In this Article: Fences in Human History; high or low fence – which is better; blind and lattice fence; choice of fencing depending on the characteristics of the estate.
The need for fencing a perimeter around his home, and with time the boundaries of his agricultural and hunting grounds, arose in man many millennia ago. A reliable fence protected the courtyard from wild animals and prevented the access of random people, did not allow livestock and poultry to leave the yard. Today, fences for a summer cottage or a private house perform the same tasks as in the distant past, only do they have to be opaque and as high as possible?
For the defense of the house from uninvited guests, people from ancient times have carefully chosen a place for building, preferring areas with natural obstacles for enemies in the form of rivers, lakes and swamps, ravines and cliffs. However, in the most convenient areas on the ground, as a rule, there were no natural barriers; they had to be built manually. The first fences were created by people from the available material – folded branches of trees and thorny bushes, reinforced with a picket fence of stakes, on which the skulls of animals were usually hung to scare off strangers. In order to strengthen the perimeter defense line, ditches were dug and filled with water along it, and from the land obtained during the creation of the ditch, an earthen rampart was laid out immediately behind it, the wall facing the ditch was made as steep as possible, at its top point a palisade was arranged.
With the development of ancient civilizations, fences became stone and brick, first from sun-baked clay, then in a kiln. The stone walls of castles and fortresses rising to the sky impressed travelers with their power, forcing the enemy armies to retreat or dare to undertake a heavy assault, which was inevitably accompanied by great casualties. In countries with abundant forests, it was easier to build wooden walls than stone or brick ones, but the tree burned perfectly, it was destroyed by carpenter beetles and various microorganisms. Belief in the strength of stone and brick walls is characterized by the word by which they were called in ancient times – “stronghold” or “zaplot”.
A few centuries ago, the fence was an integral and indispensable element of a large settlement – removing the first and last letter from this word, we get “grad”, that is, a city.
Wooden fences familiar to us have a very long history, going back not only for centuries, but also for millennia. In Ancient Russia, settlements were built up differently than in Europe – on the sides of the streets in European cities, buildings are usually close to each other, there is no distance between them. Russian cities were formed from manor-type buildings, standing separately from each other and fenced off by fences, and the fence was not erected around the entire manor complex, but between the buildings and structures that form it, watchtowers were erected at the corners of the enclosing perimeter.
At the beginning of the 19th century, noble homeowners of Russia adopted the European style of decorating their estates, they abandoned massive and high fences, delimiting private and public areas with the help of low-growing hedges or did without a fence at all. Low fences opened the gaze of passers-by and neighbors to the wonderful architecture of buildings and park compositions – the pride of their owners.
High fence – a necessity or a fad of the homeowner
Massive fences that can resist the intrusion of outsiders into fenced areas are typical of developing countries where there is no or a poorly represented segment of the population with an average income. Typical examples of such countries today are Mexico and South Africa, for the wealthy part of the population of which the fencing of their territory is not a whim, but an obligatory component of personal safety. In some areas of developed countries, reliable fences are popular due to ethnic and, in some cases, religious disunity of the population, on the basis of which conflicts occur from time to time. Among these countries are Israel, Northern Ireland, the territories of the southern states of the United States.
Among Russian homeowners, fences from 2 m and above are only partially popular due to the crime rate in the country, but the main goal is to get their own, individual space, reliably isolated from the outside world by a deaf and high fence. Especially high are the fences around the perimeter of summer cottages, the owners of which visit them solely with the aim of completely abandoning urban everyday life, the constant noise of the roads and the discomfort associated with neighbors in a high-rise building. For the same purpose, fences are being erected in private buildings in suburban areas, but there is still a well-established opinion that a high and solid fencing of a plot characterizes its owner from the positive side, because according to the well-known saying “my house” should be “my fortress”.
Deaf and sparse fence
With the help of a blank fence, you can easily achieve the goals described above, in terms of isolation from the outside world. On the territory of Russia, the undisputed leader as a material that performs the task of restricting access to the perimeter is wood, the cost of which is low in an abundance of forests, which means that periodic repair of elements of such a fence will be relatively inexpensive. In addition to wood, various materials are used in the construction of fences, for example, wave and flat slate, sheet metal, stone and brick, concrete and plastic prefabricated structures. Separately, it is worth highlighting fences made of corrugated board, as they do not require a change of paintwork over time, unlike other metal fences, which do not introduce the owners of the site into significant costs for the acquisition of their constituent elements, while the installation of such fences on site is quite possible for not specialist.
A deaf fence with a canvas of sandwich panels will help to save your private house from external noises of any kind – their filling made of mineral wool or expanded polystyrene plates reliably blocks sound waves, both coming from outside and outgoing from the territory of the dacha.
Deaf fences, regardless of the material that forms them, have a common disadvantage – they spoil the landscape with their bulkiness and inappropriateness among green spaces. The optimal solution for summer residents who do not want to choose between the openness of the territory and the dissonance introduced into the landscape by an artificial fence will be a hedge, the disadvantages of which are the need for constant maintenance of it, as well as a decrease in light and sound resistance during the cold season..
The disadvantages of solid fences, regardless of the material forming them, are associated with rich shadow near the fence and turbulent air flows, especially typical for flat terrain. Driven by flat winds, the air, colliding with an impenetrable barrier for it, rises up along it, bends around, then falls sharply downward, preventing the normal development of any plants planted close to and not far from the fence. In conditions of calm, another negative situation is observed – a part of the territory located near a blank fence is actively assimilated by a variety of insect pests attracted by the abundance of plants and the lack of wind.
Lattice fences, the canvas of which to one degree or another allows light and air to pass through, are also made of wood and metal, less often of natural and artificial stone. Forged fences, lattice wooden structures placed on supporting pillars create a special decorative effect around the perimeter of the site – combining defense functions, they fit well into the overall landscape of the estate. Modern solutions, such as fences made of chain-link mesh or welded mesh made of thin wire, despite the external airiness and lightness, allow you to accurately define the boundaries of the summer cottage and prevent strangers from entering it.
At the end
Except in special cases, when only a deaf and as high as possible fence can provide safety to the owners of the site, the choice of material for creating a fence should be made taking into account the size of the house and the landscape around it.
A landscape with lawns, flower beds and shrubs, in which there are no large-sized planters planted in rows, it would be correct to surround with a sparse fence made of forged lattice or low metal mesh. If there are many large trees on the site, then the priority will be behind a massive fence made of metal, stone and brick..
The choice of the type of fence is also related to the general style of the suburban area. For the classical style, which combines landscape elements of the correct form, garden sculptures, stone bowls of fountains, a house facade decorated with columns, a deaf or combined, i.e. containing lattice elements, brick fence with or without plastered surfaces. It is better to protect the perimeter of the site with a log building with a massive fence made of wood or a palisade, in the case of a house upholstered with clapboard – create a fence made of picket fences. For a country-style estate – vegetable garden beds, a chaotically growing sunflower, beaten paths – a wicker fence.
The dimensions of the fence must be associated with buildings located near the border of the site, its color – with the color of the roof and walls of the same buildings.