is also a good idea.

4. Keeping Pets and Children Safe

If you have young children or pets, you’ll want to relax in your yard without constantly worrying that they could run off. Installing the right kind of fence will easily help you meet this goal. For keeping young children safe, a 4- to 6-foot fence will do.

A 4-foot fence is usually sufficient for small dogs. However, larger and more active dog breeds may require a 6-foot fence, otherwise they’ll just jump over it. Certain breeds aren’t easily deterred by fences, so you may need to take some extra steps to keep them contained.

5. Enclosing a Pool

There are over 3,500 unintentional drownings in the United States each year. If you have a pool in your home, you absolutely need a pool fence. This is true even if you don’t have any children or poor swimmers in your household.

If you don’t take this precaution and someone manages to get into your pool and drowns, you could be held liable.

Some states, including Kentucky, have strict regulations about the size, shape, and material of your pool fence. Typically, they must be at least 4-feet high. You’ll want to check your state’s regulations and ensure that your new fence meets all of them.

6. Enclosing a Garden

If you put a lot of work into cultivating a garden, you’ll want to keep it safe from animals that can get in and eat your vegetables. In most cases, a 3- to 4-foot fence will meet this goal while still letting passersby enjoy looking at your beautiful garden.

You may choose a vinyl picket fence, which is aesthetically pleasing. However, to keep rabbits and skunks out, you’ll want solid vinyl or wood. You may also consider installing a bamboo fence and using it as a trellis for climbing vines. This gives you a beautiful, natural look that will complement your garden.

Let Us Handle All Your Fencing Needs

The professionals at Rio Grande Fence Company are here to help you with all of your residential and commercial fencing needs. Contact us today to discuss your project and get started. We’re happy to provide you with a free quote right away.