Fencing or Hedging or Something Else?
In order to protect your home from the threat of criminals and vandals it is essential that the boundary of your property has adequate security measures in place to restrict unauthorised access. Here we look at some of the most common methods of achieving this including a comparison of the good and bad points of each solution.
The most common form of natural barrier is a hedge as they form a thick and dense foliage that prevent anyone being able to easily pass thorough, can be trimmed to the required height and provide a natural habitat for birds and insects which can help pollinate your garden during the summer months. As such they are widely used across the UK where a large perimeter needs securing at a cost effective price.
Benefits – A well maintained hedge will provide many benefits to the homeowner. For example if you choose to plant a species such as hawthorne the spikes will make a great defence against trespassers. Alternatively for a more manicured appearance to your home there are some great species of box hedge available. In either case they form a softer appearance than a timber fence or masonry wall making them more appealing to the keen gardener as they form a softer backdrop for planted borders.
Drawbacks – Unlike a fence that can be erected in only a few hours a newly planted hedge can take a number of years to become well established meaning you may also have to install a temporary barrier to keep people out which is obviously extra work and expense for something that is not going to be permanent. In addition to this as the hedge grows it will require maintenance including trimming on a regular basis.
The second most common method of securing the perimeter of your home and garden is to install wooden fencing. However with this option the level of security that can be achieved will vary according to the type of fence you select. For example cheap wooden fence panels can be pretty flimsy meaning they are easy to break through. In fact if they are fitted into recessed posts they can actually be lifted out with ease. This can be highlighted by the fact that a couple of years ago during the winter storms the mainstream media made reports that rather than stealing the belonging inside the property people were actually stealing the fence panels themselves.
Benefits – Provided the style of fencing you select is of sufficient strength and quality then the level of security that can be achieved is pretty good. In addition to this there are many different styles to choose from depending on budget, tastes and overall design of the home so you can guarantee there is an option to suit an residential setting.
Drawbacks – In exposed areas a wooden fence can act a bit like a sail in the wind. Over time the stress placed on the timber can lead to individual panels becoming damaged leading to replacements being required. In addition to this, unless you specify pressure treated timber the fence will need to be painted on a regular basis to prevent the wood rotting away.
Perhaps the most effective of all the options available bricks, stone and block work walls offer a great level of privacy and security to the homeowner however to gain the maximum benefits the wall needs to be at least 6ft in height which makes it very expensive to build and if not properly thought out can result in the home looking a bit like a prison. For this reason always consult an experienced builder or architect when planning a new boundary wall as they will have the knowledge to provide the best solution.
Benefits – When constructed correctly a well built wall is strong, durable, aesthetically pleasing and more than capable or restricting access to your home.
Drawbacks – Out of all the options this is the most expensive in terms of materials and construction.
Designed to be fitted to the top of an existing wall a well made set of metal railings will provide additional height to the existing structure. Whilst not the most popular of solutions the aesthetic appeal that a railing can bring is well worth considering when looking to upgrade your home security.
Benefits – In addition to the obvious security benefits a wall fitted with railings can enhance the overall look of your property at a reasonably affordable price.
Drawbacks – Unless you specify the railings to have a galvanised finish they can start to rust if left unpainted leading to an unsightly appearance. As such regular maintenance is advisable.
So now we have looked at the ways of restricting access to the main boundary of the home it is also essential that pedestrian and vehicle access points are also well secured. As such we will now look at the most common styles of gates for residential properties.
When selecting a set of gates for your home it is important to remember they are designed for different applications so always choose the correct one for the application it is intended.
Garden Gates – These styles normally refer to single gates that have a height up to 4ft. Generally used for securing paths and front entrances.
Side Gates – Available in many modern and ornate designs a metal side gate is perfect for securing more vulnerable access points such as the side entrance to the garden or at the back of the house where the entrance may be concealed from view.
Driveway Gates – Used for spanning large openings driveway gates are normally made up of a pair of gates that swing open. They are available in a huge array of sizes and where required can also be fitted with automation to make regular access with the car safer and easier.
To conclude, the essence of creating a well defined and secure boundary to your property is to ensure some form of physical security barrier is in place to prevent anyone and everyone from straying onto your property. By considering all of the above options and implementing the best solution to meet your requirements you can ensure your home remains safe from criminals and trespassers.
This article has been provided on behalf of Metal Gates Direct who are a leading UK based retailer of high quality metal gates, fencing and railings.