5 Ugly Fence Solutions

If you have a fence around your home, it’s likely the first thing someone will encounter when approaching your property. How does your fence greet visitors? Is it pristine and well kept, or neglected and in disrepair? The state of your fence can effect the overall appearance of your home a great deal. Here are some ways to deal with an ugly fence.

1. Learn to love it.

In the right setting, an old fence can sometimes bring a rustic charm to your yard. With a little imagination and the right accessories, you may be able to use an ugly fence in an attractive way.

Believe it or not, some areas actually hold contests for the ugliest fence installation. Salem, Oregon, for example, has an “Ugliest Fence Contest”. If you have an exceptionally ugly fence, why not make the most of it?

2. Repair it.

Cedar fence materials turn gray and begin to splinter, crack or rot over time, if not properly maintained. Depending on the state of your fence, you may be able to reverse some of this damage with a little hard work. The first thing to do is to replace any broken boards. After that, you will need to deep-clean the remaining fencing materials.

Take a stiff-bristled brush and oxygen bleach cleaner to the fence’s surface to remove any mold or mildew. An oxalic wood brightener can help restore the wood to its original color by removing rust and tannin stains.

A pressure washer is a quick way to clean your fence. However, too high of pressure can damage soft wood, like cedar fence materials. To reduce the wear on your fence, use a low pressure setting with a wide nozzle. Be sure to keep the spray moving, as holding it in one spot for too long can strip away too much material.

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the fencing materials and they’ve had time to dry, apply a fresh coat of stain to help preserve the wood.

3. Plant privacy plants.

Shrubs and other thick plants are a long-term solution to concealing your fence. The drawback is that you have to wait for privacy plants to grow before they offer any concealment. If you’re looking to conceal your fence, evergreen shrubs will remain consistent year round, while deciduous ones won’t. While faster growing shrubs will have a quicker effect, they will also need to be trimmed more frequently.

4. Trellis panels.

Another option is to cover ugly sections with trellis panels. These provide a decorative cover, and allow you to cover them with attractive climbing plants.

5. Start over.

If your fence is in especially bad shape, you may be better off tearing it down and starting over. If you do decide to start over with a new fence, this may be an opportunity to switch to a different fencing material that doesn’t require as much maintenance, such as aluminum or vinyl.