Low-maintenance fences: How to build the Great Fence of DIY

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The Great Wall of China Vs. The Great Fence of DIY

Next to that beautiful aluminum fence is the Great Wall of China. Emperors worked on this wall (not personally, of course. What good is being emperor if you can’t order people to do your work for you?) for more than a thousand years, adding to it and maintaining it so well that it kept the empire safe from enemies like the Huns and the Mongols. Chinese engineers incorporated sticky rice into the mortar, which made it so impenetrable that weeds can’t even grow in some sections, even hundreds of years after the last construction was completed.

They couldn’t just hire a fence company like ours to come build their protective barrier for them. They had to do it themselves.

The moral of the story, of course, is that a really good barrier can protect an empire, even if you’re installing it on your own. It can even be virtually maintenance-free—which the Great Wall of China isn’t, although it has served its purpose well. When it comes to protecting your home, which is your own empire, you’re probably going to want to opt for a fence rather than a wall, and doing it yourself can be much easier.

Sometimes you just want to do it yourself!

While hiring a fence company is a noble, decades-old tradition, sometimes you just want to do it yourself. Like the Chinese engineers of ancient times, you’re probably looking for an easy-care, low-maintenance fence that will protect your empire from roving dogs and Mongol hordes for years to come. But what materials should you use?

Don’t worry—you won’t need any sticky rice. You probably won’t even need a thousand years to do it—a weekend will suffice.

Aluminum fencing: Easier to install than stone and sticky rice

Aluminum fencing is durable, weather-resistant and rustproof with a security-meets-elegance look. Similar to vinyl, aluminum is a low-maintenance material. Because it’s sold in sections that snap together, aluminum fencing is incredibly easy and quick to install, and using a kit like EZ Fence 2 Go makes it even easier. DIY kits are helpful because they allow you to do it yourself, but they come with everything you need and include easy-to-follow instructions, making it take only a few hours to install your fence.

One of the only real drawbacks of aluminum is that you’re a bit limited in your color options. However, a black aluminum fence is classic but modern, and the black can be a beautiful contrast to a colorfully landscaped yard.

Vinyl fencing: For when you want the look of wood without the work

Other than aluminum, vinyl is pretty much the most low-maintenance fence material available. Using a fence kit, it can also be very easy to install with panels that snap right into place. It’s made of kid-resistant polymers and it ages at about the same rate as your average Twinkie (though those aren’t kid-resistant), and like aluminum, it can withstand the weather. Extreme temperatures won’t splinter or crack it, rain won’t warp or rust it, and the sun won’t cause it to fade or peel.

You can even install a classic white fence without fear of it becoming dingy or drab, because just like with aluminum, cleaning is a breeze. Just turn on the hose or drag your pressure washer out of the garage and blast away dirt, pollen, grass clippings, and other unsightly grime. Many people opt for the crisp, modern look of vinyl, but other colors like natural wood shades are available for those of you who want the look of wood but not the maintenance obligation.

If only the Great Wall didn’t need any maintenance…

Although it stood proudly for more than a thousand years, parts of the Great Wall are now falling into disrepair. Turns out even stone, mortar, and sticky rice need maintenance. We’re not time-traveling psychic civil engineers, but we’re willing to bet that had it been available to them at the time, the people who designed and built the Great Wall of China would have opted for vinyl or aluminum to fortify China’s borders.

You don’t need stone, an army of workers, or tons of sticky rice to install a great fence…unless you get hungry, that is. All you need is a kit, a weekend, and perhaps a mini army of friends and family.

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