How to Improve the Look (and Function) of Your Fence


Fences are a useful tool for improving privacy while also boosting the curb appeal of your home and adding value to the property. That’s why more than half the houses in America have a fence enclosing at least some of the backyard.

That said, nailing the look and function of your fence can be difficult. If you bought a house with an ugly fence, you might be wondering how you can upgrade it to look better – without simply replacing the whole thing. And if you have a wood or vinyl fence that’s suffered wear and tear over time, you’ll be in a similar position.

So what steps can you take to improve the look and function of your backyard fence, other than replacing the whole thing?

Ideas to Improve the Look and Function of Your Fence

Consider these ideas to make your fence more beautiful (and in some cases, make it work better):

·       Straighten warped fence sections. If your fence suffers from sections that are warped or bowed, make an effort to straighten them. Depending on the nature of your fence, you may be able to completely remove a stinger board and replace it with relative ease.

·       Screw in any loose boards. Do an inspection of your entire fence and keep a lookout for loose boards; they should be apparent to you. When you find one, screw it in tighter (and take the opportunity to ensure it’s straight). Make sure you use outdoor screws for this purpose.

·       Install a vinyl wall topper. A wall topper is a separate piece designed to make your fence taller and add some decoration to the highest section. If the top of your fence has seen better days, or if you’re just interested in boosting the privacy afforded to you by the installation, a vinyl wall topper could be exactly what you need.

·       Replace old and worn lattice. Lattice looks great when it’s new or in good condition, but over time, it takes a lot of damage. When you find old or worn lattice along your fence, consider replacing it entirely. Lattice panels aren’t that expensive and shouldn’t be difficult to install; in a single weekend, you can completely revitalize the look of your fence this way.

·       Take a power washer to the fence. Some fences look bad not because they’re in a state of disrepair, but simply because they’ve gotten dirty over time. It’s time consuming to manually clean every section of your fence, but with the right power washer, the chore becomes a breeze. Rent (or buy) a power washer to get rid of the grime.

·       Paint the fence posts. Once your fence is cleaner, consider painting the fence posts – or possibly the entirety of the fence. A fresh coat of outdoor paint can instantly breathe new life into your installation. Plus, you’ll have a nearly infinite selection of colors to choose from, so you can select the tone that best fits your personal style.

·       Use menders to support loose posts. If you have loose or wobbly posts on your fence, use a fence mender to temporarily fix them. Fence menders are metal brackets that go straight into the ground, adding more support to the posts that need it most. While this is intended as a temporary fix, it has the potential to last for years.

·       Hang more flowers. Any fence will look better with more flowers adorning it. Get some more hanging baskets and fill your backyard with colorful flowers.

·       Use a trellis and climbing vines. In fact, any kind of plant life can help your fence look better (and can even boost your mood). If flowers aren’t your thing, you can install a trellis and let climbing vines add a whole new dimension to your fence’s aesthetics.

·       Install new lighting. Solar lights or fairy lights can make your outdoor space look much more unique and interesting, especially at night.

·       Consider decorating the fence with artwork. Finally, consider adding artwork to the fence. If you have a talent for it, you could do it yourself – or you could hire a local artist to beautify your fence with their personal vision.

When to Replace the Fence

Of course, many of these ideas will only work if the fence is salvageable and in decent condition. If some of your wooden fence posts are rotting or are unable to support the rest of the structure, you’ll need to replace them. And if the fence looks hideous, or if there are many areas that simply no longer function, you may want to consider a full replacement. Replacing a fence isn’t cheap, but it’s a massive upgrade that can make your backyard more comfortable and increase the value of your home – so consider it an investment.