Lakefront houses offer breathtaking views and a serene environment. However, you may find you want more security or privacy along the lakefront than you would at your main house. Lakefront homes are usually second homes, and ones where you’re likely to run into lots of unfamiliar faces. While you may want more security, you also probably don’t want to spoil those gorgeous views. Fencing for a lakefront home can be tricky, but we’re here to help.
Lakefront Fence Pitfalls
Fluctuating Water Levels
One of the primary concerns for lakefront property owners is the fluctuating water levels. Depending on the season, rainfall, and other environmental factors, the water level of a lake can rise or fall significantly. This fluctuation can impact the stability of the soil near the shoreline. Plus, any fence material will fail if exposed to water long-term.
To avoid these pitfalls, you MUST install your fence away from the waterline. Don’t even get very close to it.
Moisture and Humidity
Being close to water means that lakefront properties often deal with high levels of moisture and humidity. These conditions can harm certain fencing materials, causing them to rot, rust, or degrade faster. Choosing materials that are resistant to moisture or are treated to withstand the humid environment will give you a long-lasting fence.
Lakefront properties often attract a variety of wildlife, from birds and fish to larger mammals. While the presence of wildlife can be part of the reason one wants a lakefront house to begin with, it can also pose challenges. Animals might try to burrow under or climb the fence, which can cause damage. Pick a fence that will stand up to a curious animal.
The rich soil and abundant water supply make lakefront areas fertile grounds for vegetation. Overgrowth of plants, shrubs, or trees can interfere with the fence, either by pushing against it or growing through it. Regular maintenance and choosing a fence design that accommodates or even incorporates natural growth will help.
Picking the Right Material
- Durability: Vinyl fences have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability. Unlike wood, vinyl doesn't rot or degrade when exposed to moisture, making it an excellent choice for lakefront properties.
- Low Maintenance: One of the significant advantages of vinyl fences is their low maintenance requirement. They don't need painting or staining and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
- Variety: Modern vinyl fences come in various designs and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a style that best fits their property. Some vinyl fences even mimic the look of wood, offering the best of both worlds.
If you’re going with a vinyl fence for your lakefront home, we recommend a Hopewell picket fence.
Chain Link Fences
- Affordability: Chain link fences are primarily known as the most affordable option for a fence. If you have a lot of yardage to fence, you might want to avoid breaking the budget with a chain link fence.
- Visibility: One advantage of chain link fences for lakefront properties is that they don't obstruct the view. Homeowners can enjoy an unimpeded view of the lake while still having a fence.
- Durability and Maintenance: Made from galvanized steel, chain link fences are resistant to rust and corrosion. They can withstand the challenges of a lakefront environment with minimal maintenance. However, for those concerned about aesthetics, it's worth noting that chain link fences might not offer the same visual appeal as wood or vinyl.
- Elegance and Style: Aluminum fences are known for their elegant and sophisticated appearance. Depending on the homeowner's preference, they can be designed with intricate patterns or kept simple. Their sleek lines and metallic finish can add a touch of modernity to a lakefront property.
- Corrosion-Resistant: One of the standout features of aluminum is its corrosion resistance. Unlike iron, which can rust when exposed to moisture, aluminum holds up well in the humid environment of a lakefront property. This makes it an excellent choice for homeowners who want a durable fence without worrying about rust.
- Lightweight and Durable: Despite being lightweight, aluminum is solid. It can withstand strong winds and other environmental challenges, making it a reliable fencing option for lakefront houses.
- Low Maintenance: Aluminum fences require minimal maintenance. They don't need to be repainted frequently, and their resistance to corrosion means homeowners won't have to deal with rust-related issues. A simple wash with water and mild detergent can keep them looking new for years.
Design Considerations for Lakefront Fencing
Lakefront properties are prized for their stunning views and connection to nature. Therefore, when considering fencing for such a property, the design should not only serve its functional purpose but also harmonize with the environment. Here are some detailed considerations to keep in mind:
Enhancing the View
Opt for designs that allow a clear or semi-clear view of the lake. Materials like glass, mesh, or thin horizontal or vertical slats can provide security while ensuring the view remains the focal point. While a taller fence might offer more privacy, it could also obstruct the view. It's essential to balance privacy needs and preserving the picturesque scenery.
Weather and Durability
Lakefront properties can be exposed to harsh weather conditions, from heavy rains to strong winds. The chosen materials and design should be resilient enough to withstand these challenges.
The design should also factor in maintenance requirements. A complex design might look stunning but could be challenging to maintain. It's essential to find a balance between beauty and practicality.