There are many ways to decorate the outside of your property and having an attractive garden out the front can be a great way of rounding off that ‘perfect home’ look. It can add value to your home, makes a good first impression on the local neighbourhood and is ideal for green-thumbed homeowners who don’t have the luxury of a back garden on their property. However if you have a garden that is not clearly marked off with boundaries, you might find yourself at a loss to where your property actually starts.
If you have gardens, it may be the case that the borders of your property are not clearly defined. Some properties seem to simply tail off, leaving no clear idea for the general public, or yourself, about where your garden ends and the pavement or the shared community space begins. If you want to avoid people mistakenly using your land or to improve the security of your property, read on to find out how to do it.
Determining the Actual Borders
Knowing where your actual borders lie is essential if you are going to be putting up a fence or other boundary wall in order to prevent people from accessing your property. You should be able to check the land plans you will have received when you bought the house, otherwise, your local council should have a copy of the borders if you get in touch with them.
While it may not seem like a big deal, if you are off by even a few inches, you are technically building an illegal structure on somebody else’s property. This can turn into a costly mistake if your neighbour decides to take issue with your new structure. Check and double check your official borders before starting to look at construction on the border.
Planning Permission – Play it Safe!
Planning to make any level of construction or renovation that affects the appearance and the structure of the property calls for proper planning permission. If you went ahead and simply started construction work without getting planning permission and your local governing body decides that your works are not permitted, you waste a lot of time, effort and money getting rid of what you have already built. Always make sure that you have obtained the proper planning permission for a construction on your property.
While this may sound like an irritating extra chore for you to do – after all it’s your property isn’t it? – it is essential. At the end of the day, you are only really leasing out the land upon which the property stands, but if you construct weak wall that is potentially dangerous or create a visually polluting wall that is about 6 feet high all around, this is of a direct concern to your local governing body. Renovations and construction work is permitted within reason and their main aim is to keep the peace. A 6 foot high wall is unlikely to go down well with the neighbours and this must be taken into account.
Fencing or Brick Walls?
Both are fairly viable options, although you might want to look at the styles favoured by your local neighbourhood. If brick walls are generally favoured, you might look a bit out of place with a white picket fence, no matter how much you yourself might love the style. One important aspect of external renovations is that you keep the neighbourhood itself looking neat and tidy as this will help you to sell your house when you come to move on.
In terms of the environment, wooden fencing is considered to be more environmentally friendly. There are companies who supply reasonably sourced timber and can make a beautiful fence, all from reputable sources. Good fencing will also need a good gate, with a sturdy bolt or lock, as a fence without a gate will look unfinished and awkward.
If you’re not so fond of fences or brick walls, hedges are a great way of ‘walling off’ your property and often don’t seem so intrusive. Hedges are nature’s own wall, and with so many different styles to choose from, you can select a warm and welcoming hedge or something a little more prickly and mysterious. If you want to deter trespassers, you can easily get holly bushes or hedges with thorns as this helps to detract from intruders but doesn’t stop the garden from being attractive. Opt for dense-growing bushes for extra protection, or a more free-growing variety to let through sunlight and to allow you to see out into the public space more easily; the choice is yours.
Although the border of your property is your own, a lot of construction work depends on the local governing body and whether or not your renovation choices will fit in with the local neighbourhood. While it is good to stand out and be different, if your front garden looks really out of place in comparison to the surrounding houses, your decorating decisions might make selling the property on a bit more difficult; and nobody wants to do that. You can still be creative and conform to the rules of the local neighbourhood, it just may take a little more time, but it is certainly possible!
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Yorkshire-based garden furniture specialist Quality Ironmongery, who were consulted over the information contained in this post.