The idea of fencing homes isn’t as popular in America compared to many other countries. Even though homes exist, they aren’t as common as those without fences. So, why don’t houses in America have fences?
Fenced homes aren’t common in America, but they exist. Most houses are without fences because of the culture, rules of the neighborhood, to save cost, gated communities, lack of space, and convenience. But the homes with fences also have their reasons, such as more privacy, safety, pets, and laws.
Regardless, whether a house has a fence won’t necessarily affect its value unless the fence serves a crucial purpose. Here, we discuss why most homes in the US don’t have fences.
How Common are Fenced Homes in America?
Fenced homes aren’t as common in the US, but they’re not exceptions either. What is less common is to have homes with tall wall fences. About 50% of homes in the US have backyard fences, but front lawn fences are much less common. Even when homes have front fences, they’re usually very low and serve to establish boundaries rather than shield the house from public view. Thus, most homes only use wooden fences and pickets for front fences. Regardless, there are still homes with tall fences, especially in some states such as Texas or in high crime areas.
Why Homes in the US Don’t Have Fence
There are several reasons for the common lack of fences in American real estate. This includes:
Fences have never been a part of the American culture, and buildings with fences are usually public buildings or military installations. Most people consider the fence to be antisocial. In a world where everyone sufficiently respects their neighbors’ private space, a fence seems unnecessary. It’s even evident in the fact that when people fence their front yard, they use a low decorative fence that serves as boundaries. So, it’s quite possible to see the house even with the front yard. Having fences around your property was once considered very strange in America, and that still applies to an extent in some neighborhoods today.
2. Rule of the Neighborhood
Each neighborhood usually has homeowners associations with rules about what is permissible in the area. The association can have rules on whether fences are allowed, lawn mowing, decorations, etc. There could also be zoning laws on what’s acceptable in an area. There are rules against installing fences in some neighborhoods, or homeowners need to get approval from the municipality before installing a fence. This is enough to discourage some people from installing fences. Beyond, there are social rules such as asking neighbors before erecting fences. Some neighbors might find it offensive to find fences next to their property without any notification. Many Americans will rather avoid all these issues and live without fences. However, some areas in the US see fences as a norm. Several homes in Texas have a front yard and backyard fences, and the same applies to New Mexico.
Most homes don’t come with a fence, especially in the front yard. This is because the cost of installing new ones can be quite high and enough to discourage many from starting the project. In addition, you may need to get the contractor to install the fences for you in some areas as the municipality won’t give you the approval to do it yourself. Even if you can do it yourself, you’ll still need to spend on materials. In addition, you may have to pay for municipal approval. Thus, not having a fence allows people to save costs.
4. Gated Communities
Homes in gated communities also find it unnecessary to have fences when there’s already a fence around the whole community and gates leading into the area. Instead, many homes in these communities use natural boundaries through landscaping to establish boundaries.
5. Lack of Space
The lack of space is another reason for not the rarity of fences in American houses. This especially addresses homes in urban areas where there’s barely enough land. In such places, building fences for a particular property was just out of the question as there’s barely enough space between the properties to start with. A fence can make a small space even smaller and restrict freedom.
Another reason many homes in America don’t have fences is that it’s easier to mow the lawn without fences. Once a house has fences, owners can’t simply mow the area. They’ll also need to trim the edges. Some avoid this stress altogether by not erecting a fence on their property.
Why Americans Are Building Fences
More homes in the US have been adding fences, especially in the backyard. The reasons for this include:
Households with pets are more open to fencing their homes to ensure that the pet never strays out the compound. Waist-high fences that are high enough to keep the pet out are usually preferable for these homes. However, these fences don’t offer that much privacy and are built with easily removable materials such as wood and bamboo rather than stones and concrete. Of course, the height of the fence you choose to keep will depend on your pet. Dogs don’t generally require very high fences, but if you’re keeping an animal capable of climbing low fences, you might have to invest in taller fences.
Americans are also installing fences for safety purposes. This is especially true for backyard fences as this area is much isolated. Most people store whatever valuable they can’t keep in their homes in the backyard. Unlike the front yard, which your neighbors can see, the backyard can be isolated, and burglars can take advantage of that to break into the houses, especially when you’re not home. With fences, homeowners can limit this risk. In some areas such as Florida, people install fences to keep dangerous animals such as snakes and alligators away from their yards.
Tall fences offer privacy, and this can be necessary for certain homes. For example, homes with swimming pools in the backyard usually have fences to keep people away from the yard while also providing privacy against prying eyes when using the pool. Fences also help keep your kids in your yard where it’s private and safe.
There are also times when the law requires homeowners to erect a fence on their property. A good example is when they have an attractive nuisance like a swimming pool. In this case, the fence isn’t just to ensure privacy but also to prevent kids from entering the pool without adult presence.
Many houses in America don’t have fences due to certain reasons. But there are also several that do, especially in certain parts of the country.